The Adventures of Dracula (Excerpt), with apologies to Mark Twain
(Note-- I performed this for the Polidori Society, but try as I might I cannot find it posted anywhere. So here it is.)
You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of DRACULA, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Bram Stoker, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Mina, or Lucy, or maybe the captain of the Demeter.
The Captain of the Demeter—the Russian ship Demeter, that is—is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before. Now the way that the book winds up is this: I had returned to my home all by my lonesome, and that boy Harker, and Mina his wife, and Van Helsing, and the Doctor Seward, and that Texan Morris, all lit after me and caught me asleep, all coward-like, and that Texan he stuck me with a knife the size of a Pope’s hat, and it was a knife I heared him call a Bowie, which made no sense because it was made of metal and if you throwed it in the water it might do many a thing, it might kill a fish, and it might hold down your line, but surely it wouldn’t float, and he stuck me with it and I crumbled into dust and they was all happy. Except that Mister Morris he died, but that ain’t no matter because when he died he was recitin’ poetry and spread himself so over his death that surely there wouldn’t be nothing more to do with near so much flair after that. So I crumbled all to dust and Mr. Morris he died. And Mr. Harker he married Mina Murray, and Mr. Van Helsing he apparently spent his years with Mr. Harker and Mina bouncing their child on his knee and sayin’ things as to sum up a story.
And that I don’t know if that was true because as Mr. Stoker said I crumbled all to dust.
The reason I crumbled all to dust was this—I was tolerable tired of these people and their ways, which was why I had lit out for home in the first place. And crumblin’ to dust ain’t no big thing; and it always amazed me that they was so satisfied with themselves and so spread across their triumph, even with Mr. Morris dyin’ all gallant as he did. Here were these men and this woman, and they had Van Helsing with them, and remember—here, in Chapter 18 he said:
"The branch of wild rose on his coffin keep him that he move not from it, a sacred bullet fired into the coffin kill him so that he be true dead, and as for the stake through him, we know already of its peace, or the cut off head that giveth rest. We have seen it with our eyes."
So there is some truth in that, because a stake through the heart do indeed giveth rest, and they had seen it with their own eyes, because I had turned Miss Lucy into a vampire, and they did stake her and she died. She died—did she crumble into dust? No.
So think about this, there these people are, and they have chased me, and shouted to one another, and they know because of what Dr. Van Helsing said that they have got to take it serious, and drive a stake through my heart and for good measure cut off my head.
And what did they do? Why they stabbed me with a Bowie Knife and they slashed my throat. And I was asleep but not once they commenced to stabbing, and I woke up, and like I say I was done with these people, and being not dead because of the knife not being a wooden stake, I crumbled to dust and went home.
I mean, these people knew I could do that—look in Chapter 18, where Van Helsing he says “he can grow and become small, and he can at times vanish and come unknown.-- He come on moonlight rays as elemental dust-- He become so small, he can slip through a hairbreadth space at the tomb door. He can, when once he find his way, come out from anything or into anything,” so they knowd I could do those things, but when I crumbled to dust they was so pleased with themselves and so took with the powerful feeling of Morris’ dyin’ and all that they assumed I was dead.
And that’s just as well for me.
But there’s other times I could tell you about where the same thing happened, where I am going about my business bein’ the Lord of Vampires, Prince of Filth and Degradation, Principal of Pandemonium, and Seducer of Victorian Women in Taffeta. And I can tell you have seen all of them and all of them is mostly true and very much not true neither. Like in Dracula, Prince of Darkness, a title I surely do respect, where in it I come running across ice because my coffin has fallen on the ice, and the hero girl she shoots the ice, and the ice opens up like a music box lid, and I slide in. Now first, that just didn’t happen that way, because remember that when push comes to shove I can just crumble into dust. I actually slid into the ice because I was very, very drunk.
Also there was that one Dracula of 1979, which I also respect because in it I have my hair all blow-dried and big and I get to dance with Kate Nelligan, but in that one I die because I get hooked in the back on a ship and flung up into the air and the sun takes me apart. Now let’s review. Stakes. Dust. Same thing. Not dead. And anyway, anyone who knows that book by Mister Stoker knows that sunlight don’t kill me. But I don’t mind people thinking it do, because that way I get away more.
Or there’s Scars of Dracula, which I guess means scars that I cause because, vampire, I don’t scar none, not even no scars that would make me look surely more scary than I do, like a big scar acrosst my face, no scars, but in that movie Scars of Dracula I’m about to give the hero a mighty beat-down and then I get struck by lightning. Now, that’s some damn luck. And then I go to tumblin’ off the cliff on fire and I look like a blow-up doll someone set on fire and threw off a cliff. All this happened, I really did get struck by lightning, but that wasn’t me that burned up. I turned to dust and I had my manservant set fire to a blow-up doll I keep around for just such an occasion.
To tell the truth there ain’t a one of them movies that tells it like it is any better than that book by Mr. Stoker, but they is all truthful in a ways and I don’t see no harm in it. I make one exception as to this for there is one movie very true, and that’s Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. That’s a good dog, and he is real.