New Ages, New Ways
“What now, Doctor?”
There were no signs of hysteria in Berg’s voice. He learned how to keep calm a long time ago. It was just a simple statement from a scientist, who is facing a problem.
Unsolvable and dangerous problem.
Dangerous and unsolvable?
There were two of them, a physician and a physicist, in a small entrance hallway of a flat that Dr. Kraus inherited from his aunt. And something was banging on the door...
Berg did not believe it a few moments ago as well as he did not believe it now, however blind faith and reality are two different things.
They were pursued by a vampire.
No matter how it all happened, how they could not call for help at night in a city filled with people.
It was their reality, and it was really bad.
A man behind the door, now fueled only by pure instinct, went for their jugulars.
If only it was not for Kraus, he would already get what he came for, however, the doctor acted surprisingly fast, recognized their situation, and got them valuable time to act.
After that, he collapsed, maybe because he knew a lot about the state of affairs where they found themselves.
“We're done. I know what I am talking about, you can believe me. I have my own experiences,” lamented the physician, “Vampires really want our blood, and they have the strength of several men. The only possible solution is oak stoke into their hearts. And they also really hate garlic. Everything you've heard about them is true, even that thing about counting bristles on brooms.”
“What are we waiting for then? You know what to do.”
When in need, people accept any help. Even if they do not fully believe in it.
“We don't have any garlic!”
“And what about a cross?”
“This is a modern vampire. He's well educated, I know that guy,” sighed Kraus, “He cannot be stopped by some religious symbol, he doesn't know what it is. He has exact education, maybe even some scientific titles.”
So am I, thought Berg and proceed to hold the door with all of his strength. Now all these degrees were useless to me. All my knowledge about physics, religion...
He suddenly stopped.
“Wait, you said: symbols... educated... broom?”
“We don’t have a broom either!”
"And what about a chalk stick?"
Kraus was confused by this demand.
“There should be a little blackboard over there in that box with toys,” answered he and ran to get a required item. He was back in a second holding a block of calcium carbonate. Berg swiftly grabbed it and began to draw something on the ground. Chalk crumbled between his fingers, but the picture was still legible.
Kraus observed him with an open mouth.
“What is this?”
He got no reply. He forgot to replace his colleague on his door-holding duty and in a moment, it was wide open. The physicist jumped aside, and the doctor screamed.
Where once was a door now stood a man in black with white hypnotizing eyes.
He stretched his arms forward.
“Running is futile and ineffective defense,” grinned the vampire and they could see his growing canines.
After that, he noticed symbols on the ground.
“Hah! Waf thif suppofed to drife me away?” spoke he with a lisp thanks to his protruding teeth.
“I knof nofing about kabbalaf... buf… this looks inferesting...”
The physicist handed over a piece of chalk with a smile.
The vampire looked at him with evil eyes, however, he did not attack. To doctors surprises, he began to draw on the ground, where the physicist stopped.
Kraus realized these symbols were not magical but mathematical.
“We don't have a wooden stake,” he sadly said looking at the vampire´s back. “How did you... what is this?”
They did not have any stake nor mallet to nail it. They lacked even a will to do so, looking at this harmless creature scribbling something on the ground. They just silently left.
“Does Fermat's Last Theorem ring any bells for you?” asked the physicist when they were at the staircase.
“No, it doesn't,” admitted the physician.
“Luckily it does for him. We have plenty of time until he is out of chalk. You said that vampires are obsessed by counting, didn't you?”
“Yes,” Kraus was really confused, “Bristles on a broom or spilled grain.”
“Or equations or mathematical theorems, if they see an assignment,” smiled the physicist.
They left their fear inside that little hallway and entered the dark street. Stars were shining above them, stars that knew the truth that there is a trick for every boggart in any possible time period.
You can be afraid of them, but you cannot ever give up.
"Things just happen. What the hell."
* Terry Pratchett. Hogfather
Welcome to my world. For the longest time I couldn’t think of right name for this place, so I left it without one. Amongst things you can find here are attempts of science fiction and fantasy stories, my collection of gods, bogeymen and monsters and also articles about things that had me interested, be it for a while or for years. (There is more of this, sadly not in English but in Czech, on www.fext.cz)
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