Last month, the fifteenth century diary of Prince Vlad Tepes of Wallachia was discovered during excavations for “Wet Troughs of Speed!” Transylvania’s newest water theme park. Nicknamed Vlad the Impaler by his critics, the busy prince is known to have killed at least one fifth the population of his own principality in addition to hundreds of thousands of Turks, Saxons, Germans, Hungarians and anyone else he found annoying. At a crowded press conference, Transylvanian officials kindly made public a portion of the petite histoire of the enigmatic, and perhaps misunderstood, man who would come to be known as Dracula.
June 29, 1453
Can’t believe Constantinople fell to the Turks. The Saxons, maybe, but the Turks? At least the garden looks good.
December 12, 1453
Had Counselor Sandor rolling on the floor this afternoon. Turkish envoy what’s-his-name dropped by with gold ducats and a basket of fish. When I asked him nicely to remove his turban, he refused. Reached for the stake, but thought better of it. Instead, nailed turban to his head. Sandor was in tears. Some days I’m just on.
February 2, 1455
If I have to hear again about how charming Radu the Handsome is, I’m going to spit. Show the hoi polloi a few straight teeth and they fall to pieces. Some of us work round the clock, eviscerating Germans, quartering Turks, and here he skates by on his looks. Never lifted a studded club in his life. Sometimes I can’t believe he’s my brother.
February 20, 1455
Have a nip of blood once in a while and they call you a vampire. Thought that kind of hysteria went out with the Druids.
July 29, 1458
Today Counselor Sandor complained of the stench. “Does it not get to you, my Prince, this forest of rotting corpses?” I told him he was being touchy, he told me I should use more “I” statements when offering criticism. So “I” cut off his nose! Katarina shook her head disapprovingly, then winked at me on the sly. Tonight she wants me to wear the big velvet cape to bed, and nothing else. God, I love that woman.
August 2, 1458
At lunch today Radu tells me he thinks the Scholastics can’t hold a candle to the Gnostics. Hello. Is this guy for real?
November 2, 1461
Defend Wallachia against the Saxons and not one lousy thank you. Slaughter 30,000 ungrateful Wallachians and they call you inhumane! So upset I had to send for Louis XI. The old Spider King always knows what to say. “Tout comprende est tout pardonner.“ It’s good to have friends. Sometimes I think I should just pack up the castle and head west, make a fresh start, sell tchotkes on the beach or something. Note to self: Louis suggests not sharpening the stakes – prolongs the agony.
March 16, 1462
A blah day. Found out my jester Vigo was buried alive.
I told him never to taunt Hungarians when they drink. I shall miss the old ham, especially when he ran around the Great Hall screaming, “You sadistic son of a bitch!” Good times. Why couldn’t it have been Radu instead?
September 22, 1464
Spent the afternoon hiking along the Borgo Pass. A flagon of mead in hand, Katarina at my side, two leg of mutton, the sun shining like crazy. Perfect. Except for the sun. Stings like a bitch. Decided to spare Ladislaus the stake for that wisecrack about my widow’s peak at dinner last week (maybe I should dye it?). Katarina says I should at least gouge one of his eyes. I don’t know. Don’t want to think about it right now.
March 12, 1465
Had Katarina return the fur hat. It’s just not me. Wonder if I’ll ever have the courage to tell her about the pigskin briefs?
(there is a four year gap in diary entries while the prince was imprisoned in Hungary, 1466 – 1470)
May 10, 1470
Spend a couple of years in the hoosegow and all hell breaks loose. The castle was a complete mess. No one cleaned off the cobwebs (there were very clear memos on this), Radu ran up the catering bill, and Katarina ran off with Harold the Forgetful (and she had the nerve to accuse me of possessing no soul!) On the plus side, though, did learn to sew inside.
October 30, 1471
Must put a stop to the vampire rumors once and for all. Explained that I was not born with teeth, nor am I the seventh son of a seventh son. Do I look like I can steal beauty, or the milk from a nursing mother? When, I asked, have you seen me turn into a bat? (crossed my fingers on that one!) So I don’t like garlic, since when is that a crime? (note to self: make sure I haven’t declared it a crime).
December 2, 1474
Could barely keep my eyes open while Rupert the Lame was being flayed. Have to get to bed earlier.
March 13, 1475
Radu dropped by today, unannounced, a drop dead wench hanging on each arm. He’s so showy. I really can’t stand him. Then why am I so jealous? Oh diary, make him go away, far, far away!
May 9, 1475
I hate to admit it, but that crackpot Nosferatu might be right.
There is something about sinking your fangs into a warm neck. Need to pick up encyclopedia tomorrow – find out why no one else has fangs.
May 21, 1475
Radu and I reconciled. Can you believe it? Well, technically, the words “I’m sorry” didn’t pass his lips, but I think we all know what it means when he says, “If you weren’t such a whiny buzzkill, I’d hang out with you more.” We hugged. It felt so… right.
(the night before he was accidentally murdered by Zoltan of Macedonia, a member of his own elite guard, the prince made this entry)
July 1, 1476
The guys seem down. Nothing works. Even my impression of Minhea the Apostate fell flat. Feel bad for them, especially Zoltan. His pillaging has been blah, his marauding just so-so. Perhaps I will dress up like a Turk tomorrow morning and give them all a good jolt.
I can just see the look on Zoltan’s face – hoo boy!