So a couple friends of mine—I want to say they’re “work friends” but we’re all freelancers who live on different parts of the planet and share a discord channel—went to see two different performances of Dracula as a ballet performance. The one in Salt Lake City apparently had Dracula swimming in brides, while the one in Milwaukee had the standard three, and is apparently very spicy. I stole some images from this tumblr that took screenshots of a sexy Dracula/Jonathan pas de deux.
There’s more. Go see for yourself. I kinda miss being in Romania. I encourage everyone reading this to check out their local theatre and ballet shows.
I have no good excuse for why I didn’t write this up sooner, I just didn’t want to have a bunch of entries that were like, “we’re waiting. We’re waiting some more!” The “suspense” is killing me.
I got my flu shot and covid booster at the same time yesterday and I feel like I have a distant and weak flu that is turning me into a cranky baby.
I’m going to blast through all the waiting as fast as possible. I hope you don’t mind.
We get one diary from Jonathan complaining that he’s heard nothing, followed by a telegram saying that the Czarina Catherine has been sighted in the Dardanelles.
Dr. Lobotomy complains about how annoying it is to write with a pen as opposed to orating to his phonograph.
The boys are pumped to get to the fight, but have decided not to tell Mina. Again. Didn’t you agree to stop hiding shit from her? Dr. Lobotomy thinks that she would have noticed if she were her normal self, but she is growing lethargic. Dr. Lobotomy and Van Helsing have been keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t grow any sexy fangs or else they might have to kill her.
They plan to catch up on rest as the ship won’t be in Varna until the early hours of morning at best.
Dr. Lobotomy writes again at noon and remarks that everyone but Jonathan are in an excited flurry. Jonathan with ice cold hands has been sharpening the kukri that I think he stole from the Piccadilly house? I forget.
Mina falls into a heavy sleep that worries the doctors but they feel better when she wakes a while later, bright and energetic.
No sign of the Czarina Catherine says Dr. Lobotomy, with reports from Mina’s hypnotic state that it’s still on the water. Yawn.
Another day, another no Czarina Catherine. Van Helsing worries that Dracula is shaking them. Mina’s reports are unchanged except with an added note that the waves are more distant.
FINALLY. Our heroes get the report that the Czarina Catherine has arrived in Galați, in Romania.
I was going to be really disappointed if our final Dracula showdown happened in fucking Varna. No offense to Varna, but it would have been far from narratively poignant.
Everyone reacts to the shock differently. Van Helsing withholds his outrage. Arthur sulks. Dr. Lobotomy is dumbfounded. Mina goes pale but stays calm. Quincey’s and Jonathan’s responses amuse me for entirely contrasting reasons.
Quincey Morris tightened his belt with that quick movement which I knew so well; in our old wandering days it meant “action.”
His belt??? I’m sure it does mean “action” when he messes with his belt.
Harker smiled—actually smiled—the dark, bitter smile of one who is without hope; but at the same time his action belied his words, for his hands instinctively sought the hilt of the great Kukri knife and rested there.
Jonathan, perching precariously on the edge of despair, steps back.
When Van Helsing asks, rhetorically, about the next train to Galați, and Mina answers instantly that it’s tomorrow morning. She’s a “train fiend” (see: nerd) and memorizes the times for fun. Anticipating that Dracula might get up to something fishy, she looked into the route from Varna to Galați and Bucharest. She seems to be feeling very well.
Arthur asks if they could get a “special,” which I don’t understand. I assume he means some sort of hired train to escort them exclusively, but Van Helsing says no. He sends the men on assignments so he and Dr. Lobotomy are left with Mina.
Van Helsing sends Mina to get Jonathan’s diaries and takes a chance to speak solo with Dr. Lobotomy. His theory is that while they’ve been using Mina to eavesdrop on Dracula, Dracula has probably been eavesdropping on them through her. He turned away from Varna in order to avoid them, and cut Mina off from him so she could not eavesdrop through hypnosis anymore, or follow him.
Ah! there I have hope that our man-brains that have been of man so long and that have not lost the grace of God, will come higher than his child-brain that lie in his tomb for centuries, that grow not yet to our stature, and that do only work selfish and therefore small.
They need to make sure not to upset Mina so they can keep her brain—trained like a man’s but sweet like a woman’s, and with Dracula’s little fingers in it—at the ready.
Mina comes back with papers and Van Helsing perks up about something.
A half-thought has been buzzing often in my brain, but I fear to let him loose his wings. Here now, with more knowledge, I go back to where that half-thought come from and I find that he be no half-thought at all; that be a whole thought, though so young that he is not yet strong to use his little wings. Nay, like the “Ugly Duck” of my friend Hans Andersen, he be no duck-thought at all, but a big swan-thought that sail nobly on big wings, when the time come for him to try them.
I really just can’t even say anything to add to Van Helsing’s digressions.
Van Helsing reiterates the following from Jonathan’s notes:
“That other of his race who, in a later age, again and again, brought his forces over The Great River into Turkey Land; who, when he was beaten back, came again, and again, and again, though he had to come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph.”
Van Helsing asks Mina what she knows about criminology, because apparently there’s something everyone knows is a universal fact about criminals with “child-brains.” He goes on a bit until he thinks she figures it out and lets her close the circle. She says it’s the criminal mind that, when he finds success, will do the same thing over and over.
“(…)So he came to London to invade a new land. He was beaten, and when all hope of success was lost, and his existence in danger, he fled back over the sea to his home; just as formerly he had fled back over the Danube from Turkey Land.”
Mina realizes that Dracula likewise set her free from herself like he left his troops to die. She also worries that Dracula was eavesdropping on her, which Van Helsing confirms. But still Dracula can’t fully sever their connection, which will be his undoing.
And now for me, my sweet lady-brain is tired and sore from my vaccines and it is nap time. I’ll let another few entries come in because I can only imagine the train to Romania will not be as much fun the second time around.