This is a monologue from the November BeSpeak, from Dracula’s Coachman. It’s up to you whether he’s being sly or whether Dracula perhaps is not as sinister as he seems… it’s a fun one, and was great to perform and write.
Do you know how many folks I’ve taken up to the castle? Because I can’t remember now, it’s always a cold stormy night when they come through, the master likes to show off, you see. Well, I mean look at this thing, it’s all bloody pomp and circumstance isn’t it? I have a proper trailer for when I have to go on errands and grab supplies. ‘Ee sometimes makes me bring the proper rickety old one out, if ‘ee’s in one of ‘is weird moods, or if ‘ee says it ‘fits the mood’. He says it’s about the ‘calibre’ of his guests, but some of the proper fancy nobs, he’s had me take up in the old rickety thing. Mood changes with the seasons, not that you’d notice that up here. Always seems to be a stormy winters night, somehow.
I’ve read the stories that that writer chap wrote about the boss, all lies I assure you! I know you’d never believe me anyway, but that’s the truth! He’s got a flair for the dramatic is all. That isn’t to say he didn’t bloody love them, they brought all sorts of new visitors, especially young men and women from the city. All pale and pretty and lusting for adventure. He does enjoy that, I assure you. He’s mostly harmless really, though I must admit I couldn’t tell you how old he was. He never really seems to age much, stuck in that castle up on the hill. Bloody Aristos, got some secrets they don’t tell us common folk I tell you. Eternal youth, is more like having a real meal every night, sleeping in bloody feather beds and suchlike. Does you a world of good, I expect. I mean, he pays me pretty well but I’ve always worked with the horses, don’t seem right not to sleep near them. I’m happy, in my own way, don’t you worry about me.
Ah yes, what was I saying? That “vampire” stuff is all a load of old bollocks, stuff and nonsense really. He’s just a pretty toff with a bloody mischievous side. Takers the punters up to the castle for a week-end of scares and thrills then sends them on their merry way, all giggles and rosy cheeks, fondling all the way back to the stop-off. They always tip pretty well, as long as I promise not to tell. That’s part of the deal anyway, but I think it just adds to the whole experience, and keeps my cup full, if you know what I mean? His lordship was always pretty clear on that one, no telling, not that I’d know who to tell. I don’t get out, except to help them with their luggage, and I never go in the castle. There’s other servants waiting for that, usually he likes me to leave them in the cold for a bit, luggage all around them in the castle courtyard, and ride off with some cryptic warnings and muttering, I’m quite good at that to be honest. He likes me to be all dark and mysterious, so to be fair I probably shouldn’t be telling you all this. You bought me a drink though, and I always like to repay generosity, it’s a cold night for an old coachman out there. Who’d believe you anyway? The story he wants to tell is already out.
I’m not sure I recall what I did before, now you ask… been working for him since I was a boy, I think. It’s not a hard life, and I love working with the horses, they’re good lads. Hard to imagine life without it. Me, the boss, the boy from the village who helps me sometimes. I’m training him up, he’s a wonder with the stables – doesn’t talk much, but that suits me just fine. The long, winding road up to the castle isn’t a road for idle chatter. It distracts from the ‘ambience’ or something. I don’t know, I’ve learnt to enjoy it over the years, put on a proper show of it and all. It’s only once a week or so, and other than getting in all his supplies he doesn’t really ask much of me. I spend most of my evenings down here actually, down here in the pub on this seat talking to chaps like you, or with the rest of the village having a knees-up, when there’s no strangers about.
We’re all in on it, mind you. Mable over there does a great blood-curdling scream when the mood takes her, and Matthew there is a top-notch shambler. It’s a right bit of fun for all of us, and he’s been there for us in the hard times too. When the winter’s been bad he always makes sure we’re provided for, and he pays over the odds for the things he needs for the castle. All-sorts really, supplies and strange things that come in odd boxes for his parties. We don’t ask, and he gives us a bit extra if we play our parts properly, like. Even sends his doctor down when one of us isn’t feeling well. He’s a funny looking bloke, that one, but a bleeding genius with a scalpel. Can cure the harshest of ills, unless there’s nothing to be done.
His lady friends come visit us on feast days, too, and I won’t hear no bad words against them. They’re the sweetest, prettiest things. I don’t know how they keep themselves so perfect, locked away in that castle on the hill, but they damn near are.
You know what? You can’t come all this way and not see it, can you? He doesn’t mind people dropping in unannounced, especially bonny ones like you. Let me buy you a drink, this time. Then, if you’re up for it, I’ll get the boy to drive us up in the carriage, it’s been a while since I rode inside it, and it’s a hell of a ride.
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