In 1922
You watched
A silent movie
Called Nosferatu
And laughed
So hard that
The ushers
Told you
And Drusilla
To leave.
You quieted,
Fascinated by
The bad make-up.
Aside from
The Master,
Why would
Anybody look
That stupid?
That ugly?
That starkly
Insane...
On purpose?
I mean,
Look at those ears!
You're joking, right?
Now you know-
Twenty years later
The Prince of Lies
Ears and all,
Mumbles and
Paces, close-set
Fangs gnashing,
Within your shared
Steel coffin
After you set
Him, and some fat
Bore of a Russian
Loose beneath the sea
As you
Try not
To scream.

To distract yourself
While the song
Of the dying
Submarine,
Bending steel
And breaking pipes,
Sings deep
Within your bones
And the
Fat Russian snores
In counterpoint,
You watch
This hunched and
Crazy relic
Sniff at
The slowly
Buckling
Bloodstained
Steel deck
In the dim light
Near your
Hobnailed boots;
Orlock's bald head
Gleams, his
Unblinking eyes
Stare inward,
Blind to all
But their own
Visions,
Your stomach
Churns at the
Guano reek
Of age and
Madness
He gives off
In these
Close quarters
While you
Try not
To scream.

The Seed of Belial
Scrabbles
Mechanically
With ragged claws,
Searching for
A way out.
Should you
Outlast this
Latest cock-up
Of yours-
Killing half the
Men who
Know how
To work this tub,
And then getting
Trapped by the
Survivors,
You too
Might become
This old,
This hunched,
This senile;
Your face a
Map of nightmares,
Power radiating
From you
So fiercely
That the air
Burns like
Red-hot frost.
The sub
Moans louder
While settling
On it's side,
"And like Sack
Of Rats here,
I'll be too loony,"
You say
With a giggle,
"To do anything
With it!"
As you
Try not
To scream.

Bollocks!
You're a demon,
Remember?
Not pansy William
Wailing for
His mummy
In the dark.
You'll get out
Of this mess,
You always do!
This reeking
Ancestor?
Nothing!
The forces
Crushing
Your cage?
Nothing!
Your kind can't
Drown!
This is soddin'
Nothing...

...nothing...

...nothingnothing...

...nonthingnothingnoth-

(What was that?)

There it is again,
A muffled rhythmic
Thudding...

Your ears pop.

Voices.
Coming closer...

You count footsteps,
There aren't many,
You can take them,
Easy...

Closer...

Gagging
You shove Orlock
Through a hatch,
Dogging it fast;
You'd stake him,
And that blob of
A Russian,
Only they might be
Useful later...

Closer...

Demon-faced
And hungry,
You crouch among
The bloating
Bodies of dead
Germans...

Closer...

You grin.
They won't know
What hit 'em...

The wheel turns...

The stale air...

...carries a familiar scent...

Casually, you
Stand, straightening
Your looted clothes,
SS black, and
Saunter out
Into the passageway...

...to face your Grandsire,
(Who views you with disgust)
No longer needing to scream.


Author's Note: Nosferatu, a 1922 silent film out of Germany was one of the first adaptations of Bram Stoker's Dracula and literally the ancestor of just about every screen vampire since. It was also an unauthorized adaptation - Stoker's widow sued successfully to have every copy of the film destroyed. Not long after her death, a copy surfaced in England, which shows you can't keep a good fiend down. Look for it in DVD - by today's standards it's somewhat staid, but try imagining yourself in a theatre in 1922, viewing it for the first time.