Disclaimer: Once again I'm forced to face the cruel reality that... it's not mine.
I'd like to apologize in advance for any spelling mistakes. I spellchecked this a couple of times, but I just have this nagging feeling that I missed something. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.
Ok, so this is my attempt at writing something somewhat funny. The ending seems a bit rushed to me, but that could be because I didn't write it out in advance like I normally do. I'd like to hear what you think, so, as always, reviews are greatly appreciated.
Carl squinted, forcing his eyes into narrow slits as if to make deciphering the faded text in front of his nose a less daunting task. The words swam before his eyes, growing fuzzy and unfocused as his fatigue caught up with him. His mouth stretched, contorting into an admirable yawn, and he rubbed his eyes wearily. A few more moments without sleep, he decided, would be well worth it should in those few moments, finally finish translating the ancient tome before him. He stifled another yawn, allowing himself a pause to study the way the thick wax candles arranged on the desk in front of him cast half the room into slithering shadows, before reapplying himself to the task at hand.
The friar sat alone in one of the many studies of Valerious Manor, settled comfortably in an overstuffed leather chair behind a massive wooden desk. The room was without question his favorite of those Anna had shown him so far, as much because of the thick, musky smell of the enormous number of books carefully catalogued on heavy shelves as the view of the Carpathian Mountains the large glass windows afforded him. They seemed ominous now, jagged black peaks piercing the night sky, but when the sun rose over them, shafts of light glinting off the very crests of the mountains…Carl, in his admittedly limited adventures, had never witnessed a single more glorious sight. Even in his reading, an area vastly more developed than his own personal experiences, he had yet to encounter anything coming remotely close to the breathtaking beauty he was now privy to behold each morning should he choose.
He let his eyes fall shut, slumping forward in his seat and allowing the sturdy desk to support his weight. As fascinating as the religious text was, and it was a riveting tome even among the vast expanse of texts Anna's family had come to possess over the years, the friar was beginning to see no harm in just a few minutes of rest. His desire to complete translating the dusty tome was simply no match for the overwhelming drowsiness weighing him down. A lengthy exhale of breath escaped him, causing the candle flames to flicker in protest, as sleep began to overtake him. The whole of the manor was silent, still, and a half-smile tugged at Carl's lips as thoughts of finishing his task and enlightening Van Helsing and Anna to his progress and discoveries slid into his consciousness. The groan of his chair as he shifted his weight was the only sound in the manor, seeming to echo in the cozy room, before the silence once again settled on the sleeping manor. It was blissfully quiet.
Which is perhaps why it startled Carl so to hear a muffled thump resonate from the floor beneath him.
His head jerked up involuntarily upon hearing the noise, eyes flashing to observe his immediate surroundings. All traces of his previous fatigue were cast aside now; he was wide awake and frustratingly unable to banish the first terrifying though that sprung to his worried mind:
There were intruders in the manor.
The irrationality of the thought was lost on the panicked friar, his mind already churning up horrifying images of gruesome monsters and villain-ish looking robbers, or even worse, murderers. He sprang from his chair; he had to warn his friends. Van Helsing and Anna would know what to do, and what's more, they would be able to do it. A sturdy looking poker iron caught his eye from its place near the fireplace. It was a solid weight, settling comfortably in his trembling hand, and thus armed he made his was cautiously out into the darkened hallway.
It wasn't until he reached the stairs at the end of the hallway, the warm study even now inviting him to retreat into its assured safety and assume Van Helsing and Anna to be awake and aware of the intruders, that Carl realized, belatedly, he had neglected to bring with him a lantern. Even a single candle would have helped him to navigate the stairs and lower floor, illuminating the black shadowed corridors where, unlike this hallway, would not be lit by the light of the study. He steeled his resolve, pressing forward. His anxious mind would not let him believe that time was not of the essence, and so it was with quickened footsteps he hurried down the stairs.
It wasn't until he reached the main hallway that comprised most of the lower floor of the manor that he heard the sound again; this time a louder THUMP echoed off the stone walls, accompanied by the sound of something crashing to the floor. Carl flinched, glued to the spot by a sheer bolt of terror. 'Why' he lamented silently 'must I be cursed with such an imagination?'. Because by now he had himself convinced the manor, and by association he and it's other occupants, were in grave and serious danger. He didn't often do well with danger, grave or otherwise.
He stained his ears, hoping to locate the source of the noises, and his face screwed up with concentration. He was sure that he was hearing muffled scuffing sounds coming from Anna's room. The robber's must be looting around in there! Carl tightened his grip on his makeshift weapon, realizing that Van Helsing's room, on the other end of massive hallway, was simply too far away to run to first for help. It was up to him.
He inched his way to outside the princess' door, brandishing the poker iron in front of him in trembling hands. Taking one last moment to gather up what little shards of courage he had –spurred on by the sounds of movement emitting through the ajar door– Carl charged through it with a loud cry, hoping to catch whoever was in their off-guard.
Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw.
The mirror of the princess's wooden vanity was cracked, the dresser itself jarred from its original position, and the several trinkets that had been placed carefully on top of it were strewn over its surface and onto the ground. The decorative touches she'd placed on her walls were in disarray, from the tapestries hung near the window, now twisted, to the few framed portraits, now askew. A pile of clothes, he noticed, had been tossed carelessly on the floor by the foot of her bed, and had Carl taken a second to notice, he might have recognized a certain black jacket crumpled on the top. He was too taken aback, however, by the cause of the mess.
Anna had Van Helsing pinned to the mattress of her bed, straddling his torso, pinning his hands loosely above his head. Van Helsing seemed not to mind their positions, a lazy smile gracing his handsome features. Anna's hair hung in tousled curls over her shoulders, obscuring her torso and face from the friar's view, but he saw enough to garner a rough idea of her intentions, proved right when she was tugged down by the monster slayer, resting on his bare chest while the pair's lips connected. Suddenly, Van Helsing spun, flipping them over so he rested on top of her. The pair's lower halves were covered by the tangled sheets of the bed, but even to the bumbling friar it was obvious what exactly he'd walked into. "God have mercy on me" he mumbled, backing up, but in his haste to exit what had the potential to be both an awkward and dangerous situation, he backed right into the wall, the heavy poker iron making an unmistakable CLANG against the stone wall.
The speed with which they both looked up would have been admirable under any other circumstances. Carl had little time now, however, to consider this, taking into account the annoyed expression Van Helsing had donned, not to mention Anna's downright murderous glare. "Sorry" he mumbled, blushing a bright red, before quickly scurrying out of the room.
It was some time later that Van Helsing found him, holed up once again in his favorite study. Carl allowed himself to relax slightly upon seeing that Van Helsing seemed to have calmed down. He could only hope that meant good news.
Van Helsing took a seat on the chair opposite the friar, in front of the desk, sinking comfortably into his seat before eyeing the friar. The monster hunter had to restrain a chuckle at seeing the myriad of expressions cross his friends face; guilt to fear to a comical sort of embarrassment. He sighed, shaking his head as he spoke. "Carl, it is usually considered good manners to knock before entering someone's room." He shot the friar a look. "Especially it you think that someone might be…otherwise occupied."
Carl blushed, shrinking a bit in his seat but inwardly pleased to see that Van Helsing's tone had no malevolence in it. "Sorry" he offered, shrugging his shoulders helplessly, hoping the monster hunter would be placated by the gesture.
"I'm not the one you should really concern yourself with" he laughed, lazily stretching his neck. "It was Anna who really insisted on some form of revenge." The thought seemed to amuse Van Helsing, but Carl merely gulped.
"I hope you, erm, informed her there is no such revenge so complete as forgiveness?"
At this Van Helsing could not help but laugh out loud, throwing his head back at the friar's comment. Carl could only look on helplessly as his friend finally found his breath again, "That, my friend, might be a message better relayed at a later date. She's still quite…upset about the whole situation. I'd advise keeping your distance for a while."
Carl, who'd already begun picturing several scenarios that ended unfortunately on his end, nodded, finding himself in agreement.