Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. I don't own the rights to NBC's Dracula or their characters originally created by Bram Stoker. The only rights that I do own are to the characters of my creation, not including Dracula, Mina Murray/Harker, Jonathan Harker, etc.
Blood in The Water
*We open to 19th century London, the Victorian Era, where men were viewed as gentlemen and women were viewed as ladies. A good amount of time has passed since Dracula aka Alexander Grayson made himself known, bringing light and science to English society. Mina Murray and Alexander were to be a couple, but Jonathan proved himself to be her true love. The two got married in the spring, the ceremony was beautiful and everything they could've hoped for. Heart broken Alexander shut himself away from society. The Order of the Dragon has fallen apart due to Dracula's sway over Lady Jayne Wetherby and Browning. It was after the two were destroyed and the Harker wedding that Grayson closed himself off from the world. His loyal servant Renfield has been searching for a companion for his master, but has come to no success. There are four maids in the house that look after the cleaning and cooking along with Renfield, other than that they were completely alone. He knew that deep down his master needed to find love, a rare love, something that could last for all eternity. His last ditch effort to find someone was to run a needed person ad in the newspaper. It read:
Servant needed at Grayson Manor. Will need to be of kind demeanor, willing to carry on a lively conversation. Room and board will be provided along with a reasonable sum per month. Interviews will be held at the Manor on the 1st of September at 11 a.m.
Tomorrow was the 1st and Renfield was hoping to have luck on his side, but what he didn't know was that Grayson knew about this and was hoping that nobody would show up. Alexander has slipped into a depression, feeling for the first time is his 400 plus years that he is no longer relevent.
*We enter into a grimy one room apartment where a young man is getting ready to apply for a job at Grayson manor. He doesn't care if it involves gutting rats he will do it. The young man has found London to be hard and cruel, worse than he expected, but better than where he came from. His name is Nicolaus B. Kelly.
The sun came through the browned window, filling the room with a filthy brown hue. I'd been awake for a few hours, trying to get rid of the nerves that were growing in surplus. I cleaned my face and body in the sink and put on my best white shirt, folding the sleeves to my elbows, with my slightly worn brown riding pants, paired with my tired boots. These were my only clothes that were decent in appearance. I looked at my reflection in the small wall mirror to brush my hair back. I wish I was more elegant in face, I said to myself. I wasn't a slob, but at 5' 10" and just shy of 245 lbs. I stood out. With brown eyes and a slight tan to my skin, society assumed that I was from some exotic land. In truth I was both African and White, originally coming from America. I ran away after my father discovered me with a young man, that was eleven years ago. Now 26 and trying my hardest to make a living, but sadly have been failing miserably. I really needed this job. I don't want to believe what others had always told me, that I would never amount to anything, that I would die a nothing. The clock tolled 10 a.m. waking me from the mirror. I grabbed my crimson scarf and went out of the apartment building, if you could even call if that. The whores and homeless were slumped down for the day, sleeping, waiting for the night to come. I passed by the smoky food carts, smelling the scent of burnt chestnuts and spoiled spices.
As I past Witherby district the smells got better, lavender and jasmine filled the air. Before reaching the manor I pulled a large sprig of lavender and crushed it in my hands. The fragrant oil was what I was after. While passing the union fountain, I cupped my hand and gathering a small amount of water. Mixing in the crushed lavender, the concoction made a very fragrant and inexpensive perfume that covered the scent of sweat and dampness. After rubbing the mix on my armpits, neck, and chest there was no longer the anxiety of smelling less than fresh.
There was already a line of waiting hopefuls as I made my way up the stairs of the manor. The interview process was going slow, thankfully lunch was served to the remaining of us. The last thing I needed was to be in the interview process and my stomach wine in hunger. It was around 3 after midday and I realized that I was the last person. I heard a deep `Next in line" come from the sitting room so I stood up and found my way into a large space. Floors covered with carpets from around the world and walls filled with portraits of people that had long since passed. Behind the desk sat a large African man, dressed in a fine suit looking down at a stack of paperwork. I stood by the chair and waited for him to look up at me. When he did I noticed that his face seemed to have a hardness that made me uncomfortable.
"Why haven't you sat down?"
"Because you didn't tell me to."
This brought a smirk to his face as he motioned for me to sit down. I did and waited for him to speak. While he was still shuffling his papers I looked around and saw a shadow move down the hall. It was most likely one of the servants. When the gentleman spoke, I found myself calm and trying my best to not sound desperate.
"What is your name?"
"Nicolaus B. Kelly"
"Hello Nicolaus, my name is R. M. Renfield. It is a pleasure to meet with you. Now where do you come from?"
"Originally America, but I moved a few years back."
"Why did you move?"
"I had a difference of opinion with my father."
"I'd rather not speak about it. We just stopped talking and I realized that I needed to get away."
"What are some of your qualifications?"
"I can cook, clean, read, write, I'm well versed in many ways of the world."
"Do you have any special gifts?"
"Besides my charming personality and desire to make a better life for myself, nothing really. I do sing, but not well enough for a performance."
"Alight. Would you be willing to move into the manor immediately?"
"Now for I only have a few more questions. What are your views of Alexander Grayson?"
I sat back thinking carefully. The moments ticked by before he spoke again.
"Well, what is your answer?"
I took a deep breath, "It is a rather difficult question. If I say nothing but good things than it will be as if I'm shining him on. If I say things that are awful than I won't get the position. To be honest I really don't know him that well. Other than his achievement of bringing light to London I don't know very much. I usually stay away from newspaper garbage. They lie just to sell papers."
Renfield smiled at this, which made me relax a little more. The question process continued for twenty more minutes, but was interrupted a maid rushing into the room.
"I apologize Mr. Renfield, but I have to leave. I can't work here anymore, he is too much to tolerate."
"Suzy this is very sudden and quite unprofessional, but if you must go here let me give you your last days pay."
I watched as he grabbed a small pouch and handed it to her. On her way out she caught my eye and glared at me. What was her issue I didn't know. Renfield slumped back and took a deep breath. When he lifted his head I could see the meager melancholy in his eyes. I gave him a slight smile.
"She was our last cook."
"Well if it all the same. I can cook and would be willing to start at this moment if you would be willing to give me the opportunity."
He was silent for a while. I could see he was thinking, but as the time was getting shorter and shorter he finally spoke up.
"Alright Mr. Kelly, you can start today. But I warn you, do not cross me or master Grayson. Do you have any belongings?"
"I'm wearing them. I learned to not be too sentimental, especially when your neighbors have a passion for stealing."
"Logical. We will have to get you some more clothes. Now let me tell the rest of the applicants that the position has been filled and then I'll show you where you'll be staying."
"I was the last person sir."
"Hmm imagine that."
We shared a few comments as he gave me a tour of the house. I saw the library and kitchen, the spare rooms, the gardens which I fell in love with and finally my room. It was three times the size of the apartment I was staying at. After I got settled in Renfield explained that I was going to meet with Grayson in a half hour.
"Is there anything that you need?"
"No I have a bathroom and a bed that doesn't smell, that's more than enough. I think I'll go back to the greenhouse. I really enjoyed the flowers."
Renfield nodded and led the way. I looked over the Orchids and other exotic greenery, but it was a large collection of red roses that caught my attention. They were similar in color to my scarf, but their scent was far more inviting. I ran my hands gently over the heads, feeling the soft petals kiss my fingers. I closed my eyes listening to the sounds of a few birds off in the distance cry. I could see the cloud cover getting stronger. Typical London weather I thought to myself. It was still light out, but there was no sun in sight. I noticed next to the roses was a small bench. I took it upon myself to sit down, smelling the heavenly aroma. I found myself humming, the scent working its magic on me. Soon my humming turned to light singing.
was pierced by cupid
I disdain on glittering gold
There's nothing can console
But my jolly sailor bold'
I remember hearing this song on the ship to London and found it beautiful. The lyrics reminding me of a time where one waited for their love while they were away at sea. It also brought me some distress knowing that there would be nobody waiting for me. I gently closed my eyes, continuing to inhale the fragrance.
is a merchant
The truth I will now tell
And in great London city in
Opulence doth dwell'
`A fig for his ritches
His merchandise and gold
True love has grafted my heart
Give me my sailor bold'
The moments went by before a voice brought me from my song.
"So Mr. Kelly, do you have a desire to sail?"
"Mr. Grayson. I'm sorry for singing so loud. It won't happen again."
"No need to apologize and think nothing of it. I rather like that shanty tale. And your voice is quite lovely if it is not too forward of me to say so. Where did you hear it?"
"On my way here to London."
"I did as well."
My nerves calmed as he sat next to me staring at the roses. He was rather pale, but it was his eyes that caught my attention. They were two pools of crystalline ice, but I found nothing cold about them. With a light mustache and a small patch under his chin Alexander Grayson was a sight to be seen. He was wearing a jacketless suit, grey vest, with a blue tie. He quickly smirked my way, but as he looked down at what I was wearing he had a look of concern.
"Mr. Kelly how is it that you've found yourself in such a manner?"
Some would call the question rude, but I found it to be honest.
"I imagined my life going in a different direction. Obviously you can see that didn't happen. But rest assured that I will work my hardest for you Mr. Grayson."
"I thank you for your candor."
"I don't find myself in the company of lying, but may I ask a favor?"
"And what would that be?"
"Can you call my by my first name. Mr. Kelly was my father."
"Not a problem, Nicolaus."