This is the dark tale of Count Dracula, told through chilling journal entries. It starts with Jonathan Harker’s visit to the Count’s castle.
Later – The Morning of May 16th,
God, please preserve my sanity.
Safety and the assurance of safety are things that I cannot even hope to wish for anymore.
While I live here, there is only one thing that I can hope for: that I don’t go insane. (If I have not gone insane already.)
If I am still sane, then it is maddening to think that out of everything in this dreadful place, the Count is the least dreadful to me. It is so frustrating that he is the only one I can turn to for safety, and this will only last as long as he needs to keep me alive.
Great God! Merciful God! Let me be calm! If I don’t stay calm, I will go entirely insane.
It seems like this diary is the only thing I have to keep my mind intact. The habit of entering the events accurately helps soothe me. The Count’s mysterious warning frightened me at the time. It frightens me even more now when I think about it.
When I had finished writing in my diary at the small oak table and put the book and pen back in my pocket, I started to feel sleepy. The Count’s warning came into my mind. “Do not fall asleep in any other part of the castle,” he had said. I remembered his words, but I took pleasure in disobeying. The feeling of sleepiness was strong. The soft moonlight soothed me, and the view of the beautiful landscape made me feel a sense of freedom.
I decided not to return to my gloomy room, but to sleep here, where ladies long ago had sat and sung sweet songs and waited for their lovers to come home from war. I found a large couch in the corner, and I pulled it out in front of the window. I laid down on the couch, looking out at the view of the south. I didn’t even worry about the dust, and I fell asleep.
At least, I hope I fell asleep. I hope that everything I saw next was just a dream. A terrible, terrible dream. But it was so real—so startlingly real—so real that I cannot believe that it was all just a dream.
I was not alone. I opened my eyes to find that I was still in the room. The room was the same. It was unchanged in any way since I came in. By the brilliant moonlight, I could see my own footprints along the floor where my shoes had disturbed the dust. Opposite of where I lay, there were three young women in fine dresses. When I saw them, I thought that I must be dreaming, because, although the moonlight was behind them, there were no shadows on the floor. They came close to me and looked at me for a long time. Then, they whispered together. Two were dark and had high noses, like the Count. And they had dark, piercing eyes that seemed to be almost red when contrasted with the pale yellow moon. The other was fair—as fair as can be—with great, wavy, golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face. I don’t know why, but her face gave me fear. All three had brilliant white teeth that shined like pearls against their voluptuous, ruby lips. They made me uneasy. I felt longing mixed with deadly fear. In my heart, there was a burning desire for them to kiss me with their red lips.
I shouldn’t be writing this down because I would hate for Mina to read this, but it is the truth.
They whispered together, and then they all laughed. It was a silvery, musical laugh, but hard. Almost inhuman.
The fair girl shook her head flirtatiously, and the other two urged her on.
One said, “Go on! You are first, and we will follow. You have the right to begin.”
The other added, “He is young and strong. There will be enough kisses for all of us.”
I lay quietly, looking out from under my eyelashes. The anticipation was a mixture of agony and delight. The fair girl came closer and bend over me until I could feel her breath. It was sweet, like honey, and it made me shiver. But under the smell of honey, there was a hint of something bitter, like blood.
I was afraid to open my eyes fully, so I continued to watch her from my barely open eyes. The girl got down on her knees and bent over me, gloating. Something about her was both thrilling and repulsive. She arched her neck and licked her lips like an animal. In the moonlight, I could see the moisture on her scarlet lips and tongue as it licked over her sharp white teeth. She lowered her head until her lips were under my chin and close to my throat. Then, she paused. I could hear the sound of her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel her hot breath on my neck. Then, the skin of my throat began to tingle (like when someone is trying to tickle you and you feel a tingle before their hands even touch you). I could feel the soft, shivering touch of her lips on the sensitive skin of my throat, and the hardness of her two sharp teeth, just barely touching me. I closed my eyes and waited. I waited with a beating heart.
But at that instant, another sensation swept through me as quickly as lightning. I felt the presence of the Count like a sudden storm of fury. As my eyes opened involuntarily, I saw his strong hand grasp the neck of the fair woman and pull her back. Her blue eyes transformed into fury, he white teeth chomped with rage, and her fair cheeks blazed red with passion. But the Count! I would have never been able to imagine such wrath and fury, even from the demons in hell. His eyes were absolutely blazing. The red light in them was lurid, as if they were lit up by actual flames. His face was deathly pale, and his wrinkles were thick like metal wire.
With a fierce sweep of his arm, he hurled the woman. Then he motioned to the others as though he were beating them back. It was the same gesture that I had seen used on the wolves. Although his voice was as low as a whisper, it cut through through the air and rang around the room.
“How dare you touch him! Any of you! How dare you cast eyes on him when I had forbidden it? Get back! This man belongs to me! Don’t meddle with him, or you’ll have to deal with me.”
The fair girl, with a flirtatious laugh, said back to him, “You don’t love. You never love!”
Another woman joined with hard, soulless laughter. It was a laugh that made me feel faint.
Then, the Count turned and looked at my face attentively. He said in a soft whisper, “Yes, even I can love. You all know that from the past. Right? Well, now I promise you that when I am done with him, you can kiss him as much as you like. Now go! Go! I must wake him up, because there is work to be done.”
“And are we going to have nothing tonight?” said one of them, with a low laugh. She pointed to a bag which the Count had thrown on the floor when he first came into the room. The bag moved as though there were some living thing inside it.
He nodded his head as an answer. One of the women jumped forward and opened it. If my ears did not deceive me, there was a gasp and a low cry, like a gagged child. The women all gathered around the bag as I watched with horror.
But as I watched, they disappeared with the dreadful bag. There was no door near them, and they could not have passed me without my noticing. They simply seemed to fade into the rays of the moonlight and pass out through the window. For a moment, I could see dim, shadowy forms fading away.
Then the horror overcame me, and I sank down into unconsciousness.
I woke up in my own bed. I wish I could say that it was a dream.
The Count must have carried me back. I looked around my room and noticed some evidence. My clothes were folded and laid by my bed, but they were not folded in the way that I fold. Also, my watch was still around my wrist, even though I have a habit of placing it on the bedside table before I go to sleep.
But these things are not proof. It could just be evidence that I was not my usual self last night and I deviated from my usual habits.
If it was the Count that carried me here, he must have been in a hurry. After undressing me, he must not have checked my pockets, otherwise he would have found my diary. And if he had found this diary, he surely would have taken it or destroyed it.
Before, this room made me feel afraid. But now, I can see that it is a sort of sanctuary, because nothing could be more dreadful than those awful women who were waiting—who are waiting—to suck my blood.