By John McDonnell
The Count’s daughter was very frustrated with his hearing.
“I told you to get a hearing aid,” she said.
“Excuse me?” he said, cupping a hand to his ear.
“I said, ‘I told you to get a hearing aid!’” she shouted.
“There is nothing wrong with my hearing,” he said. “I can hear the sound of grass growing. I have the hearing of a bat.
“You’re deaf as a post,” she muttered.
“Buttered toast?” he said. “No thank you, I’m not hungry.”
“And you’re crazy as a loon,” she said.
He stood with his arms clasped behind him, looking out the castle window at the lightening sky. “Yes, the sun will be up soon,” he said.
“I know it’s difficult having me for a father,” he continued. “Handsome, brilliant, dashing -- It’s overwhelming, I know.”
“I’m going to throw up,” she said.
“If you would simply speak correctly, I could hear you,” he said. “You’ve never had good diction.”
“You old bat,” she hissed. “You probably can’t hear those church bells ringing.”
“Singing? Who is singing?”
She lowered her voice. “It means the villagers are coming after you with their pitchforks.”
“The problem is you mumble,” he said. “You must enunciate every word, like me.”
“Oh, you’re impossible!” she shouted. “I hate living with you.”
He turned. “I heard that. It was very disrespectful, young lady. Just for that, you’re grounded. I’m adding two more weeks on top of the punishment you got for falling in love with that village boy.”
She was about to shriek at him, but there was a sound of a large group of people banging at the door downstairs. She waited.
The Count puffed out his chest. “I am the master here. I must be firm with you at all times, my dear.”
There was a sound of splintering wood as the door was shattered, and then the sound of many boots coming up the stone stairs.
The Count yawned. “No more talk; it is time for sleep,” he said, opening his coffin and settling himself inside it. “We will talk again tonight,” he said, closing his eyes.
“I don’t think so,” his daughter said, as the townspeople burst into the room, with their garlic necklaces, their pitchforks, their crucifixes, and their silver stake.
Copyright John McDonnell 2010