BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Blackadder character stereotypes belong to Richard Curtis /Ben Elton and the BBC. The opening line may also have been borrowed from a certain Mr. Jackson.Author's note:
Ok, I've decided this is going to be one of those series of inter-related ficlets type stories – you know the ones – where the author can't be arsed to write all the bits of exposition between the interesting scenes. Sorry, I mean, where the highlights in the life of the central character are poignantly relayed in a series of scenes of insightful illustration.
Title art contributed by Methos - many thanks.
It's close to midnight, and something evil 's lurking in the dark. In this case, the evil in question is a master vampire, one whose very name strikes fear into those unfortunate enough to hear it; one whose reputation precedes him like the shadow of a very tall colossus approaching from the West at tea time. Whole villages have been abandoned by their citizens, merely on the rumour that he had been seen somewhere in the county last Thursday. Many brave warriors have fallen to their knees in supplication, rather than face him in battle, and whole graveyards were devoted to holding the remains of the those brave, but foolish, men who did not.
Or, at least, that was the way he saw things in his own mind; a more impartial observer may have used a slightly different wording. In reality, he wasn't so much lurking as waiting for the return of his minion, and growing increasingly bored. Fortunately, the monotony of staring at the basement wall and counting bricks was interrupted when said minion returned from the errand on which he had been dispatched.
“Baldrick! At last. Where's my lunch?”
The scruffy minion sidled into the ruined basement through the gap left from where the wall separating it from the sewer had partially collapsed.
“Here, mi'lord.” He proudly held up a large rat by the tail, which, despite being a rat, looked significantly more hygienic than the creature holding it.
“And what is that?”
“'s a rat, mi'lord.”
“I can see it's a rat. However, did I, or did I not specifically ask for a tender juicy young human girl, lightly killed, and served on a blood and pickled onion compote, garnished with fresh basil.”
“You did, sir.”
“Then why have you brought back vermin instead?”
“Sorry, mi'lord. I couldn't find a human.”
“Couldn't find a human? The whole town is full of them.”
“But there weren't any in the sewers, and I couldn't go outside because of the fact that the sun was shining, and I would have burned.”
“I see. And at no point, did it occur to you to wait until the sun set?”
“Oh, that's a good idea! I didn't think of that,” said Baldrick.
Edmund sighed. “Why am I not surprised?”
“Do not worry, my lord: all is not lost.”
“Oh? And, pray tell, why would that be? Is that a new, hitherto unknown, species of rat? One whose blood is richer than the creamiest chocolate sauce found in the chocolate soufflé of the richest chocoholic in all of Belgium? A rat that is, to us vampires, what catnip is to... cats?”
“No, mi'lord. But I did find a jar of picked onions.”
“A jar of pickled onions that you found in a sewer?”
“Forgive me if I don't break out the best china in celebration. Oh well, I suppose it will have to do. Here—” he held out an orange juicer and a glass “—use this.” Baldrick set to work on juicing the rat.