Cousin Shelley


His shoulders ached, but he jammed the shovel into the ground with as much force as he could, over and over again. He felt the need to dig an extra deep hole for this one. Who did Van Helsing think he was to come here and disrupt the mostly peaceful relationship they had with the vampires? One or two people a month, that was all they killed.

And if Velkan and Anna Valerious happened to be the next two, what did he care? She'd refused all of his advances, and Velkan had insulted him, had grabbed him by his shirt front and shaken him, told him never to speak to his sister again.

Top Hat was glad the man was dead. Not that it had gotten him any farther with Anna.

So what if Dracula wanted the princess dead, or undead? She was just one more woman who wouldn't even glance his way.

The shovel sliced through the dirt with a satisfying crunchhiss. He needed a big hole this time, big enough for Van Helsing and his clergyman friend. He laughed as he decided to save money, time and effort by burying them in the same box. Surely he wouldn't have to wait to long to throw dirt on top of the meddling fools.

When he finished, he sat on the ground to rest, his sweat drying on his skin and making him shiver. He dangled his long legs into the hole and wrapped his arms around himself. Van Helsing's coat had looked warm. Not like his coat, already thin with holes at the elbows. Dead men didn't need coats, only live, cold, hard-working ones did.

He thought Anna seemed attracted to Van Helsing. Perhaps she'd be distraught once the fool was dead. Perhaps she'd need a shoulder to cry on. A shoulder made to look broader in a warm, leather coat.

Van Helsing had a nice hat, too. He fingered the tattered rim of his own, and smiled, and waited.