Chapter Three

Dorottya Szentes walked among the people inhabiting the tiny village near Csejte Castle looking for more virgins for her Lady. The problem was the Countess had used so many; the young women in the village were now becoming scarce. Still, she would carry out her orders and find more girls for her mistress’s beauty regimen.

As she walked along, she suddenly noticed a young girl emerging from an old, run-down wooden house. Even better, the girl looked to be no more than twelve years old. Her long black hair flowed in the breeze as she walked along, enticing Dorottya even more. She was so young and beautiful; the mistress would reward her greatly for bringing her to the castle. An evil smile spread onto her face and she began to follow her.

“So, we’re off to Csejte Castle then?” Rose said.

“Yes, I guess so…”

Rose stared at him. He had an odd look on his face.

“What’s wrong?” she said.

“Csejte Castle. I’ve heard that name before, but I can’t think where I know it from.”

“Maybe it’s just a name of a castle you know. You knew the names of all those Romanian castles.”

“Yes, but for some reason, Csejte Castle sticks out in my mind as being a significant place. Bollocks, I wish I could remember. I hate when this happens.”

“Getting Alzheimer’s disease in your old age, are you?” Rose said. “Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us.”

“N’yuk, n’yuk,” he said, when Rose giggled. “No, actually what’s wrong is I’m just so knowledgeable about everything that some things get lost in the shuffle. Course you don’t have to worry about something like that, do you?”

It was his turn to snigger while Rose shot him a dirty look.

“You know, I see a bunch of trees around here. I could go and make a couple of stakes from one of them and ram you through your hearts.”

“Ah, but then you’d be stuck here in spoooooooky vampire central, so think about that before you go after me with the stakes, eh?”

He tickled her under the chin.

“Well, come on, my associate; let’s go have a gander at the castles.”

He turned and froze when he noticed a man standing in front of him.

“Um, hello, were you wanting something?” the Doctor said.

“Who are you?”

“I’m the Doctor and this is Rose, who are you?”

“My name is Janos; I am the constable for this village. What business do you have here?”

“Well, my friend Rose and I were on our way to see one of your fine castles, and--“

“I haven’t seen either one of you before. Are you here to make trouble?”

The Doctor sighed.

“No, we are not here to make trouble of any kind. We are just passing through, and--“

“Then keep passing through, we don’t want the likes of you and your friend here! You have an hour to get out of the town, or I’ll get a group of men together and force you out.”

He turned and walked away from them. The Doctor gritted his teeth.

“Resist the urge to bite, resist the urge to bite, resist the urge to bite,” he muttered under his breath.

He paused a moment.

“Nah, I’ll just take a little nip, do the git some good.”

“Whoa, whoa, wait a moment,” Rose said, stepping in front of him when he started to follow the man. “Keep your fangs to yourself and let it go.”

“But the man is just begging for a nip on the neck. A little blood loss will do him and me some good.”

“No. Let it go, you had your breakfast earlier.”

“Yeah, but artificial blood doesn’t taste as good as the real thing.”

“Tough, I’m not about to get arrested on purpose, let’s just go and see this castle.”

“Oh, all right,” the Doctor said, pouting, as he stuck his hands in his pockets.

He smiled at Rose.

“How about you? Can I have a bit of blood from you?” he said.

“Not if you want to live.”

“I’m not living.”

“Okay, not if you want to exist then.”

“Bugger, my mate is supposed to provide me with blood whenever I require it.”

“Well, I guess I’m a lousy mate then.”

The Doctor grinned and hugged her from behind.

“Nah, you’re not. You’re a great mate, the best I ever had.”

Rose smiled and kissed his lips.

“Shall we go to the castle?” she asked.

“We shall. Lead on, my mortal Rose.”

She took his hand and they headed out of town.

Dorottya smiled, as she neared closer to her prey. The girl carried a small basket and walked door to door selling baked goods to the other villagers. She snorted. She had lived most of her life in the castle and had everything provided for her, so she never had to resort to doing humiliating things like this. She inspected the girl and saw how thin she was. Poor thing probably never had a decent meal in her life. Well, perhaps her Lady would allow her to eat properly before she gave her life; it was only fair considering the sacrifice she was going to be making.

She took a handkerchief soaked with laudanum out of her pocket and held it in her hand while she crept towards her.

“So, how do you like the village so far?”

“I don’t.”

The Doctor looked at her.

“What? You don’t like people running up, jabbing their fingers in our faces, and screaming, filthy gypsies? I think it adds to the whole travel experience. There’s nothing like visiting a town where everyone shuns you and spats in your face. That’s something you never see on Michael Palin’s travel shows, eh? No one ever runs up to Michael, spats in his face, and tells him to get his British ass out of their town before they tar and feather him. ‘Course Michael would probably just smile pleasantly and comment on how hospitable the people all are and how beautiful the country is, then run to the nearest pub and have a pint before moving on to the next country. I find that boring, personally. I’m more a hands-on sort of bloke. Come into town, stir up some trouble, kick a few evil arses and then go to the pub and have a pint. Much more exciting. And speaking of excitement, where is this castle the innkeeper spoke so enthusiastically about. I suppose we could trouble some more people for directions, although I guess we would have to hear, get out of my face filthy gypsies again, and--“

He was cut short when Rose tugged on his trench coat. He looked at her and saw she was frantically pointing off to her left. The Doctor looked over and noticed a woman dragging a little girl out of the village towards the woods. The woman had a handkerchief over the girl’s mouth. The girl was struggling, but he could see she was slowly passing out from whatever was in the cloth.

“Right and this is the part where we kick the evil arses!” the Doctor said.

He and Rose ran towards her.

“Stop struggling, you’re only making this harder on yourself,” Dorottya snarled in the girl’s ear.

She noticed movement out of the corner of her eye and turned to see a man and a woman barreling down on her. She dropped the girl to the ground, reached under her dress, and pulled a dagger from a scabbard strapped to her upper leg. She tried to slice the Doctor’s neck, but he quickly dodged and grabbed her leg. The woman gasped when he jerked her off her feet. She took another swing at his face while Rose grabbed the semi-conscious girl under the arms and dragged her to safety.

“How dare you interfere with my mission,” Dorottya said, as she sprung to her feet.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize I was bothering you and your kidnapping of a defenseless young girl. My bad.”

He dodged when she took another swing at him.

“You know, messing with me is a very bad idea,” the Doctor said.

Dorottya snorted.

“I have been trained to fight with both sword and dagger, and I have bested many men. A thin, little reed like you will be no match for me.”

“Yes, but you’re forgetting one thing.”

“And that is?”

The Doctor grinned.

“I have a partner.”

Dorottya grunted when Rose suddenly slammed into her from behind. The Doctor caught her by the front of the neck and lifted her a few inches off the ground while Rose jerked the dagger out of her grasp.

“Now, as I was saying, it’s a very bad idea to make me angry,” he said, to the gasping woman. “Especially since you have no idea what I am and what I can really do. Believe it or not, I’m holding back right now. If I showed you my full strength, you wouldn’t be alive right now. Now, be a wise woman, go back to wherever it is you came from and stop kidnapping little girls off the street.”

“And what if I don’t?”


She gasped when the Doctor yelled at her. For a second, it seemed as if his face had contorted and became demon-like. But, it happened so fast, that Dorottya wondered if it had really happened. She gasped when the Doctor dropped her and she fell on her back.

“Get out of here…now,” he snarled.

Dorottya scrambled to her feet and stumbled away from his grasp.

“You haven’t heard the last of me.”

She glanced at Rose and sneered at her.

“And neither has your pretty young friend,” she said.

With one last look of contempt, she turned and sprinted into the woods. The Doctor and Rose watched her go. When she was out of sight, the Doctor looked at Rose.

“See, village life isn’t so boring if you know where to look,” he said.

He gathered the girl into his arms and both of them headed back towards the inn.

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