In an elegant theater, a blonde, spiky haired young man walks onstage dressed in a tuxedo. Tapping a microphone that was sitting in front of him, he looked around the room at the audience in front of him and cleared his throat before flashing them a friendly smile.
“Good evening everyone; glad you all could make it today! It is my pleasure to welcome you to our first production of the “Classic Tales Retold” Saga that I shall be directing! And before we begin, I would like to make a note that each story will not be the same routine over and over again. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; EVERY new story shall have a NEW cast to portray the drama, plot twists, and characters in the supposed stories! Now, to kick things off, I thought I would start with a gripping, chilling tale of romance, terror, suspense, and…..blood…”
He grins and chuckles darkly for a second before regaining his composure. “I give to you…”
“Is it time for us to come out now?? I can’t wait to show off my acting skills!” a voice from backstage pips up.
“Nyeh! Where’d I put my script?” the sound of a Brooklyn accent rings out, followed by the sound of quick footsteps. The footsteps immediately stop though as a loud crash follows suit, as if the voice tripped on something.
“For the love of Ra, keep your voices down! They can hear us out there!” Dan Green’s voice commanded in a hushed yet stern voice.
The blonde's eye twitched before he held up a finger to stall the readers and turned to to the curtain with a hushed growl, “Would you all keep it down back there?! I’m TRYING to set a mood here!”
“To buggery with your bloody mood, let’s just get this over with!” A darker, more sinister voice with a British accent grumbles.
“Can someone please tell me if this suit makes me look tacky?” a flamboyant voice calls out from farther backstage.
“Mokuba, the next time you sign yourself up for a staged performance, PLEASE don’t bring me along...”
“But big brother, this is going to be so much fun!”
Sighing deeply while rubbing his temples, the host turned back to the audience. “WHY were they my first choice for this?”
“Attention, duelists! This production shall begin in less than TWO minutes!”
“Two minutes to curtain everyone!” a female voice rings out.
The host regained himself and smiled at the audience with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. “Now, without any more FURTHER delays. “I give to you…the first production of 'Classic Tales Retold'…”
“Mind slaves! Get the sets ready!”
“My voice gives me telekinesis!!”
Finally, the host turned again to the curtain and stamped his foot angrily. “Oh shut up!!!” With a huff he turns back to the audience, “I give thee, Bram Stoker’s DRACULA!!!!”
A lonely carriage bumped along a winding path through the mountains of Transylvania. Inside the luxurious looking interior sat a well-dressed Egyptian man in a suit and two other gentleman who sat across on the other side. The blonde and brunette stared at the Egyptian in utter silence, which forced the man in question to clear his throat uncomfortably before opening his mouth to speak.
“Such close quarters…I feel compelled to introduce myself. I’m Marik Ishtar, a solicitor from London.”
Upon hearing the tone of voice and the dialect, the blonde’s mood seemed to change to a happy smile, “Oh good, ya speak English! I thought I would have insulted ya with my Brooklyn accent. I’m Joey Wheeler and this is Tristan”
The brunette waved in reply at Marik, who returns it with a friendly smile as he goes to reach for a pocket handkerchief to wipe his brow. “I must admit, that I’m not quite accustomed to these Transylvanian roads…feeling a bit queasy…”
“I’ll tell the driver to slow down a bit for ya.” The blonde stuck his head out of the window next to him and looks up at an elegantly dressed man with long silver hair and a golden fake eye. As Joey opens his mouth to ask for the driver to slow down, his gaze quickly moved up to the sky as the sun began to set on the horizon. In a panic, the blonde banged on the side of the coach to get the driver’s attention.
“Pegasus, whaddya doin? The sun’s settin and we gotta get to da village before dark!”
The driver in return looked down at Joey and frowned in an almost bored way, “Whatever are you talking about Mr. Wheeler? The sun won’t set for…” He suddenly cut off as his one good eye began to notice the shadow of night began to creep over the sky, making it darker by the second.
Pegasus took the reigns in one hand and cracked his whip in the other, spurring the horses on as a look of utter fear paled his face. “What an un-fabulous day this is turning out to be!”
Inside, the carriage quickened its pace and began to rock back and forth almost violently. Marik looked around in confusion at the sudden change in speed, trying to keep his hat on his head as best as he could muster. But his efforts were in vain, as a sudden gust of wind blew it out of the carriage and swiftly blew it away into the night that crept behind them like an ominous shadow.
Joey and Tristan meanwhile rushed to hold onto the handles latched to the ceiling near their seats.“Hold on, Marik! This is gonna be a bumpy ride!”
“Save us, SuperMan!” Tristan yelled out as he clenched his eyes shut and gripped the handle tightly as hard as he could.
Marik scrambled for the handle on his left and held on tight but suddenly gasped as it broke in his hand! Looking to the right, he goes for the handle on the right...but just as before, it also breaks. At a sudden bump in the road, Marik yelped as he was thrown out of his seat and became squished between Joey and Tristan. He scrambled for a handle, hoping one of them would share, but the other two simply tried to push him away. At a turn, the Egyptian flew out of the seat and landed upside down on his own side, groaning a bit from the landing.
Finally having enough, the now disgruntled Marik sat himself back up and leaned out the window to look up at the driver. “I say, silver man? Could you slow up a bit??”
Pegasus looks down at Marik and screamed a creepy reply before cracking the whip, making the horses slow only a tad.
“Thank you!” Marik yelped as at another bump, he flipped back upside down into the carriage.
Eternity seemed to pass until the carriage finally came to an abrupt halt. And a moment later, the carriage door flew open and all three passengers seemed to fall out onto the dirt road, Marik falling first before Joey and Tristan flopped on top of the poor Egyptians already battered body.
“Man, lucky we fell on something soft huh, Tristan?” Joey grinned as he rubbed the back of his head.
“Um…Joey?” Tristan pointed down at the man underneath them. The blonde finally realized the situation and quickly stood to help the Egyptian up.
“…Thank you…” Marik moaned in pain as he righted himself, dusting off his shoulders as he looks around at the small village the carriage ended up in. Noticing that a crowd of peasants had gathered to see the new arrivals, he then turned his gaze up at the driver and was about to ask where they are when he sees the silver haired man in question about to drop his luggage onto the ground. “Oh driver, don’t deposit my luggage. I’m continuing on to Borgar Pass tonight.”
Pegasus responds by simply throwing the baggage near Marik, who jumped a bit in surprise. “What are you doing, Golden Eye??”
The driver raised a finger to his lips and shushed the Egyptian before raising a hand to the sky. “It is far too dark…I cannot go any further. From here on, you walk!” With that, Pegasus clicked his teeth together and spurred on the horses, making the coach go down the village street. As Pegasus drives off, a short, elderly man with gray hair and a beard steps forward with a frown planted on his otherwise cheery face.
“You wish to continue on your journey...tonight?”
“Yes, I’m heading towards the castle.”
At the sound of the word “castle”, the villagers all whisper in hushed voices and gasped with fright.
“Why would ya wanna go to a creepy old dump like that?” Joey pipes up from where he and Tristan were standing nearby, looking as freaked out as the others.
Marik looks at the villagers quizzically, scratching his chin in thought. “Well, yes...I’m scheduled to meet Count Bakura.”
A collected gasp echoes from both the villagers and Joey and Tristan, who look at Marik with horror.
“C-Count Bakura?” Joey gulped loudly.
“B-Bakura???” a few of the villagers ask with fright.
“…Scheduled?” Tristan cocks his head to one side, confused.
Marik nodded with a smile and a thumbs up, “Yes, I have business with the Count and cannot be late.”
“No! You must not go!” the older man shook his head quickly trying to make the Egyptian listen to reason.
“…And why not?”
“Grandpa Moto and the rest of us believe that vampires live in da castle, Nyeh!” Joey nodded, no hint of joking in his voice as it quivered.
“…Vampires?” Marik asked with a bit of hesitation.
“They are the undead,” Grandpa Moto bit his lip gravely, “they rise from the coffins at night and terrorize those of the living...”
“Yes…,” another villager in a white cloak and a strange golden necklace walked towards Marik near his left, almost appearing from the middle of the crowd from nowhere. As the figure got closer, its head lifts a bit higher and an Egyptian woman with blue eyes looked back at him with a stern yet wise gaze. “They take the form of wolves or bats and puncture the throats of their victims with their teeth to drink their blood.”
Marik gulped slightly and cracks a fake smile, trying to calm himself down. “Surely that is just superstition?”
“Lady Ishizu is always right!” Tristan called from where he was standing, making Marik drop the smile and sigh a bit from worry.
“Please, weary traveler, take this Ankh.” Lady Ishizu lifts from a pocket in the cloak a shining silver cross-like object and held it out to Marik.
“Uh…no thanks…” Marik shook his head and kindly smiles at the woman, trying to push it away.
“Take it, its holy love and spirit of goodness will shield you from the lurking danger.”
Marik points at Ishizu and frowns, “Look creepy lady what part of “no” did you not-“
“By Anubis, take the Ankh!” Ishizu slaps Marik on the hand and he yelps, finally taking it quickly from her. She stares at him for a second before holding out her hand. “That will be 15 Kopecs…”
Marik quickly shoves his hand into his pocket and pulls out the money for her, placing it in her open hand. Ishizu smiled in return and thanked the man him with a bow, stepping back into the crowd and disappearing from view. Shrugging, Marik picks up his luggage with a huff and turned to leave. “Well…if I must walk, then I shall walk.”
The crowd followed Marik as he walked back the way the carriage came and turned to continue down the road towards a dark forest. However, at the sound of footsteps running up to him, the Egyptian stopped and blinked in surprise as Tristan and Joey ran in front of him, trying to block his path with arms spread open.
“Don't be stupid, man!” Tristan pleaded as he and Joey tried to be steadfast and not let the man pass.
As Marik was delayed, he noticed that the rest of the villagers had gathered around to see the outcome and to also stop his progress. A heavy sigh escaped the Egyptian and he scooted past the two in front of him and took a few steps ahead before finally turning back to the group. “But you don’t understand, I’m expected.”
With that, Marik smiled and continued on his way, waving at the villagers one last time.
“Farewell, mind slaves!”