Marko in Vulkar's Revenge (8_88)

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Birthday Greetings

Anna M.C.
Vector's Monocle


From: Dirk Blackpool
Subject: Birthday Greetings for Celine


It would appear that you are having a regrettably bad run of luck lately. I was shocked and appalled to hear about your broken ankle and broken computer, since nothing irritates me more than news of misfortunes I had no direct hand in instigating. It feels rather like a lost opportunity. Still, it was only to be expected after you push-kicked Erik into that tree last year; whenever anyone attacks the little twit, bad luck always follows. Vector tells me someone named Don Reo is ultimately responsible. You'll be pleased to hear that he is second only to Erik on my list of enemies.

At any rate, my father Saris always used to say that calamity comes in threes. As if Geoffrey, Galen, and I weren't already ample proof of that axiom, the fates have chosen to visit a third trial upon you this evening. Allow me to explain.

As I was sitting by the fire, reading the latest edition of "Torturer's Digest," my guards alerted me that a package with the words "Happy Birthday" written upon it had been left outside the gates. I was, of course, immediately suspicious of a bomb or a trap. After briefly considering allowing Geoffrey the privilege of opening it, I finally elected to take the safest course, and blasted it with the monocle. Upon surveying the smoldering, twisted wreckage, I was most surprised to find the charred remains of a few stuffed toys (which Geoffrey informs me are called "Beanie Babies" -- I would rather not know the reason why he knows this), several melting Celine Dion and Barry Manilow CD's, and the smoking scraps of a card made out to you. Following a lengthy consultation with Vector, I came to four conclusions:

1. Your address and my address have been unfortunately reversed in the Aperanian White Pages. Rest assured that I have had the clerk responsible executed already. Incidentally, if you should receive a box next week from Claude's Fine House of Exotic Leathers, just send it to me.

2. It is your birthday. Happy birthday.

3. You will not be receiving at least one of your gifts this year. Such is life.

4. Would you be willing to lend me some of your CD collection? I have one particularly stubborn prisoner in my dungeon against whom the rack, the branding iron, and the whip have proved to be ineffective. However, I believe that a few hours of your music should shatter his will like a china cup. Perhaps I could arrange to have Vector cast some sort of luck spell for you in exchange? I don't believe he's capable of actually granting you *good* luck, but I do believe he could cause everyone around you to have such utterly wretched luck that you'd feel fortunate by comparison.

Let me know what you decide.


Prince Dirk Blackpool

From: Celine L.
Subject: Re: Birthday Greetings for Celine

Dear Sweet (cough, cough) Dirk,

Thank you for the birthday greetings. I couldn't have asked for a better gift from a man like you. As I look around the Saint Paul Library, I am still waiting for you to bust down the doors and get me for...whatever you could/would have on your little evil mind (we live in hope or lost in dreams. Take your choice!).

As for the "BOX", I had sent for that, but I meant it to be for you. I forgot the boombox though. OH WELL, it was the thought that counts. I had been thinking of ways of helping you in your little playroom aka dungeon. Manilow is perfect for that (or playing too loud of music in your car in some cities here. don't get caught or for the next you'll be listening to Manilow. I think it would be cool.)

Yes my Beanie Babies...I thought you could use something to love, that didn't cut, slash, kill, maim or any of that fun stuff.

As for the leather, sweetheart (don't cringe), it's mine. Finders keepers, losers weepers! Well I better close this up and get out of here, before you do come crashing through the door looking for me.

Your Vampire!


From: Dirk Blackpool
Subject: Birthday Greetings for CelineV


Ah, CelineV. I've heard it's your birthday once again. How do I keep letting them slip past like velvet-winged bats on the night skies? Hmm. I really must write that down and work it into a poem sometime.

At any rate, I must inform you that I was quite put out today. In honor of your 40th birthday, I thought it only fitting that I should be sure to dispatc... deliver your birthday greeting in person. Vector and I arrived at your domicile only to find that you were gone. The lack of social graces I have to put up with in Aperans is bad enough - much less in the worldly plane that you inhabit. Along the way, thanks to Vector's blundering, we picked up an astral hitch-hiker of sorts who said he was traveling to give you his personal wishes as well. Rather tall man, wears a lot of black leather. Goes by the name of Ares. We had a nice chat about *Monsieur Claude's* on the way. However, he was quite disappointed you'd gone missing. I believe he may still be lurking about your place. I wasn't about to extend an invitation for a return trip to him - one black leather-wearing evil doer in Aperans is quite enough. As we winked out for our journey back, he was growling something about being stood up, finding a *Snoopy* statue dressed like a Twin's baseball player and blowing it to Hades.

So, back to Aperans we came. Since then I've done a bit of research with the visual scope about the place we heard you'd traveled to. Wisconsin, is it? Charming bit of land. Plenty of bovines. Incredible amount of cheese. Needless to say, Geoffrey volunteered to find you and deliver my little gift to you himself. Vector sent him out a number of hours ago. One can only hope that he doesn't get completely lost. *sighs* Then again...

Enjoy your day, my dear. I'm sure I'll catch up with you next year. *winks*


Prince Dirk Blackpool
Crown Prince of Karteia

From: Celine
Subject: Re: Birthday Greetings for CelineV

Ah Dirk,

It is so nice to get an other email from you on my birthday. It is such a delight. A true bright spot (try living in MN in the winter or in Tornado season). I could hardly wait to get back home to see it.

By the by, loved you little poem start velvet-winged bats on the night skies! Lovely, just lovely. You are going to have write that poem.

Sorry I wasn't here when you arrived, but I had a DATE with someone in Oshkosh, WI (land of 1 million cows and not much of any thing else). It was a long ride with some terrible people, but what the heck.

Yes, Ares was waiting for me and his gift was WORTH the surprise. Though if I really got something that WORTHY from you, sweet Prince, you would have to use a pry bar on me.

I am happy to say, he didn't blast anything to Hades, thank the maker!!!! At least I haven't found anything blasted to Hades.

Sorry I missed Geoff, but hopefully he didn't get too lost. He should make it home soon, I hope.

So thanks for the birthday greeting. I am sorry I took so long to answer, but I have busy and couldn't get on the computer.


From: Dirk Blackpool
Subject: Re: Birthday Greetings for CelineV


I can't tell you how touched I am that I managed to bring a bright spot into your life. I had rather intended to bring a large, blinding light and large explosion to your life had you been home. I'll have to settle for the other until next year.

I hardly have time for poetry at the moment. After ingesting far too much cheese in the quaint place called Wisconsin (Geoffrey did manage to find his way home after all - I can't tell you how much his presence in the castle brings a bright spot to MY life), my insipid brother has been ill and in need of tending. *sighs heavily*

Ah, but the idea of using a pry bar on you (though I doubt in the manner you're thinking of) does cheer me. I'll just hold on to that little thought, shall I? *winks*


Prince Dirk Blackpool


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