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Numbers of the Night

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by The Count, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hey guys, just reserving some space here for when I start up the story. The story will start in my next post probably. Need to write it up first and then post it.
    Would appreciate feedback, but wait till something's posted first.

    Hopefully, the story will start today. Stay tuned.
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    OK, here it is, hope you like how this starts off.

    Numbers of the Night: Manhattan Math.

    Chapter 1.

    The Count von Count walked down the hallways of his castle home, his footsteps falling softly upon the plush wine red carpeting as he roamed his home pensively. He wore a clean white-pressed shirt, red vest with diagonal yellow lines, gray coat, dark gray pants and belt, black dress shoes, and his newly-washed bright green cape. Yes, he was dressed for a night on the town. But those happy thought seemed so distant in his mind now. Being that his castle was located in New York City, it made it easier for him to attend the night's gala dinner celebrating another season for Sesame Street. The usual gang was there, from grouches to humans to large and little birds to monsters of all kind, dressed in their formal ware. Even Grover wore his tux when he handed the bill to one Ms. Ganz-Cooney. But the Count had other matters on his mind that night, since he was preparing to open up his castle to summer tourists this year.

    His head hung a little lower while pacing through the corridors of his home, pausing only briefly to admire the workings of his spiders upon the underside of various sbookshelves. "Penny for your thoughts sir?" rung an eerie voice that would chill unsuspecting wanderers. "Oh hello Uncle Deadly", answered the Count. The numerian vampire was greeted by a blue dragonish creature, wearing a ragged white shirt and black pants, sheltered by his own grayed tattered coat. Uncle Deadly worked at the Count's castle as a consierge of sorts, and so, it was no surprise to see him there in the late hours of the night.

    The Count: "It's just... I'm not sure vhat I vant to do vith the castle."
    UD: "But it's going to be opened up to the tourists tomorrow, isn't it?"
    Count: "Yes, of course. The plans haven't changed. It's just that I feel it's sort of incomplete somehow. Though I love to count, and have counted the seconds to the Grand Opening, I can't help but feel that there's something missing as part of the attraction."
    UD: "Well, why don't you sleep on it. I'm sure that things will look bleaker in the mourning."
    The Count broke into a weak smile, Uncle Deadly's humor spoke to his own, and it eased his mind a bit.
    Count: "Yes, I think I'll turn in for tonight."
    UD: "So will you need my services?"
    Count: "No, you can leave if you wish my friend."
    And with that, the blue dragonish creature gathered his things in his carrying coffin and left for either the Muppet Theater or Muppet Boarding House. We were never sure where he lived, but he always went there after being dismissed each night from the Count's castle.

    So now it was only the Count von Count and his pets living within this dark structure... That is, except for the newest tennant. Edward Grimness was a brilliant man, and he had struck up a deal with the Count to live here in the darkness of the vampire's abode. Mr. Grimness was a man of about thirty years, black hair and black eyes (or at least he liked to think that though it was really chocolate brown), of a fair stature and dressed neatly. Tonight, Mr. Grimness was downstairs in the workshop where he set himself preparing creatures for the castle's tours, and for the castle's occupants late-night counting parties. Mr. Grimness was watching a bit of television when the Count came in, knocking on the door first.
    Mr. Grimness, dressed in his casual clothes asked who was there, since he was partially as blind as the bats up in the towers.
    Count: "It's me Edvard, everything OK in there?"
    Grimness: "Ah, yes, come on in Count. These beauties will definitely help frighten our tourists tomorrow."
    As he opened the door, Mr. Grimness could tell that the Count was a bit apprehensive.
    Grimness: Don't worry, I know how you feel, not quite satisfied with what we've got and we need something else."
    The Count smiled that weak smile of his again. He knew that Edward and he shared their thoughts sometimes, and it wasn't hard to conceal them from each other.
    Grimness: "All I'll say is, if you need me, my door is always open to you. But I'd recommend you go count the numbers before going to sleep. That might help you as you drift off to a peaceful night's rest."
    The Count knew that Edward was right, his advice was always most welcome and helpful.
    Count: "Thanks, needed that."
    And with that, the Count went upstairs to his master bedchambers.

    It didn't take the Count that long to change into his pajamas, light pale yellow with faded brown bats printed over them. A brown bat descended and landed upon the Count's shoulder.
    Count: "Ah, Batty, vas vondering vhen you'd come down. Let's go and see the numbers, shall we?"
    Soon after, the two entered the master vault where all the Count's treasures were kept. Upon the pedestal, he spied what he was looking for. Ten white marble numbers lined up in perfect order. Yes, they were all there: first 1, followed by 2, then 3, 4 was in its place, 5 quickly after, 6 in plain sight, and on to 7, or 8, coming up on 9, and finally 10.
    Count [softly]: "Ten vonderful numbers. Such vonderful memories, and to think my friends from Sesame Street gave them to me as birthday gifts. Yes, I do thank them, these are amongst my most prized possessions. Come Batty, I can sleep better now."
    Finally, the Count was happy as he lay back in the bed and counting the numbers up and down again and again, soon found himself fast asleep. But all was not quiet within the castle.

    The next morning the Count awoke with a startled notion. He rushed back into the vault only to find...
  3. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Well I know you're probably anxious for feedback so I'll gladly tell you what I think...It's awesome! You paint a very clear picture of what is going on with plenty of details and I'm already hooked into the story. I'm looking forward to reading more!
  4. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    I agree one hundred and twenty percent with everything beth said.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Good. Good.
    Noticed any references to anything?

    Got the next part plotted, gotta write it first. But there'll be some cameos for sure.
  6. That Announcer

    That Announcer Well-Known Member

    Well, Edward Grimness seems to be you.

    Very nice job, man! Keep it up.
  7. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Yeah...I noticed the same thing that That Announcer noticed about the name ;)
    VONDERFUL job so far!
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Well... Yes, that's my character and it'll become the main player as I progress the story to its individual chapters/sections later.
    But I meant if anyone noticed any Muppet references, like the homage to Muppets 30th Anniversary... Grover handing the bill to Ganz-Cooney?
    Oh well, glad you guys like. Gonna start with the next chapter soon, and I think Kathy might like who shows up in it.
  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Chapter 2

    The Count left his vault with a grim expression on his face. "No! My lovelies! And on today of all days." Sadly, he knew what needed to be done. After a brief breakfast and change of clothes, he went downstairs to address the media gathered outside his gothic home.

    The press was already present at the Count's castle, anxiously anticipating the announcement the Count had for them that day. Kermit The Frog, wearing his plain-clothes light brown trenchcoat and gray reporter's hat, stood to the side with microphone in hand talking to the camera crews.
    Kermit: "So, why did the chicken cross the... oh, you've already heard this one?"
    "Kermit, over here!" came a voice from across the lawn.
    A certain blonde-haired pink-skinned young girl was saving him a seat next to her. She was dressed in a sky blue blouse, white pants and shoes, and wore a black and red ladybug pin given to her by her college roommate on her blouse's right shoulder. "Hi Prairie, you got here early enough" replied the dapper frog.
    Prairie Dawn: "Yes, had to get here to get a good seat. And I saved you a seat here next to me if you want."
    Kermit: "Thanks."
    Prairie glanced at her watch and remarked: "It's almost time, hope we don't have to wait long."
    Kermit nodded in ascent, wondering himself just what their number-loving friend had in store for them.

    The Count appeared soon after out on the stage, thinking to himself, with his head looking down at the mowed lawn. Prairie took out her pencil and notepad, lest she forget any details of the big news.
    Count: Greetings, it is I, the Count von Count! I have gathered you here at my castle for a big announcement. Unfortunately, there has been an unforseen event, forcing the cancellation of my castle's grand opening to the public. I am sorry, but that is all I have for you today."
    And with that, the vampire slinked back inside the dark doors of his forebodding home.

    Kermit: "That was odd, he's usually in much better spirits."
    Prairie: "Kermit, leave the jokes to the bear."
    But Prairie was curious too. Why had the Count been so short with them? Wasn't this a big event the Count would announce today? Something was wrong, and it didn't take Prairie long to figure out that she'd have to do some investigating to figure out what it was.

    The Count just went back upstairs to his room, closing the door behind him. "Ah vell, at least I can shelter myself in my own little vorld. TV and computer chatting vith all of my forum friends."
    Unbeknownst to him, Prairie had snuck inside the castle when noone was looking. She spied on the spiders and bantered about with the bats. She tried to get some information out of Fatatatita, but all Prairie got was soft purring. And then she saw it... a glowing floating number 1.

    Yes, it wasn't that strange to see a number in mid-air, after all this was the Count von Count's castle, but still her reporter's instinct told her that this was an important clue. She followed the number 1 down hallways and corridors, down past closing and opening doors, down into the bowells of the castle itself. Suddenly, Prairie found herself in a dimly-lit chamber. It reminded her of an ancient throne room, complete with throne and placards along the walls.

    The next thing she knew, Prairie was magnetically clinging to the wall, her watch holding her prisoner there. A strange-looking woman entered and spoke directly to Praire in a distinct voice.

    *Female Voiceover, in a cold yet coy tone: So. You're the little snoop poking her nose in my plans? Well, I don't appreciate that, especially when it might ruin everything. And though I could keep you here as my prisoner, I have plans for you my dear. Yes, you'll do quite nicely, you look like the type for this job.
    Now go back up to the surface and be sure to give them... the Big Scoop.

    And with that, the woman started laughing a cold, dry laugh, all her own while watching the young reporter scurry back the way she came.
  10. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    I noticed the Mrs. Ganz- Cooney reference
    And yes....as a matter of fact, I do like who showed up in this chapter! :) Looks great so far!
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Count, first let me say, I have been looking forward to a Count fan-fic from you for ages! At last it is here!

    Ok. I am now officially hooked. This has to have been one of the best lines of description in a fan-fic recently. the "footsteps falling softly upon plush wine red carpeting." I can't ony see this happening. I can hear it, feel it.

    And this I can remeber happening once before....I saw the reference straight away Count my friend.

    Marvilous. I hoped he would turn up, and here he is!

    What a perfect title for him!

    Ha ha! I love it!

    I liked this too. Authors who are happy to admit that some parts of their story are a secret even to them, add a real edge.

  12. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Ok. Read the second bit now. it's good. Sufficiently creepy. And I liked the Kermit lines. Also Prarie Dawn, the last charcter I was expecting in a Count fan-fic!
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Chapter 3

    The hour was late in the afternoon when Mr. Grimness finally noticed the emptyness of the grand castle. Noone was coming down the hallway, not a soul was heard at the cafeteria, not even a peep was heard from outside near the doorway to the grim structure. This struck him as odd, since the castle was to open up to all the maddening crowds of tourists in time for the summer holiday season.

    Mr. Grimness finally made his way upstairs to snatch a cookie, if any were to be left. "Hmmm, thought Cookie Monster would've eaten them all by now. But since there's noone here..." His thoughts trailed after downing a glass of milk and wiping and putting everything away. His first instinct was to check in with the Count, and this time it paid to visit the master of the castle.

    Count: "Oh hello Edvard, sorry but the castle had to be closed up."
    Grimness: "But why Count, what happened to make you change your mind?"
    Count: "Come, you'd better see for yourself."
    Though the Count knew of Mr. Grimness's lowered visual acuity, they understood each other when terms like this were used in their everyday talk.
    Count: "All of my lovely marble numbers have disappeared. And vhat's vorse, I can't seem to find that goblin statue either."
    He was talking about the gift Rizzo the Rat gave him last year at Christmas, when the lord of counting was staying at a friend's home for the festivities.
    Grimness: "Hmmm, that's very strange, but..."

    At that moment, their private conversation was interrupted by a lone wandering soul. Prairie Dawn had finally made it back to the surface world, bearing news as to where she had been.
    PD: " I'm sorry to barge in like this on you guys, but I have a message for you Count."

    The Count, at first dumbstruck that Prairie had even gotten into the closed confines of the castle, was even more surprised that she had a message for him.
    Count: "Vell then Prairie, vhat do you have to tell us?"

    Prairie took a moment to collect her thoughts and draw in a long deep breath.
    PD: "Sorry, need a moment to get accustomed to the surface air again. When you didn't give us any information at the conference earlier this morning, I decided to do some searching of my own. After a morning of nothing, I wound up at an underground throne room. And then, this woman at least I think it was a woman, shows up and tells me to deliver a message to those living above her on the surface. She said that the numbers are now hers, along with the souls of the creatures tied to those numbers, for they do her bidding. She wants you to know that this castle was built upon her ancestral home and she will reclaim the land, unless you above are brave enough to descend into the depths of her darkness confronting her in mortal combat."

    Mr. Grimness: "Prairie, did you happen to hear what her name was?"
    PD: "Well... yes, when I asked meekly whose name I was to say sent it, she said that this proclamation came from... the Goblin Queen!"
    Mr. Grimness: "Should've known it'd be her. This explains why we can't find that statue Count. She's taken it and been reborn in that statue's form. And now she's taken refuge in the caves below the castle. There's only one solution, I'll have to face her once again."
    The Goblin Queen and Edward Grimness had met before, when they were both humans in their college years. She had been a diligent student of the arts, while he majored in literature. They met while attending a class on demonology and soon spent their afternoons and evenings studying together. But on one fateful All Hallow's Eve, she was infected by the sting of a spry mosquito while reading some longago spell in one of Edward's books. It happened that said book contained the history of goblins and their ancestral dwelling, deep within the cascms of the earth, in magical labyrinths where different creatures protected the royal family. Flashes of memories from years gone by passed before her eyes, as her true nature was revealed. She stood before the mirror of her apartment room transformed into the daughter of the Goblin King. Owing to the fact there hadn't been a goblin monarch in nary a hundred years since the old king was thwarted from obtaining human progeny, Rebecca took up the mantle of the Goblin Queen in a heartbeat. Yes, now she was a human woman of standard size and built, but with somewhat green-grayed skin instead of the flawless beige before. Her fiery red eyes remained, along with her darkened blood red hair, flowing in the night wind. Her nose was now a blackened snout, her ears fattened into pointy teardrop forms on the sides of her head, two of her teeth were now fangs visible on her lipstick-painted lips, and two dark gray horns protruded from the top of her head. The fingernails were replaced by smoky white claws, her fingers and toes intact in number, and her female chest and body reverted into somewhat of an hourglass form. The only other noticeable difference was the bulbous growth sticking out from her body, replacing her rear end. This was her goblin growth, and in spite of its unnatural origin, it accentuated the curves of her newly-crafted shape. She wore a sleeveless wine brown dress, a streaming blood red skirt held in place by a white crossbones buckle, black open-ended shoes, and a silven crown around her brow ringed by glittering jewels. She knew now that she was destined for more than a mere human's existence.

    Edward and Rebecca stopped crossing each other paths a long time ago, at least it seemed that way to him after receiving her letter. He learned of her departure when his pet bat brought forth a letter that cold rainy Halloween night. They were to meet at their favorite pizza place and split their usual, a garlic Tombstone with the works. But when she failed to show, there was a slight chill in the wind. After reading her letter, he knew that their history had been rewritten. Edward rushed over to their secret meeting place and found her, waiting for a final good-bye. And in an instant, she was gone, swallowed up by the earth after being struck down by a single bolt of lightning on that unforgettable night.

    Now it was clear to him, Rebecca had returned and stronger and madder than ever. Furious at being forgetten by the rest of the world, she vowed her goblin race would reclaim what was once theirs. And Edward knew that it had been her minions who stole the statue. Only by breaking it after encanting the spell would Rebecca return in all her former glory. It was the statue that gave her shape once again, the magic that brought her back enough sustennance to carry out her plans.

    "It's time" was all Edward said to both his Muppet friends. The man who stood before them returned to his workshop and started shifting things in his suitcase. "Hoped I wouldn't need to don this costume again, but it can't be helped. The Count needs his home secured, and Rebecca won't be allowed to triumph."
    First, he changed from his normal clothes into a light gray uniform, made of a strong pliable material. Next, came the armor pieces including the chestpiece covering his entire upper body. Two dark gray gauntlets quickly snapped over his wrists and hands, and his feet were secured inside two gray metallic boots. Then, he took a black low-brimmed hat and placed over his head. "Will need the eyepiece too" he muttered to himself, digging out what looked like a pair of bat ears attached to a dark gray oblong visor. This piece rested above the front brim of the hat, and when activated granted him full perfect sight. Last, but not least, came his weapon. This, he called his bat-blaster: a long dark gray tubular cannon ending in a similar grayish bat-topper, separated by a thin lighter gray band from its light gray nozzle. He emerged from the room, moving back to where he left the Count, but not before gathering a few more items.

    Edward: "Count, not all your numbers were stolen."
    Count: "Vhat? But all ten are gone."
    Edward: "Yes, but remember that gift I brought you when I first moved in?"
    The Count struggled for a moment, aided by the ovaled sculpture presented at that moment in Mr. Grimness's open hand.
    Count: "Of course! They failed to get... the marble 0!"
    Edward: "Yes, and I need it now to begin the mission I'll embark upon to get you the other numbers back."
    Count: "Then by all means, take it. But be sure to protect it."
    Edward: "It'll be as safe as I will."
    With that, he opened the chestpice's crystal door and placed the marble 0 inside. At that moment, he locked the final addition to his armor in place. A black walking staff bearing a black battopper was firmly gripped in Edward's armlength gauntlet. "This, my Staff of the Underworld, will help in the coming battle."
    The staff was his own walking stick, handy for any number of magical discharges.
    The cannon was activated, displaying a glowing life meter divided into numerous bands of energy powering both the cannon's ammunition supply and Edward's life force.

    Edward: "Count your numbers Count, they'll soon be back where they belong."
    And with the push of a button on his utility belt, he disappeared, off on his new journey to recollect the Count's precious numbers and stop the Goblin Queen from completing her cruel plans.
  14. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Mr Count sir, can I have your autograph sir!

    Seriously, I am more than hooked, I am flipping through the faded thick pages of this book. Reading some pieces twice for there elegance. The style and elegance of your writing as so beautiul that I can feel the texture of the paper in my hands as I read your book. Your entire description of the suit of armour flows with visual and colorfull style.

    The transformation to the Goblin Queen was elegantly done, and perfectly veiwable. I could not only see her sitting before a mirror looking at teh transformation, I coud feel and hear her thoughts as this happened. As if it were I that was forming into this beautiful, yet hidious creature.

    Your grasp of the dark humour, and light-spirited puns never cease to amaze. "At that moment, their private conversation was interrupted by a lone wandering soul." Of all the vonderful way to descripe her entrance, this one bore over best and true. Not only that but the Tombstone reference, and all references to bats, spirits, and the other world send delightufull feeligns of class and warmth spreading through my reading mind.

    I am begining to waffle now, perhaps, but I want to say....this is ultra-fantastical-'vonderful'
  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Bo. Always appreciate that from a fellow writer. Gotta say, your story is one of the first I read here on the boards. And it seems as if we're starting to outnumber the TMS outlines. But there's room enough here on the boards for both. And Lisa just posted a nice new segment to her story too.

    Will probably start with the individual areas and bosses next, you'll definitely see a New Yorker feel in the coming main characters. And the second half will hopefully bring good reviews too, when we get to the Muppets once again.

    But tell me, were there any Henson references you caught in this chapter?
  16. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Ahhhh! Having looked, I see a few...The Rizzo thing. Was that when they at Fozzie's Ma's? In MFC?

    And the Goblin King with the perfect beige skin..can only be a certain charcter from Labyrinth.

    Were there more?
  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Well... the bit with Rizzo, at Christmas... That's a reference I thought Kathy would be the only one posting feedback here would get. That's a reference back to the MC 2004 Christmas Party game/thread.
    And the references to Labyrinth are there for the pickin'. Heck, even used the word when refering to the character's origins.

    But I'm glad you're diggin' the story. Might have some more tomorrow.
    Need a break to eat after catching up with all the posts here. But that comes with surfin' on MC as long as we have.
  18. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Oh of COURSE! Rizzo! (for some reason I was thinking of Nermal, given the gray fur & ears) It's great,Ed!
  19. RedDragon

    RedDragon Well-Known Member

    Great fic. I got myself a little confused, but I think that's because I read to fast sometimes. Anyway you hit just what I like best, adventure. I love it.
  20. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Mr Count, sir. Over here! *snaps picture*

    But seriously, I havn't actualy seen Labyrinth so I am afraid the references are somewhat lost on me.

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