Van Helsing checked his watch.
He carefully readjusted his ankle - crouching in his hiding spot for the past hour had made his left foot go practically numb - and resumed the deadly waiting game. He knew the creature was in the house. That familiar chill in his bones had not receded since the sun had set at precisely 8:29 PM. He was getting good at determining dawn and dusk. It wasn't a matter of choice; his life depended on it.
The vampire had already claimed a new victim that night. Poor Gretchen. She always took that alley home after she closed up the coffee shop
must've known that. Van Helsing was first on the scene, the cops in tow, and it wasn't pretty. Moments before the flatfoots arrived, Van Helsing had done the honorable duty of piercing Gretchen's heart with a small sliver of ash
. She would not rise up like the others had.
"In pax resuscitat," he whispered, and disappeared into the night.
The hunt was on.
It had taken nearly four hours for him to even pick up on Dracula's trail. He had abandoned his old stomping grounds (the abandoned warehouse near the mortuary, where he could survive on the freshly dead's still sanguine blood) and was now living in the rundown neighborhood near Carswell Avenue. Van Helsing held the miniature sonar gun out in front of him, detecting any signal the transmogrified beast was emitting. As he rounded the corner onto Hogan Street, a faint beep broke the dark silence. Van Helsing checked his watch.
He headed east, in the direction of the beeping and as he did it grew louder. The bat
was around, alright. Van Helsing took extra caution with each step. Soon, it was obvious the bat was inside one of the three houses at the end of Hogan, because the beep became a constant whine in Van Helsing's ears. He turned off the sonar gun, pulled out his trusty crossbow and crucifix
, and stepped into the first house.
The air was dusty, and the place looked undisturbed. Onto the next house, Van Helsing thought.
The second he entered the house, that chill of years past came to him again, and he gripped the crucifix ever so slightly tighter. He's here. Van Helsing inched into the house, making hardly a sound, though he knew Dracula was well aware of his presence. He wondered offhandedly if Dracula got the same chill he did. Van Helsing had once pitied the monster - forced into a life of endless feeding, damned to an immortality he could not escape, trying to survive as all men do. But Van Helsing knew the monster had no emotions - it was pure evil, and it meant the whole world great harm.
Van Helsing continued inching his way up the stairs, and into one of the small bedrooms in the corridor. There he prepared the final trap to kill the creature once and for all. As he tied the rope into place, he checked his watch.
4:28. Time seemed to be moving especially quickly. Two hours to go ...
Still crouched behind the large rolltop desk
in the room, Van Helsing was lulled out of his sleep-deprived haze by the very distinct sound of the door squeaking open. He almost gasped out of surprise, but captured his breath mid-gulp, swallowed, and sat completely still.
He used his slight vantage point to peer out between the desk's legs; he saw the creature's polished shoes standing in the doorway. Slowly he entered the room, shutting the door with another eerie creak. He walked very deliberately (as if to a slow marching cadence) as he moved across the room. He seemed almost oblivious to the idea that Van Helsing could be in the room - but that was certainly not the case. Van Helsing took a quick glance at his watch.
6:22. Almost there ...
Dracula stepped behind the couch swiftly, moving his hands to grab an invisible foe. He obviously expected Van Helsing to be there, but his face showed no sign of disappointment at not finding him. He turned his steely gaze to the rolltop, and Van Helsing slowly stepped out of his hiding place, crucifix in hand.
"Stand back, you cursed monster!"
"Mister Van Helsing, please. I thought we had gotten over these childish games. This is the 21st century, you know. Why all of this 'cursed monster' nonsense?" Dracula gave a devilish grin, revealing his razor sharp canines.
He took another step towards the vampire hunter, who again cried out, "Stand back!" Dracula did not listen. Van Helsing took one more hasty look at his watch.
Van Helsing ducked down, grabbed the long rope on the floor, and pulled. Dracula followed the rope's length uncertainly until he saw its end, attached to the window blinds. They flew up with a flutter, rattling at the top of the window!
The palest shades of darkness entered the room, and nothing more.
"But ... but .. how can this be?" Van Helsing muttered. "Where is the sun?" He looked at Dracula, almost accusatory in his glare.
"My dear friend Van Helsing, you must check your calendar more carefully. Today is April 8."
A blank expression.
"Daylight Savings Time. Your watch must have an automatic adjustment for it, moving ahead from two in the morning to three o'clock. In your determination you must not have even noticed."
Van Helsing merely stared dumbly at his watch. That blasted Sears salesman had told him it was "top of the line" in almost every regard. Now he silently cursed that sales pitch with all of his might. As the monster bore down on him, teeth gleaming in the fading moonlight, all he could do was yell out, "ROLEX! YOU BASTARDS!" into the black night sky ...