This is a guest post I wrote for my fellow blogger Natasha for her blog’s 1st anniversary, a blogiversary if you will. Do check it out and show some love.
‘Please!’ I sputter and cough disgusting stuff into the gutter before looking at the repulsed passerby, ‘Point me to the nearest dentist.’
The scrawny, rag-clad man stares at me as if I had sprouted a second head. It was obvious that he did not understand a word of what I said.
‘Dentist! Please! Emergency!’ I gasp, gesticulating wildly. I’m dizzy with pain and hunger. It has been more than 24 hours since I’d last had anything.
The vagabond looks at me with a mixture of pity and caution. In his harsh local dialect, he barks something that might have been a question, I cannot decipher. He might have even ordered me to handover my valuables. After all, it’s not everyday one could find a tuxedo-clad man doubled up in pain on a dirty little alley in Varanasi. I’m far away from home, in a complete foreign land, and utterly lost. Most of the streets of this holy city are dangerous for me to venture into and hence I have been sticking to the back alleys like the one I presently find myself in, trying to get directions from an apparent idiot.
A sudden shot of pain scythes through the nerves connected to my incisor and I black out into nothingness.
Stench, overpowering stench wakes me up and I’m immediately concerned by the numbness in my jaw. The vagabond is sitting around a fire along with few of his friends and drinking something. He notices me stirring and comes over. He hands me a tankard and grunts something which, obviously, I cannot understand. He calls out to the men sitting and one of them saunters over in an alcohol aided stumble.
He is just as dirty and smelly and as a bonus he has blackened teeth. The very sight of him makes me want to puke, but my stomach is empty, and I just retch out sounds. I start drinking the foul-smelling goop in the tankard.
Black-teeth smiles and kneels down next to me.
‘Not worry, friend. You teeth problem over.’
Apparently black-teeth spoke English, albeit very poorly. Not bad at all.
‘What did you do? Why am I feeling numb around my mouth?’
‘I tell, not worry. Which country you? America, London?’
‘No! I’m from Romania.’
‘Romania? Good, good! So you knowing Dracula?’
I cough and spit out the vile, hot liquid I was trying to drink and look at black-teeth incredulously.
‘Really, Man? You hear Romania and you ask if I knew Dracula? If you see an Egyptian, will you ask if they know some Mummies?’
‘Hey, Man from Dracula-country! Cool, cool…I no want you the insult.’
Idiots! If I was not in pain, I would have drawn their blood. I was angry beyond belief. I guess it might have shown on my face because black-teeth and his pal took an involuntary step back. The sight of them showing fear calmed me down. After all, these clowns were only trying to help.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes to clear my head. ‘Now, can you tell me why I feel so numb?’
‘Heroine! I give you.’ Black-teeth squatted down next to me. ‘Now, feeling ok?’
‘You mean, Heroin?’ I blanch.
‘Yes. You too many pain. So, Munna tell I give heroine to you.’
I sit down and try to process it all. Heroin has killed he pain, for now. Once the opioid effects wane, the pain will come roaring back. I still needed a dentist.
‘Do you know where I could find a dentist?’ I ask black-teeth.
‘Tooth doctor? Main road having four. But you no can go.’
‘Main road having four tooth doctor and ten temples. You no can go!’
Alarm bells start ringing in my head.
‘You mean, Christians are not allowed on the roads with temples?’
‘No! I meaning Vampire like you no can go on road with temples.’
Now these people had to die. It was a good thing that black-teeth had given me heroin. Now, I can use my fangs without bothering about the pain. I throw away the tankard and stand up.
‘You no drink my blood.’ Black-teeth says with finality.
‘And why is that?’ I sneer, baring my fangs. Damn! My mouth was still feeling numb.
‘Because, I remove your problem teeth.’ I look with horror as Black-teeth displays my fangs.
‘I pull teeth with this.’ He shows me a pair of pliers with some amount of pride. I’ll give him that. Not many in this planet have successfully de-fanged a vampire.
I sit down in despair.
‘Now, I’m finished! I can’t have anything other than blood and without my fangs, I’m useless.’
Black-teeth smiles. ‘Not worry, Mr. Dracula relative. I know man working blood bank. We can do setting. You get blood packet daily.’
‘Shit!’ ‘Hey, what did you give me to drink? It wasn’t half bad. Only, I’m feeling little weak.’
Black-teeth lights a beedi, ‘Garlic soup. I ask, Munna make – after seeing you teeth.’
‘Hey Dracula relative, how your tooth bad?’
‘You know, vampires can turn into bats once a month?’
‘Yup. Day before yesterday, I wanted to test that theory. It was a new moon day and I focused my energy to turn into a bat and I was successful. I took to the skies and soared without any worries. It was magical.’
‘But how damage tooth?’
‘Well, you know the big banyan tree outside the Taj hotel right?’
‘Yes, I see that tree daily.’
‘Well, that night I didn’t.’