#172 – My Cousin Hughy

Hugh: “The constant fires are a reminder of the hell that overshadows this place.”

Originally Published: 4/28/06 . 35 pages

Synopsis
Franswa’s cousin Hugh comes to live with the Belmonts, and he has the crazy idea that Franswa is a great vampire hunter! As if things at the Belmont house weren’t crazy enough!

Ramble Milestones
-Hugh’s first appearance.

Hugh is a character in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. I think Hugh brings a fresh dynamic to the Belmont household, and I like how he and Franswa interact.

(we open at the belmont estate. franswa is in the kitchen baking some cupcakes when his father comes in)

Richter: “There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you!”

Franswa: “Why? I’m always in here.”

Richter: “Never mind. Stop bothering with those baked goods and get yourself cleaned up. Your cousin will be here any minute.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “My cousin?”

Richter: “Of course! Your cousin Hugh! He’s coming to live with us for awhile.”

Franswa: “Uh…this is news to me.”

Richter: “…I didn’t tell you?”

Franswa: “No!”

Richter: “Then who are the cupcakes for?”

Franswa: “A…friend.”

Richter: “Well put the baking paraphernalia down! You don’t want your cousin to laugh at you like everyone else, do you?”

Franswa: *frowns* “Thanks, dad.”

(the doorbell rings)

Richter: “He’s here!”

Trevor’s voice: “I’ll get it!”

Richter: “That’ll be half a century. Hop to it, Franswa!”

(franswa sighs in annoyance but he puts down the icing stuff and brushes his hands off on his apron. he then heads towards the front door)

Richter: “You’re not going anywhere in that apron!”

Franswa: *sighs* “Fine!” *takes it off and throws it aside*

(the doorbell rings again.)

Richter: “Grandpa one, while we’re still young here!”

(he leaves the room. franswa stands there a moment, takes a deep breath and then exits the kitchen into the foyer. there, trevor belmont is still hobbling towards the door while simon and juste stand off to the side. richter is opening the door.)

Trevor: “Don’t be thinking you’re much better than me! We all know who got to Dracula first!”

(richter ignores him and opens the door. there is horatio belmont with a boy about franswa’s age. he has a solemn expression and long black hair.)

Richter: “Brother! It’s good to see you. How have you been?” *they hug*

Horatio: “I’ve been just fine. And you?”

Richter: “Splendid, of course. Please, come in!”

(they do. hugh is looking around with the same dead expression as richter shuts the door.)

Simon: “At least you can do one of the things we asked you to do, Horatio!”

Trevor: “God knows you fled every time we wanted you to fight Dracula!”

Horatio: *thin smile* “Thanks for the warm welcome.”

Juste: “Now, now! Horatio’s had a long trip! Are you holding up all right there, Hugh?”

Hugh: “I’m fine.”

Juste: “Good to hear it! And how is your mother?”

Hugh: “She’s well.”

Simon: “My knees hurt! Let’s sit down in the kitchen!”

Trevor: “Plus I smell cupcakes!”

Franswa: “Those are for my friend! And they’re not sugar free!”

(juste, trevor and simon go into the kitchen.)

Horatio: “Good to see you again, Franswa! I hope you’re doing well.”

Franswa: *shrugs* “It could be worse.”

Richter: “It could also be better! Say hello to your cousin Hugh, Franswa.”

Franswa: “Hi.”

Hugh: *nods* “Hello.”

Juste’s voice: “Richter? Is the coffee pot supposed to be spouting black smoke?”

Richter: “They’re at it again. A little assistance, Horatio? Franswa, keep your cousin company while we take care of this.”

(richter and horatio take off into the kitchen leaving franswa and hugh alone)

Both: “………”

Franswa: “…It’s kind of weird that we’re first cousins and we’ve never even met.”

Hugh: “How many times have you fought Dracula?”

Franswa: *blink blink* “…You don’t know anything about me, do you.”

Hugh: “More than twice?”

Franswa: “Uh, no. Never. I’m not really big on the whole vampire killing thing.”

Hugh: *blink blink* “You are a *Belmont* right?”

Franswa: “That’s the latest story I heard, yeah. We both are.”

Hugh: *scowls* “We are *not*.”

Franswa: “Huh?”

Hugh: *hangs head* “I’m not a Belmont. I’m a Baldwin.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “But isn’t your mother my father’s sister?”

Hugh: “Yes.”

Franswa: “So…how does that not make you a Belmont?”

Hugh: “My father isn’t a Belmont! My last name is Baldwin! So I’m a Baldwin!”

Franswa: “Yeah, but your mom is still a Belmont. Everybody in this family is only half Belmont. Otherwise it would have been a bunch of incest and we’d all be half brain dead.” *pause* “Ew.”

Hugh: *annoyed sigh* “You don’t understand. I’m not the son of a son. I’d trade places with you any day!”

Franswa: “…You’re crazy…”

Richter’s voice: “Hugh! Come in here and have a cupcake!”

Franswa: “Those are for my friend!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(later that day…franswa is in the kitchen with horatio putting the last bits of icing on a fresh batch of cupcakes.)

Franswa: “Thanks for helping me make a fresh batch. No one around here seems to understand that all my baking is not for them!”

Horatio: *chuckles* “I’m afraid some things never change.” *pause* “So have you had much of a chance to talk to your cousin yet?”

Franswa: *shrugs* “A little bit. He was talking about how he’s not really a Belmont because his father isn’t…or something. How come he’s coming to live here anyway?”

Horatio: “Well, Franswa, your cousin is quite different from you. Unfortunately for him, birth order in this family is of extreme importance.”

(franswa looks at him thoughtfully for a moment. then his watch beeps. he looks down at it in surprise)

Franswa: “Look at the time! I have to get to work! Will you still be here later?”

Horatio: “Sadly, no. I have to get home. We’re rather busy at the bakery this week. But I’ll be back soon enough.”

Franswa: *disappointed* “Okay… Well, it was good seeing you. I’ve gotta go or I’ll be late.”

Horatio: “Have a good time.”

(so franswa rushes out of the kitchen and grabs his jacket. he’s about to leave when his father comes down the stairs)

Richter: “Franswa! Where are you headed?”

Franswa: “To work, dad. Remember? I have a job that you’re always forgetting about.”

Richter: “I don’t remember. Anyway, take your cousin with you!”

Franswa: “I can’t take him with me to my job! I have to work!”

Richter: “Nonsense! I’m sure you can get your cousin a job where you work!”

Franswa: “Dad–“

Richter: “Hugh! Come down here! You and Franswa can take a trip together!”

Franswa: “Dad, my job is not a trip!”

(hugh comes down looking as blank as ever.)

Richter: “There you go!” *smiles* “Have fun you two!”

Franswa: *sighs and mutters* “Why do I bother…”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(and so franswa takes hugh with him to work. he puts on his name tag and stands behind his register. hugh stands there looking bored)

Hugh: “…So this is what you do?”

Franswa: “For some money, yeah.”

Hugh: “You just stand there?”

Franswa: “Well, I check people out when they’re done shopping.”

Hugh: “That’s it?”

Franswa: “And I put out fires.”

Hugh: “What?”

Franswa: “Yeah, I still don’t believe that part either.”

Hugh: “So there are no vampires here?”

Franswa: “…No.”

Hugh: “Does this pay for your vampire training?”

Franswa: “…No.”

Hugh: “Oh.” *pause* “So your father trains you then?”

Franswa: “No one’s training me! They try, of course, but I usually get out of it. Once they told me we were going to Disneyland but they wound up dropping me off at Vampire Hunter training camp. It was hell at first, but it turned out okay once I started selling the stuff I made in my Easy Bake Oven.”

Hugh: *blink blink* “*What*??”

(then lloyd comes over)

Lloyd: “Franswa! No chatting at work!”

Franswa: “Uh, this is my cousin actually. My dad made me bring him along.”

Hugh: *eyes narrow* “Are you a demon?”

Lloyd: *flustered* “No! Where’d you get that crazy idea? You’re crazy. You’re crazy! Crazy.” *walks away*

Franswa: “He’s the one that’s crazy.”

Hugh: *eyes widen* “Monster!”

Franswa: “What?”

(he turns around to see hugh pointing at nemesis. franswa quickly shoves his hand down)

Franswa: “Shush! He ate a puppy once!”

Hugh: *eyes widen more* “What?!”

Franswa: “Well… I think he did. I never saw the puppy again. But maybe he just went home.”

Hugh: “No worries, cousin! I’ll slay him for you!” *takes out a whip*

Franswa: *waving arms madly* “No! Put that away! He’s my co-worker!”

Hugh: “Co-worker?” *pause* “…Did you enter into a deal with the devil?!”

Franswa: “No! Now put that whip away!” *pause* “…Is that the family whip?”

Hugh: “No!” *puts it away with a pout* “I’m not even allowed to touch that.”

Franswa: “Really? They always try and give it to me. Every year they wrap it up as one of my Christmas presents. When I was a kid they used to put it under my pillow as a gift from the Tooth Fairy…and they keep doing that even though I’m way too old to lose any more teeth.” *frowns*

Hugh: *still pouting* “Shut up!”

(then nightmare comes by carrying a big box)

Nightmare: “Nightmare is sick of stocking these deformed Rufus brand dolls! Their eyes pierce Nightmare’s soul!”

Nemesis: *snaps* “STARS!”

Nightmare: “You keep out of this!”

Hugh: *eyes wide* “More demons!”

Franswa: “He’s not a demon!” *pause* “Okay, well he’s something bad, but you can’t attack it!”

Hugh: “I cannot believe the family allows you to work here!”

Franswa: “They don’t really allow me to. But I do anyway.”

Hugh: *gasp* “Blasphemy!”

Franswa: “You know, I don’t think we really get along…”

Hugh: “What do you need money for anyway? You’re rich!”

Franswa: “Yeah, but the family doesn’t buy me everything I want. You must know what *that’s* like.”

Hugh: “No.”

Franswa: “You’re not rich?”

Hugh: “I’m not *Belmont* rich!”

Franswa: *sigh* “I’m really tired of talking to you.”

(the door then opens and rufus, algus, zidane and zell enter.)

Zell: *waves* “Hey, Franswa!”

Franswa: *waves* “Hi, Zell!” *smiles* “Finally, some *normal* people.”

(zell starts to come over. Zidane tries to follow but algus snaps something at him and he follows rufus and algus with a sigh)

Zell: “What’s going on? Sorry I’ve been so busy lately. Mr. Jingles has got a crazy schedule. But things should get back to normal once the teddy bear picnic is over!”

Franswa: “That’s okay, Zell.”

Hugh: *eyes narrow* “This one seems clean.”

Franswa: “Uh…Zell, this is my cousin Hugh.”

Zell: “Hey, dude! Nice to meet you! Are you visiting?”

Hugh: “A prolonged visit, yes.”

Franswa: “Hugh’s going to be living with us for awhile.”

Hugh: “There is much evil confined in this place.”

Zell: *blink blink*

Franswa: “Um, I think Hugh could use a job. Does Rufus have any openings?”

Zell: “I don’t think so. He won’t let me work here! But he likes me to help put out the constant fires!”

(rufus, algus and zidane run over)

Rufus: “Zell! Fire in aisle two! Go help Nightmare put it out!”

Zell: “All right. What exploded this time?”

Zidane: “Like five things. Now it’s one gigantic fire.”

Algus: “Silence, slave. You go help.”

Zidane: “Dammit.”

(and so zidane and zell run off to help put out the fire)

Hugh: “The constant fires are a reminder of the hell that overshadows this place.”

Franswa: *whispers quickly* “Actually it’s the…uh…questionable merchandise.” *loudly* “Hugh! Meet the store owner and my boss, Rufus Shinra and his friend Algus! Mr. Shinra, this is my cousin Hugh.”

Rufus: “Hello, Hugh! It’s always nice to meet another Belmont!”

Hugh: *glares* “I’m not a Belmont.”

Algus: “I thought you said he was your cousin, Franswa!”

Franswa: “He is, but we don’t have the same last name.”

Algus: “But–“

Franswa: “Please don’t start him up again.”

(zell and zidane return covered in ash.)

Zell: “My lungs hurt.”

Zidane: “Rufus, I got burned by like five boxes of those stupid self starting fireworks! Can’t you get rid of them?”

Rufus: “I’m trying! I reduced the price!”

Zidane: “I mean get rid of them as in throw them out!”

Algus: “Zidane! How dare you suggest Rufus do something as ridiculous as throw away perfectly good merchandise!”

Zidane: “That stuff’s gonna wind up burning this whole place down.”

Zell: *wheezing*

Hugh: “I’ll find the source of your fires…and I’ll make sure it never comes back. I have the strength, and I have the determination!”

Rufus: “Uh, does that mean you want a job?”

Zell: “You told me you didn’t have any jobs available!”

Rufus: “Not for you. Okay, Hugh! You’re hired!”

Zidane: “You won’t let me have a job, but you hire this guy you just met?”

Algus: “You’re not allowed to be paid in money.”

Zidane: “No…you just don’t *want* to pay me in money.”

Rufus: “Can you start now, Hugh?”

Hugh: “I can start anytime.”

Nightmare’s voice: “Nightmare sees fire in aisle four!”

Rufus: *smiles* “Perfect.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back at the belmonts, franswa is walking around his room on the phone)

Franswa: “No, Zell, it’s not cool having my cousin stay here with me. He’s not a built in friend! He’s weird! After you and Rufus left he started searching the whole store for the ‘source’ of the fire which he is convinced is some kind of demon presence! He’s so deluded into thinking he’s born to fight demons that he won’t accept that it’s just the crappy merchandise! Plus he threw a stapler at Nemesis! …………Yeah, I’m surprised he still has a head. Anyway, I have to go. You can come pick up your cupcakes later. ……Okay, bye.”

(he hangs up and richter enters without knocking)

Richter: “So how was spending time with your cousin?”

Franswa: *sigh* “Dad, ever hear of knocking? And he’s weird. All he wants to do is fight Dracula.”

Richter: “I know, but he’ll learn his place. Anyway, it’s time for your training.”

Franswa: “…What training?”

Richter: “Your vampire training! Come on, Hugh’s already waiting in the backyard.”

Franswa: “Vampire training?! Dad, I thought we gave up on that! I hated it, and you hated trying to drag me back outside every time I ran away!”

Richter: “But now it’s different! You have your cousin with you!”

Franswa: “Is that why he’s here? To get *me* to do the training?”

Richter: “…No.”

Franswa: “Because you don’t need me! In a few months you’ll have a new vampire hunting protégé to torture!”

Richter: “Don’t talk like that, Franswa! Dracula needs all the enemies he can get!”

Franswa: *crosses arms* “No way.”

Richter: “I’m asking nicely…”

Franswa: “No.”

Richter: “I could get the old cattle prod out of storage…”

Franswa: “No!!” *jumps on his bed and gets in the fetal position*

Richter: *laughing* “I was just kidding! Ha ha!” *blink* “Franswa?” *frowns* “Wow. That did scar you for life like they said it would.”

Franswa: “Get out!”

Richter: “All right, but I haven’t given up yet and I never will.”

(he leaves and goes downstairs to the backyard where hugh is practicing with his whip. When richter comes out he quickly hides it behind his back)

Richter: “Sorry. Franswa…uh…is reading a very engrossing book about vampire murder and he really can’t practice right now. We’ll do it tomorrow.”

Hugh: *frowns* “But can’t we just train without him?”

Richter: *laughs* “Oh, Hugh! We both know that would be a waste of my time!”

(he goes inside laughing, leaving a frowning hugh behind)

Hugh: “I’ll show them… I’ll show them I’m just as good as any Belmont born to a son!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, at the ramble room, a bunch of people are gathered in the room when lark comes in holding a dvd)

Lark: “Hey, everybody! Guess what I got?”

Seifer: “Uh…a boob job?”

Lark: *frowns* “I didn’t really want you to guess. And no! It’s Final Fantasy Advent Children!”

FF7 characters: “Great! Let’s watch it now!”

Other characters: “…Eh.”

Shell: “You’re in that movie, Rude.”

Rude: “That I am Shell.”

Ashley: “I’ve seen screenshots. All the guys look really hot.”

Seifer: “Hey! I’m not in the movie!”

Ashley: “I’m ignoring you, Seifer.”

Lark: “Let’s go watch it!”

Sephiroth: “I’m in it, right?”

Lark: *sigh* “Yes, Sephy.”

Sephiroth: *grabs the dvd* “Then what are we waiting for?! We could be watching me right now!”

(and so everyone goes into the tv room and watches it. And they, surprisingly, watch it in compete silence. Then it ends and there’s more silence. Finally…)

Lark: “…Wow.”

Ashley: “That was amazing!”

Rufus: “It sure was! Did you see me? Did you see me? I wasn’t dead! And I looked great! And that part when I fell off the building and was shooting at that stupid jerk, that was the best part!”

Sephiroth: “No way. All the parts with me were the best parts!”

Auron: “Cloud defeated you.”

Sephiroth: “No he didn’t! I left because I wanted to! Get your facts straight, Auroran!”

Reno: “I looked pretty hot.”

Rude: “…You broke my glasses.”

Reno: “So what? You had a back-up pair!”

Tseng: *blink blink* “I really thought I died in the game.”

Elena: “Well you didn’t, I guess, which is totally out of nowhere. But I loved the part where we saved Rufus!”

Rude: “I liked the part where my bombs blew stuff up.”

Shell: “You looked hot, Rude!”

Barret: “Yo, Cid ‘n I kicked some major ass!”

Cid: “@#$@%#%^$@%&&^*#^#$%#@$^$%&!”

Red: *sigh* “I had one line. Typical.”

Yuffie: “Did you see me? I had a ton of materia!” *sigh* “I wish real life was like that.”

Tifa: “You looked great in the movie, Cloud!”

Cloud: *blink blink* “Owie…” *puts a hand to his head*

Zell: “How come Vincent knows so much?”

Sephiroth: “That’s what happens when you’re as old as the planet.”

Vincent: *frowns*

Zell: “Yeah, but, what was with that guy Kadaj?”

Seifer: “I think he was gay.”

Zell: “Uh…that wasn’t what I meant. I meant what did Vincent mean when he said that guy was like a larva of Sephiroth? Does that mean that’s what Sephiroth looked like when he was younger?”

Sephiroth: “Yeah! That guy wishes!”

Vincent: “He did look almost exactly like you, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: “Shut up, Vincent! Your mind is decaying with time!”

Lark: “I really loved the movie, but one thing is really bothering me…”

Reeve: “The fact that all I got was my voice on a phone message?”

Lark: “Uh, no, but it kind of involves you.”

Reeve: *brightens* “Oh yeah?”

Lark: “Yeah. What the hell was Cait Sith still doing there? And where was the stupid Mog? And why the hell did he have a Scottish accent?”

Everyone: *looks at reeve*

Reeve: “Even I don’t know!”

Lark: “I didn’t think it was possible to hate that thing more, but man…that sure did it!”

Sephiroth: “The important thing is that I totally kicked ass in that movie.”

Irvine: “Cloud beat you.”

Sephiroth: “I *chose* to leave!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(the next day, back at the disco-center, franswa and nemesis are at their registers. Hugh is crawling around the floor, smelling everything. Lloyd comes over with a broken clipboard and stares at hugh)

Lloyd: “What the *hell* is he doing?”

Franswa: “He’s searching for the stench of death. He says that will tell him where the evil presence is coming from.”

Lloyd: *blink blink* “He’s #$%^&@# crazy.”

Franswa: “Why’d you break the clipboard this time, Vergil?”

Lloyd: *frowns* “The clip part pinched my finger.”

(he leaves. Hugh gets up and comes over to franswa)

Hugh: “So far I have been unsuccessful in finding the source of the evil.” *frowns* “This is going to be harder than I thought.”

Franswa: “Uh-huh.”

Hugh: *thoughtfully* “Maybe this is a different type of demon. I better do some research.” *takes out and starts reading the pocket book of evil creatures*

Franswa: *sigh*

Nemesis: *glaring* “STARS!”

Hugh: *looks over* “Are you speaking to me?”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Hugh: *frowns* “…Give me your stapler.”

Franswa: “No!”

(Then rufus comes over)

Rufus: “Hello, happy employees! How’s everything going today?”

Hugh: “I haven’t found the source of the fires yet, but I expect to soon. Was this store built on ancient burial ground of any kind?”

Rufus: “Uh…it used to be a Kinkos…”

Hugh: “Is that the name of an Ancient tribe?”

Rufus: “No…it’s a copy place.”

Hugh: “Oh.” *frowns* “Well I won’t give up until I’ve found the problem!”

Rufus: “I’m not really sure what you’re talking about, but I like your attitude! Keep it up!” *he leaves*

(nightmare comes by carrying yet another huge box)

Nightmare: “Franswa! Can you help Nightmare stock these irregular Rufus brand high heels?” *holds one up* “With heel missing, Nightmare not sure how walking is possible!”

Franswa: *shrugs* “Okay.”

Hugh: *puts an arm out to stop him* “No! It’s a trap! He wants to drag you into his demon lair!”

Nightmare: *drops box* “You want a piece of Nightmare, puny human?”

Hugh: *takes out whip* “You’ll wish you never heard the name of Hugh…Baldwin.”

Lloyd: *runs over* “What’s going on here?”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Lloyd: “Hey! There’s no fighting on my watch!”

Hugh: “Silence, demon! Crawl back into your hell hole!”

Lloyd: “Hey! Just because my brother lives there too doesn’t make it a hell hole!”

Hugh: *tosses franswa a bible* “Hurry, Franswa! We have them all gathered now! Start sprinkling holy water and condemning them back to the fiery depths from once they came!”

Franswa: *hand to forehead* “Oh god.”

(then rufus comes running back over)

Rufus: “What is going on here?”

Lloyd: “Hugh started it!”

Rufus: “Is this true, Hugh?”

Hugh: “Sir, you know I would never do anything that wasn’t in your best interest.”

Rufus: *nodding* “Yeah. And who wouldn’t! All of you get back to work!”

(nightmare, lloyd and rufus all leave. Nemesis goes back to his register. Hugh takes the bible back and tucks it away)

Hugh: “That was close. We’ll get them next time.”

Franswa: *mutters* “I’ve gotta start looking for another job…”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(work ends and franswa and hugh are returning home)

Hugh: “I must admit you are quite brave in the face of those monsters.”

Franswa: “I wasn’t at first. But after awhile I guess I just got used to them.”

Hugh: “You must be a very strong vampire hunter.”

Franswa: “Uh…do you listen to a word I tell you?”

(they come inside and are greeted by richter.)

Richter: “Welcome home, boys! How was work?”

Hugh: “Every day I get a little closer to banishing the evil. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

(he leaves. Richter watches until he’s up the stairs and out of sight and then turns to franswa)

Richter: “So! He’s not bad for a sidekick, right?”

Franswa: “A sidekick?”

Richter: “How’s he doing at work?”

Franswa: “Well, he’s no less weird than anyone else who works there.”

Richter: “That’s great to hear! Now go get started on dinner.”

(with a heavy sigh franswa goes into the kitchen. Then hugh comes back downstairs)

Hugh: “Uncle Richter, are we going to have training tonight?”

Richter: “We most certainly are! Just as soon as Franswa finishes cooking dinner.”

Hugh: *frowns* “He can cook too?” *mutters* “So is that a talent of the true Belmont’s?”

Richter: “I’m sorry?”

Hugh: “Uh, nothing. I’m just going to go study.”

(he takes out the pocket book of evil creatures and leaves)

Richter: “Aw…he’s such a hard trier.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(after dinner, franswa is up on his room on his computer when…)

Richter’s voice: “Franswa! Hurry! Come out to the backyard! Your grandfather’s had a heart attack!”

Franswa: *wide eyed* “OMG!”

(he gets up and flies down the stairs. He arrives outside looking around frantically, but juste is fine. In fact the whole family is standing there laughing)

Richter: “I told you he’d fall for that one!”

Franswa: “What?!”

Juste: “I didn’t have a heart attack.”

Franswa: “You didn’t?”

Trevor: “Time for vampire hunter training!”

Franswa: “What?! You tricked me into thinking grandpa was *dying* just to get me to do your stupid vampire training?!”

Richter: “Yup! And it worked great too!”

Franswa: “I don’t believe this.” *turns to leave*

Simon: *is blocking him* “Sorry, boy, but you’ve got to show your cousin what a true Belmont is made of!”

Trevor: “We have a vampire hunter trivia quiz for you!”

(franswa doesn’t move so richter comes over and brings him to a chair next to where hugh already sits. He makes franswa sit down and then joins the others.)

Juste: “Now we’re going to ask some questions about vampires, and if you know the answer, just raise your hand.”

Simon: “First question: What vegetable do vampires hate?”

Hugh: *raises hand eagerly* “Ooh!! Ooh! I know! I know!”

Franswa: *sighs and pouts*

Richter: “Yes, Franswa!”

Franswa: “…I didn’t even raise my hand.”

Richter: “Garlic is the correct answer! Well done, Franswa!”

Franswa: “But I didn’t even give the answer.”

Trevor: “Next question! This legendary weapon has helped the Belmont family slay vampires for ages!”

Hugh: *raises hand eagerly* “Ooh! I know!! Pick me! Pick me!”

Richter: “Yes, Franswa!”

Franswa: “Dad, are you crazy?”

Richter: “Yes, a whip! Wow, Franswa, you don’t even have the say the right answer!”

Franswa: *blink blink*

Hugh: *frowns*

Franswa: *gets up* “This is stupid.”

Hugh: “I knew all those answers too!”

Franswa: “Yeah! Why didn’t you call on Hugh? He seems to know a lot about that crap you all care about.”

Richter: “As do you!”

Franswa: “What?”

Hugh: *jumps up* “I’m ready! Can’t I take the whip and go fight Dracula?”

Franswa: “Please, let him! Then you all can leave me alone!”

(there’s silence for a moment. Then all the elder belmonts start laughing)

Trevor: “Oh, Hugh!”

Simon: “Only a true Belmont can wield the whip!”

Richter: “Here, you can have this pointy stick instead.” *holds one out*

Hugh: *takes it with a frown* “Can I *touch* the whip at least?”

Richter: “Sure you can!” *holds it out* “Through this cloth.” *puts a cloth over it*

Hugh: *touches the cloth covered whip with a frown*

Franswa: “What the hell is wrong with you people?!”

(and with that he stomps inside. Everyone watches him go)

Hugh: “He is a strange one.”

Richter: “The great vampire hunters always are!”

Hugh: *thoughtfully* “Hmmm…”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(the next day franswa goes into the kitchen, humming happily to himself. But when he gets in there he suddenly stops dead. And why? Because hugh is standing there, baking stuff scattered everywhere. He has made a huge mess. And he’s also wearing the exact same outfit as franswa)

Franswa: “Uh…”

Hugh: “Good morning, cousin! I’m baking pancakes!”

Franswa: “Um, you don’t really *bake* pancakes, Hugh. You just make them. And it doesn’t involve a pie crust.”

Hugh: *frowns* “It doesn’t?”

Franswa: “No.”

Hugh: “…Oh.”

Franswa: “And why are you wearing the exact same outfit as me?”

Hugh: *awkward laughter* “Heh heh, just a coincidence is all!”

Franswa: *frowns* “Yeah. Whatever.”

(then richter comes in)

Richter: “Good morn–Franswa! What’s all this mess?”

Franswa: “Hugh’s trying to make pancakes.”

Hugh: “I can do it!”

Richter: “Even I know you don’t need cucumbers to make a pancake!”

Hugh: *frowns* “…Oh.”

Richter: “What a disaster!”

Hugh: *throws down oven mitt* “So I’m not Franswa! So what!? I can fight Dracula anyway!”

(and with that he flees the room.)

Franswa: “Dad… I thought I made it pretty clear to Hugh that I am *not* a vampire hunter. So why does he still think I am?”

Richter: *shifty eyes* “Uh, he probably just sees your potential and can’t stand to believe otherwise!”

Franswa: “Oh yeah? And I suppose you had nothing to do with this?”

Richter: “…He may have heard some stories…”

Franswa: “Dad!”

Richter: “What! I thought if you had a proper sidekick you’d want to go out and fight Dracula!”

Franswa: “Dad, I don’t care if you buy me a vampire killing mongoose! I’m never going to fight Dracula! Never!”

Richter: “…They sell vampire killing mongooses?”

Franswa: “No!”

Richter: “Dammit. I knew that sounded too good to be true.”

(juste, trevor and simon then hobble into the room looking alarmed)

Trevor: “Emergency! We have an emergency!”

Franswa: “What? Did Judge Judy get cancelled?”

Juste: “No! It’s nothing that bad!”

Simon: “Hugh has gone across the street to take on the vampires!”

Richter: “What?!”

Franswa: “Oh good! No more pressure on me then!”

Trevor: “He’ll be killed for sure!”

Franswa: “What? Why?”

Simon: “Are you blind, boy! He’s not a Belmont!”

Franswa: “He’s plenty Belmont! Who cares about that whole ‘not a son of a son’ crap! Hugh knows tons more about vampires than me! Plus Dracula is harmless! He feeds stray neighborhood kittens!”

Richter: “More like eats them!”

Franswa: “No!”

Simon: “Well, when Dracula expels his dead and bloodied corpse, who’s calling his mother to tell her the news?”

Trevor: “Not me!”

Simon: “Not me!”

Richter: “Not me!”

Juste: *hangs head* “Dammit.”

Trevor: “Franswa, start digging his grave in the backyard.”

Franswa: *throws hands in the air* “I’ve had it with this family!”

(he stomps out. The others watch him go)

Trevor: “All right, Richter – you dig the grave.”

Richter: *garden snap* “Dammit.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(and so hugh stomps across the street, whip in hand, and knocks angrily on the door to dracula’s. a moment later the door opens. Dracula stands there with a red popsicle in his hand)

Dracula: “Oh! Hello, little boy! Aren’t you cute! Do you want a popsicle?! I made them myself!”

Hugh: “My name is Hugh Baldwin, and I have come to fight you!”

Dracula: *eyes widen* “Belmont??”

Hugh: “No…Baldwin.”

Dracula: *sigh of relief* “Oh, sorry!” *chuckles* “I thought you said Belmont! Nearly scared me half to death!” *laughs more* “Now that’s just stupid! I can’t die! Now are you going to come in, little boy? I could read you a story! Or we could feed the neighborhood kittens together! I can’t wait till they’re plump enough to eat!”

Hugh: *jaw drops* “But… I’m here to kill you!”

Dracula: *pats him on the head* “Sure you are, sonny! Sure you are!” *hand falls off on hugh’s head* “Oops! There goes my wrist again!” *chuckles* “I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached to me!” *pause* “…Hmmm…I have the feeling it’s not attached too well…” *takes his hand and shoves it back on* “Now where was I? Oh yeah! Want a popsicle? The blood’s fresh! I just squeezed it myself!”

Hugh: “Why aren’t you taking me seriously?! I’m here to kill you!”

Dracula: “What’s your name again?”

Hugh: “Hugh Baldwin!”

Dracula: “Right. You want a popsicle? Actually you want mine? I think I’m getting fat.”

Hugh: “ARGH!”

(hugh stomps back across the street to the belmonts house. He goes inside, walks past all the belmonts, except richter, and goes upstairs.)

Trevor: “Well, looks like he didn’t die after all.”

Juste: “Guess we can tell Richter to stop digging that grave.”

Franswa: “All of you are sick.”

(the doorbell rings. The elder belmonts go their separate ways and franswa opens the door. It’s zell)

Zell: “Hey, buddy! Is it okay if I get my cupcakes?”

Franswa: “Yeah, sure! Come in.”

(zell comes in and they both go in the kitchen. Zell takes a seat and franswa opens the back door)

Franswa: *yells* “Dad! You can come in now! Hugh didn’t die!”

Richter’s voice: “No?”

Franswa: “No!”

Richter’s voice: “Really?”

Franswa: “Yes!”

(franswa closes the door and goes over to get the cupcakes)

Zell: “Uh, why would your cousin be dead?”

Franswa: “Because he went to go try and fight Dracula and my crazy family thought he would die.”

Zell: “Did he fight Dracula?”

Franswa: “No. He didn’t make it past the front door. Vanilla icing or chocolate?”

Zell: “Ooh, chocolate please! So where’s he now?”

Franswa: “In his room, I guess. He ran upstairs.” *comes over with the cupcakes* “Here you go.”

Zell: “Thanks, Franswa! You’re the best!” *starts to eat one* “You know, I think it’s kinda funny!”

Franswa: *sits* “What’s funny? The cupcake?” *frowns* “I’ve been using the same recipe…”

Zell: “No, the cupcake’s great! I think it’s funny that all your cousin wants to be is what your family wants you to be, but they won’t accept *him* for it! But meanwhile they won’t accept you for being yourself!”

Franswa: “Yeah. What does that tell you about this family?”

Zell: “I know you think your cousin is weird, but you should try and be friends with him! You’re kinda the same and stuff. In a way.” *shrugs* “I dunno. I read a psychology book once.”

Franswa: “No, Zell, you’re right. Hugh’s been treated even worse than I am by the family. He was so desperate, he was trying to *be* me.”

Zell: “Really?”

Franswa: “Yeah! He even had on the same outfit.”

Zell: “Wow.”

Franswa: “Yeah.” *sigh* “I’m going to go talk to him. Mind waiting here?”

Zell: “Sure, no problem! The cupcakes will keep me company!”

Franswa: *smiles* “I’ll be right back.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(and so franswa goes upstairs to hugh’s room and knocks on the door)

Hugh’s voice: “…Come in.”

(franswa comes into the room and is immediately shocked. The room is beautifully decorated.)

Franswa: *jaw drops* “Wow. Did grandpa decorate this room?”

Hugh: *drying his eyes* “No. I did. Why?”

Franswa: “You did?”

Hugh: “Yeah.”

Franswa: “It looks great!”

Hugh: “Thanks.”

(hugh plops back on his bed. Franswa sits down in his desk chair)

Franswa: “Don’t listen to those old guys. I was really impressed with all the stuff you know about vampires.”

Hugh: “No one else is! Not even my parents! And Dracula laughed in my face when I went over there! I wasn’t a Belmont! So I was nothing but a stupid kid to him!”

Franswa: “Well, I don’t know anything about your parents, but Dracula’s not anything worth fighting anyway.”

Hugh: *looks at him in shock*

Franswa: “What?”

Hugh: “Everyone kept telling me you were a great vampire hunter. But now I feel like they were lying to me.”

Franswa: “They were lying to you! I’m no vampire hunter! I never was and I never will be! Did they even tell you Richter’s not even my real dad?”

Hugh: “No…”

Franswa: “Well, he’s not. He raised me, but biologically Uncle Horatio’s my real dad.”

Hugh: “Uncle Horatio? But he’s a baker.”

Franswa: “Exactly! And so am I! Just because everyone else is a vampire hunter doesn’t mean we have to be!”

Hugh: “But I *want* to be a vampire hunter!”

Franswa: “Then that’s fine. But don’t let those crazy old men downstairs stop you!”

Hugh: *frowns* “They’re not the only ones stopping me.” *pause* “You’ve probably heard about my brother.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “Your brother?”

Hugh: “My adopted brother. Nathan Graves Baldwin. My parents adopted him before I was born. My dad’s a vampire hunter too, you know. Morris Baldwin. The Baldwin’s have been assisting the Belmont’s for ages. *Assisting*. They got to go in the castle, but they never actually got to fight Dracula. Anyway my dad was training Nathan and me since we were little. But he always favored Nathan. Kept saying he had the real talent. But I always beat him in training! Every time! Finally I told my parents that I wanted to go live with *real* vampire hunters. I thought if I lived with real Belmont’s, I could *be* a real Belmont. But I guess I was wrong.” *hangs head*

Franswa: “I didn’t know you had an adopted brother. He’s not in the book.”

Hugh: *looks at him* “Book? What book?”

Franswa: “The family tree book.”

Hugh: *eyes widen* “Can I see it?”

Franswa: *shrugs* “Sure.”

(so he takes hugh to the trophy room and they go over to the book. Franswa flips to the way back and points out where hugh is on the family tree)

Franswa: “See. Hugh Baldwin. No Nathan.” *frowns* “I guess the family doesn’t recognize him at all.”

Hugh: *smiles* “Wow. That must be because he’s adopted.”

Franswa: “That doesn’t surprise me.”

Hugh: “So I guess I’m not the lowest of the low after all! Hugh Baldwin still has a chance!”

Franswa: “That’s the spirit. …I guess.”

Hugh: “Thanks, Franswa. I’m not going to give up on being recognized as a true vampire hunter! No matter what my last name is!”

Franswa: “No problem.” *pause* “So…you want a cupcake?”

Hugh: “…Do real vampire hunters eat cupcakes?”

Franswa: *smiles* “Trust me. They do. Sometimes I wish they didn’t, but they do.”

THE END

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