The seven (or eight) evil counts are sometimes conventional counts in evening clothes and monocles. And sometimes they are huge bat-winged creatures flitting ponderously down the lightning-lit corridors of Castle Beden. The castle, in fact, is the main character in the drama. It does not have formal lighting, as it is lit by lightning all twenty-four hours of every night (there is no daylight at Castle Beden). The floors and walls howl and chains rattle constantly. The counts have sometimes conventional six-inch-long eyeteeth, and then as suddenly they will have hollow fangs eighteen inches long and deadly. And there is a constant lot of howling and screaming for what is supposed to be a silent television drama.
A flying count will suddenly fold his bat wings and land on the broad bosom of one of the three maidens and have into her throat with his terrible blood-sucking fangs. And every time it happens, there is a horrible flopping and screeching.
The voice of Clarinda Calliope is heard loud and clear and real in a slow angry sound.
“Dammit, Aurelian, that’s real blood they’re taking out of my throat.”
And came the suave voice of the master dramatist Aurelian Bentley (but the voices shouldn’t be breaking in like this):
“Right, Clarie. It is on such verisimilitude that I have built my reputation as a master.”
Clarinda, in her three roles, seemed to lose quite a bit of blood as the drama went on, and she fell down more and more often. And the drama was a howling and bloody success, no matter that the story line was shattered in a thousand pieces—for each piece of it was like a writhing blood snake that gluts and gloats.
-R. A. Lafferty, ‘Selenium Ghosts of the Eighteen Seventies’ (1978)