The final instalment in my best-selling Bram Stoker's Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray trilogy. There have been some turbulent ups and downs that we've all suffered alongside the characters, and some unforgettable memories: searching through Anastasia's hair, hearing about her mental disorders, laughing at improbable plot devices, but now we have finally reached the end.
Well done for all those who stuck by me on this incredible journey, I couldn't have done it without you (I could have done, actually; I'm lying). Special thanks go to people I actually know. Now see as Anastasia has to make her final choice, between friendship and love, love and desire, self-respect and humiliation, a werewolf and a vampire. Be amazed at the array of characters who stand by and do nothing as I frantically try to tie up the loose ends with assorted characters from the original books, while stepping as far away from the original texts as possible. Did you wish for more dialogue than internal monologue? That's what you've got! If you didn't- tough luck. Enjoy...
The lusty performance of Bluebeard makes my inner goddess writhe in ecstasy, like an obese warthog, rolling around in its own filth to keep cool under the intense heat of an African sky. I berate myself for my base thoughts, but my subconscious replies Go on, you feisty little minx, have some fun for once in your pathetic life. As I battle inwardly between propriety and overwhelming desire, a hard pressing object against my thigh wrenches me back to my immediate surroundings. Mon Dieu! Could a chandelier have fallen upon my leg without my noticing it, being absorbed in my shameful imaginings? No, this presence felt like human flesh. I use my eyes to look down at the affected area: Mon Dieu! Dorian Gray has placed his hand upon my thigh! Does he feel… passionately towards me? I wonder. Of course you idiotic girl, my subconscious chastises. Dorian must notice that our physical touching has caught my attention.
“Anastasia, I wonder if I might propose something?”
Mon Dieu! He was going to propose to me! And after only such a short acquaintance. I really had played my cards right this time, to gain myself such a wealthy, desirable husband. And now I could have all the fun with him that I wanted, but without burning in hell for it by committing a sin! What a day this had been for me! My inner goddess bites her lip so hard that it draws blood, then licks the blood and relishes it as it pours down her throat, just as she luxuriates in the silken tones of his voice.
“Anastasia?” Dorian is looking at me with a puzzled expression, I must have missed the moment when he actually proposed “Aren’t you going to answer my question?”
“Yes, yes of course!”
“Do you mean that you will answer my question or that you consent to what I have proposed?”
“Of course I’ll marry you, Dorian!”
“Marriage?” he says “Anastasia, I said nothing about marriage. I asked you to become my mistress, my concubine, my lover, in a relationship where I would have all the power and you would do unquestioningly whatever I told you to do. We would engage in deplorable acts in my house, in what I term “The Vermilion Lounge of Bodily Woes” Considering the historical era we are living in with inconsiderable rights for women, there are no legalities involved whatsoever, and, should any harm come to you and you try to complain, society is bound to believe me and either chuck you into the gutter or send you to a mental asylum. Of course, there is one matter to resolve before I agree to take you as my mistress.”
“There is?” My inner goddess sighs heartily, scowling at me, suspecting that I would ruin her chance to perform unspeakable sins of the flesh.
“Considering your mother’s … profession, I have doubts about your own chastity. Tell me truthfully, are you pure of body? If you lie and I find out, I will terminate our relationship, and you for that matter, without a second thought.”
“Of course I am chaste, Dorian! Who else could there possibly be for me?”
“Me.” At that word, my inner goddess freezes, as if she has just collapsed from a heart-attack. She knows that voice: my subconscious knows that voice. Dorian Gray knows that voice, of his employee. On the other hand the rest of our entourage do not recognise that voice, as far as I am aware, excepting Anastasia and myself. I know that voice. It is the voice of my childhood friend, a lawyer, a man, a person. It is the voice of Jacob.
“Jacob?” I ask “Is that you?”
“Yes, Stazza, it is I. You might be able to ascertain for yourself if you had turned around!” My inner goddess blushes with embarrassment, bright red, as if her cheeks had just been wrenched open with a strawberry. I turn around to face him. “Stazza, I have just returned from a most demonic trip to Transylvania, did you not read my letter?”
“Of course I did,” I say as I disentangle it once more from my hair, “But you seemed quite content about the visit to the Count in the letter…”
“No, that was my first letter! Did you not receive my second letter, sent from the convent whither I had escaped after being brutally mauled by alluring-but-Satanic she-demons and turned into some foul monster myself? In which I wrote to you, begging your assistance, afraid of losing my life without casting my gaze upon thy impeccable, nay modest, visage?”
“Let me check my hair,” I reply as I plunge my hand again deep within the tangled mass, parting the hairs with unrelenting excitement “No. Nothing there except my spare pair of shoes, two quills, an inkpot, a briefcase and a hand-mirror. I’m afraid it must have got lost in the post, Jacob.
“No matter, the reason I have come is because I believe you to be in grave danger. Dorian Gray has handed over his soul to the devil in return for youthful good looks, he repeatedly engages in depraved acts and he has a painting that ages instead of him. I broke into his house and brought it with me.” Before Dorian has time to react, Jacob removes the painting from his coat. Mon Dieu! It looks like my dear Dorian, but is much older, with his wry smile replaced by an expression of immense pain and hatred for all life. His skin is wrinkled and blood-shot, his eyes sunken, his lips thin and cruel. My inner goddess finds this new version of Dorian perversely appealing, and starts to salivate as if a waterfall were streaming out of every pore.
Suddenly someone else speaks! Mon Dieu! I thought all the other members of our party would simply watch the erotic performance of Bluebeard and ignore my personal drama unfolding alongside them, to allow the narrative unfold smoothly and with as few interruptions as possible! My inner goddess lurches over backwards in utter amazement at the voice of Basil Hallward interjecting into the conversation, as if a herd of stampeding impala have just ushered her over the edge of a cliff into a bottomless ravine. “Why I painted that old painting of Dorian a few years back, when we first met. I must say we were all a bit bemused about how he was keeping his good looks. Typical of him to trade his soul for his looks, and to use my painting to do so; very top notch work there, Dorian old chap. As it so happens, I have another one of Dorian that I painted recently for me to lust over in private. Quite stunning isn’t it”
I look at this second painting of Dorian; he appears normal, quite handsome… Mon Dieu! My inner goddess reels backwards in disgust, as if she had just been presented with a bowl made of faecal matter and filled with intestinal worms. My subconscious speaks to me sheepishly: I’m sorry, Anastasia, I didn’t know that he was that depraved, I thought he was just depraved enough to bring some erotic interest into your life. My bad.
In that loathsome, immoral, decadent, beautifully-painted portrait, Dorian Gray is pictured engaging the services of my mother.
“Anastasia, I can explain!” Dorian interjects, attempting to appease my sorrowful anguish.
“Did you think I’d be just as easy to get into bed as my filthy mother? How could you do this to me? I thought we were getting married!” I sob.
“I already told you I simply wanted you to exploit you for my own pleasure, with no strings attached. No marriage involved.”
“But I thought that by acquiescing to you I would form a positive influence to make your point of view more closely resemble mine so that we could have a perfect fairytale ending!”
“Anastasia Vain!” Catherine’s supercilious tone forces me to lie down at her feet in a begging position, a technique she uses often, having learnt it from her privileged upbringing. “You are being totally unreasonable! Men have… different needs to women, of course. Mr Gray would try out your mother before you, to test if you Vain women were any good as partners!”
A chilling foreign voice permeates the air, bringing with it a new calmness and a sense of déjà vu. “Deed somevun mention VEINS?”
Mon Dieu! This new arrival looks just like Dorian, but in the clothing of a Transylvanian Count, with sharp canines and blood-spattered clothes. My inner goddess immediately bites her lip, swooning over the abundance of men in her proximity.
“I am Count Drah-cuhl-ah, I haff come here because that man, Mr Door-hrian Gray is a reincarnation of me.” I gasp in stunned amazement, as I make out his words more clearly “That is why, when he offered his soul to the devil, in exchange for youthful looks, and that his portrait should age instead of him, his plea was answered. For I already have a pact with the devil, to live forever in exchange for my humanity, and so it was easier for him to have his request granted. As soon as he lost his soul, I felt his presence here, in Inkland, and so I contacted him, and together we arranged a convoluted scheme to get me here, so that we could unite our power and become all the stronger. I needed a young British man to turn into a verrvulf in order to make myself youthful in appearance, so that ve would be the same age, othervise, we would not be able to merge ourselves together in one demonic form, and so remove my weakness of crucifixes and Mr Gray’s of his portrait being destroyed. So Mr Gray sent your childhood friend, Jacob Harker, under the pretence of being a lawyer for me to buy a dwelling in London, so that my succubae could feed off him, and I off them through more pleasant means, to restore my youth. I also brought my three succubae with me, for Mr Gray and I share similar tastes in vimen.” I watch Dracula and Dorian walk towards each other, sparks flying between them, I can only presume reflecting their intense spiritual connection.
At that moment, before the two soulless men can join together in a demonic union, another man bursts through the ceiling, letting the light of the full moon spill over Jacob. Jacob becomes more masculine, his muscles bulging seductively beneath his clothes, and suddenly they are ripped off him as he grows fur all over his body, and I see his most intimate parts cover themselves up with fur as well. As the man from the ceiling lands, I am mildly surprised to notice that all the other audience members are still calmly watching the play. The new arrival introduces himself as “Van Helsing”, before promptly decapitating Dracula. Van Helsing now turns to Jacob, but before he can decapitate him too, Jacob pounces on both portraits of Dorian Gray, ripping them into shreds. Van Helsing plunges the sword into Jacob’s heart, and then turns to Dorian Gray. I rush over to Jacob, and wrap my arms around him, grabbing onto his thick furry flesh, hoping to hold him from death. Tears fill my eyes, and he whispers to me “I’ve always loved you, Anastasia Vain…” and then he sighs, turning back into the form of a human male. I detach myself immediately, as the sight of me holding a naked adult male corpse is most indecorous. Mon Dieu! As I turn back to Dorian once more, he is the decrepid, ugly man in the portrait. Van Helsing raises his sword to stab him, but I find myself shouting “NO! I LOVE HIM!”
Van Helsing turns to me “Seriously? He’s a monster!”
“Not to me, now that he’s old and ugly, he might marry me, not just have some fun with me.”
Dorian Gray addresses me “No I won’t, I’m ugly now, not an idiot. Marrying you would be a nightmare!” Catherine concurs “You are extremely tiresome Anastasia”
“Kill him, kill them all” I say to Van Helsing, as I turn to walk out of the theatre, “I have now learnt my place in lower-class society; meddling with aristocrats will do no good.”
As I hear the crunch of metal against bone, my inner goddess smiles with the satisfaction of tying up all the loose ends. Mon Dieu!, my subconscious exclaims, What an interesting day it has been!