Noggin and the Vampire
Listen, and I shall tell you more of the tale of Noggin and the vampire.
I have told you how Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard, found a stranger washed up on the beach and took the stranger to Noggin, King of the Nogs. You have heard how the stranger revealed that he was Spike, the Good Vampire, from Los Angeles in far Vinland, magically exiled to the Northlands by the evil Wolfram and Hart. I have told you how Noggin and his beautiful queen Nooka had pig’s blood brought for the vampire, and how they listened to his tale. You have heard how Graculus, the great green bird, arrived and reported that one of the Nogs was dead at the edge of the forest, the blood drained from his body, two holes in his neck, and that he suspected that it was the work of a vampire.
Now listen as I tell you what happened next.
Noggin looked at Spike. Nooka, Queen of the Nogs, looked at Spike. Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard, looked at Spike.
“Oh dear!” they all said in unison.
“What are you looking at me for?” Spike asked. “Oh, bloody hell. Wasn’t me, you daft gits.”
“Are you sure?” asked Noggin.
Spike raised his eyes towards the ceiling. “Am I sure? What, you think I wander off and bite people in my sleep? Look, I filled up on pig’s blood last night. All I did after you lot went to bed was stare at the walls of my bedchamber and wonder how the hell I’m going to cope in this place with no ciggies, no telly, not even any bloody music.”
“We have music,” said Nooka, Queen of the Nogs.
“Bet it’s not exactly the Ramones, love,” Spike dismissed her comment. “Not even gonna be the Manfred Mann version of Mighty Quinn the Eskimo, is it?”
“I don’t understand what you are talking about,” Thor Nogson said. “You must admit that it is suspicious. A Nog has been killed by a vampire. You are a vampire.”
“Yeah, bleeding open and shut case. Has it crossed your mind that there might be another vampire out there?”
“You are the only vampire to have been seen in the Northlands for many years,” said Noggin, King of the Nogs. “I think we should perhaps put you in a prison cell for the time being. Just in case.”
“Father, I don’t think he did it,” said young Knut, Prince of the Nogs.
“Don’t bother your father when he’s working,” Nooka, Queen of the Nogs, told her son.
“Bugger that for a game of soldiers,” Spike objected. “Don’t see why I should be locked up if I didn’t do anything.”
“We only have your word for that,” Noggin pointed out. “I think it’s only a sensible precaution. Thor Nogson, lock him up.”
“Um, all right,” Thor Nogson said uncertainly. Spike was glaring at him with a very ferocious expression. “Come this way, vampire.”
“Sod off!” Spike snarled, and looked at the window. There was bright sunshine outside. Spike’s shoulders slumped. “Oh, all right, looks like I’m bloody trapped anyway,” he said. “Might as well come quietly. As the bishop said to the actress.”
So Thor Nogson led Spike down to the cellars of the palace and locked him into a cell. It was a grim cell, with just one tiny window high up in one wall, with bars across it. There was one little opening in the heavy wooden door, and there were bars across that too. There was dust, and cobwebs, for the cell had not been used for a very long time.
“Like being back in the sodding High School basement at Sunnyhell,” Spike muttered. “Or like Xander’s basement, only without the annoying whelp factor.”
“I will bring you some blood later, vampire,” Thor Nogson told his prisoner.
“Vampire. Huh. You were calling me ‘Spike’ before. Gonna start calling me ‘evil soulless thing’ while you’re at it?” Spike grumbled.
“Why would I do that?” Thor Nogson asked. “That would be rude.”
“Oh, sod off,” Spike bade his jailor, and Thor Nogson locked the door and went away. Spike sat down on the floor with his back against the thick stone wall, reached into the pocket of his leather coat, and took out his cigarettes. They had been soaked by the seawater, but had dried out while he had been sitting in front of the great log fire. He had to peel one cigarette away from the others, as the soaking and drying out had stuck them together, but he extracted one in the end and lit it with his treasured Zippo.
It was full of salt and tasted vile.
It was late at night. Spike paced his cell restlessly. There was a noise outside the door and he tensed, poising himself for action. A key turned in the lock, and the door slowly swung open.
“Who’s there?” Spike hissed.
“It’s me. Knut, Prince of the Nogs,” a small voice answered.
“What’re you doing down here, bite-size?” Spike asked. “Dangerous vampire here, remember?”
“I’ve come to free you,” the young Prince of the Nogs told the vampire. “I’m sure you didn’t eat that man, and I bet you’d like to find out who did.”
“Bloody right I would,” Spike confirmed. “Got to be another vamp around somewhere. Hope it isn’t Angelus. That’d be a bit of a bugger. Look, kid, I’m not exactly on my own ground here, and I’m not Trapper Spike the lord of the forests either. More of an urban vampire, and you’re a bit short on the old urban aspect. Any ideas where I should start looking?”
“Well, you could start with the place where the body was found,” Prince Knut suggested.
“Not a bad idea, except that I haven’t got a bloody clue where that is,” Spike replied. “Didn’t do it, remember?”
“I’ll point it out to you,” the Prince assured him, and led Spike out of the cellars. They crept through the corridors and out of the palace, into the small and peaceful town, and through the streets towards the forest.
Suddenly there came a cry from the palace. “The vampire has escaped!” called Thor Nogson. “Nogs, be on your guard.” Throughout the town the Nogs began to wake up and look out from their windows.
“Bugger!” said Spike. “Look, kid, don’t want to get you into trouble with your parents. You get off home and pretend to be asleep; I’ll make a run for it.”
Prince Knut didn’t want to abandon the vampire, who he was certain had been unjustly accused, but he was only a young boy and knew that there was little else that he could do. “Very well,” he said reluctantly. He pointed at the edge of the forest. “That is where Graculus says that he found the body. Good luck!” He slipped away and returned hastily to the palace. Spike raced away through the streets.
The Nogs came out of their houses and assembled on the streets, waving swords and battle-axes in as menacing a fashion as they could manage. Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard, emerged from the palace and put himself at their head. He was happier than he had been for a long time. The fierce Thor Nogson was not always content with the peace and happiness that prevailed in the Northlands, and sometimes wished for battle and brave deeds. Now he had a task worthy of a warrior, and he waved his sword and led the Nogs in pursuit of Spike.
Spike outdistanced his pursuers with ease and soon reached the forest. Once there, however, he wandered around hopelessly. One tree looked much the same as another to Spike.
Suddenly he caught a familiar scent. He sniffed the air and sought the source. Eventually he found himself at the edge of the forest at a spot where the earth seemed to have been disturbed by some sort of struggle, and where the smell of blood mingled with that of the familiar fragrance.
“Looks like this is the scene of the crime,” he muttered. “Now, what is that smell? Know it from somewhere.” He sniffed hard. “Got it,” he said with some satisfaction. “Chanel Number Five.” His face fell. “Oh, no. It can’t be. The bleeding Powers wouldn’t be that cruel, would they? If I had to have someone from the Wolfram and Hart crowd stuck here with me, why couldn’t it have been Charlie boy or Big Blue? Somebody up there doesn’t sodding like me, that’s for sure.”
He heaved a deep sigh and set off to follow the scent trail through the forest.
The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Peter Firmin, Oliver Postgate, Smallfilms, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. ANGEL ©2001 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The ANGEL trademark is used without express permission from Fox.
And somebody else who I regarded as a friend has defriended me today. Again, just someone who trimmed their F-list and didn't think I was worth keeping. ::collapses in insecure self-pitying heap::