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 it told that the stranger was Spike the vampire, magically exiled to the Northlands far from his home. 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. I have told you how Noggin had Spike the vampire imprisoned in a cell, and how Knut, Prince of the Nogs, set Spike free from imprisonment and led him out of the palace; and how Thor Nogson discovered the escape and led the townsfolk in pursuit of the vampire.
Now listen as I tell you what happened next.
Spike sniffed his way through the forest, following a faint trail of Chanel Number Five. He wasn’t fond of trees; they had far too high a wood content for his taste, too much like large blunt stakes; and not always blunt at that. His coat had dried with large white stains on it from the salt water, and he felt all too much like a giant panda as he crept through the woods. “Haven’t had a shag in so long that there’s another parallel,” he muttered to himself as he walked.
At last he emerged from the trees into the open and saw, ahead of him, a rocky crag topped by a sinister black castle. He shook his head. “Nah,” he said sceptically. “Can’t be that bloody easy, can it?” He advanced cautiously towards the building.
“I can’t understand how he got out,” Thor Nogson said, shaking his head. “The keys are still hanging up on the hook on the wall.”
“Perhaps he turned into mist and oozed out through the bars,” suggested Graculus, the great green bird.
“Can vampires do that?” asked Noggin. “Oh dear. That’s going to make keeping him in prison rather hard.”
“Or perhaps he turned into a bat,” Graculus went on.
“That’s silly,” said Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard. “If he could turn into a bat then he would have flown away rather than run through the town.”
“It’s not easy to fly at night,” Graculus pointed out.
“It is if you’re a bat,” Thor Nogson riposted.
“If he flew out,” Noggin said, “then why did he bother to unlock the door? Thor Nogson, are you quite sure that you locked the door behind you after you took him his meal of blood?”
“I think so,” Thor Nogson said, looking worried. “Yes, I’m quite sure I did. I think.”
Graculus looked at Thor Nogson with beady eyes. “Perhaps you didn’t,” he croaked.
“Oh no, I’m sure I did,” Thor Nogson stated firmly, avoiding Graculus’ gaze. “We must hunt for him.”
“You must lead a search of the woods in the morning, Thor Nogson,” ordered Noggin, King of the Nogs. “How do you kill a vampire?”
“I’m not sure,” Thor Nogson confessed.
“I think you have to drive a stake of wood through his heart,” Graculus, the wise Royal bird of the Nogs, declared.
“That sounds horribly messy,” said Thor Nogson worriedly.
“Apparently the vampire turns to dust when you do it,” Graculus reassured him.
“Tradition says that it is a job normally performed by young girls,” put in Nooka, Queen of the Nogs.
Thor Nogson opened his mouth to say that she must be wrong, but remembered that she was the Queen and closed his mouth again.
“Oh dear. I don’t know if there are any young girls among the Nogs who would be able to do that,” Noggin said. “He did look very fierce. I think we’d better leave it to the brave Thor Nogson.”
“Thank you, Noggin,” Thor Nogson said gratefully. He didn’t think that driving wooden stakes through the hearts of vampires was a very suitable occupation for young girls. “I’ll take the Royal Guard out to search the woods tomorrow.”
Spike approached the castle warily. As he drew closer he could see that it was extremely dilapidated. The battlements were crumbling and some of the turrets seemed to be on the verge of falling down. All the stones were heavily streaked with bird droppings.
The castle door was dirty, and slightly warped, but still remarkably solid. Massive slabs of timber bound with iron. Spike’s attempt to force it open was futile. “Bugger,” he swore softly. “This doesn’t look the sort of place where knocking would be a good idea.” He scrambled over the rocky crag on which the castle stood, working his way around the building, but could find no other entrance. There were windows, most of which were mere arrow slits, but a couple looked large enough to admit him. "Hope this counts as a public place," he muttered, and then he spat on his hands and began to climb the crumbling walls.
Noggin and Nooka had returned to their bedchamber and got back into the royal bed. “Tomorrow,” Nooka said, as they settled down to go back to sleep, “I must visit the grieving relatives and comfort them.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” Noggin said. “They’re not really grieving.”
“Not grieving?” Nooka exclaimed, sitting up in bed. “Why not?”
“They thought he was dead anyway,” Noggin explained. “The dead man was Leif the Lusty, who left the Northlands long ago; at the time that my wicked uncle Nogbad the Bad was exiled from the Land of the Nogs. No-one had seen or heard from him since. Everyone thought he’d either died or gone to live with Nogbad in Finland.”
“And he returned just in time to be eaten by a vampire? How strange.”
“So it seems,” Noggin said. “Now, my beautiful Nooka, Queen of the Nogs, go back to sleep.” He looked at his beautiful wife, still sitting up in bed, and said, “Unless …?”
Nooka smiled. “Dear Noggin,” she said, and kissed her husband Noggin, King of the Nogs. Fifty-three minutes later they were both fast asleep.
It seemed that the castle did count as a public place as there was no invisible barrier to prevent Spike's entrance. He climbed in through the window and found himself in a filthy room full of straw, bird droppings, and crows. Scores of crows. They awoke as he stepped in among them and began to caw loudly and peck at his ankles. He fled the room with alacrity and found himself on a balcony, looking down at a large hall.
There were two figures in the hall, and they were looking up at him. The crows had spoiled any possibility of him taking the castle’s occupants by surprise. One was a smallish man in a cloak and a horned helmet. He had a big nose and a thick black moustache that bristled out at the sides. He stared at Spike with an evil glint in his beady eyes.
The other was a girl with long blonde hair and a trim figure. She wore a white blouse and a pink skirt and jacket set, as out of place in this setting as was Spike’s T-shirt and jeans. Her pretty face lit up as she saw him. “Blondie Bear!” she squealed in delight.
“Hello, Harm,” Spike greeted her without enthusiasm. “You’ve been a bad girl.”
Harmony rolled her eyes. “Well duh! Evil soulless thing here. Angel said so.”
“Who is this intruder?” the man demanded. “Do you know him, Harmony Kendallsdottir?”
“Harmony Kendallsdottir?” Spike repeated, raising his eyebrows at Harmony. He saw a flight of stone steps leading down from the balcony and he began to descend them.
“Well, Vikings here, just trying to fit in,” Harmony replied. “I saw this TV show about Iceland once. It had Bjork in it.” She tossed her head. “This is Spike. My lame ex-boyfriend,” she explained to the dark Nog.
“He walks perfectly normally,” the Nog said, frowning.
Harmony frowned back, and then decided to ignore the comment. “Spike, this is my new boss. Nogbad the Bad. He’s, like, the rightful king of this little burg, only his devious little nephew got him thrown from the throne. Hey, that’s like poetry.” She beamed at Spike.
“Yeah, sodding effulgent of you,” Spike muttered. He raised his voice. “So how come you ended up here then?”
“Angel gave me this totally cool résumé,” Harmony explained. “He said I was like super-efficient and would make an ideal Personal Assistant for any evil mastermind. So I put it straight up on Wolfram and Hart’s hyper-dimensional web page. Lucky I did it right away, the whole system went down an hour later, but Nogbad had already seen it and he sent a portal for me.”
“Sent a portal for you?” Spike had been advancing towards the pair, but stopped in his tracks. “Does that mean he could send us back?”
“Perhaps,” Nogbad said. “But if you want me to return you to your own land, you will have to perform a service for me first.”
“What sort of service?” Spike asked, giving Nogbad a hard stare.
“That depends,” replied Nogbad the Bad. “Are you, like my beautiful new assistant, also a vampire?”
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.