Perhaps it would be better, thinks the Count, if I had not impaled all of those people in Roumania.
The Count’s head rolls down the hill.
It strikes a speedbump, flies high, and then continues its roll.
“One,” he laughs. “One regret. Ahahahahahahaha!”
The Count attempts to reflect upon the circumstances that brought him here, his head rolling down a Washington State hill under a post-apocalyptic sky. It is impossible because he is a vampire and lacks the power of reflection.
If I had counted them, he thinks. If I had only counted them, then I could have brought them back.
There is a dog. It is nearly skeletal with hunger.
It sniffs at him as he rolls past. It thinks imponderable dog thoughts. It has no strength to chase him.
Soon, it will die.
“One, two, three, four— four legs!”
And its legs grow strong.
That is my regret, he thinks. That I did not count the people that I impaled, in Roumania. That I did not think to count them so that I could bring them back.
His head rolls past a Church.
He does not count it. Vampires do not like Christian Churches because they cannot count a God that is three persons in one. That is why they draw back hissing from a crucifix and why they do not visit India, with its even less countable gods, at all.
“One terribly steep slope leading to a lake!” he laughs.
I thought that I was a good man, he thinks. I thought that I was doing honor to my people.
He does not think of the faces of his peers when they understood at last what he was.
“One world,” he counts. Because he does not have time to count each thing individually. “One world, in infinite parts.”
His head strikes a speedbump. It flies up. It rolls, jangling aggly-agglty along.
“One world, in infinite parts. Ahahahahahahahaha!”
Just once, he thinks, I would have liked the opportunity to count the sun.
He plunges into the glorious blue depths.