Overdrawn at the Blood Bank

Another city. Another stop on their magic tour, Pendragon and Vampirella have chosen this location due to a little item they found in a news paper the week before. The town of Ludlow's blood bank had been burgled and someone had made off with their entire stock.
“Vampires?” asked Pendragon as he showed the paper to Vampi.
“Doubtful,” said Vampirella after reading the article. “Most vampires prefer their blood straight from the tap, if you will excuse the expression.”
“What would anyone want with all that blood then?” said Pendragon.
“That is a good question, Pendy,” said Vampirella. “We should try to line up a show in that town and investigate.”
Pendragon sighed. “I so was looking forward to a heading south for the winter. The cold air strongly disagrees with these old bones of mine.”
Ludlow was a town straight out of a Lovecraft story. Victorian in appearance. It was like stepping back in time. There were still cobblestone streets and Vampirella half expected to see gas lamps instead of street lights.
“If this is any indication of our accommodations,” said Vampi as she studied the scenery, “I expect to find a chamberpot in our hotel room.”
“I hope they have heat,” shivered Pendragon. “I don 't know how you can walk around in your outfit in this climate.”
Vampi smiled. Her bikini-like apparel certainly was getting her a lot of stares in Ludlow.
“You know that being from Drakulon, I do not react the same way to this planet's environment.” Vampi pulled out a vial of serum (synthetic blood) and took a drink. Conrad Van Helsing had developed the serum for her, so that she would not be forced to partake of human blood like the vampires on Earth.
Watching Vampirella drink her serum, gave Pendragon an idea. “What if the blood is being used to develop a serum like yours? If Van Helsing thought of it, might not someone else...especially someone who might need blood every night?”
“It is possible,” said Vampi. “But most vampires on this planet seem to like the act of drinking blood from their victims. A serum might sate their blood lust, but it would not cure them and it would certainly would not change them from the predators that they are.”
Pendragon drove to the hotel. It was an establishment that had seen its better days fifty years ago. The man at the front desk stared at Vampirella the entire time he was checking them in.
“I've heard of the two of you,” he said after a moment. “You are the lady that gets changed into a bat in a magic act.”
“Among other marvels of magic,” said Pendragon. “Vampirella, my lovely assistant, has been sawed in half and made to levitate.”
The clerk nodded. “I know someone who will definitely want to catch....your act. Dr. Santana took over the old asylum after the state shut it down. He runs a clinic there for wealthy weirdos and is  a  real nut...about magic.”
“Splendid,” said Pendragon. “We look forward to meeting the good doctor.”
Vampirella and Pendragon were shown to their room by a bellhop who had his eyes glued to Vampi's ass the entire time. He was so transfixed that he was about to leave without a tip when Pendragon slipped him the money on his way out.
“In town just a few minutes, and you've already made fans, my dear,” said Pendragon.
“The only thing they want to see my clothing.”
Pendragon smiled. “Not much to disappear, but I could find a way to work it into the act, if you like. Should really boost the ticket sales.”
Vampirella laid back on the bed. “Stripping might bring us more money and fame, but I am not much of a dancer, I'm afraid.”
Pendragon laughed. “As if most men would care. What about this Dr. Santana character? Clinic in an old asylum is setting off all sorts of horror fiction cliches.”
“If the doctor is a big fan of magic,” said Vampi, “perhaps he will invite us to his clinic. I have a feeling that the missing blood ended up there. The question is what is he using it for.”

The theater where the magic show was being held was once used to show movies, but it had been closed down after home video and satellite dishes stole all its business.
“Sad to see these old movie houses replaced by those cineplexes at the malls,” said Pendragon. “Used to be going to the cinema was a night out, not a cattle call to the latest Hollywood blockbuster.”
Vampirella rolled her eyes. “I love it when you get all nostalgic, Pendy, but we got a show to put on and a mystery to solve. The decline of the independent theaters will have to wait until another time.”
Pendragon's smile was pained. “I had my first date with Rosie in a place just like this.”
Vampirella softened at the mention of his ex-wife. Pendragon rarely talked about his family and she knew that it was a painful subject for her dear friend.
“I would have loved to known you back then,” said Vampi. “It would not have taken any magic tricks from you to win my affections, I'll bet.”
Pendragon eyes were misty. “I wish there was real magic to transport me back. So much I would have done different.”
Vampi hugged Pendragon. “I could say the same. I let Adam slip through my fingers. It haunts me every day.”
“Sorry for getting all maudlin,” said Pendragon. “Happens when I don't imbibe enough Scotch.”
“How about we put on a show for these folks?” said Vampi. “Time to let Ludlow see the Great Pendragon strut his stuff.”

The act was quite the success. The auditorium was filled and the applause was plentiful as Pendragon did his best illusions. Of course, the final one, changing Vampi into a bat was no illusion, not the spectators knew this, of course.
The owner of the theater, a thin, nervous man named Brady, approached them backstage.
“One of the audience members asked to meet with you,” said Brady. “Dr. Santana asks if you visit him at his clinic. He will send a car to pick you up at your hotel, if you are agreeable.”
“We have no plans for the evening,” said Pendragon. “We would be pleased to meet with the doctor. Perhaps he can help me with my arthritis.”
“From the looks of his clients,” said Brady, “you might have trouble paying his bill. His patients look like they stepped out at Forbes magazine.”
“A specialist no doubt,” said Vampi.
Brady smiled. “He certainly isn't a general practitioner.”
The car that Santana sent was a limousine.
“I should have become a doctor,” said Pendragon as he and Vampi relaxed in the luxurious vehicle.
“Rich clients and a limo,” said Vampi. “I have a feeling that Dr. Santana is not your typical doctor.”
“Any idea why he would need to steal all that blood?” asked Pendragon. “Perhaps his patients suffer from sort of rare blood ailment.”
The asylum turned clinic had lost none of its Gothic charm. It loomed in the distance like something out of a horror movie.
“There should be a lightning storm to complete this scene,” joked Pendragon as they pulled up to the clinic.
The driver admitted them to the foyer where they were greeted by a bald giant that reminded Pendragon of Tor Johnson.
“Dr. Santana is with a patient at the moment,” said the colossal servant. “If you will wait in the parlor, he will join you shortly.”
They sat on the davenport and the hulking manservant departed. A few minutes later, a tall, handsome man entered. He had a dark complexion and jet black hair, combed back in European style.
“I am Dr. Santana,” he said with a smile. “Welcome to my clinic.”
“Quite the place you have here,” said Pendragon. “Straight out of the Hammer House of Horror.”
“Don't be rude, Pendy,” said Vampi.
Santana grinned. “No, your magician friend is right. It was an abandoned asylum before I bought it. It certainly is quite foreboding, especially at night.”
“Thank you for inviting us here,” said Vampi. “We are pleased that you liked our magic act.”
“I especially liked that final trick of you being changed into a bat,” said Santana. “It looked so real. How do you manage to pull something like that off?”
“A magician must not disclose the secrets of his act,” said Pendragon.
“Of course,” said Santana. “I, too, have secrets in my line of work. Patient confidentiality and all that.”
“What can you tell us about your work?” said Vampi. “We are very interested in what goes on here.”
Santana lit a cigarette. “A lot of wealthy people feel that they need not grow old and die like normal people. They pay me a lot of money to stave off the grim reaper, to keep them youthful for as long as possible.”
“Ah, the fountain of youth,” said Pendragon. “People are still searching for it after all this time.”
“It may not be a pipe dream,” said Santana. “I have come to believe that the secret lies in the blood. Blood is life after all. My experiments with blood have yielded some extraordinary results, but I still have a long way to go.”
“Speaking of blood,” said Vampi, “we heard that the local blood bank was robbed. Seems like a strange thing to steal, doesn't it?”
Santana shrugged as he puffed on his cigarette. “Drugs and other medical supplies have a value on the black market, why not blood as well?”
The hulking servant returned with a tray of drinks.
“Excellent,” said Santana. “I stock the wine cellar with the finest Bordeaux, a hobby of mine. I hope you will join me.”
Pendragon smiled. “I could use a drink. I passed on my customary Scotch after the show.”
The servant poured the drinks and handed Pendragon and Vampi their glasses. His massive hands were as hard as stone.
“Where did you find him?” asked Pendragon after the servant departed.
“He used to be a guard at the asylum,” said Santana. “I decided to keep him on. Poor fella was having trouble finding work given his appearance.”
“He could become a wrestler,” said Vampi. “He is one of the largest men I have ever encountered.
“Don't let his size fool you,” said Santana. “He is really a pussy cat. He would not make a very good wrestler, I'm afraid.”
Pendragon was about to respond when he felt the room spin and tilt. He opened his mouth to speak, but seemed to forgot how to speak. He looked over at Vampirella and saw that she was swooning. Dr. Santana quickly grabbed her, preventing her from falling to the floor.
“Sorry, but I'm afraid you have been drugged,” said Santana to Pendragon. “Your lovely assistant is a rare creature indeed, and I need her blood for my work.”
Pendragon took a step and then crumpled to the floor. The last thing he saw was Santana carrying an unconscious Vampirella in his arms. Then darkness closed in on him, too.

Santana carried Vampirella to his bedroom and placed her on the bed.
“All work and no play makes Santana a dull doctor.”
He removed her black boots and studied her feet. “Quite pretty toes you have.” He kissed and rubbed her feet and sucked on her toes.
“I must give you a full examination prior to any medical experiments.”
Santana unhooked the clasp holding her thin straps of material to her ample breasts. He pulled the collar over her head and slid the flimsy material down her body. Her breasts jiggled as he tugged to get the fabric off of her.
“Such exquisite beauty. It is a shame that I will have to keep you drugged. I will keep you sedated while I use your blood to develop my elixir of youth. I figure it will take about a year to abstract enough blood from you for my purposes.”
Santana began to kiss and caress Vampirella's breasts. “A year will pass quickly when you spend most of it in a drugged stupor.”
Santana pulled Vampirella's legs apart. “It will also give me plenty of time to enjoy you in the evenings. Imagine all the fun I can have with your body in a year's time.”
The door opened and his hulking servant peered in.
“Get out of here!” exclaimed the doctor. “How dare you interrupt me at such a time!”
The door closed.
“Now, where were we?” said Santana. “Oh, yes, we were just getting to that sweet little pussy of yours.”
Santana began to finger and kiss Vampirella's vagina. She was wet and ready for him in just a matter of moments.
“Time to probe you, my dear.”
Santana disrobed and mounted the sleeping beauty from Drakulon. His erect cock repeatedly slammed into her exposed opening.
Santana and Vampirella came at the same instant. Santana laid back on the bed and lit a cigarette.

Pendragon opened his eyes and found himself in a dark cellar, chained to a table. With a groan, he blinked and the room came into full focus. Of course, things did not look better for him or for Vampirella by being in focus.
“What a mess,” he said. “How am I going to get us out of this?”
His brain was still in a fog from the drug as he struggled to recall a spell that could get him out of these chains. It would have to be one that required no ingredients and no fancy hand movements, as his were quite securely bound.
He was puzzling over the dilemma when the cellar door opened and the giant servant came into the chamber. He stood silently over Pendragon for a moment.
“Where is Vampirella?” asked Pendragon. “Where has Sanata taken her?”
“To his bedroom,” said the servant.
“Oh, dear,” said Pendragon. “That is not good.”
The servant produced a set of keys and, to Pendragon's astonishment, he unlocked his shackles.
“You must save her,” said the Servant. “I have seen much suffering a custodian and as this guy's right hand man. I can not stand by any longer and let him do these horrible things.”
“What has he been doing?”
The servant shuddered. “Terrible things. He has a small cemetery filled with his botched experiments. The last one was a sixteen year old girl.”
Pendragon could see that the giant had cared for the girl and it pained him to even talk about her. “I can hear her screams, begging for someone to help her. I stood by and did nothing.”
“Take me to Vampirella,” said Pendragon. “You can't go back in time and change things, no matter how much you would like, but you can make a difference now, you can prevent him from harming my friend, from harming others in his mad experiments.”

Santana was preparing himself for another round of sex when the bedroom door opened.
“You, idiot,” growled Santana, “I told you-”
Pendragon strolled into the room. “Time for fun and games has come to an end, Santana.”
Santana sat up. “How did you get loose?”
“Magic,” replied Pendragon.
“There is no such thing,” scoffed Santana. “Illusions and nothing more.”
“I am going to show you something I picked up from a look book called the Crimson chronicles,” said Pendragon. “Given your medical pursuits, I'm sure you will find it quite ironic.”
Vampirella began to awaken. Santana was hurriedly trying to put on his pants when he stopped as Pendragon began reciting the incantation. He opened his mouth to scream, but nothing came out. He staggered over to the bureau and froze when he saw his aged, withered reflection staring back at him. He had transformed into an old man in a matter of seconds.
“I guess you could really use that serum right now,” said Pendragon. “Too bad you haven't had a chance to perfect it yet.”
Pendragon hurried to Vampirella and he hefted the dazed girl into his arms.
“Time to get you to safety, my dear.”
Pendragon rushed out the door. The servant nodded to him as he passed him on the stairs.
“What is going on?” muttered Vampi. “Why am I naked?”
Pendragon heard the gun shot just as he was leaving the house.
“I guess Santana did not believe enough in his own work,” he mused. “Too bad he did not know that my spell only lasted a few hours.”
Vampi smiled at Pendragon. “You are my hero, Pendy.”
“The real hero is a servant whose name I never thought to ask,” said Pendragon. “I am just an old magician with a few tricks of his sleeve.”
Vampirella kissed Pendragon gently on the lips. “You are much more than that, Pendy. You are my friend and my family.”
Pendragon blushed. “It must be the drugs talking.”
Vampirella smiled. “When I get you back to the hotel, I am going to show you it isn't the drugs.”
“Vampi, I-”
Vampirella stopped his words with another kiss. “Save your strength, Pendy...cause tonight you are going to need all of it!”