This is the 31st challenge brief given to builders in Zita1966z’s contest called Under Renovation, where I’m one of the judges. I started doing write-ups for the contest after I was invited to judge builds.
The Doctor is one of the characters in this write-up.
After designing the cluttered house for the Bauers, you sit down in your office to do some additional paperwork, staying beyond your usual working hours. You only start to notice that it’s late when you see moonlight shining through the office window. Clutter has piled up on your desk, and you rub your temples to massage them. Where’s an aspirin when you need one?
And then somebody knocks.
You tell the visitor to go away, but the door opens even if you recall locking it. Three pale-skinned men dressed in black enter: one who is wearing a suit with a cravat, one who is wearing glasses, and an elderly man with a cane. The man with the cravat speaks.
“Good evening. I am Dr. Domingo de Guzman. This is my old friend, Don Salazar, and the one with glasses is my protégé, Antonio. Forgive the intrusion at such an hour, but we have a very special request for you.” The man in the suit speaks eloquently as they seat themselves in the visitor chairs. “We were told by your former client Mr. Grimaldi that your firm is highly skilled in designing dwellings and other places.”
You beam up at hearing the compliment and humbly brag that you have indeed made many accomplishments in the past.
“We basically need a new meeting hall for our association. Don Salazar here has offered to let us use his land for the new venue.” Dr. Domingo explains.
The elderly man nods slowly and brings out pictures of the venue to be renovated from a brown envelope.
You get surprised to see that they are pictures of an old graveyard with a mausoleum. The elderly man speaks, but you do not understand whatever he was saying.
“Sorry, Don Salazar speaks in a very old Windenburg dialect.” Dr. Domingo says. “He said that it’s an old lot, and he’s willing to let the association use it for anything.”
“But the half-wall graves cannot be touched.” the man with glasses chimes in.
Scratching your head at what this ‘association’ is, you find the courage to ask the Doctor.
After you ask him, he looks at his elderly colleague and his young student. “Before I tell you, you must swear by your mortal life that you must not tell anyone, and no information must leave this room.”
You assure the Doctor that all of the information that you get from clients is confidential and tell him that contracts are always signed for that purpose.
After a moment of silence, the Doctor speaks. “We’re from the Newcrest Vampires Association.”
You think that what he said was normal, but it took you another second to realize the second word: vampires? You shake your head in disbelief and think that you’re hallucinating from too much work.
“We are no hallucination, my friend.” The Doctor tells you. “We suck human blood, hate mirrors, and avoid sunlight. Just like what you see on TV.”
“Except for that one film where the lead vampire sparkles in daylight.” The Doctor’s student quips as the three vampires laugh heartily. You then notice that the fangs in their mouths are real.
“Good one, Antonio!” the Doctor calms down and rubs his eye. “Anyway, we want this old graveyard renovated for our association. The Archon Elections are coming up soon, and I’m obliged to help with this project.”
He then turns to his student. “Antonio, the specifications if you please.”
The Doctor’s student gives you a document that lists down what the association wants to see in the renovation.
The vampire with glasses speaks. “Basically, the association needs to see a catacombs area for resting, an area for growing plasma fruit, a drinking room, a conference room,”
“…and ballroom, for Czardas dance-off.” The elderly man speaks surprisingly with a thick accent.
“Yes, the annual Czardas dance-offs are something that we look forward to annually.” The Doctor agrees.
“The Doctor always gets second place.” Antonio speaks.
“If it weren’t for that show-off Valmonte…” The Doctor speaks with disdain.
You put down the document and notice that they haven’t added a specific style that you want to see, which you ask the Doctor and his colleagues.
“A specific style?” the Doctor thinks for a moment. “Personally, I do not mind something that looks unkempt and abandoned, like my personal dwelling. The Grand Archon likes Gothic, though.”
“Maybe put a modern twist to it? Some vampires love minimalist but dark themes these days.” Antonio suggests.
“Something that remind me of old country. Very much like favourite opera house.” The elderly vampire speaks with a distinct accent.
Listening to their suggestions, you can now picture what you want to see in your design. The Doctor speaks to you again.
“We are hoping to see a design very soon so that we can start signing the papers. The Association has put together a large budget for this project, so we’re expecting much.” He says while giving you a handshake, which felt very cold. “Thank you very much, and have a good night.”
The three vampires leave and seemingly disappear in the darkness of the hallway. You are then left alone in your office with a new assignment in hand.
You just hope that they won’t suck your blood if you disappoint them.
The winning build will be posted soon and be used in a future chapter. 🙂