The Doctor wandered into his kitchen, tired and not fully awake. He poured some milk into a bowl and then added some Bleary-Os Cereal1 to the mix. He picked up the Vampirical Times and skimmed through a few interesting articles. Nothing especially exciting, just the usual stuff… campus riots by the Campaign for Vampires, new store opening manned by… er, vampired by Vampires for Vampires, all the usual stuff you'd find in a quiet campus town. The Doctor stretched and yawned before getting up and opening the curtains.

"What a beautiful day… let's see, its Tuesday, so I best get to the clinic."

He fetched his Oxfords from the closet and put them on. He reached for his overcoat, but on second thought decided against it. He opened the door and stepped into the noon Californian sunlight. He breathed in the fresh air and started walking to the campus that dominated the horizon.

Professor von Carpworth's Center for the Chromatically Challenged was on the third floor of the Pyshcoptrics Department here at UC Berkeley. The Doctor walked into the lobby.

"Doctor Dracule, the Professor will be ready in a moment… He's just finishing his… breakfast," Malicia Craven said as the Doctor entered. The Cravens were an old family that followed maintained many of the old traditions, but still were 'modern' and 'civilized' enough to hold real jobs. From the way the Professor talked about her she seemed to be a great secretary.

The door opened and whispering could be heard between the Professor and his secretary. The door closed again and Malicia sighed, "We really need to get that intercom fixed. Anyway, the Professor says you can enter now."

The Doctor shrugged and headed into the inner sanctum of Professor von Carpworth's office.

"Ah… John, nice to see you again… and great to see you not smoking!" the Professor's humor was known across the campus as helping the man get an early step towards the grave. The Vampires tolerated it all the same if it would help them lead nearly normal lives. The Professor was not a Vampire himself, merely an odd eccentric who studied too much.

On the wall was the Professor's diploma in such an ostentatious frame that neon lights would be an improvement. The Professor, which everyone knew, was the first to graduate UC Berkeley (or any other college for that matter) with a major and his Ph.D. in the study of Psychoptrics.

"The treatments work fine, Professor, I barely even get a headache anymore from fighting the psychochromatic reaction anymore."

The Professor smiled to himself, "Yes, my treatments do so well to minimize your problem, don't they?"

The Doctor nodded, "What made you think that our fear of being outside and our… er… unfortunate smoking was merely a psychochromatic reaction to the Blue of the sky and not a reaction to the light or heat of the sun?"

The Professor just smiled, "Elementary my dear Doctor."

The Doctor had seen the Professor like this before… his mind just kind of temporarily clogged before things returned to normal.

The Professor smile vanished, "What? Huh? Did you… Oh! Um… Sorry, mind works like a rusty bear trap, you must forgive my age it causes things to go all wonky like a… er… you know, a… watchamawhosit… ah nevermind. Now where was I, again?"

The Doctor sighed, "How did you first learn about the psychochromatic reaction?"

"Ah… them were the days…"

"Uh-oh, not a Flashback!"

"It can only best be told through a flashback…"

I remember the time well, back in the summer of… whatever that year was… when I was up for my Ph.D. and you were a junky Frosh. Let's see… you were majoring in the Computer Sciences and had joined that… Gothic Fraternity, what was it called again, Alphabet Pie?

It was called Alpha Beta Pi… and it wasn't Gothic, it was merely Vampiric…

Which I didn't know at the time if you remember… no one did except your Alphabet Pie friends…

Alpha Beta Pi!

Whatever… stop interrupting my flashback. Anyway, I was working on my thesis, 'The Qualities, Definition, Powers, Weaknesses, Faults, Psychoptric Effects, and Aura of the Most Revered Color, Blue'… I was pretty tanked on Chromajuice2 at the time and it sounded like as good an idea as any other. I remember placing some failing freshmen into a blue-deprivation chamber… how was I to know they would end up in a Psychiatric ward?

In the middle of writing page 144, the Chromajuice bubbling in my in stomach, I yelled, "Akerue!"


I needed something to keep my mind challenged and ignoring my stomach and my nose, so I was writing my whole 500-page thesis backwards while blindfolded. I was much younger then, and I wasn't mature enough to handle writing it with my left hand, as you know, I'm right-handed, and so I still felt some of the power of the Chromajuice.

Anyway, where was I?

You had just yelled "Akerue!"

Oh, yes, so I had. My mind had been wandering after panicking when the Chromajuice had… er… burped. I came across the idea that Vampires could have had a Blue Inferiority Complex.

Oh yeah, now I remember what happened next… Let me recount it for you and you can fill in the gaps…

Fine, don't let me stop you from stealing my story…

At about 3 in the morning, which was early in the afternoon for us… our night courses having been completed hours ago, we were just hanging about the frat house, when some bumbling old fool…


…Came rushing through our living room, seemingly drunk, and without a clue as to where he was or where he was going.

Hey, I knew where I was… I was tripping over a new idea!

Whatever, old man. Anyway, in between your illegible ramblings…

They weren't illegible… Anyone who knows mirror-speak would have been able to translate them…

…We caught you gasping for breath and crying "Vampires!" before gasping again and breaking back into your mirror-script. We were scared, we immediately thought we had been found out and that you were going to shout out our secret to the rest of the frats, and we couldn't have you doing that…

Which is why I woke up bound, gagged and spread-eagled across the floor in a room that smelled like cabbage and was really dark… I had wondered about that…

In the 'morning' for us we came in to check up on you. We brought you a plate of… food, that we thought you might like and lit the room's candle.

Steve Griffin set the plate next to your side and frowned at you, "Okay mortal, what do you know, and why are you here?"

You mumbled something and we remembered that we had gagged you.

The third of our frat, Nefaren Craven, smiled a toothy grin at you, "Mortal, if we remove that gag, you promise to keep from screaming?"

Was Nefaren that nice boy who wore too much make-up and a get-up that made you want to go to the Opera just to see if people really were like that?

Yes… why?

Just reminiscing… while I'm on the subject, what was that motto you guys had?

'Verum Sarcasmus'3… As you can recall, all three of us were computer majors, and Nefaren was always very heavy into puns… he always enjoyed the fact that the figurative of the verb was the root that the word sarcasm came from… Now look what you've done Professor… Where was I?

I had just shaken my head yes (it felt like it was as heavy as Jim 'The Powerhouse' Watson's bowling ball…) and Nefaren had ungagged me.

Oh yes… I asked you, "What are you doing here old man?"

You frowned, "I'm only 43… you don't have to call me old man."

Steve glared at you, "Yeah, and I am 237… its still pleasing to call you old man, though, old man."

You looked confused and Nefaren jumped in, "Its true… you do know what we are, don't you?"

You frowned, "Frat boys who are drunk?" you asked hopefully.

We all chuckled, I chided you, and "Stupid mortal… were you not trying to scream our secret to the world yesterday?"


"Why did you run into our living room?"

You shrugged, "I had just made an important discovery for my thesis and was just running in random directions…"

Nefaren almost burst, "So, you discovered that we were-"

I abruptly cut in, sensing some confusion from you, "Insurance Salesmen part time? What was your discovery?"

"Er… do you really want to know?" you asked tentatively, as if you had found a new best friend.

"Sure, tell us."

"Well… I am doing a research project on the color blue and I was thinking about the imaginary creatures known as Vampires and realized that the reason they don't like daytime was probably a psychochromatic reaction which I lovingly call Blue Inferiority Complex… Er… Now what does that have to do with Insurance Salesmen? And are Insurance Salesmen truly immortal?"

We all chuckled, "Silly mortal, immortality is for Vampires."

"Really? Can I test my theories on you guys?"

And that is where it all started, correct?


The flashback faded and the Professor smiled.

The man sitting in the shadows coughed and then stood up. "No wonder the other college advisors were never seen again… Do you bore people this way all the time?"

The Professor shook his head. Dr. Dracule just smiled a big toothy grin showcasing his sharp canines, which, oddly enough, was the last sight the advisor ever saw.

1 Bleary-Os: Enriched with the average daily requirement of Hemoglobins and Red Bloods cells for the Active Vampire. Back

2 Simple, non-drug, liquid, which causes odd colorful dreams due to its rather odd, sometimes distressing, effects, on the digestive system. The recipe is a UC Berkeley secret, but rumors have it that involves purified bean paste, mashed cabbage, and something referred to as Ingredient Gas. Back

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