For an evil genius, Max Maximillion was not a bright man.
The last sunset had already started to fade, ushering out the oranges and reds and bringing in a brave new world of eternal darkness. Not for the first time, Max – also known as Doctor Impossible, The Master of Mayhem, and Maxwell Hubert Daisy Von Maximillion (by his Mother) – pondered the Master Plan, trying to find that one tiny flaw that had escaped his scrutiiny.
Step One. Become Evil Genius. Check.
Step Two. Build Secret Lair. Check.
Step Three. Block The Sun using bio-engineered nano-hardware. Check.
Step Four. Kill all the humans. Check.
Step Five. Love, life and happiness. Unchecked.
Max was a brilliant man, a kind man, a renaissance man of the ages. Everybody said so. A newspaper clipping from Time Weekly, laminated and secreted away in his breast pocket, was more than enough proof for any passing illiterate imbecile. Therefore, and such, and so forth, it was not reasonable that his plan was flawed. By logical deduction, it, the flaw, must lie elsewhere. QED. For example: all the dead humans, some of them are surely to blame. Some of them deserved to die in a mass nuclear genocide. Bad Humans!
Something fluttered to his left. “Good”, said Max. “They’re already coming out. Perhaps my plan is working after all. Is it not, Igor?” he continued, remembering too late that Igor, his hunchback assistant, had perished some months ago in an unfortunate accident.
A magnificent grey werewolf exited the wooded forest, into the clearing where Max was standing. Her long, silky fur and hungry jaws shimmered in what was left of the moonlight, now that The Sun was diminished. She arced her head back and howled a long piercing howl, a howl of longing, a howl of freedom, a howl of seduction.
“Yes, Step Five is mine. Check,” said Max, again forgetting that his assistant had gone to Hunchback Heaven.
Sarah snapped, crackled, and popped her way back into human form. She stood, naked, in the clearing. A fact not lost on Max. The noises of the forest quietened, as if to listen in to the first tender moments of a love that would last the ages.
“Oh, it’s you,” she said, curling her lips.
“Yes, my darling. It’s me.”
“I thought that… well, you died with all the other humans.”
“No, my love. I am now, quite literally, the last man left alive.”
Sarah said, “Oh goody,” before not rushing into Max’s arms with pure abandon.
The fluttering sound returned, and with it a long column of smoke that soon solidified into bipedal form. It was a vampire, of course. A rodent of the sky. The proveriable wart of the supernatural. Baron Something Something of Who-gives-a-damn, threaded his pale arm around Sarah’s slender shoulders. The vampire’s entitled attitude was a reminder that his kind were nothing more than a venereal disease with a supernatural twist.
“Well, this is awkward,” said Carl.
“Yes, that’s right. Igor, how pathetic. I bet Carl doesn’t even read Time Weekly,” said Max to his long suffering, yet clearly absent, hunchback assistant.
“You know we can hear you when you use your outside voice?” said Carl.
“Sarah, my lovely, my sweetie. Don’t you remember our contract? I remember it very clearly. It was a Tuesday, or possibly a Wednesday. You said, and I quote ‘If you were the last man left alive…’ when asked to be my paramour. I’m not a lawyer – or maybe I am, I have so many degrees – but that, my love, is a verbal contract. I’ve held up my side of the bargain,” said Max, waving in the general direction of everything.
“Max, “ said Sarah, slowly, snuggling deeper into Carl’s arms, “we’re from different worlds.”
“Carl, did you want to step in here?”
Carl smiled his fang-laden smile. “Stay away from my girl, you filthy human.”
“Not helping Carl,” she said, pausing for inspiration. “Max. I said that I wouldn’t go out with you, not even if you were the last man alive. I’m sorry, but you’re very, very weird.”
“But… but… but… Step Five. Love, life, and happiness. I’ve already checked it off.”
“See you around, Blood Bag,” echoed Carl.
And with that, the great love of Max’s life walked into the moonlit forest and out of his life. Max stood staring at the black on black shadows, expecting Sarah to return at any moment. “New plan, Igor. Step One. Kill all the vampires,” he said, wondering where to buy industrial strength garlic.