DICHOTOMY SUMMIT

 

A Dialogue in one act by Alfred Vassallo

 

CHARACTERS

 

VAN HELSING

Helsing is a Dutch doctor with a wide range of interest and accomplishments.a man of medium height, strongly built.

 

DRACULA

A centuries-old vampire and a Transylvania nobleman. Beneath a veneer of aristocratic charm, the count possesses a dark and evil soul. 

 


(VAN HELSING IS SITTING ON AN ARMCHAIR OPPOSITE HIM THERE IS ANOTHER ARMCHAIR, EMPTY)

DRACULA COMES IN AND STANDS STILL. VAN HELSING STANDS TOO) 

 

VAN HELSING

I didn’t think I see you again after all these years.

 

DRACULA

You and I will never be apart, my dear professor.

 

VAN HELSING

I shouldn’t think so.

(HE SITS)

Sit down and make yourself comfortable.

DRACULA

(MOVES TO THE EMPTY ARMCHAIR AND SITS)

It is not often we meet, but here we are again. Do you have your crucifix, the garlic and the wooden stake?

 

VAN HELSING

Why should I bring them here with me now?

 

DRACULA

They were part of your furniture, were they not?

(PAUSES)

The crucifix is a piece of carved wood… 

VAN HELSING

So it is. Yet you are the parody of what is good in life. You make a mockery out of justice. In fact you are the misrepresentation of justice. You are an insult to the human race.

 

DRACULA

Maybe so, and still the recruiting of the disciples never ends. Why is that professor? 

VAN HELSING

There are people who simply enjoy seeing others in pain, and go about inflicting it more on them. One should never underestimate you, I mean evil, the amount of evil caused by people thinking they were doing the right thing is unbelievable. I realised that far more harm has been affected by optimistic people than by distrustful offenders.

 

DRACULA

Those who put power into the hands of an oppressor must not be surprised if it turned against them.

 

VAN HELSING

Power tends to corrupt power, while absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

DRACULA

Laws are like cobwebs that entangle the weak but are broken by the strong. Coercing is not an antidote, merely a therapy for the weak. Professor, you talk about evil, when you did to us speaks evil in itself.

 

VAN HELSING What do you mean by that?

 

DRACULA

All punishment is in itself evil. You’ve punished my disciples with grave methods, but that is not evil for you, it is a cure for justice.

 

VAN HELSING

One must fight evil with evil. 

 

DRACULA

AT last! I never that that we agree on something.

 

VAN HELSING

No, I am not. I am simply saying that to overcome evil and wickedness one must adjust to some kind of an unusual persuasion. The only thing necessary for triumphing over it is for good men to do nothing.

 

DRACULA

Get the clever ones on your side and you can get away with murder. I do not overwhelm myself by good, but I overcome good with evil. That I am strong, or even stronger now, will bear carefully over the frailties of the intelligent ones, and overpower the weak. It is the way of living! 
 

VAN HELSING

You mean your living. 

 

DRACULA

Yes. And of course the living of my followers. The conquest of the world will be complete by polluting all the women. I have used them as weapons in the war between us and you. And I shall keep using them until complete victory is complete. If only I can appropriate the means.

 

VAN HELSING

(Interrupts)

But….

 

DRACULA

(IGNORING HIM AND CONTINUES)

It is the same logic generals use, when their soldiers rape daughters, sisters, wives and mothers of the losing troops. My female disciples will further assist me in undermining the present civilisation. The same devotees will transpose the modern womanhood, they turn their children for nourishment rather than fostering them, squandering future generations of citizens for food rather than allowing them to grow up and propagate the values of your culture. We, all they become me.

 

VAN HELSING

Heard some saying once that first he saw and met with communism, and didn’t speak because he wasn’t a communist. Then came the Jews, and still he didn’t speak about it because he was a Jew. Then came the homosexuals, and lesbians, and he didn’t speak of it either because he wasn’t one. The came the Catholics and hi didn’t speak at all because he was an atheist. Then they came for him and by that time no one was left to speak.

 

DRACULA

An by that you mean?……

 

VAN HELSING

Somebody else will stand against you like I did in the past. 

 

DRACULA

Did you achieve anything? You won the battles but not the war. The war is still raging and it got worse.

 

VAN HELSING

I achieved what was good at the time. Everyone knows you. They all know how abhorrent you are and how you manipulate the population with the promise of immortality. The only the left is fear. Fear is fear in itself. The unreasoning terror which paralyses our culture. We must destroy evil We must destroy you. You are the form of incompetence. I won’t be sorry then, because, by then I have done good or someone else would. The lust for evil is not rooted in the strength but in the weakness. Evil cannot be filled with happiness.

 

DRACULA

Why don’t you look around my dear Van Helsing? Tell me what you see? Who wants to be good and for what?

 

VAN HELSING

I blame all of it on boredom. It is widely unrecognised source of evil. Unfortunately, I have to admit it, it certainly is. The absence of purpose is not a lack of things to do, it is the basis of nearly all of the monotones. People these days need meaning in their lives, instead of sitting all day in front of a screen watching reality shows or playing graphical violent games on it. They have to do something else and if they don’t the will pursue other pleasures, pornography is widespread and easy to get. Once it devours the senses, then it will seek evil itself.

 

DRACULA You are moralising heavy now! Remember the man who fights for heights will live forever.

 

VAN HELSING

Under your leadership?

 

DRACULA

Why not? Who else there is other than me? I am a member of the idle aristocracy, a bloodsucking aristocrat, living off the struggling peasants, living off their warm blood.

(LAUGHS)

Victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan. 


VAN HELSING

I’d rather fight for something I want and not get it than achieve something I don’t want and get it. The abusive words you are using is the foundation of a corrupt society. I distrust you, I always did. You produce a dessert of consistency around you and with it a rive of blood too. The way you corrupt us is followed by the corruption of languages.

 

DRACULA

The unawareness of my world leaves one at the mercy of wickedness. I am a liberating man from the humiliation fantasy known as integrity. The simplicity of the people’s mind reduces them to become more an easy prey to a big capture rather than a small one.

 

VAN HELSING

I’m afraid I have to agree with you. Every country has the government it warrants.

 

DRACULA

 came from a time when there was no middle-class, we, the aristocrats controlled all of the country’s wealth. And while the world is on the brink of the twenty-first century, my Transylvania is an underdeveloped third country world that hasn’t changed much in the past five hundred years. The great strength of a totalitarian power is that it influences those who fear it to copy it. Many people now think they a deliberating when in truth they are purely reshuffling their prejudices.

 

VAN HELSING

If freedom means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear. Prejudice these days is almost eliminated. 

 

DRACULA

You are joking, are you not. Unlike your world, in my world, my disciples, or my followers if you wish, they come from everywhere, from any race, colour or creed.

 

VAN HELSING

(EVADING HIS STATEMENT) 


DRACULA

If thoughts corrupts language, language also corrupts thought. Injustice anywhere is a threat to morality everywhere, count. To ignore this evil is to become a collaborator. The evil power that you possess is your ultimate aphrodisiac. What is wrong with sexual desires. Man was born to corrupt and seduces.

 

VAN HELSING

In your own made up laws, yes, perhaps, but our laws dictates differently. We have good morals. Morality is the separation of objectives, choices, and actions between those who are good or right and those who are bad and wrong. A moral code is a system of goodness and badness. Our morals extremely differentiate from your morals, if you have some.

DRACULA

How can you be sure that you are right? You are saying that you are good people, therefore your moral conducts are the right ones and mine are corrupt and the other way round. A person you is cruel to his animals becomes hard also in his dealings with his fellow man. My followers and I can judge the heart of you humans by your treatment to animals.

 

VAN HELSING

Yet the inequality of rights and power progresses from that very source of belief. Every person like you who has power is encouraged to abuse it. Like dictators, priests who abuse children, do you want me to keep going. These are you, disciples, they corrupt the very sense of innocent beings.

 

DRACULA

(GIVES A SARCASTIC SMILING SOUND)

Well….

 

VAN HELSING

I distrust all those who have the impulse to possess power. 


DRACULA

What the person needs is a redeemer like me. I will give them a bath of blood to wash in. They will be cleansed and become immortal.

 

VAN HELSING

Undead! That’s what you mean. They will be no longer alive but becomes animated by a supernatural force.

 

DRACULA

You can call it what you like. What should interests you is that we have lived for centuries? 

 

VAN HELSING

Do you really believe what you actually say?

 

DRACULA

Well? I here, aren’t I?

 

VAN HELSING

Yes, you are and so am I! You have no right to make these innocent people your disciples. That is what you did and do. You do not discuss it with them, instead you render them without their consent. The protection of a person is more sacred than the protection of his possessions. One of the greatest delusions in this world is the hope that the evil among us is the be cured by legislation. I when taking one person under your influence it would be as if you took everyone.

(PAUSES AND REFLECTS)

If I can save one life, it would be as if I had saved the life of the whole people.

 

DRACULA

You delude yourself, professor. No man is justified in doing good on the ground of convenience. Righteousness always brings with it irresponsibility. There is no good or evil, as you Kindly pointed out. There is only power.

 

VAN HELSING

Now who is deluded? Power takes the insolence from the thrashing of its victims. The evil that is in this world almost comes from ignorance. While good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack the understanding of evil. One victim of yours is a tragedy, a million victims is a statistic.


DRACULA

The lust for power in human beings is the most fragrant of all their passions. I give them graciously and they accept it graciously. Law? Morality? What do I care about law and morality? Haven’t I got the power?

 

VAN HELSING

Yes, but only for the moment.

 

DRACULA

Moment, I had since I decided to become one. I was born in December 1431 in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. I am Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad the Impaler, who ruled over Walachia from 1456-1462. I reside there all my adult life except for periods of imprisonment at Pest and Visegrad in Hungary.

 

VAN HELSING

I know your story well. You have suffered a serious loss when your enemy sent news to your castle that you were killed. Your wife, Elizabeta flung herself into the river below the castle. I read that because she committed suicide, the church proclaimed her soul damned. You became furious God for letting your wife die while you were fighting for his cause. You renounced God and the Church, stabs the crucifix on the dais of the chapel and it began to bleed. In vengeance you drank the blood flowing from the cross, proclaiming that you will be reborn after your death with all the powers of darkness at your command.

 

DRACULA

(LAUGHS)

You are right of course, but I never heard told by such an enthusiastic voice before. It is amazing what writers express themselves. But that was an accurate begin of my kingdom. That is why I have got the power because I rejected God.

 

VAN HELSING

Your truth is buried underground. While it stays there it expands, it congests, it gathers such a dangerous might, that on the day it will burst out it devours the world, God bless us. 


DRACULA

When they come, and it is not far away, there will be nobody to care.

 

VAN HELSING

You say that because you know well that leaders of today are weak under your eyes, because, they fight evil with evil. They don’t fight it with moral standards. If they do as I tried to do with you, they will subdue it and not enhance it. Once the soul has conceived wickedness it can foster no good thereafter. You are so unpretentious that you share our beds and eat on our tables without recognising you.

DRACULA

The whole range of good and evil is in every person. Evil is only a point of view. It is done without effort, it is the working of destiny; good is always the creation of virtuosity, isn’t it so?

 

VAN HELSING

I always thought there was no reason why good couldn’t triumph over evil. The victory is a matter of configuration. Whoever fights evil, should see to it that in the process one doesn’t become evil too, because when I take a good look into the abyss, it always looks back at me.

 

DRACULA

The belief of evil has been many and many years before I came into existence. It didn’t start with the highly developed cultures, it started when Cain killed his brother and continued not only with the ancestor of brutality but also in the form of disguise, being the mask of good. The substance of the good, you talk about, was conveyed to evil, that it drew itself all the hatred and resentment which throbbed well into its devotees so that at the end it could become evil.

 

VAN HELSING

I only understand one thing. No one who summons up the most wicked of those half-tamed fears which inhabit the human hearts, and the purpose to fight with them, can expect to come through the struggle unharmed. 


DRACULA

Evil is always possible, professor. Not like goodness, it is eternally difficult to keep hold of.

 

VAN HELSING

I happen to think that the evil doings of our time is prejudice. It is from the evil that other evils grow and multiply. Apathy and evil, they work together. They are the same, and evil desires it while apathy permits it. They both hate the innocent and the defenceless most of all. Apathy doesn’t care as long as it’s not personally inconvenienced. It is a glove in which evil slips its hand. Everything bad starts with innocence.

 

DRACULA

In every person's heart, there is a demon, but they don’t know exactly what they are until that demon is provoked.

 

VAN HELSING

The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, seems to be the deepest root of all that is bad in this world. A resolution to avoid it is seldom known until the evil is so far advanced as to make prevention impossible.

 

DRACULA

I am not one who makes imaginary evil when you know you have so many real ones to encounter. Professor, now that you know the full power of evil, does it not make ugliness seem beautiful? While goodness is ugly and weak.

 

VAN HELSING

Not everybody is stupid. The only thing for evil to be in jubilation is for good people to do nothing at all. We seem to think that small acts of goodness are of no benefit so we don’t do them. We also think that small of evil doings can do no harm and we don’t refrain from them. Therefore wickedness becomes so great that it cannot be concealed anymore, and the guilt within is so immense that it cannot be forgiven.

 

DRACULA

I humans are afraid of something that is good, they must have the opportunity to call upon evil and come to the 80
rescue. Yet, let suppose they struggle through goodness, and then find that it is also dreadful. What do they do if water itself turns out to be the very thing that they cannot drink? Or if their home is the very place they don’t want to live in or their very same character makes them unpleasant? Then, I’m afraid, they have played their last card and they have no way out but only to join me.

 

VAN HELSING

I must admit though, that even I might have some evil within as much as anybody else, come to think of it even some the desires I get, frightens me. Even when I don’t give in to temptation, that scares the living hell out of me too. I am no saint, count, far from it, yet I’ve always walked the straight line. It’s a mean line I know, straight and narrow, sharp as a razor, cuts right into m,e when I have walked long enough. I feel I am always bleeding on that line, and sometimes I wonder why I don’t just step off it and walk on a wider road.

 

DRACULA

Professor, in truth people, aren’t evil and people aren’t good. They live how they can one day at a time. They come out of dust and they go back to dust, whose fault is that? I wonder. Definitely not mine.

 

VAN HELSING

Evil lurks in the heart of man, and you and your false pretences tend to bring it out for them. You have always been evil, even when you thought you were devout. Now you somehow have the ability to survive identifications and go on forever.

DRACULA

Don’t you want to live forever Professor Van Helsing? The faithful one?

 

VAN HELSING

What for? I had lived enough to watchsickness, tragedies and death. I live my life and I have nothing to complain about. Others try to bring up their children so that they are protected from the world’s wickedness. Only to find that they have raised a pack of innocents destined to blend with evil at any time. 


DRACULA

The fact is that everyone is born with a free spirit. The choice belongs to the person. I believe that what produces the very unusual world they live in. A world in continuous construction and therefore continuous variation and insecurity. The fear of evil is a mere prognosis. True I take advantage of weak people, but at the end, I am giving a world where there are no worries, sickness and emotions. I have no emotions, I never get sick and I never worry. If the world shall drop down hence, I would care a bit.

 

VAN HELSING

As you mentioned, even started with the creation of man. Your master, because even you have a master, tempted the first woman and she fell. From then on life became a struggle between good and evil. But because both exist I don’t choose to live them both. I chose the right path.

 

DRACULA

But there isn’t a line between good and evil. Its time is not real, then dividing the foundation of life, the built-in structure between the most powerful forces, is an illusion. If your beliefs don’t teach you the difference between fact and illusion, then your beliefs are worse than useless.

 

VAN HELSING

It has been rightly said that nothing is insignificant, nothing is helpless in this world of ours. A single action can disperse everything or save everything. There lies the endless similarity between what we are talking about. Good and evil. We should not do an immoral thing for moral reasons. The wicked are wicked, no doubt of it, and they go astray as they fall.

DRACULA

Professor

(STANDS)

From the very beginning of our lives, me and you, we tried to understand them. I thought good was incomplete, while you understood that evil is often an instance more than a situation. One thing is for sure, we cannot change who we were then, and what represents us now are. 


VAN HELSING

(STANDS TOO)

No, I cannot. What about you count?

 

DRACULA

What about me?

 

VAN HELSING

Will you still roam the earth, for another century or more? You are immortal after all?

 

DRACULA

And so are you, my dear professor, Van Helsing.

 

VAN HELSING

What do you mean?

 

DRACULA

I mean, we were created in 1897, by a man known as Bram Stoker, and now, we are between the twentieth and the thirtieth century. We both are alive and kicking, sometimes we are represented as ourselves, sometimes we become other characters but also, about us, good and evil. We stay alive until the day nobody will read any more books, they don’t watch us on televisions or in the cinema.

 

(THEY BOTH WALK OUT AS THEY DO SO, VAN HELSING SPEAKS)

 

VAN HELSING

Until then Count!

 

THE END