Ep.9 Baba Dochia and The New Mantel

Illustration: Cristina Daniela Gagiu
Storyteller: Oana Maroti 

Interior, apartment with a magnificent view to the sea. Colorful curtains move back and forth, following the wind’s gentle rhythm. Dracula is funky dancing in the living room, balancing his reversible coat, appearing and disappearing with the disco lights.

When Umbra Mirabelei entered the saloon extending her shade under the door frame, Dracula was joyfully and terrifyingly singing in falsetto:

¨Bla bla bla, bla bla bla!¨

Umbra Mirabelei joins the dancing and sings along: ¨Bla bla, bla!¨

Dracula, feeling happy and smiling with all his face and big tees tries to hug his friend, without success. The shade disintegrates in his arms. Just by a clap of hands Dracula lowers the music´s volume and says:

Dra: Ah, Umbra darling, finally you are here. I was waiting for you to help me with my haircut.

Umbra: Bonjour Dra! I must say that hearing you singing is so super funny. I guess some voices are naturally made to be erotic while others are designed for horror-comic movies. Hahaha!

Dracula laughing with an amplifying voice: Hahaha! Have you noticed my new mantle?

Umbra: Oh, yes, even better than the other. Actually, it´s marvelous and the pattern, oh my, are these wild flowers and inlaid firefly embroidery?

Dra: It´s encrusted embroidery, yes and these are not only wild flowers you see, there are also different kinds of herbs, also known as ¨malas hierbas¨, the so wrongly called bad weeds, that in fact can be good, you know, bees love them.

Umbra enthusiastic: Uau, vrăjălos! It´s made by you?

Dra: No, this time only the design is mine. I kept thinking that all my mantels are monochrome and felt the need for something special, you know, something that can communicate the new me, yet in the same time be original, so I have made my mind that wild flower pattern, bees and fireflies should be included.

The fabric, it´s European, high class materiality, but the pattern is made by Baba-Dochia, typical Balkan elements, custom made. You are familiar with Baba-Dochia, right?

Umbra: Well, yes, she is well known as The Storm of Balkans.

Dra: Oh, please, I can´t believe it. Oh man, this is how they call her? My oh my, if she hears about it…

Umbra: Well, probably nobody knows she´s alive.

Dra: Baba Dochia is the only true immortal I know. I mean, come-on: the spring, the rain, the wind, the snow… like she is all over, how can people believe she´s dead I do not know. Anyways, as you might have found out she specialized in jackets over the last centuries and she is now in fashion business, custom made collections, small flowers and exquisite miniature embroidery are her mark.

Umbra: Is she old looking or never ages?

Dra: She is old looking only because she wants it this way, of course, gray hair like the time and grumpy as life itself. Anyways, look at me in this new reversible mantle! It´s genius touch and daring. Rrrrr, I wanted daring.

Umbra: Oh, yes, indeed it´s something different, classy, yet not opulent.

Dra: Misto!

Umbra: If only I could wear something else than the same old shade costume. Ce fain ar fi!

Dra: Tare fain! Why don´t we make a visit, I´m sure that she can make-up something for you too?

Umbra: Do you think so? I could change my image with a new costume?! Wow, Dra, it would be great.

Dra: Let´s go and see. You must be comfortable and confident. Soon enough, I would like to present you to the others. Chop-chop, let´s go fast and hope that she´s in a good mood. Come on, come on.

Umbra: It´s midnight almost, it must be late for an old lady.

Dra maliciously laughing: Be serious, she never sleeps and if I think more about it, you must meet her by all means. Grab my coat, feel the fabric. Let´s go!

Umbra grabs Dracula´s mantel and the fabric felt cozy, a satisfying touch, so soft. Her state of mind – close to levitation.

Just a few seconds after they were gone, just disappeared.

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