When I was twelve, on the cusp of illusion I bought Dracula at a jumble sale and reclining on the sofa, turned my head from the blue lough winking outside my window and read. Soon I was in Transylvania in a mountain vastness, in a castle courtyard looking up at the blank windows of the Count’s ancestral home. I was thrilled by the terrible beauty of the lady vampires dining on a baby in a sack. Then I was standing in Whitby Abbey watching his ship veer helplessly into the harbour as the great white dog escapes and then saw Lucy fainting on the cliff. I yearned to be bitten by Dracula and live with him; long vampire nights in the mountain vastness of his ghoul-haunted castle and play cards on ancient tables with tallow dripping on my ornate velvet gowns and listen to the children of the night howling in the gorge. I was there waiting for him in the dark and dusty ante room where his coffin lay in long streaks of moonlight, sharpening my claws with a glass file, waiting for my master to raise the lid and summon me, that when my mother called me to peel the potatoes for dinner I was insulted, ripped untimely from my fantasy and I took my book and jumped over the shore wall and read it among the rock pools, the seaweed and driftwood.