“This way, Patches; there’s a good fellow! Do try to keep up.” Mr. Wickles continued to bleat his cheerful encouraging nonsense as he led Patches to the end of existence as he knew it. Patches was solemn but brave about the whole situation; if one had to become such a … creature … as it seemed he would become, it softens the blow a bit to do so in service of a beauty. Lady Violet! Patches would gladly go to the grave for her – in fact, under the circumstances, he might have preferred death. The pair arrived in a dingy laboratory, surrounded by many jars with various wet-specimen taxidermy in. Patches was taken a little aback. “Isn’t this…?”
“Yes. We lifted the scene directly from Mary Shelley. It’s not that widely read with all the adaptations out there, so it should be fairly private, and if I need a spare set of hands, Victor’s not bad at surgery.”
“You know precisely how to set a gentleman at ease, Wickles. Very well – get on with it.” Weary from being brave and the barrage of exposition that had been happening over the last hour or so, Patches just wanted his ill-starred transformation to be over already. Wickles gestured to a simple cardboard box, and in his cat-shape, Patches slipped inside.
“Logic puzzles and thought experiments aren’t strictly literary, of course, but they crop up enough in fiction that we can borrow the constructs when necessary, Patches. Since Vampires, of course, are dead, we need you dead, too. Now, the whole Shrödinger situation – or its popular retellings – will mean that you’re alive and dead at once. After that, it’s just a matter of narrative surgery.” Wickles shut the lid, and strode over to an old computer console. The orange text blinked against the background, waiting for a prompt. He sat, and began typing wildly.
“That seems like a ridiculously high amount to charge for such a simple task!” the fat man protested. “I’m sure that it could be done for quite a bit less, perhaps by someone else!”
Patches growled at his client, baring one fang to make his point, “The price was agreed about beforehand, you wouldn’t be trying to amend the contract at such a late date, would you?”
His claws came out and dug into the oak of his desk, His galloping abs tore through his flimsy formal shirt, indicating how strong and beautiful he was. “I would hate to think you were trying to cheat me while besmirching my character.” Splinters appeared on the desktop as his claws worked and fur rose along his ruff, the light sparkled on his glittery muscled skin. Also he slammed his fist powerfully enough for there to be splinters, I guess.“I would hate to have to deal with such…slander.”
The man nervously loosened his collar, “I-I’m sure there will be nothing to worry about. Your reputation is unimpeachable.” He wiped away a drop of sweat from his brow as the fang disappeared back behind the
bewhiskered lip and the claws drew back chiseled boyish lips of the vampire stud.
“Excellent!” Mr. Wickles was pleased with his Meyersesque edit of Patches’ initial description. “I mean, the narrative might reject the graft, but it should hold long enough to do the job.” Heading back over to spring Patches from his temporary prison, he saw that there were now two boxes, neatly stacked on top of one another. Wickles opened them both, and stepped back, lest either version of Patches wind up disemboweling him.
He needn’t have worried. Both Patches stood, staring at one another – the somewhat portly temporally-ambiguous gentleman-burglar who could turn into a cat at will, and the Robert Pattinson look-alike.