Wo bin ich? Wer bin ich? Warum habe ich Kopfschmerzen? Wo sind alles Leute?
And why the hell is the room upside-down?
...I remember something now. Something Jannings said down there. About contracts and setting records straight and ach Scheisse.
It just goes to show, given the chance to start a rumor the media is going to get it all wrong. No, Max Schreck wasn't a damn vampire. But Emil Jannings was Mephistopheles.
Really fucking ironic, ja? Think of that the next time you get drunk with your actors and jokingly agree to sell your soul to some bastard. He might come around to collect.
And then-- What was it? I was just getting around to enjoying my skull split open on a street pole in Santa Barbara --that fucking city, those fucking madmen drivers--, and then the next second I'm somewhere very hot and smoky, and that bastard Emil Jannings was there with this ridiculous grin on his face, and all I could think was: actors. The lot of them.
And that was all rather fine after a while. One gets used to the sulfur eventually, and Bosch? Had had too much imagination, really. There are limits to things.
But then, oh, then we got that new bloody Malkovich movie in, the one about me. And Jannings takes one look at the thing and frowns and says, We have to see about this, Freidrich. Set a few records straight, you know?
And there went the awfully pleasant pools of lava and back came my body, pre-lamp post. And then there were all these cars, not the things like before, and all these tall buildings and HORRIBLE screaming planes every ten minutes.
And then-- what? I'd just gotten around to finding my way to the Fox studio, stumbled out some English explaining I was the revived spirit of F.W. Murnau, and would they please reinstate my contract?, and then some rather handsome young man had shown me to some cells.
And in the cell had been a letter, addressed rather specifically to me. And a sort of invitation to somewhere in China. It was bound to be better than answering to these authorities for certain things, ja? Even if some of them were rather handsome young fellows.
Ach. Bad Friedrich. Bad. No call for that sort of thinking.
But that still didn't all explain this present situation, and why the room is upside-down. And why my head hurts.
Presently, with some effort, I twist my head around for a better view. There is a bed on the ceiling, and a dresser, and a table with a pair of chairs, very spartan but very unhelpful to anyone on the opposite side. Who puts carpet on the ceiling, either?
...Come to it...
I turn my head a little more, tucking in my chin with the effort of looking down. Which is actually up, in the truer universal sense. My feet are tucked into a beam in the ceiling. I'm hanging upside-down.
Rather like a vampire.
I'm never drinking again, I think dryly.
Which is about the time my feet lose their hold, and I fall to the floor.