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Double Cross

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The space was dark, cold and damp, with the monotonous drip-drip-drip of errant water echoing about it, giving a rhythmic tempo to the short gasps of panicked breath that was it’s accompaniment. A figure,a man, bound to a chair with a sack over his head, the source of that harmonic, an occasional whimper of fear highlights the symphony of horror. An hour or a day, it is hard to tell, but the space is now thick with the sour stink of dread drenched sweat and piss that had dried long ago on his pants.

Why was he there? He was about to find out as a single light globe illuminated the space with ineffective light. It appeared some damp and dripping sub cellar with black mold crawling across ancient crumbling bricks. A door opens with a creak. Two men enter, burly looking thugs that flank the door while another stands just beyond the threshold in the darkness, wreathed with the aroma of expensive french cigarettes. One word, and the men approach the bound prisoner. He hears the movement, his breath quickens with foreboding and a strangled cry, but he is not harmed. Instead the sack is whipped off his head, leaving him blinking and disoriented in the half light. A blade cuts the ties that bind his hands behind him and a low whistling exhalation of relief punctuates the constant drip.

The men leave.

A pale and slender silhouette enters and the door clangs behind them and, the sound of a bolt drawn across the door with a terrifying finality. The prisoner looks up as the tailings of a cigarette is flicked and bounces off his cheek to end it’s life in an extinguishing hiss. The prisoner recoils from the assault but does not react with the outrage that one might expect. A wise man stays silent in such situations, but this was not a wise man.

“Anders?” a single query as the tall and slender, slightly effete looking man steps into the narrow circle of light that is the only illumination.

He appeared no more than early 20’s, fine features and the palest of pallor, dressed in nothing but a pair of Oxford bags, a style from the last century, held up with red braces that traverse a bare and narrow chest.

“Anders? What the fuck is going on? What’s with all the fuckin’ drama?”

Angry and brash, an act of course, one that isn’t reassured by the continuous silence of the man, younger in appearance, and dry with a distinct lack of nervous sweat.

Anders’ gaze is relentless, and the prisoner, a man in his 40’s, swarthy, unshaven and balding, probably a muscular chap back in his day but with the thickening that is inevitable with age of the muscle bound. He was certainly big enough to cause someone a lot of damage, but the man was careful to flicker his eyes about the room, everywhere, anywhere but into the crimson glare of the one he called Anders.

“What- you not talking to me now, huh?” a tremulous quality advances into his mildly disrespectful tone. This appears to be someone who is known to the pale dandy, known very well. “What the fuck Anders..-?” but his words are cut short when Anders appears beside him, moving quicker than the prisoner can detect, bent low with his face merely inches from his own. he does well not to recoil again.

“You stink Dennis” accuses the young man with a spiteful spray. “You stink of piss and fear!”

Dennis does recoil now, moving slightly in the seat but still remaining in it. He opens his mouth to speak. “Shut up!” commands the younger with an authority that is immediately adhered to, his mouth closing with a snap. Still he does not look at the pale, bare chested man-child. The snap reciprocated as elastic braces are removed from narrow shoulders and allowed to hang from the high, french pleated waistline of those baggy trousers.

“You got greedy Dennis. Did you not think I would find out?”

There was fear now in Dennis’ eyes as he stammers out an answer.

“I… I can explain Anders, truly!” His tone changes into one of cajoling reassurance. ” I was going to cut you in…just doing a test run, to see if…”

The blur of a hand whips through the air and backhands the prisoner across the mouth with such force that his lip is split on the hard enamel of his teeth and he is knocked from the chair to sprawl in the filth of the floor. He crawls now, away from the young fellow, whimpering and begging

“Please…I got a wife…kids”. Anders kicks the plain wooden chair across the room where it smashes into composite pieces against the wall.

“I know” responds Anders with a smile that was anything but humored. “They are next”

Dennis looks behind him as he crawls through the slime of a hundred years of death, fear etched into his face like a masque. A hand grips the back of his neck and he is thrown with ease to follow the chair, slamming into the wall, the crack of a fractured collar bone clearly heard. A scream of pain. The man is gibbering now, begging not for his life, but for the lives of his children, using his one useful arm in an attempt to once more crawl from this monster, but where would he go? He is trapped, and the journey of his body cuts a trail through the slick of damp mold and slime. Anders just watches him as he reaches the door, using a fist to beat upon it.

“Please!” the prisoner screams. “Let me out!” But his pleas fall upon deaf ears. He is picked up and thrown again, bouncing off the opposite wall and falling heavily once more upon the floor. He barely moves now and the begging has stopped.

“You knew the score” comes the voice of the monster, a guttural growl. “Every single trace of you will be wiped off the face of Hellifyno- including your get”.

If Dennis hears him, he doesn’t respond, his movements have slowed and he is barely conscious- his head took the blow. Fear is the only thing that drives him now, and is the one thing that keeps him lucid, and he is fading fast. The Vampyre Blood God walks slowly towards the broken man, a cardinal glare boring into him. Nostrils twitch at the scent of likor as it fills the mouth of his dishonest employee.

The monster’s head drops back, his lids droop in an almost euphoric glaze and he breathes in the bouquet of blood, terror and cowardice. It excites him in a way that sex does not. It raises him above the level of this meat and atop the food chain. An apex predator. There is nothing that can touch him. He feels powerful. Vigorous and potent. A twitch from his crotch heralds his dominance.

Anders descends upon the prone figure of Dennis. A strangled scream as a hand grips his throat, a knee in the small of his back and Anders curls his lip with effort as he raises the man from his stomach, bending him backwards over his spine. Abdominal muscle tears and pings like the elastic of Anders’ braces, breath is cut off as a clawed hand throttles, his face flushes crimson with the effort as his body refuses to give way until with a thrust and a sickening crunch, the lumbar vertebrae disintegrates under the pressure and the spinal cord is severed by the very bones designed to protect it.

The meat voids instantly, piss flows and loosened excrement blasts from an redundant sphincter, stinking the place up further. Still that human is bent backwards, bone grinding against bone, an impossible angle until glazed eyed and slack jawed, Disbelief at what is happening to his mortal form and with the resignation of one looking death in the face, his gaze is held by the Vampyre, and the last thoughts the employee experiences are not his own, but the nightmarish images thrust into his midbrain by the Glamor of this beast engaged in unholy acts with this dying man’s wife and unspeakable behaviors with his children.

He cannot speak, he feels nothing below his waist, consciousness swims as blood gathers in his face, vessels bursting in the sclera of his eyes until they mirror those of his murderer.

“This is all down to you” in nothing more than a whisper, a soft click that denotes the arrival of those sharpened enamel shards and the approach of this man’s demise. A sound like fabric tearing as fangs rip through skin, flesh and the soft bouncy tube of his carotid artery. Likor, deep crimson, fountains and is caught in the maw of that beast, running down a pale chin. The pressure causes it to bubble and foam. A gurgling despair as life drains from the broken man and is consumed by a monster that is relentless and alarmingly efficient.

Some time later, a knock at the door and the thugs unbolt it, almost afeared of what they might find. A half naked Anders, coated with blood from his sticky hair to his waist, his pants soaked with it, there is not an inch of his pale flesh that has not been dyed red.

“Take care of it” is all the Vampyre says, the pale ice ring of his iris’ glaring at both as though daring them to be disgusted and learn their own fate.

They are silent when they step into the room, the light bulb swinging on it’s anchor, flashing the scene in light and then darkness, a pendulum nightmare. The scene is one of horror, of a man bent completely in half, his spine nestling against the back of his thighs and dealthy pale with desanguination. His eyes staring up into the spotlight of illumination and glazed and dry with terror.

One thug looks to the other and opens his mouth to speak but is stilled by the raised hand of the other, who ignores the rising gorge of his breakfast and grabs at the calloused and cold hand of the victim. The monster was just outside the door.

Anders stands at the bottom of stairs, taking a moment to casually light a cigarette, held between loose lips, a flick and flare of a Zippo and a deep exhale. Thoughts turn now to the man’s pretty wife, a blonde who has kept herself very trim despite the ravages of pregnancy, and children, a boy of around 6 and a wee girl of 2. Lips spread across enamel in a lurid grin, and the smear of a pale body moving at super speed up the steps and out of sight of the hired muscle.

Once sure the monster has departed, the cadaver’s hand is released with a wet flop onto the floor. The tough turns his head and throws up his last meal, while the other, a huge man like the last, covers his mouth to prevent an involuntary scream of terror. This was the price of double crossing the Vampyre. An installment had been paid and Anders would be on his way across town to collect the balance.

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