The light of the day had already been extinguished. Elsewhere, plans had begun to set into motion, the turning of the gears of archaic proportions, the ushering of the liaison of destruction. Death was busy, unusually busy for this time. The old, dilapidated warehouse of scrap metal and wood of the shipyard was quite bright for this time of the night. The moon bled above the yellowed city lights. The stars cried—icy streaks, in the abysmal sheet of darkness—in unison of the celestial act that forebode of what carried on below.
Inside the vast shell of a building, windows were boarded up. Debris and trash littered the ground all over. Assorted holes punctured the roof, letting a peak of what transpired within. A man was busy, occupied with the disposition of the latest interloper.
The swarm of the stifling cold had long already wrapped itself around his body, constricting him like an invisible serpent. He awoke and found himself bound to the wall, stretched limb and limb about a makeshift cross that was made of scraps of metal and wood. His mouth stuffed with sweaty rags, mixed with only God knew what. He was soaking wet, but he couldn’t quite make out whether it was from his blood, sweat, or from the water. Before him stood a vague shadow of a man, cockeyed, peering back with a set of raging, bright-red eyes. The eyes shifted sluggishly around the room, searching for answers from this. . .intruder. Behind the vengeful wraith, laid the twisted and mangled tall body of a man bathing in a pool of crimson.
The shade spoke deep with assurance. “There is no one else here, just us. Well, except for your partner, but I wouldn’t exactly be counting on any back up.” The silhouette shrugged, “You know how it is—collateral damage.”
His head refused to budge, causing his body to jerk with fear, his nose catching the hint of gasoline. The dark shade materialized at long last. The raging redness of its eyes settled to a cool deep blue, a face of easiness and of peace.
The now, appearing gentle man spoke, waving his hand over his hostage’s face. “Calm yourself.”
A cloud of serenity came over the prisoner. He made out the elegance of his captor that was so bewildering. A dark oak tribal mask fell to the floor with a light thud, seemingly like a drop of rain on the surface of a pond. The man had long black hair that was matted and mangy. He noted his square broad face. . .of torment and pain—of scars and wounds: past, present, and foretold of future ones—this was a traitor.
The nomadic man turned his back to the ‘crucified’ man. “I tire of your persistent meddling. No longer, will you be following anyone around, sticking your bothersome nose in matters that are far beyond what your pathetic, frail mind can comprehend.” He turned to face his victim. “Oh no.” He grinned fiercely, then burst into a gleeful sinister laugh, “NOT ANYMORE!” He closed his eyes and sniffed the air. “There are some big plans that are unfurling now, but you already know that; and there is NOTHING. . .nothing. . .you or anyone can do about it.” He grasped the man’s throat and peered deep into the frightened, green eyes. “Any last words. . .detective?” The man shook violently, trying to writhe himself free, grunting with empty pleas. The vagabond leaned toward the grunting man, whispering into his ear. “I’ll be sure to say hello to them for you, but don’t worry—they won’t be too far behind.”
The nomad plunged the blade into the man’s gut—grinning with a wink. The starving knife’s teeth clawed and pulled at the insides. The blade was jerked up in the man’s abdomen in a smooth transition, carving the hapless fool—over to the right—then at last, in a downward angle. The man coughed for a moment, choking on his own blood. He let loose a low mutter and groan, following the rush of blood that crudely mimicked a waterfall that trickled down onto the floor, along with the rest of his liveliness. As the savage nomad turned to walk away from his latest kill, a whisper from someone long ago caught his ear as he lit a match. No matter how many times you keep telling yourself you won’t. You will die. She still lives and this time—she will see to it. Oh yes, it will be all the sweeter—your death! [The match slowly fell to the ground, igniting the stew of blood, gasoline, and waste] Yes, this time, the true traitor will be the betrayed! [The flames rushed with hunger up the base of the cross, devouring the man’s feet, legs, and torso] Killing the ‘fodder’, as you say, will only fuel the fire that awaits you in Hell! The voice trailed off into a maniacal laughter, as the husk of a man on the cross was engulfed in flames.
The unnerved wanderer picked up his mask and placed it over his face, the chin and lips still exposed, and specks of blood on it. He grinned to himself and closed his eyes, and inhaled deep. The air began to rage hellishly behind him, as he still lost in the thought as he licked his lips. “Hmm, well, I can’t wait to see her . . .try.”
Look for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle, coming soon!