Friday, 1 June 2012
BLOOD TEARS ... A Taster
Wonder why it is called BLOOD TEARS? Here's the prologue.
He closed the door, his hand trembling. Walking across the floor, towards the desk, he removed all his clothes. He bent to retrieve the black costume from the floor, draped it on a perfumed hanger and hung it neatly in its place. His shoes were last. Ladies size 7. Black leather with a sensible heel, they were tucked under the chair. He massaged his toes, which had been stuffed into the neat fit. Blood stained his toe where the nail from the neighbouring pinkie had torn flesh.
He sat before the mirror and, filling his lungs, flicked a switch. Lights framing the mirror blazed unkindly on to his face. He breathed again and closed his eyes. And again, he breathed, revelling in the speed of his pulse. So this is what it means to be alive, he thought. Every nerve in his body thrummed with electricity. This is what it means to belong.
Muscles along his shoulders and down through his arms and legs relaxed as if bathed in liquid and heat. Had his eyes been open, he would have seen the slow spread of a smile stretch his lips.
It had begun.
An eye for an eye, the Bible said. A life for a life. But how many lives were enough, he considered, to replace the one lost? As many as it takes.
Breathe slowly, he told himself. In for a count of nine. And out for a count of nine. The old man had fought well, for his age. Who would have thought? Realisation that his life was about to end would have lent him strength. But he had been no real contest. A quick blow to the solar plexus, tighten the garrotte and it was all but over.
Stopping at the right time was crucial. Keeping him alive along enough; easing pressure on the stranglehold before he passed from unconsciousness into death was key.
The old man barely stirred as the hoop of barbed wire was squeezed on to his head. The metal thorns slid into the pale flesh of his forehead as easily as communion wine slips down the throat.
Reliving the moment when the man stirred and their eyes met, forced a flood of blood into his groin. The sweet ache that encapsulated sin. But the ache was even more pronounced in his heightened state. And all the more difficult to ignore.
Questions forced their way through the old man’s clenched teeth. His need to know, who and why, was such it acted as an anaesthetic.
‘Who... are you?’ He groaned. ‘Why are you... doing this to me? Please... please... please don’t hurt... me... anymore.’ Sweat diluted the colour of the blood on his forehead.
‘Hurt? You don’t know the meaning of the word. Yet.’
Terror bloomed in the old man’s pupils. The iris all but swallowed in black, ‘Please.. .let me go... I can give you ... money.’
‘Money? I don’t want your money. I want your pain. I want your repentance.’
‘For what!’ he used all his remaining energy to ask, ‘Who are you?’
‘I am the avenging angel. I am he who will deliver you.’ He stifled a giggle. He’d rehearsed that part. It sounded even better out loud.
Again the old man asked, ‘Who are you?’
‘You have no idea, do you?’
The old man coughed. Blood frothed from his mouth, ‘Whoever you are... I’m sorry...whatever I did... I’m sorry.’ Anguish coated every word.
‘Before you die, you at least deserve to know why.’ In truth, he wanted to delay the moment of completion.
He bent forward and whispered in the man’s ear.
He slid open the long, middle drawer under the desktop and pulled out two items, a white, featureless mask and a scalpel. The mask he placed over his face and regarded the eyes that looked back. They were brown and framed in long, black lashes that were the envy of any women who saw them.
But within them lay layers he could only guess at. The mask brought to play a distance; a distance between him and his actions. The mask could feel, while he could not. The mask could reason, while he dare not. The mask could mourn, while he should not.
The eyes within the mask flared as he remembered the moment before the nails went in.
‘You...are... practising on me?’ The old man asked.
‘Yes... and you’re the most... deserving candidate.’
Then came the score of a knife. Four six inch nails. A twist of the garrotte.
And a last, withered exhalation.
‘Don’t worry,’ he whispered into the dead man’s ear, ‘there will be more.’
Long fingers picked up the scalpel and aimed the point towards the mask. While one hand held the mask carefully in place, the other pressed finely honed steel against the lower, right eyelid, until blood welled on to the blade. Then after placing the knife on the desktop, his right hand pressed the cheek of the mask so that blood slid onto its surface.
As a single drop of blood glided down the white cheek of the mask, he considered the long dead, the newly deceased, those yet to die, and enjoyed the tear.