By Kailleaugh Andersson
They had fought the day it
started. It began as an argument, really; about what, Richard could not
remember, but he had said the cruelest thing to Calista. He told her that
their wedding was off and that he had never really loved her; the latter
of which, was really a lie. A bold faced, fucking white lie, but he wanted
it to sting and hurt her. He told her that he never really cared; another
lie, and that she could be dead, stone cold dead, dead in the ground and
rotting and he'd shed no tears. Told her that all those sweet, soft words
he'd whispered in her ear as they lay next to each other at night was just
a game; just a ploy to keep fucking her, he said. That was another lie,
but that was when she slapped him; slapped him hard and drew a welt over
his pale cheek as she burst into tears and turned to leave him.
And that was when the beast came; bubbled up inside him like a toiling cauldron, overcame him like a freak storm in the summer that casts long and dark shadows over the world and swept up inside his head, mindless, like the ocean. And that was also when he balled up his fist and punished her; leaving an instant cruel mark upon the side of that beautiful round face as Calista plummeted to the floor.
How long he had always wanted to hurt her; not because she ever actually came close to deserving it, but because deep down, Richard always knew he was capable. Perhaps because in school, he had always been so good at taking hurt that one day it would overcome him and he would become a predator no different from those jocks in his school years who tormented him daily. And the fact was, ever since those days he'd felt the need, simply because he knew it would give him a new found strength, despite his weak, puny and thin frame. Knew that it would make him feel like a man for once; to feel like the predator he knew he was born to be simply because of the penis between his legs, no different than his father before him. To feel whole and to feel complete.
He'd nearly felt that way once when he was 18. He'd been out late, walking the dark city streets; a little bit drunk and his head swimming with a warm, muddled feeling of false testosterone induced by half a bottle of rock gut vodka that had been distilled at some god forsaken place in Idaho. And that was when he saw her: a pale and sickly girl with greasy black hair and muddied black clothes. She couldn't have been more than 16, maybe only 15. She was likely quite beautiful underneath the grime of the city that tainted her face and clothes from weeks, or perhaps months of living on the streets. He stood staring at her, not even blinking as she watched him with cautious dark eyes that made her seem anyone's victim. Richard's head muddled with that dangerous courage he had never had in a situation like this; a dark alley, a defenseless girl that noone in this world gave a shit about and the world around him in a slumber. Something raw and bestial began to inhabit his mind. At first, merely like a tiny voice in his head noting the defensiveness of the pitiful thing in front of him whose thin neck began to crane in different directions as her eyes became and shifted about, nearly like a fragile songbird knowing its destiny as an unseen kitten stalks it ever so slowly from behind. And then that tiny voice growing rapidly into a shout consuming every portion of his thought as if possessed and being commanded to kill by some unseen master. It was then that Richard had felt it. All of his fears in the world disappeared and he seemed to lunge at the girl, his teeth gnashing, his hands tight like claws, his eyes blazing; unstoppable, invulnerable and consumed with a desire, a dark urge pounding within his head to conquer, pillage, rape and kill the pitiful victim that fate had delivered to him who was now backing herself into a corner where a grimy brick wall and a dirty metal dumpster, covered in gang graffiti met, her eyes open wide and her mouth, pouting lips seeming to want to open wide to emit a scream from the very bowels of her body. How pitiful and how much a victim she looked with those dark eyes wide in fear, Richard thought.
It was over in an instant: Richard grasping his arm in pain as he emitted a painful scream. A thick, streaming, crimson diagonal line suddenly appearing upon his arm and the flash of thin and shiny metal cleaving through the air as the once pitiful girl, now angry and defiant, brandished an antique straight razor towards his face and forcing him to back away, and the girl, who had appeared as anyone's victim, now seeming Amazonian and overpowering to him, calling him a string of obscenities that would make any obnoxious comedian blush beet red. Clarity consuming him and his courage quickly fading, Richard turned on his heel and ran nearly like the wind for home where he locked himself in his room for days.
Calista was on the floor, and for the first time since that long ago night, Richard began to feel complete; especially after he'd straddled her and had rended her clothes off in strips as if he had grown claws from this restored power. And he grew those claws, he thought; sharp and shiny black ones like obsidian as he forced himself inside of her, impaling her over and over, making Calista scream in a barbed pain until she literally tore open and bled, crying thick, streaming, painful tears as she tried with what little strength she had left to push him away, to push him off, to hide, to run for help, yet defenseless and trapped in that fear and pain, her voice shrill, begging him to stop. And this re-discovered power delighted him; made him feel like a man. No, like a beast! A great and powerful beast, he thought, as his senses began to become aware of Calista's blood that hung like a dark and sweet stench in that humid summer air. Keen; and how he desired to taste that blood, salty to his tongue, to gorge himself upon it. How badly his body ached to feel that blood coursing down his throat, rushing into his brain, making it swim drunk with power in a terrible and bestial swoon as pure as rage.
Richard bit Calista reactively on the shoulder, just enough to break her soft skin for one taste. Just one little taste. One little drop upon his tongue and his head swam and his vision began to blur, but quickly it began to return with a new flood of sensation as his fiancé screamed. This was like a sheer power consuming him; a high, his body pumping with a dark, enhanced feeling. A sensation and a power that he had forever yearned for and as Calista's heart pumped violently as if her life wanted to slip away, Richard craved for something more.
It was then that he began shredding with stronger than human jaws and filleting layer upon layer of Calista's skin away as he swallowed, only to reveal more blood, gushing black red into his throat after the skin, and beneath, the flesh of her muscle, ripe, which he shredded. Tendons tearing. Sinew ripping. To the plate of her bone, tracing its edges with his teeth, now like steel; devouring ...
For the first time in his life, Richard felt fulfilled, forever stronger, felt strong and confident. He had devoured Calista; consumed every drop of blood, her every scrap of flesh, her very eccense of life down to consuming her soul, her fear and even drawing into him the blood and flesh of their unborn child which he had torn from Calista's womb with his own hand. Not with remorse, but with a savage greed found only among the fiercest of all predators.
He killed at random at first, for a human fear of getting caught. Perhaps from an uncertainty of his skill in the beginning, from long moments of doubt and too many fears racing through his head.
"What if I get caught?" Richard asked himself, "and what if they throw me in prison?"
He could see it in his head; those thick headlines, in nearly wet ink in the papers nationwide:
"VAMPIRE KILLER CAPTURED"and
"CANNIBAL TO BE EXECUTED"
He could see himself being hunted down like a dog by a legion of cops dressed in SWAT gear; the gleam of one hundred flashing lights from the police cruisers blinding his blood filled eyes as his skull, cracked by the butts of assault rifles throbbed and his vision stung in a blur. The daily beatings by other inmates in the prison yard while the guards turned their backs with smirks written upon their faces. His last meal; tasteless and silent but for the ticking of his doomsday clock whose minute hand seemed to spin as fast as its second hand. The long and slow march down a dimly lit corridor whose caged lights gave off an eerie, flickering buzz in a prelude to what lie ahead at the end of this endless hallway and once having passed through those steel, double doors into a bright room, only to be greeted by an electric chair, looking more a torture implement than a killing machine with its metal skeleton bolted to the floor and its steel helm skull beckoning him.
Those sweat wreaking straps over his skin ....
And for a second, a darkness where once there was dim and dark light underneath the hood enveloping his head, and then all seemed to be in vivid and distorted sound as the flick of a switch permeated in his ears.
It was then that he felt it leap through his body. A sudden charge that seemed to come from his insides and work its way to his skin in a numb tingling sensation. For a moment he felt empowered, and a rage began to swirl in his head that shouted "you can't fucking kill me!". And then, then there was something else ...
The stench of his shit flowing down his leg, mingled with a faint trace of urine as he felt the electricity flowing through his bones, arc into his blood vessels, toiling inside them like a fiery cauldron and burning outwards to his skin, and searing off the first layer that only curled off his flesh in a white, toiling, wispy haze that stunk of burnt hair and seemed to toil above him in a noxious cloud. His insides, burning, while his muscles baked with heat, nearly cooking him, reminding him of a great bird that Calista had nearly reduced to charcoal one Thanksgiving afternoon that now seemed another life ago. And he screamed; the pain swelling inside him until he seemed to rupture, and he had burst; his eye sockets, nose and mouth spewing thick, hot and burnt black blood that crept over his flesh.
And only then was there a release; a pitch black darkness and a sick feeling of absolutely nothing.
Suddenly he had awoken to the bright heat of the day; the sweat rolling off his slick skin like veins of tiny, stinking, salty rivers. For a moment he felt sick; practically having to crawl into the bathroom where he puked stinging bile into the dirty white basin.
Richard looked up to see himself; his true self, evil and red eyed staring back at him in the dirty mirror, his canines long, sharp and pointed, gleaming behind his lips and his eyes, large and dilated.
"Oh, what's the matter, Rikki?" his voice, but lower, spoke, "you afraid?"
His image scowled for a moment as Richard stared.
"Cat got your fucking tongue, you weak little shit?!"
"You little bitch!" it rang.
"You're fucking worthless! Poor, poor little Rikki. Oh, whimpering in horror at the things you make inside your head!" the thing whined mockingly.
"You're fucking waste!"
The thing scowled, raised a clawed finger to its brow and tapped it nervously to its temple in what seemed a lighter vein.
"Afraid of the police?" the thing asked matter of factly.
"Yeah." Rikki answered, "What if they catch me?"
The thing smiled, reassuringly showing a mouthful of pointed teeth.
"Oh, do you really think they can catch me?!"
Things became easier for Richard after that. He began to hunt with a newly found pleasure, learning to savor the kill. Stalking them stealthily or obfuscated as a smiling assassin. He learned to play with his victims, often taking weeks to finish them off. No longer did he have a fear of anything in the world, let alone the women. Women, he'd learned were especially easy prey. They were far too trusting it seemed. Just a few kind and flattering words with a flash of a confident smile, just be sure not to show the snarl of those growing and pointed canines set into his strong, steel like jaws, and they were easy, trusting quarry; and they were even easier to kill.
It was all over the papers. Headlines like:
"LOCAL GIRL MISSING", "BODY COUNT MOUNTS" and "POLICE STILL BAFFLED".
He saved them all; treasured mementos over the months, a scrapbook worth of clippings.
Arrogant, he'd even allowed them to discover his killing fields by leaving a well placed, shattered femur where some children would surely find it and even stood amongst the crowd of reporters behind the police line as an army of cops scoured the lot for more remains. They numbered 49 in all, which made Richard chuckle for he had killed 51. Two had been pregnant.
Prey was becoming slim. Even the hookers were becoming cautious. He hadn't killed in a month. It may have been more than a month, but who was keeping track anymore? This was routine and he even found that his need to kill only lingered in a warming hunger. He'd even killed men; a dozen or more by now, for he was the master predator and all the human race was his prey.
"Top of the fucking food chain!" his reflection in the mirror often boasted.
Women or men, it didn't matter now. They were all "meat", and he'd even taken down a huge, leather clad biker one night.
"A real monster. A fucking giant! He had shoulders this wide!" he'd boast to himself as he held his arms wide as if to describe the man's girth.
He had taken him forcibly; as a sort of test to himself, opposed to creeping up from behind, but head on in a struggle, even tearing the handgun from the man's clutch after the giant had struck him with little effect.
As he shredded into the giant and devoured that first hunk of red flesh, Richard realized that the biker too had been a predator. Not a predator like Richard, but he had killed before and he had done so passionately and without recoil. Taking this man down was especially satisfying and he savored every morsel of crimson flesh that he could scrape from his bones with his teeth.
Yet Richard's favorite prey was still women. They were so weak, so easy to take down and so out of tune that it always reminded him of the first kill.
The girl was bold, or just
plain fucking stupid, Richard thought to himself as he inserted the key
into his apartment door's lock. Real bold, or just nieve.
She had actually walked over to him and plopped her ass down in the chair in front of him after he had picked her out in the bar. Real bold; asked him if he'd buy her a drink, flashed a smile with innocent jade like eyes and asked if they could go to his place.
He had never had it so easy, he thought, as she slipped her panties off and straddled him on the bed.
That was until she dug her claws into his throat and pinned him to the bed with a single hand, her eyes mad and dilated, frenzy in their color.
Richard tried to struggle, but it was futile. The bitch was strong, real fucking strong and that enraged him.
"Get off me you bitch!" he fumed. "Get off me or I'll fucking kill you!"
The girl smiled coyly.
"Oh, don't you like this?", her voice innocent.
She gnashed her teeth; two sharp canines.
"Little news flash for ya, honey" she smirked. "I'm the top of the fucking food chain! And you?! You're just fucking meat!"
And the girl began shredding him, devouring ...
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