Even at night, he could see the stain. Smell the corruption. He could always see it, always smell it out. Under his skin, he could feel it. Immersed in it, the sensation was… potent. Powerful.
Evil walked tonight, and as it walked it spread. Covering everything, blocking the sky, infusing the very stones he stood on.
It mattered not. He did not cower from evil, he did not beg to be delivered from its presence. He was impervious. Impenetrable. Incorruptible.
Evil darkened this place. Under his gaze, the shadows in the alleyway spread and oozed out from their normal bounds, casting out smoky, oily tendrils that reached out. Reached for him. Evil stank. The putrescent odours clung to everything, the walls, the cobblestones, the windows… to him. It clung to his clothes, to his hair, to his flesh. He could scrub tonight, try to wash away the stain, to scour away the funk, but it would be to no avail. Mere washing and scouring was not enough. Evil could not be washed away in water, it was too dense, too tangible. The biblical flood proved that. Evil would remain once the water retreated.
Water was not thick enough to wash away evil. Evil required a more substantial solvent, more viscous, more… real. It required blood.
He could wash away the evil, cleanse the taint. He only needed enough blood.
Evil was out tonight.
So was he.
Evil walked ahead, its footsteps delicate, clicking carefully on the uneven surface. Evil walked in four-inch heels. Evil could not afford a cab fare home from the restaurant after a late shift working for tips.
Striding quickly, confidently, his long legs devoured the distance between them. His soft shoes travelled silently on the hard stone road, his dark trench coat blending him invisibly into the night. The blade, more a short sword than a long knife, flashed out only for a moment before being returned to its scabbard, hidden under his coat. Evil was silenced and slaughtered in a single stroke. No opportunity to scream, no struggle. This was not his first purification.
He held her across the shoulders, head bent back, severed arteries disgorging the vitae in great spurting gasps. In the darkness the blood sprayed black, pooled, spread like ink. Its stench filled his nostrils, a stink of dirty rust and the shit from her emptied bowels.
It did not take long for the pumping to stop. He looked at the dripping blackness, he looked at the running rivulets of gore, he looked at the cascading arcs of blood on the walls.
It looked clean.
I’m working on Part Two of my exploration of Horror and the Dark Side of RPG’s, and originally intended for this to be a bit of intro fiction. That post is taking some time though, so I thought I would separately post this to the blog and see what people thought.
I’ll just have to come up with a new bit of intro fiction when I eventually get around to posting that.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
5 thoughts on “Thicker than water”
Well written!I am not familiar with the technical side and style of writing for RPGs, although I would imagine it might be close to a comic book style of description and inner narrative, in which case this captures it very well. The only thing that jarred me was the last sentence (I appear to have an obsession with last sentences). Given the power of the rest of your piece, it needs to be a gut-puncher (unless it is not really going to be the last sentence, of course). Keep up the great work!
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Oh no, I liked the ending! Ah well, can’t please everyone 😀
Thanks for the kind words – I was happier with this one than I have been with some of the more recent stuff I have done. This seemed to work for me.
The RPG link is less of a style Im trying to emulate, and more of a ‘tool I am using to analyse horror in storytelling’… I’ve done one post (not fiction, more an essay) on Horror Atmosphere, and the next one will be on ‘Evil’.
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I, too, liked the ending. It reaffirmed the earlier sentiment of man vs. what he perceives to be evil, and added a whole new level of ambiguity to the story (Is he just insane? Does he really see evil? Was she evil, or does her blood somehow cleanse the world?).
The last line changed it from, “oh, that’s weird,” to “WTF, why? What?!”
Also, I loved the imagery of this line: “He held her across the shoulders, head bent back, severed arteries disgorging the vitae in great spurting gasps.”
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Awesome, thanks 🙂
I might revisit some of these comments as I finish writing the ‘evil’ post – I want to throw a few words about the subjective view of ‘Evil’.
In my view, this story is almost a counterpoint to the Merciful Alleyway story.
Oh yeah, that line – I grew up on a farm, and assisted in the butchery of some of our sheep. This image ‘borrowed’ some of those farm experiences.
Write what you know!
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