A/N: Thank you to any reviewers from the first chapter, they were all very much appreciated! Also as a reminder- and you're only one at that, the disclaimer remains the same as, believe it or not, this will become even more graphic.
Chapter 2: The Origins of Blood wine
Blood wine. Not many people knew what it was for sure, but most could easily take an educated guess. Goth children often made their own little parody of it in basements, at clubs and raves, with animal blood and maybe a bit of their own, but nobody truly knew what it was.
Blood wine is not as simplistic as it sounds. It is not the simple mixing of blood- human or animal- and white or red wine. There is an exact art to it. Originally there were more ingredients involved, a kind of practical, everyday magic. Even so, the origins of Blood wine were not as decadent as people would think. The legend has it that it was actually created by Vampires for a very practical purpose back in the Victorian Era.
In the Victorian Era technology wasn't what it was today and vampires were unable to hide their crimes against humanity so easily. Sometimes vampires were forced to live on animal blood or stockpile their human blood. There were a few problems with this. Human blood and animal blood tasted differently according to many sources, but that was a matter of taste and vanity and wasn't really the problem. The problem was that the stockpiled blood, would clot usually only within a days time and would be hard to drink with a texture and taste of rot. So vampires started to set out to find something to prevent the clotting, which is when they started to use wine. The blood, when mixed with the wine, fermented but would not clot. Those who could afford it made the drink more decadent by adding absinthe or other drugs to it, and so the drink evolved. Nowadays it was fermented just the right amount of time and a variety of types have arose, mainly because of the amount of drugs readily available.
Personally I preferred the old fashioned mixture of Red wine, absinthe and human blood, making the wine almost black in colour. It looked like, and tasted like, a decadent treat. It wasn't something I drank because I was in need of it to survive- I wasn't. I drank it for fun- to be the drunkest of drunk when I wanted to be.
In the weeks that had passed, Adrian's blood had fermented in a cedar barrel with a red Chianti- the absinthe was never added to the very end. Adrian's blood became sweet and rich with decay as his body decayed away in the tank downstairs in the basement. I had gone down there to look in on him; the cartilage had separated itself from the bones, looking torn and ragged in its immersed state, the acid stripping the beauty away.
In the mean time while the wine fermented, I kept my urges suppressed by absorbing myself in my life, painting and writing, and sometimes, going into my back garden and writing or reading. Sometimes I would also look back at my past, go down to the safe and take out the envelopes holding what I had left of my children.
There had been seventeen of them in all. All of them young and attractive children, the youngest being sixteen and the oldest being twenty one. I found I had a particular fondness for males, as there had only been one female I had killed, and even she, was not by my own choice.
The first child I had killed was Sebastian when he was sixteen years old. It was a cold October evening, and I had fully well known what I was doing when I picked him up in a café and brought him home. I didn't know that once I did it once, I would want to do it again and again and again.
I suppressed my needs for what I considered, a long time until Walker came along that December. With my first two slayings many people would say I had the beginnings of an addiction I suppose. I say I was beginning to define an art and way of life for myself that I had struggled to find for an eternity.
Next was Harrison- the last person I killed in the same area as Sebastian and Walker. My disposal of him had been by dismemberment, and that was what set the authorities on the missing persons in town, and therefore their possible murder and a suspect. Needless to say, I chose to relocate.
My next city was where I found my eldest child, Abbott along with Forrester, Laine, Seth, Jack and Nicholas. All of the boys but Abbott attended a private school and when they became missing, again I realized I had placed too much attention upon myself. I was picking boys that were too well known, too loved and cherished in a somewhat less perverse way, by someone other than myself.
So I set my sights lower when I moved to the city or Burbank. It was dilapidated and it seemed as though half of the population lived on the streets and the other half in subsidized housing. The amount of homeless children made the blood in my veins rush. It was my time to better perfect my approach. I offered them all something they had never been able to have- eternal peace, no more pain and suffering. It was there I met Dallas and River, then Jag; my little heroin junky, his Blood wine had not needed to be drugged, and the twins, Logan and London.
London was the only female I had ever slain, and only because, her brother and she had such a bond that one never went somewhere else without the other. The prostituted together, which is how I found them, so how could I bring myself to separate them in death?
After stalking the city I moved one more time, planning to find a place to stay put. I had slain the most people in one single spot there, and chose not deplete my hunting ground thinking, maybe one day I would return to it, if in a fix.
The town I then moved to is the one I currently reside in. It's not quite a city, but larger than the typical town. The town had its areas that were dives, and the areas where well off people could indulge themselves. I moved to one of the more upscale neighborhoods myself finding a nice private and somewhat secluded piece of property more separate from the world than any other location I had stayed in. This was where my last three victims had been found, Bailey and Taber, who now sat in the acid bath tank in the basement with their new found friend Adrian.
Tucked away in the safe downstairs were all my precious children's pictures. And in a safety deposit box in the city bank; there was an envelope containing the backup disks for my digital pictures of them. Now the time had come to find another child and add his pictures to my collection. I killed at a sporadic rate with no pattern, just followed the craving when I got it. I needed my eighteenth child soon.
One night I finally set about sitting down on the computer a glass of Blood wine at the ready. I scanned the city pages, the screen aglow, lighting my pale face. I wanted to find clubs and events that would bring me closer to my lovely. As I sipped the wine, laced with absinthe this time around, my eyes scanned the pages. The glow of the computer screen was the only light in the room, and the only sounds were my breathing and the frantic typing as I found club after club- that I had already been to. The screen was starting to twist and distort around me. I gave up on concentrating on the computer screen's written words and went to my "favorites" folder.
There was a obscure gothic site I had come to like very much on the internet, where the little dark children of the world could come and post their imitation macabre pictures and art and tell their harrowing life stories in their bios of depression, of their hobbies of self mutilation and their disgust for religion,, and share the horrors of their life at the message board and chat room community. I had to restrain myself from contacting any of the children, no matter how beautiful because if I contacted them, I would desire them, if I desired them, I would seek them out, and if I sought them out, I would kill them, and if I killed them, I would draw far too much attention to myself.
Sighing, I scanned the pages, looking to see if I would find someone new, a new play thing. I found him, the thirty first thumbnail in the pictures section, and clicked.
Everything changed in that moment. Every feeling of loneliness I had ever felt came back ten fold. The need to find someone to spend the rest of my life with resurfaced. I hadn't felt like this in years. I skipped his bio because my mind was racing too much from the drugs and alcohol to concentrate on words. All I could keep my mind on were things that did not require thought to absorb- pictures. The new addition to this internet family was a shy, somewhat insecure looking beauty. He only had about five meager pictures in his collection, where as most of the children had at least fifteen, most often more. His pictures showed a naturally small, willowy looking form, not one who looked like he had starved himself to look that way. He was young, dressed in black in every picture, black hair falling somewhat limply to his chin. Unlike the others, who fluffed their feathers and preened like a peacock and posed for the camera, giving it the most mournful looks they could muster while decked out in expensive PVC and metal studded leather, fishnet and combat boots, or adversely, almost totally nude, this child was different. He simply wore a black t shirt with a camouflage army grade jacket over top with a pair of faded black denim. The only sign of what people would be call "gothic" was a trace of black eye makeup on his eyes and the black nail polish on his fingernails.
And he was almost the straw that broke the camels back as the expression goes. If I had been sober, he most definitely would have been, but, as the screen was beginning to twist and bulge, contracting and retracting I realized I wasn't in the condition to go anywhere. I pushed myself away from the computer, not forgetting the half full glass of wine, blood and drugs, then stumbled off to enjoy the rest along with the drunken stupor that came along with it.
My sleep patterns had always been erratic. Sometimes I slept in days, sometimes nights. Sometimes, depending on my state of mind or the amount of drugs in my system and what type, I would sleep for days at a time, or I would become insomniac. At any rate, I found myself waking early in the evening this time around.
My vision remained blurred around the edges as I started to open my eyes. The wall clock read five, but was it five am, or five pm? I felt blindly beside me for the television remote control on my bedside table and listened as the television across the room flickered to life. My fingers clumsily brushed across the numbers, finding the twenty four hour news channel, the time read 17:02 on the twenty four hour clock. It was shortly after five pm on September the twenty sixth, a Saturday, and I had slept for two days straight. I sat up and stretched my arms above my head. My muscles felt like they were beginning to atrophy from the lack of exercise. My stomach rumbled hungrily as soon as it caught on that I was conscious and I stood up not being able to deny the hunger, both kinds. I didn't bother to turn off the television, but I did ritualistically make the bed as I always did, then went straight down the kitchen.
I took pride in my home, and the best parts in it were my bedroom, the basement, and the kitchen. After moving into the old house, I had completely refurbished it inside and out, making it look old European style, planted in the middle of a place and era where it didn't really belong. It the midst of old English and French furnishings, were modern appliances, and the kitchen, looked like it belonged in a different house all together.
All the appliances were of stainless steel or black against dark mahogany cupboards and granite counter tops. The room looked straight out of a showcase in a store, almost like it had never been touched. But it had, I had cooked so many wonderful splendors of the tongue and nose in here; exotic, heady smelling spicy dishes, smooth tasting broths, delicate desserts with just a hint of sweetness, and delicacies of both my own recipes and from all over the world. I longed to cook for someone one day, have the ask me, what they were eating that tasted so exquisite and then be able to say to them; "Why it's human heart", and then watch their face fall into a deep shock, and their ears fall deaf as I explained how I had prepared the wonderful feast set on their plate.
But that had not happened yet. Still, I set about making myself quite the elaborate dinner. I opened my freezer door and peaked inside. As much as I didn't like freezing the organs of my babies, I found the expired much too quickly to keep around, even in the refrigerator. Fishing around I found a heart, and a brain. I vaguely wondered which child it had been from until I remembered it had to be that of Bailey who had, during our fun, received a massive head wound, allowing me to remove the organ without much of a problem. Wanting to use what I had stored away first I pulled out two of the pieces of the brain, which had been quartered and wrapped in saran. It looked like part of the frontal left lobe and another indistinguishable piece. I then left it on the counter to thaw as I went about preparing everything else.
By the time six thirty rolled around the savory smell of butter, onions and garlic marinating in wine as they sautéed on the stove filled my nostrils. If the smell could have possessed a matching aura it would have been thickly creamy yellow, tinted with the slightest hint of cooking wine sweetly alcoholic.
It was important not to overcook this delicacy as doing so would produce and overly chewy dish, making the person consuming it look as though they were a cow chewing on its cud. I would barely let the meat hit the skillet, just long enough to make it hot, before I would remove it again. I was just about to prepare the succulent meat by doing just that when the doorbell rang. Sighing, I wiped my hands on a tea towel, turned the burner down to a simmer, and went to see who my caller was. Maybe they could stay for dinner.
I opened the door to find a short, plump woman standing before me, holding a clipboard. She looked to be about fifty years old, grey streaks starting to pepper her hair, wrinkles beginning to mar her complexion.
"Hi, my name is Mary Osbourne and I live over on Cherrywood," She said in a rehearsed tone, "In the past six months, three boys from our town have gone missing." She turned the clipboard to face me, flipped a few sheets up. In front of me were three pictures. "Bailey Adams, Taber Levinick, and, just recently, Adrian Powell." I nodded my acknowledgment without looking at the clipboard. Inside I was smiling. It would be interesting to invite Ms. Osbourne in to dinner and have her sit down and ask in her polite tone what a lovely confection she was eating. And then to have me answer that she was infact eating, brain of missing boy.
"…anyway Mr…." I noticed Mary Osbourne was actually still talking to me.
"Mr. Harper." I supplied.
"Well Mr. Harper, I was wondering if possibly you have heard or seen anything of these missing boys?"
"I'm sorry," I said sincerely, "Only what I have seen and heard from neighbors and the news. I don't get out too often."
"Alright well, as a community we are attempting to set up a community watch program that is outlined here." She handed me the clipboard again. My eyes scanned the page.
"I'm sure you have loved ones you would like to protect, so would you mind signing?" She thrust a pen at me and I just penned my name with the others.
"Thank you for your time." Ms. Osbourne said before setting off down my walk, and onto the next house. I nodded and closed the heavy door, turning back to preparing my dinner for one.
Dining in solitude was only for the very strong. I had a large table with the ability to seat twelve and yet, I sat alone, one solitary place set. Sometimes, dependant on the amount of Blood wine I had drank, the room would buzz with spirits of the dead and the damned, but mostly, the room was empty, save the furniture and myself. It only served to remind me of how much I needed someone right now.
I had always needed someone, but could never find them. That is why the killing began. When there was something wrong with the person, some undesirable trait, I was forced to give up and start all over again.
I looked around the table of twelve, ten empty chairs on either side and one at the very end. I blinked and squinted at their ghosts. They were all here, every last one of them, from Sebastian to Adrian, sitting and standing at the table. But it didn't matter. The seat at the other end of the table, my counterpart, remained empty.
I finished my meal and my pity party and set about getting dinner cleaned up. The night was young at only a quarter to eight, I could still go out. I ventured upstairs as soon as the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher and went to my bedroom suite, attempting to find something appropriate to wear for the evening. Looking through my closet I tried on various combinations of shirts and trousers, backing up too look at the mirror with every new outfit. Finally after about the twentieth time, I backed solidly into the computer desk behind me. The screen flashed to life as the mouse was disturbed and an image started to resurface like a memory or a lily pad in a pond. My memories of his face came back like it had only been a dream.
I halted my thoughts almost immediately before the curiosity led to desire and I couldn't help myself. No, I told myself; tonight I would go out and find a hidden jewel all on my own. I had chosen the Hounds Hyde, a small pub on the other side of town as my hunting grounds this evening and hoped that I would find one to take home with me tonight.
So how do you like it so far? I want this to progress like a novella, and don't really want to move too rapidly from one important part of the story to the next. Detail is everything to me. Please read and review and let me know if I am achieving what I set out to do.