Headless

The thing they don’t tell you about arterial blood is that it is just so much darker than what they show on television when people do heinous things to not-so-heinous people. They always make it look like this Campbell’s tomato soup color when it is this rick and dark red that, like I am doing right this very second, you want a roll in it and have it cover you like a blanket, wiping away any other color, any other light that would dare intrude into such an intimate picture. It is warm and wet, like so many things that are sexual and sensual. It is coppery in your mouth as you roll it along the tip of your tongue and it catches, just a bit, in the back of your throat as your brain reminds you just what exactly is it you are doing, almost a way of making sure you truly want to become what you are trying to be.

I am a bit past where you are, however, so allow me to explain.

A little more than an hour ago, in a very uppity part of Manhattan, I took a chef’s knife from the block in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It was a gorgeous thing that was this beautiful Damascus patterned steel that looked like explosions and supernovas to my unknowing eyes. It had a handle of, I assume, faux ivory and I walked into the study she was sitting in and I proceeded to remove her head from her shoulders. It is a task that I did not expect to be easy, but it took far longer than I anticipated it taking and a few tools I had to go back into the kitchen to retrieve. The Wusthoff cleaver she had finally got through the spine. It took me a few times, but if I may add, it was a half an hour or so into the ordeal and I am not a particularly large human being.

What, what do you mean you want to know why I did such a thing?

Fine. Christ, people just can’t be content with being told a good story anymore. They have to know about the fucking life of the artist and see if it fits his fucking oeuvre. Choosy fucking beggars I swear…

You want to know why I am laying in a pool of blood and drinking it alternatively like Kool-Air and Merlot?

I was walking down the street to see her this afternoon. My wife asked me to come and pick up some papers from her so we could do her taxes, and it just occurred to me that instead of all of that I could just cut the fucking woman’s head off and swim around naked in her blood like Count Bathory of modern times and then clean up and go home, not forgetting the papers, of course, taxes are important.

Did she do anything wrong?

No, why would you ask me that?

Did she deserve to die? I have no fucking idea. I am not an all-knowing seeker of truth. I wanted to cut her head off and, well, I did.

Sorry, were you expecting me to tell you I had a horrid childhood? That my mummy raped me and daddy beat me?

No sugar tits, sometimes you just want to go and cut a fucking head off.

The Authority – The Table Is Set

There are so very few people who know the story. They pretend they do, or they make up their versions. truly, only her father knows all of the tales and she has not asked him for why would she want to bring up pain unbearable in the man she loves the most in all of the world.

Delilah was cursed, or blessed if you want to see it as such, with an eidetic memory. She remembered everything she had ever seen. It was not a part of Cain, it was hers alone in his lineage that she was aware of. Imagine the burden of being able to recall everything you have ever seen for more centuries than people even knew time was kept by man. She remembered jealously looking at the children of Seth play with one another, the Nephilim dying in the Deluge as she simply floated, knowing she would never die under the water if she were to go under it.

She was in Jerusalem that afternoon, standing on the Via Dolorosa as He walked by to His death, even His father not caring for Him. She had seen centuries of history and she was damned, literally and figuratively, if she would have the mistakes of the past repeated in the world that she and The Authority were building. She and her fellow members did not see the humans as cattle as some of their kind did, nor did they idolize them and envy their mortality. She saw them as they were, equal save for a single twisted part of their core. She was not better than them, she simply lived when they died. She would go and watch the movies they made and see her kind dying in sunlight and with crucifixes, garlic and running water and she would laugh. Immortality meant that. Death was not ever a thing that could happen. All wounds would heal. Cut off their head, it simply grew a new body. Burn them and spread the ashes? The wind brought all things together in time.

A few clever mortals over the centuries had collected the ashes and kept them in jars so they could not recombine. Delaying the inevitable is not preventing it. All things degrade, decay, break down and turn into nothingness.

All save them.

They got a few things right. There were clans of them, although it was more branches of the same family tree. They did truly despise one another sometimes. However, again, they kept thinking even we could kill one another, but no, they had all tried to die a thousand times in a thousand ways and nothing had ever worked. They had magic and powers, they were super strong and super fast, they drank blood and could indeed inject what was now known as a DNA altering virus into the bloodstream and cause them to be as them.

But, no, not really.

Only descendants of Cain lived forever. Those made did indeed have a vast span of years, but they could be killed in all the ways that they could not. It was a way to maintain a population standard if nothing else.

—–

Delilah walked into the room and it grew silent. She always wondered what they remembered when they saw her. What century, what millennium? She shook the thought away and carefully set down her laptop on the great marble table where the rest of The Authority was sitting, save for one who sat in a dark corner.

“We will have the names called, we will speak their names and give them the ruling power they deserve by their name being said aloud by those touched by God’s Wrath and Disfavor.” Her father had told her to say those words before every meeting and so she had, every single time, for century after century.

She stood up, a black dress hugging her figure, her white-blonde hair standing in contrast to the rest of the ensemble. A few inches above five feet she was by far the shortest in the room, but what she lacked in vertical magnificence she made up for in the sheer power that being the first of them granted her. Her voice was deep and resonant as she said her name. “Delilah.” It flowed over the table and lit one of seven candles standing over the middle of the table and a purple and black flame burning on the wick. As the candle lit, Delilah sat down, her respect for the rest of her Family and Authority much higher than some would think.

From the back corner, hidden in shadow came voice filled with anger and pain both. “Venenum.” The table shook a moment before stopping, his power was visible as it moved across the room, a green and white pestilence that threatened to cover everything it came near. The candle more exploded in flame then lit. There was so much anger and pain in him, even the name he had chosen all those years ago meant poison.

Laughter next, not at his brother in the darkness, but the farce of this whole thing. No one cared about the fucking candles and they were all just afraid of hurting Daddy’s feelings or some shit. “Risus.” It wasn’t his real name, none of them save Delilah used theirs, but it was his voice, which was enough to light the candle with a pale pink flame.

Tears followed, a soft weeping that had never truly stopped in all the years he had been alive. Of all of them, he despised what he was more than any of them. “Solustri.” A barely audible voice through the genuine pain made each one of them feel for him in a way only family could, his candle lit with a low blue flame that tipped with yellow drops, like tears he shed eternally.

The next voice was sultry, dripping sex and power and unabashed joy. “Desdemona”. The candle exploded into a neon red flame almost instantly, her laughter following it as it had forever. While her brother wept eternal at his damning, Desdemona reveled in having immortality to taste every single decadence and excess she could. She even invented a few along the way.

“Dinah.” The voice was short, curt, even bored. She buried her head back into her phone and would not be bothered again save for something pressing, which is what she was in charge of, oddly enough. Her world was the computer and the phone, as it had been the salon before that, the bathhouses before that and the village squares since time immemorial. Her flame lit with a snap and an oaken colored flame burned.

Lastly, and so very much not least, the youngest and largest of them spoke. His voice deep and bestial, he despised speaking for that reason and he roared his name into the room. “Drysun.” When the echo had died, his flame lit the centermost candle, pulsing colors of the rainbow entire.

Satisfied the traditions had been met, Delilah opened her laptop and turned the screen so all could see the picture. A large…thing…of black and grey fur, covered blood and gore and surrounded by the same.

“We have a problem.”

Delilah – Quasi-Introduction

There is a gradient of life and death in the world. Not all that breathes is alive, not all whose hearts are cold and still are dead. It had always been such. Civilizations had been aware of it for the entirety of their existence. Vampires and Werewolves, Witches and Goblins, Faeries and Demons. All of it is true, all of it is real, and all of it truly is out to get you if you are not careful where you step in the middle of the night.

Now, while they are real, not all of the things that go bump in the night need to make their presence known at every available opportunity. They hide as they are wont to do and those that discover them are often never seen or heard from again. So, believe nothing you read, or even everything you happen to see.

The world is a dark and strange place.

—–

It is well known where the first of the vampires came from. Everyone learns the origin stories just as they learn that 1492 is when Columbus set out on his voyage of genocide in the New World and that the Second World War had a deeper, darker and much more occult reason for ever occurring. The Mark of Cain, it is called. The biblical tale of Adam and Eve’s son, after having murdered his brother Abel, God punished Cain by saying that the foods of the earth would no longer be sustenance to him, that he would be forced to kill others as he had his brother Abel, and then drink the very source of their life. He was cast out of Paradise and into the Land of Nod where the others dwelt.

Others. A shameful title for the greatness that wandered in the darkness of ignorance of the “Loving God”. However, that is a tale for another time.

Very little is known of his time in the Land of Nod, save for those who are afflicted with his mark. It is lore they do not share with almost anyone and jealously guard it against all others with their considerable power, influence, and wealth. So, mankind simply ignores the fact that the lore exits at all, they make up their truths and tales about what happened outside of Paradise and they cling to them because sometimes the pretty lie is what they need and not the ugly truth. Names are often thrown about. Lilith is a popular name, and although she is real enough and incredible in her splendor and power, she is not the character that people make her be in this particular tale.

The name no one associates with them is Delilah. No, not that one, she came much later and played a much different, and far more simple part in the story of the world. No, this Delilah shaped, and still shapes, the world as if it were clay under her immortal fingertips. She was the first child and daughter of Cain. Yes, he has had many children, uncountable in truth. Each of them bears his mark, cursed by God to never enjoy the sustenance that the earth produced, but to drink the living essence of those that walked among them, just as he does. Yes, he lives among us still. Cain is still very much despised by God and when he was told he would not die, it was not an idle threat in the slightest.

His first seven children became what would become known as The Authority. To this day those seven are the only ones in Creation save the Vengeful God who knows where their father is. They have killed people for even remotely inquiring as to his location, so most people yet again make up their truths and accept them because it is easier than believing the third human being ever still walks the earth.

Delilah sits with them. She is the titular leader as the eldest of all of them, but they shared power in a sense. Each of them was very selfish and greedily hoarded the power that their father had imbued them with. Each of them with different gifts, different skills, but not the way one would think. There was magic in them, but there was always the reminder that they were damned. They were the hated of God, unforgivable and unacceptable for all of time. They did not hide behind things, they reveled in the darkness that was in them. Demons they have been called. Monsters and destroyers of flesh and soul.

Why would they not be when they were the absolute epitome of corruption?

The Hunt Master With Power Of Spirit And Righteousness Of Duty

There was a silence in the cavern after his name was said by the Dark Goddess. The power a thick and palatable thing in the air. It only lasted a moment before the singular sound of the drop was added too by the sound of a heavy footfall on the rocks.

Siobhan sat still and waited for the Hunt Master to come to her, she was contemplating all of the things that were going to be said to him, the fate of so very many depended on her exact wording. She had made him, yes, however she did not control him and she had designed it that way. Once the parameters of the Hunt were given, it would continue until the Hunt Master himself decided that it was over. He reported to Siobhan, worshiped her as the Goddess who created him, but in this, he was the absolute and ultimate source of power.

Raising her head from where she stared and casting a glance backward, the Hunt Master was revealed in the glory of what she had made him.

A giant, literal and metaphorical approached her. Cloaked in the blackness of shadow and cover, his head adorned with great antlers of a long-dead beast. He was on an eternal hunt that never ceased, never in the history of time and space would it stop. He approached Siobhan and bent his huge frame with uncanny grace, his knee touching the floor with virtually no sound as it did so. His head bowed low and his black hood and the very shadows themselves fell in front of a face she had never, and would never, see. No one can see when the Hunt is coming, it is the power in it, it is the source of the fear.

Siobhan turned fully, nodding to him, knowing he could see she greeting him as the equal he was in this respect.

“Hunt Master, I have called for you this day because there are beasts that disguise them as other things that need be captured.” As she spoke the images of a woman, bones shattered and mangled, sitting and sipping water that brought her life, or at least as close to life as she could maintain. The Hunt Master began to rise, his target, in his mind, chosen. “Stay your movements, Lord, there is a twist to the knife blade of this hunt that you need know. The Hunt Master froze in his movements and Siobhan spoke lowly and quickly, his mind filling with the sights, sounds and smells of each and every member of the tribe that had done this to the girl.

“All of them. Each one in the tribe save her. No mercy, no respite. They will be hunted, culled, slaughtered and collected. Each of their skulls you will bring to me, polished and I will make a throne of them for that young Goddess who does not know who or what she is just yet to sit upon and join me and mine in the governance of the world. On the Darkness that Swallows and Destroys All Things, I bind you to this task until it is completed. Should you fail me, you are Oathbreaker and your power will be broken and your pain limitless.

Siobhan turned away from the Master then, his rise was slow as he made the magic within himself to do what must be done. The wash of it over her was like hot and scalding water, his rage was hers, his anger from her own. She only cocked her head slightly as she heard the sounds of the great steeds enter, the ethereal beasts that carried him to collect the hunted and terrorize those that had not yet been collected.

“Your will be done Great Goddess, so it is I swear.” His voice was cracked, from the lack of use, the authority behind it, however, was unquestionable.

The Goddess felt the exit of the colossal amount of power as she was once again left alone, the singular drip of blood her only companion as her eyes sparked with fire and amethyst in pools of forever.

Patience Is Rewarded

Darkness filled the cave, not darkness that came from a lack of light, but a darkness that was made, formed, created. It was a tangible thing. Moving in it you could feel it like air currents pass over your skin and taste it in the air like copper and abandonment. There was a noise in the room, hard to decipher at first as the world was so dark and all sounds seemed muted in the velvet envelope of it. No, no there it was. A drip, a drop from a great height.

The dripping sound was constant. It had an echo to it, belying the size of the room it came into. It was neither pleasant to hear nor was it a bane on the eardrums. It was simply a drip. it happened once or twice every minute. A constant thing, never pausing for more than thirty seconds or so.

If one were to walk a little farther into the stifling darkness, it would get louder, the sound of it hitting something hard and unyielding obvious the first time that you hear it. Like water on a rock, but it was too thick for water, it had weight to it, the sound and the substance itself.

A flash as bright as the sun, a momentary one is all, and revealed is the great Dark Goddess, Siobhan. Queen and Creator of all that was and could be. She stared at the bowl-shaped indentation where the drip hit, had been hitting for as long as time had been. Her eyes were focused on the center of the valley in the rock. Her pink tongue sitting just outside her mouth, black lips surrounding it, amethyst eyes that illuminated all above them.

It was hard to read the emotions on her face. They were many at once, yet one was so very clear. it was etched in her as solid as if it had been carved on the rock She sat upon.

Hunger.

Siobhan could, and did, create anything at will, all her needs instantly and overwhelmingly fulfilled. Yet She looked at drop hitting the rock with its rhythmic thump and with every splash of it, her breath would catch the briefest moment before She relaxed and the cycle repeated.

Looking up, tot he vast height the drop came from a needle’s point of light entered the room. It disappeared with every new drop, ut as you watch the drop fall, as you watch the now obvious crimson hue of it as it cascades down towards its inevitable destruction, the life force that it was reflects in the scant light given off by Siobhan herself.

Blood.

It was easy to come by, blood. She had donors, slaves, willing participants, but it was not enough. She needed a thing She could not place her finger on just yet and so She stared with longing as the blood of the world slowly made its way to a single point and dripped into the underbelly of all that was and splashed into nothingness in front of the Greatest Mother, the Darkest Queen the Sweetest Goddess.

Each drip, each moment, endless.

Then, enlightenment.

The amethyst of the eyes slowly leaving, the cavern filling with the crimson color that dripped forever from above. The darkness about her total and complete as She uttered a sentence, a command.

“Summon The Hunt Master.”