|In the City
Author: Jade Sapphire PM
The boy he had grown up with – grown to care about – had turned into a monster. A collection of random short stories set in the same universe when the inspiration hits me. Please R&R.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Mystery - Chapters: 4 - Words: 3,499 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 08-05-12 - Published: 05-07-12 - id: 3020565
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The butcher had been skinning, chopping and gutting animals since he had been a young boy. He had watched his father do it day in a day out – his father had watched his own father do the same.
Butchery had been in his genes for generations and his butcher's shop was the place everyone in the city would go to collect their meat.
Young, peasant boys would come in to collect a pig for their families, servants of the wealthy, paying in gold to collect his finest meat for their masters. The butcher saw plenty of people come and go and the one thing they all had in common was fear.
News had reached even the darkest corners of the city that the Reaper was back. He had terrorised the people many years ago and was the reason the city dwellers lived in such fear. He had chased, murdered and terrified innocent people as a sport.
Everybody knew his name, yet very few knew what he looked like.
The butcher was one of the very few lucky –or perhaps unlucky – ones to have that knowledge.
The two had grown up together as children; as small boys. Their families had lived opposite one another and the Reaper – or Vrim as the butcher knew him – had spent many fine days in his family's shop.
They had been friends throughout childhood and early adolescence. The butcher couldn't pinpoint the exact time he began to notice changes in his friend, but it had been around the age of fourteen.
By then, Vrim had become obsessed with silver and gold – he had told the butcher of his desire to possess it all. He talked of breaking into people's homes and stealing their gold, and worse, their silver.
The days they spent in the shop, he took pleasure in torturing the poor animals while they were still alive. The butcher was still able to remember to look of pleasure on Vrim's face as he attempted to skin a poor sheep while it was still breathing.
The boy he had grown up with – grown to care about – had turned into a monster.
And now he was back, looking for something. If only the butcher knew what that was.
On one cold morning, when the city was just waking up, there was a tap at his door. The butcher – who had been preparing his meat for the day – glanced up at the looming shadow in front of him. His wife had gone to the market to collect some vegetables with their children. He was all alone.
He crept to the door slowly, a feeling of contempt in the pit of his stomach. He wondered if his old friend had remembered where he lived.
His butcher's knife in his hand, he twisted the door handle and opened it a fraction. A man whose face was hidden by his hat and dressed in a brown trench coat stood before him. Despite his appearance being invisible to the butcher, he knew who it was.
Only one man wanted to be invisible.
"Vrim," he stated.
"I prefer the Reaper no," the man replied in a cold tone. "Much more mysterious." He lifted his head to reveal a scarred and broken face. He had once been such a handsome young, boy. "How are you, old friend?"
The butcher clutched his knife tighter. "You're not welcome here," he said. "I'll call the Authorities on you!"
The Reaper chuckled. "I am the most notorious, supposed killer in the city. You may be carrying the knife, my friend, but I could kill you before you even thought about leaving." He took a step closer and the butcher retreated, holding the knife in front of him.
"You're all alone, are you not?" the Reaper asked. "I saw your dear wife and children leave. Such an attractive woman, she is. Reminds me of one of the ladies I bedded just two nights ago. They could almost be twins." He took another step closer to him. "I've missed you."
The butcher's heart was pounding against his chest, but now he wasn't sure if it was in fear or in anticipation. He had loved Vrim once; he had always loved the man. He remembered the nights they spent in each other's arms on his first rampage of the city.
His body had longed for that contact again, though he would never admit it to anyone. He'd never admit that his wife wasn't able to please him like Vrim – the Reaper – ever could.
But he wasn't going to make that same mistake again. The man was a murderer; that was all that mattered.
"They're after me," Vrim said softly.
"Good, I hope they find you."
"You don't mean that, we're friends."
"We were friends, Vrim. As children. You chose your path and I chose mine."
"I need somewhere to hide."
"It won't be here."
The Reaper's eyes narrowed. "I know exactly where your wife and children went, I know exactly what they look like. It would be such a shame if such young and innocent lives were lost."
The butcher clutched his knife even tighter. "That's blackmail!"
The Reaper merely shrugged. "What will it be, friend? Your family or your pride?"
The butcher pointed his knife at the Reaper. "If you even think about hurting any of them, I will have the Authorities on you in heart beat. They do not know what you look like; you will be a cousin of mine from a far away province."
The Reaper nodded. "What are old friends for?"
Thank for your wonderful reviews. I appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed this chapter.