The beauty in the blood
He always spent his Saturday nights alone. Well, not quite alone. He had gone to great lengths to obtain her. She was simply exquisite. She was passed out, head drooping forward, arms and legs bound tightly to the chair. He knew she would wake soon. The air buzzed with familiar excitement as he listened to his favourite track. Beethoven's fifth. A psychopath he may be, but a cultured one at that.
Damien Windsor hadn't always been so brutal. And if you had asked him why he'd changed, from being a pleasant, easily forgettable type of man who wore a suit even on Sundays he would probably tell you it had something to do with his ex girlfriend. Chloe Vanderson, the very embodiment of the girl next door. With her blonde locks and pale skin and the rosiness in her cheeks. He felt content with her. She had never held any real fascination for him. She had no dark stories and no hidden phobias. She looked the same in the morning as she did at night. And he had loved her, in a half hearted sort of way. Because what was he going to do otherwise?
And then that bitch had broken his heart. She left him in a restaurant, her heel grinding a laceration into his ego, bruising his heart and spitting on his soul. Maybe he should have cried, or drank, or talked to someone. He often thought maybe he should talk to someone… He had to cope somehow. And his father had always told him, "When a girl breaks your heart, find a hobby." Of course this probably wasn't what Mr Windsor had in mind, when Damien began to drug, abduct and torture young women. But it worked a charm. He started to wake up refreshed in the morning, to jump out of bed and he smelled the coffee with a smile on his face. At work, they asked him if he had gone to a health spa.
Damien put on the plastic gloves. He loved the snapping noise the gloves made as they settled on his skin. A little sprinkling of latex drifted through the air. He approached her, head cocked, waiting for signs of life, waiting to get started. She stirred. He tilted her chin up. Her eyes were dark brown, large pools of sympathy. He murmured a greeting to her. Her eyes filled with terror, and as it dawned on her that she was somewhere dank and silent and divorced from human civilization she started to scream. He muted the sound, shoving a gag into her mouth. She looked even more afraid as she sucked in terrified burst of air through her nose, the hollow whistling noise filling the cavity of the underground room. "It's alright, doll," he crooned, "I'm not going to hurt you…" He turned away from her, he went over to his tools. "Well, not for another few minutes, anyway."
Damien spoke as he cleaned his instruments, polishing them until they shone threateningly. "So, I saw you last week on the Letterman show. Lovely dress." She was an actress. A famous one at that, and the security had been a pain. He had impersonated her driver, thrown out the real one after he knocked him out and driven up to the black tie event and snatched the actress. He had waited, watching, fascinated as the flashes of the camera surrounded her in a brilliant halo. It was beautiful, and he was a part of it. She stepped in, knowing nothing was wrong. "So, how is your night going?" she asked politely. She was nice, and for a minute he felt ashamed. He was expecting her to be aloof, to be disconnected from reality. That's why he wanted her. He picked people he thought had it good. Beautiful girls that consistently avoided pain and trauma, this girl, who looked so glamorous all day as she worked her stuff on the big screen got to him in particular. He wanted to rip her down from her shiny little world and make her suffer. And at the same time, he wanted to freeze every moment she was on screen, that fantastic smile, with the soft lips and the white teeth. Her face, open and innocent, looked as if it had never known pain. She was amazing. He wanted to capture her and bottle her.
know, I personally think you really earnt that last Golden Globe,
they had no right giving it to that Cate Blanchett. She's got a
hard face. Not like you, doll." Her face was oval, with a small,
peaked chin. Her eyes were deeply concerned now, her breathing was
slower. He took the gag out. "Why are you doing this?" she
asked, truly horrified.
"I don't know," he answered, "what do you want to hear? That I was abused as a child? That my mother killed herself when I was twelve? That my father was an abusive alcoholic?" She was already regretting asking the question. "Or, if we just stop and think for a second, isn't the logical question in fact why not? Why should a few pretty little people like yourself be running empires? Actresses, models, Paris Hilton, rich people who have done nothing to earn their place in the world? Simply because they're pretty. And don't get me wrong, I love watching you play the vulnerable heroine on TV, it turns me on. But something keeps itching at me. While I'm at work all day, slaving away serving people I don't really give a shit about, serving a company that wouldn't miss me if I went home and shot myself in the head, you get to be somewhere nice. You get to fall in love, or go shopping, or play with your little girlie friends…" He got right up close to her, breath landing on her nose. "You don't know what pain is." He ran his finger tips along her restrained left arm. She flinched, jerking her head to the side. "Do I disgust you?" He already knew the answer, he was forcing her to put her foot in her own mouth. He brought out his scalpel. He stroked her arm with it. She begged him with her dark eyes not to do it. "Don't worry," he assured her, "I won't cut you. You're not prepared yet." He fetched his razor along with a shallow tray of soapy water. He hummed to himself as he prepared her arms. Then he lifted her dress to her waist. He shaved her legs carefully, ironically, making sure not to nick her. He stroked her inner thigh. She was sobbing quietly, assuming the worst, imaging what he might be envisioning doing to her. He shaved her lower legs and then wiped her legs down with a damp wash cloth. "Beautiful," he said, and kissed her ankle. Now, she was perfect.
He had begun to have the fantasies about twelve weeks ago, when Chloe had left him stranded in their favourite restaurant. It was 'their' restaurant, along with 'their' friends and 'their' apartment, until she had given him a week to find a new place to live. Somewhere along the way, everything had absorbed her scent, until there was nothing left of him. But the torture was new. It was fresh, and the seed of it flourished in his mind until the vague flashes of blood and screaming became elaborate, detailed plans for systematically destroying other human beings. His fantasies stayed with him, surrounding him, clutching at him, willing him seductively to go out and take action. "She's waiting," he could hear their call in the late hours drifting onto the harsh morning, "she's waiting for you." It was easy to fall into bad habits. One hit had not been enough, and here he was again, standing over her, hoping this one would be more perfect than the last.
He made the first cut, a long gash on from her right shoulder to elbow. She screamed, and the shrillness of it reverberated in him. His breathing got heavy. He knelt beside her. He ran his finger along the length of the cut and scraped up some of the blood. He tasted it, and watched the horror in her eyes as he said, "What a lovely vintage. I must remember to bottle some of it." She shook her head. She was beginning to sweat. Her body was shaking.
"Please, I don't know… What do you want? Money? Can I give you money?"
"Why would I want money," he scoffed as he stood up, "when I can have all this? All the cheap Hollywood whores I could buy with your cash couldn't get me half as hot as spending an hour with you. Don't you understand? I want you. Nothing will do as a substitute." She nodded, although she didn't understand. She wondered if he was some kind of schizophrenic, off his medication. Or just a garden variety sociopath. She was trying to keep hoping that he would let her go, that this was his game. Maybe he wasn't a killer, maybe she could persuade him. Maybe he was just hurting, maybe not a psychopath at all.
"I'm sorry, for whatever happened to you," she said, her voice was hoarse. "I really am. I know you're angry, but I can help you."
"You're right you now, I'm furious. But this isn't about revenge for anything. This is just because I can, and I no longer give a fuck. There's this theory, you see, I think it was by Durkheim but that doesn't matter. They call it anomie. Certain individuals become so divorced from society that they have no moral code. Without society to enforce its moral values, these individuals become lost. And that's something we have in common. I don't hear society any more. I'm immune to it's high pitched shouting, its moral out cries about teenage mothers and men who cheat on their wives, it merciless bitching about ADD children and drug addicts and the homeless and what I should be doing to be the perfect man. I think I'm perfect just the way I am. After all, didn't society raise me to be aggressive? To take what I want. I mean, that's what was wrong with me. I didn't have enough ambition. Look at me now. All this creativity and planning, I suppose society would tell me to put it towards something useful…" He had a rueful chuckle.
"But all this is really not getting you in the mood, is it?" He tossed the scalpel from one hand to another. "Shall we continue? Or maybe crank this up to the next level?" Her eyes widened, she screamed, "Help, anybody, help!"
"Scream all you want, doll, we're underground, about fifty miles from nowhere and you aren't going to be seeing anybody but me."
"I'm a person," she told him as he went back to his tools, "I'm a person. I'm only twenty four. I like horses. I'm not like how I seem on TV."
"And how do you think you come across, on TV?" She had her own drama series. It was called Lilly Parks, and it was about a sensitive young woman trying to save those around her from inevitable cynicism, fighting with her ever present male friend who would bitch and whine about all of his ex girlfriends. "As sort of shallow. I don't know! I just want to go. I don't know what I can do for you. Please, can we just talk about this…"
"Sorry," he answered as he picked up his large, silver, hook like instrument, "but talking doesn't get me off." She was trying to crack him, and he didn't appreciate it. He didn't want to know that she liked horses or that she was nice or that she was really a person. This was his fantasy, and she was intruding upon that. She was threatening to disrupt the flow of the whole thing. He decided to shove the gag back in her mouth. "As much as I've enjoyed conversing with you," he whispered as she shook violently, "I think it's really time we got down to business." He took his hook and imbedded it in her left arm, the sharp metal pierced her white flesh and sunk in, as he dragged it down it ripped through the muscles in her arm, almost to the bone. She was in immense pain, he could read it from her eyes. He took the gag out. She was sobbing. He stroked her face, got out a tissue and wiped underneath her eyes. "You remind me of her," he said quietly.
"Of who?" she gasped. She was bleeding, not dramatically but steadily enough that she would loose too much blood in the near future to stay awake. The muscles in her arm were exposed. "My girlfriend," he explained, "her name was Chloe."
"And that's what this is about?"
He paused. "Basically, yes. With Chloe, I had a reason to be who I was. A good boy. Go to work, home, make love to your girlfriend, eat dinner with mutual friends, go home, sleep with her in my arms. Go to work, come home, come home to her sweet smell and her smile…" His face hardened, "And then, have it all ripped away from you. I lost the reason to go to work and earn money. I couldn't buy her back. I lost my motivation to see my friends who took her side. I lost my motivation to run to look good, to stay in shape. Who would see me naked now? I lost everything. Hollow. I felt hollow. And with no feeling, comes a lack of sympathy for everyone, including you my dear. I wish that I could go back to feeling like I needed to be a part of society, like I need to be accepted at all. But I don't. I'm just as happy living on the out skirts, being thrown scraps. So much contempt… there always has been. Society never wanted me. Now I don't want it either. Society can get fucked." He left her, exiting the room as quickly as he could. He was loosing it. He wasn't supposed to talk to her, to get angry like this. He was feeling uncontrolled. In his fantasies he was always in control, right up until the last life ending stroke. He had done it once before. So why was it so hard now?
He regained himself, swilling scotch and feeling a little embarrassed. He was sitting upstairs. What would the famous actress think of him now, running out of the room because he got a little squeamish? He returned, a little drunk, thirty minutes later. Down in the depths of the basement, the actress had been busy, thinking of a way out. He picked up a large carving knife. "Ready to party, babe?" He staggered over to her, she steeled herself. He cut her superficially, practically flicking her with the blade. He looked bored, he knew he'd already trashed the plan so he might as well just finish her off anyway. She was looking away from him, a single tear rolling down her cheek. He wiped it away and kissed her cheek. She was so innocent, and so strong. He kissed her lips, the knife slipping from his hand, forgetting, for a second, that he was supposed to be a psychopath. She kissed him back. He ran his hands through her hair. He couldn't believe it. Why would she kiss him? Surely, she must be disgusted with him? The actress told him, "Untie me, I'll make you feel better. Please. I won't hurt you." Her face was so open, so innocent, a real Lilly Parks moment. Another tear rolled down her right cheek. He held her face in his hands. He wanted to make love to her, to thrust into her until her innocence gave way to pleasure, then to guilt. He wanted to rip her down to the dirty depths of his mind. He untied her, they kissed as he carved her bonds away, first her wrists then her ankles. He carried her upstairs in a bridle hold, forgetting knife was still in his hand…
They entered his bedroom. His huge bed with the red sheets was beckoning. She looked lovingly into his eyes. He needed it to be real, so he shut off his thoughts as best he could, placing her on the bed. "I want to help you, you have so much pain," she whispered, stroking his face. He laid her down on the bed. He put the knife on the dresser, watching her. She tensed, but she stayed still. She knew what to do. He rolled on top of her, kissing her neck and biting her, first soft and then harder. He slipped his hand inside her top and gripped her breast. He kissed his way down her neck and then bit her soft flesh. She was reaching, extending, just a little farther… Her finger tips touched the blade. She had to get a hold of it, to grip it. He was lifting her skirt. She was running out of time. "Let me be on top," she said.
She rolled over, throwing herself on top. She picked up the knife, raised in and plunged into his heart. "Son of a bitch," she spat.
He gurgled blood, his eyes shot through with pain and disbelief. He should have known, but he wanted to believe he could be loved by her. By anyone. The truth was, he was disgusting. A bottom feeder, an unwanted, unacceptable piece of society. The shit on her stiletto, the bug in her ice tea, a piece of ash in the city's eye. The actress was beautiful. She was supreme. She had conquered him, ended him and his stunted legacy of obsession and torture. "Crocodile tears," she murmured bitterly as she watched his eyes glaze. "Just crocodile tears." But they were real now. The stress and relief and the muted horror of the situation over came her. She sat on the end of the bed and wept.
She got out her mobile and called the first person who came into her mind. Her agent. "Hello, Garcia. I've got a great idea for a movie."