Currently on hiatus. Will resume in July, or sooner.

Current story updates:

Current story interludes/Side stories:
Every other Saturday

Other pieces:
Every other Saturday (Saturdays I don't run the Interludes/Side Stories)

During certain periods updates may come more often; at other times updates may come less often. This schedule is my hoped-for goal.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Part 19

So, this next bit is quite disturbing. It is the product of research into the behaviour and tendencies, the thought processes of psychopaths and sociopaths. I feel a bit sick after writing it, but it is part of the process, part of the whole. I feel that the story is better for it. It gives you a better look at the character of the artist, or how she was then as compared to now. It is disturbing. Feel free to skip it if you would rather not read those kinds of things. I will post something else up today so that those of you who look forward to the daily updates will not have to go a day without if you don’t read this. Again, thank you for your patience, and as always, I am open to comments or suggestions.

Chapter 19

The artist looked around. There was nobody watching. She stood from her crouch and brushed the dirt off of her clothes. It would not do to stain them more than was needed.
She checked her knives. One in each boot, one strapped to each wrist, one down her back, one on her stomach, one on each elbow. All there.
She was ready. She crouched in the shadows atop a roof and watched her prey. The man sat on his front porch. He was middle aged, fat, and rich beyond compare.
He was going to be art.
He sat there, smoking his cigar, polluting the air around him like he polluted the world with his filthy trash products. But that wasn’t why the artist was here. Others may attribute motives like this to her, but that was not why she had chosen this man. That was not how she chose her art.
She had chosen him because he was fat. Because he was still light on his feet even so, because he sometimes waddled when he walked.
She had chosen him because of how his jowls shook when he talked and his belly heaved when he laughed. She had looked at him, and looked for the art, for the beauty. And she had seen it, and so she would make beauty, would make more art of it.
He got up and went inside. She unsheathed two of her knives and dropped down onto the balcony without making a sound. As he left the bedroom she pried the balcony doors slightly apart and slipped inside.
This man had another good feature. He had no family, and few friends. Nobody to be hurt by her art. She did try to be conscientious when creating art, tried not to hurt others. Sometimes it was hard to do that. Sometimes it was hard to remember why she wanted to do that. But she did. She always did at the end.
She crept forwards, her knives flipping around in her hands. They rested so smoothly in her palm, fit so nicely the curve of her hand. And her hand fit them. So very very nicely.
She looked down at the knife in her right hand. Yes, it was there. That same knife from the very beginning. Lian had tried to make her leave it but…No. No thinking about Lian. Not when she was enjoying her art.
The artist prowled forwards through the opulent bedroom. This was the moment. It was coming soon. She felt the familiar tingle, the familiar chill. Like what others had described before they kissed someone, the anticipation before a delicious meal, that nervousness of the proverbial first lovers.
It felt so good, that feeling that she was going to make art again, that she would have the power to take another person’s life. That she was going to have that power, going to see the fear in the man’s eyes as she cut him again and again and again. It was going to be beautiful to see it, that fear, the utter hopelessness in the man’s eyes as her knives slid across again and again, paring away the fleshy outside, the extraneous layers of fat on the beautiful man to get to his core.
She would see who he was before he died, and maybe then she would be able to see more of who she was.
She smiled at the thought. To see herself reflected in his eyes was maybe even better than seeing the fear in them. To see her own grace and beauty, well, it was a glorious thing.
She shook herself free of her musings and stalked deeper into the apartment. She could hear the pop of a cork leaving a bottle. So the man would be drinking again? She knew that he was a heavy drinker. Maybe that would make him sloppy, or it might make him harder to kill. Best not to chance it. She snapped out a kick, and sent a vase flying off its pedestal. It shattered on the floor with a crash, but she was already moving, leaping, flipping through the air to land beside the door to that she presumed led to the kitchen.
She was right. The door swung open, and the man walked out. He stared at his vase for a moment before sighing in annoyance and pressing a button on his bracer. A maid came running to clean it.
He closed the door, and the artist crept towards the maid, who was too busy sweeping the vase off the floor.
When she was right behind the maid the artist reached down, grabbed the woman by the throat, and spun her up and around. She had no fear of the woman screaming; she was blocking her air with her fingers. The maid looked at her, eyes wide with fear, mouth open as the artist lifted her off the ground.
The maid hung, suspended as her eyes bulged and her face started to turn purple. The artist looked her in the eyes and saw the fear. It seemed a shame to waste this woman, who she could see beauty in, especially with the way that the maid outfit hugged her curves. Her target likely used her to slate his appetites for flesh.
But she would not waste the artistic inspiration inside of her, not on this one. She had chosen her target. The man. So she could enjoy this woman’s fear, but would not give her an artistic death.
Wait. Some part of her sensed something wrong.
That was it. She had not investigated the woman’s family. This woman may even have had children. The artist sighed, and loosened her grip a bit. The woman’s eyes rolled up in her head and she went limp, her breath gone.
The artist let her fall in a heap on the ground. She had almost lost her way there, but the fear, the look in her eyes, the purpling of her face had been too beautiful. She was worried. She had almost lost control. The exquisiteness of the kill did not justify the fact that she had lost herself.
She shook her head silently, and went back to the kitchen. In the minute that it had taken her the man had likely consumed quite a bit of wine. It was now or never.
She knocked on the door.
“What?” the man roared from within “How many times have I told you not to interrupt me? Do I have to come out there and beat you senseless again? I know that you usually enjoy that, but this time I promise you that you won’t”
The artist smiled. She could hear him lurching towards the door. He would not retain his grace tonight.
The door opened, and his eyes widened at the sight of the collapsed maid. He reached for his bracer, but the artist’s snap kick knocked his hand aside as she slid out from behind the door and stabbed her one dagger into his bracer arm. He opened his mouth, presumably to roar in pain or call for help, but the artist grabbed his arm and slammed it into the gap. It didn’t want to fit, but she pushed it a bit harder.
He began to scream around his arm, in agony from having both his jaw opened too wide and having his one arm be bitten, and the other stabbed.
She spun around him and tripped him he went sprawling, his fat hitting the floor with a meaty thwack. She leapt on his and sliced his bracer arm off at the elbow with one overhand chop of her knife, her favourite knife.
Her howled, so she stomped on the back of his head, slamming it into the ground. He fell silent, stunned. She pulled him up and looked him over. His arm was bleeding profusely, more than she would have liked. She must not have made it as clean a cut as she had hoped to. She pulled a gag from her pocket and tied it in place. No more screaming for him.
Well, she would just have to work quicker than she would wish for. But such was how it usually went.
“You are to be my art” she whispered to the richman of Calton “I will make you beautiful, and immortal”
The man tried to struggle but she was too strong, tried to scream but the gag blocked it. He tried but it did him no good as she began to cut.

And she had been right. The look in his eyes, the feel of his flesh, the feel of her knife, they all paled before the true majesty of her reflection, of her reflected grace in those tear filled frightful eyes.

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