H The Killing of Angels

Editor’s Foreword

Bound naked woman. Cold-hearted villain. Sharp objects. This can’t end well...

She awoke to horse hooves clattering on the cobblestones. Her eyes opened wearily. The fog of her sleep was slowly lifting and the darkness filtered in. She soon realized the horror of her situation. Her hands and feet were bound and her movements yielded little less that the slight twist of her body.

Wide eyed, she looked hurriedly about the dimly lit room. She saw nothing, except a gas lamp with its dying flame that sat atop a small bench. She tried to scream and at that moment realized she could no more then grunt and groan.

Her mouth wouldn’t open and each attempt to part her lips was met with a harsh stinging pain. Her hands sweat from her fear and her eyes watered by the realization, something horrible had or would happen to her.

Muffled cries moved about the room like a melody. She could feel devilish eyes watching her, but she could not see anyone. She didn’t recall how she came to be in this predicament. The room was not familiar, small and filled with dark shadows.

She felt a touch, gentle upon her foot. She squirmed wildly and despite the pain tried as she might to open her mouth and allow all the built up terror to release.

“Be still now, you’ll tear your sutures. Your pretty little mouth will bleed and I can’t have that.” She heard.

She did as he suggested. She felt the sting upon her face and her muscles were so very tired. Was she loosing the will to live, she wondered?

Her eyes moved with the shadow. His fingers had left her mid-thigh as she realized she must be naked as well. He stopped at the bench, holding the gas lamp up he fidgeted with it, causing the flame to increase.

She waited for him to turn so that she may see his face.

“Do you know why you are here?” he asked.

She shook her head. How could he know her answer if she could not speak and he would not face her, she wondered?

“Of course you don’t.”

The tears returned. Her moment of wonder left her and the reality returned. She trembled now, as her fear had drained the remaining warmth in her body.

She lay there, waiting for him to speak, as she could not. As she did her thoughts began to ramble. It struck her. There waiting her terrible fate, that she did not know why she was there, but also, she did not know who she was.

Oh, God, she thought. Her mind spun as she tried to put the pieces together.

“None of it really matters.”

She looked over at him. He still stood with his back to her. The clatter of horse hooves on the cobblestones echoed outside. Quickly, she struggled and screamed as best she could behind her veil of pain.

“No one can hear you and even if they could, they wouldn’t help you.”

She continued. She kept her eyes on him. He did not attempt to stop her tirade even if she should rip her sutures. As much as she wanted to continue, as much as she begged her adrenalin to fuel her, she tired once again and fell still in her prison.

The room became cold and she felt a chill move up her naked flesh like perverted hands, scathing every inch of her. Why, she lamented. Her fear fell to pity as she waited, which was no worse torment.

She removed her gaze and stared up at the darkness above her. She wished then that it would fall upon her and drown her as if she had fallen into the deepest ocean, carrying her corpse far from this place. It was not to be of course, as life is never so kind.

“I admire your beauty. You are flawless.”

She did not acknowledge him. Emotions moved about her like a carousel. Fear, anger, timidity, worry, pity, guilt and then the curiousness of who she was returned.

Tears that had poured so freely dried and she felt the crust of their remnant in the corner of her eyes. Her mouth numb and she felt somehow detached. As if she were afloat in that ocean, she desired so.

Closing her eyes in response to his touch. Then darting them open to see of she might spy the one who binds her. Shadows smear his mask into a twisted shadow as the gas lamp sits near her.

His touch is gentle, admiring of her as if she were some delicate porcelain art. The warmth of the flame embraces her. Eyes narrow in response to the darkness, the swirling mask of her capture, still she cannot make out his face.

She shudders at the sound of dry-rotted wood laboring against the floor. Her eyes move to the bench that he has brought to her. She can see now the fabric that rests atop the bench and the dusty maroon draperies that set off the top of the bench.

“I have some things to show you.”

His voice calls out as if she were genuinely interested in his words. Nothing could be further from his arrogant truth. She longed for it to end, whatever it was she was to endure. Had he raped her, she wondered?

“Though the temptation was great, I abstained from such indulgences.”

Impossible, she thought.

“Nothing is so, one does not need a voice to speak.”

What do you want with me?

The question left her thoughts, though it was not what she really wanted to know. She wanted to know who she was. The point of dying was meaningless without a name. Death was not a concern for the forsaken. God would not take a nameless one, would He?

Her eyes widened and trembled within their sockets. Beneath the fabric was revealed a line of shimmering weaponry. She saw from watering eyes things she had never seen before. Cruel instruments of malevolent intent still stained in the blood of previous undertakings.

The tears returned, as did the creeping chill. She shudders atop the table, hands and feet bound and her body writhing to free itself. The vim of a flailing life filled her and she wished to be renewed.

Please no, please don’t do this.

“It is my calling.”

A scream, slight but audible left her. Blood trickled from the torn suture as her eyes widen in the horror. The maroon drapery that concealed the hutch of the bench was pushed aside to reveal her waiting fate.

“Quell the fear, the end is inevitable. To scar such beauty however is unforgivable.”

She felt his warm finger against her lips. Turning her head, she tried to curse but the words wouldn’t come.

Just do it.

“First you must gaze upon the others.”

She did as he said. If it would quicken the end then she would cooperate. The well of tears beneath her swollen eyes built and fell like drops of rain before the storm.

Heads, female, six she counted, lay atop downy white feathers. Each in various stages of rot, the skin and flesh ashen or black as tar.

There, I did as you asked.

“Do you not care who you will be in company with?”

I just want this to end.

“They are angels. Their heads rest upon their wings. They are the six of the seven.”

Seven?

“You are the seven.”

A silence befell her unlike any she had ever known, if she in fact ever knew silence. There was no memory of such a thing. If she were indeed an angel, would she not know this?

She peered up at him. His face remained concealed by the dark shadows. The darkness lingered there like smoke. As if controlled by him in some way. She longed to see his face, to know what she could of her murderer.

If I am an angel, where are my wings?

She followed his hand. It moved slowly from the first head to the sixth. His hand stopped next to the last head. Above downy feathers, he offered an open hand.

Who am I?

“You are the seven.”

She watched as from his breast pocket he pulled a small vile. She watched as he opened it. He took great care in this task, care she could not see such a monster taking.

Not moving, or as much as looking away as his hands approached, she watched hopeful that his movement would somehow cast light across his face. Her hopes were dashed, but her senses pleased by a fresh smell, an odor familiar, yet she could not place.

What is that smell?

“It is vanilla. It will keep your blood from staining your skin. Makes the chore of cleaning you that much easier.”

Vanilla?

Its aroma was pleasing and somehow took her thoughts far and away. She looked on as if detached at the man who garnered his tools. They shimmered in the gas lamp and in them, she saw a faint reflection of herself. It was on no one she recognized.

Please tell me my name?

She winced, as the pain was greater than anything she could ever remember. The warmth that bathed her neck gave her little comfort. Her breaths stopped and in the moment when time stops she wondered again, would she die nameless and without knowing her murderer?

She saw a glimpse of downy white as he leaned in to her. She would never know the answers to the questions that consumed her. She would only know death.

 

About the Author

Recently published by Blood Moon Rising and Regged Edge Publishing, Spyder Collins hopes to carve his name in the halls of horror as a striking new name in the genre.

 

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