For two weeks straight the warden had Bohdan suspended twenty feet above the ground trapped in a cage. The cage hung from the bridge that connected the tower to the guard post on edge of the pit. Spectators came from far and wide to see Bohdan as word got out he was now a prisoner at the Vampire Zoo. His reputation caused overcrowding that choked the prison grounds and made life more difficult for the guards and other inmates. The guards were pissed their workload had increased and the other inmates were jealous of the attention Bohdan received.
From his cage, Bohdan could see the three buildings and watch the other vampires as they carried on with their lives. They often stopped in groups to look up at him and jeer. Many times they threw rocks and stones and tried to hit him, often hitting the sides of the steel cage with a clank. Bohdan was hit a few times, but was never injured
Then the day came when the warden called him back into his office with some news. It was an idea he had hatched for a one day event to make a shit load of cash for the prison and himself. Bohdan was given the details and the next day was transported to an open field next to the administration building where a huge crowd had gathered for the event. As his wagon approached, the crowd split allowing the horse and buggy to enter and was quickly swallowed up as they made the trip to a clearing inside the group of curious onlookers.
In the clearing, Bohdan could see out his window how the ground had turned from lush grass to sand and gravel. The crowd had formed an almost perfect circle with additional guards posted to keep them at bay. From his vantage point, he couldn’t yet see what was coming up, but he knew already what he was supposed to do when he got there and had no choice but to comply.
As the buggy pulled up to its final destination, Bohdan felt the carriage come to a halt and the buggy shook for a moment. Then a guard opened his door allowing Bohdan to exit to loud applause and cheering from the crowd surrounding him. He didn’t feel like he deserved the attention, but was used to it by now. The guard led Bohdan around the carriage, past the horses to where he was expected to perform.
Standing nude and chained to a six foot wooden post stood Ashley, the woman from V Control LLC. The same women whom he had left in Seneca along with Isaac when he was convicted of murder and put on the train. Bohdan knew he was to kill and mutilate a prisoner today before the crowd but he had no idea it would be her.
“Ashley?” Bohdan asked. He approached her and the crowd grew quiet. The horse and buggy pulled away so the crowd could see from all directions leaving the two alone in the center of a fifty foot circle.
“Yes Bohdan, it’s me,” Ashley replied.
“What are you doing here? They were supposed to bring a death row inmate or a slave for me.”
“I am a death row inmate, in Kansas.”
“But how? When I left you were a free woman.”
“Yes, but they decided to try me and Isaac for accessory to murder. We were both found guilty and sentenced to death.”
“But why send you all the way from Kansas?”
“I think they wanted a woman for you to kill, because of your reputation,” Ashley replied. “There aren’t many women on death row in the country, they were lucky to find me.”
“So they brought you all the way here for me to kill?”
“Yes,” Ashley replied.
“He’s being transferred here now, they brought him with me. Since he was convicted of murder, they had to send him here. It’s the only prison in the country for convicted vampires.”
“I didn’t see him, when did you arrive?”
“This morning,” Ashley replied.
“I was in the warden’s office most of the morning, that’s why I didn’t see him,” Bohdan said. “How’s he doing?”
“I don’t know, He doesn’t speak much. They almost burned him at the stake after you left. You’re lucky you left when you did.”
“Lucky? You don’t know what this place is like. I spent the last two weeks in a cage hanging off the ground like a bird in a zoo,” Bohdan said. As he spoke to Ashley, Bohdan noticed at the edge of the crowd, a large wooden platform built with a roof to keep the sun out. On the platform were rows of people, sitting and watching from above. Bohdan could see there were servants as well as spectators and assumed the platform was for the rich who could afford better seating. “I wonder who they are?” Bohdan asked.
Ashley looked over at the platform and saw that a few of the ladies were using opera glasses to get a better view. “I heard the governor was going to be here, and that they invited the president.”
“Cleveland?” Bohdan asked. He looked at the platform closer and tried to make out anyone he could see. “I don’t know what he looks like, and I’d think they’d have a platform just for him if he were here.”
“How many people do you think are here today?” Ashley asked.
Bohdan looked around at the restless crowd and couldn’t start to make a good guess. “Hundreds I suppose,” he replied. “They seem to be antsy.”
“You’re not going to kill me are you?” Ashley asked. She had been avoiding the question until now.
“Yes, I am going to kill you,” Bohdan replied.
“How can you say it like that?”
“I’m telling the truth without sugar coating it. You’ll be dead in twenty minutes anyway - you won’t care then anyway.”
Ashley began to panic and pull away from Bohdan until the chain that attached her to the pole became taut. The crowd picked up on what was happening and began to cheer. It was like ancient Rome at the coliseum. “I don’t want to hurt,” Ashley said.
Bohdan noticed several tools on the ground lying on the sand just outside Ashley’s reach. He bent over and picked up a butcher’s knife and a long steak knife with serrated edges. It was obvious they were put there for Bohdan to use. He looked at the stainless steel shine and admired how they reflected the sunlight and blue sky from above. “This is out of my control,” Bohdan said. He paused for a moment and smiled. “This will hurt, very badly.” Again he paused and gauged Ashley’s reaction. “First I will rape you, then I will cut you to pieces and take out your heart. I don’t know what I’ll do with it once I have it, but that’s my plan.”
Ashley pulled away as far as the chain would allow. “But you know me, we worked together. We were part of a team!”
“We escaped from the prison before it blew up. That was out of my control. Otherwise we did spend time together, but that wasn’t because I had any fondness for you. I probably would have eventually killed you anyway. You were lucky I was sent away when I was. I like women, and there weren’t a lot of them around Seneca.”
“But you like girls, little girls, I’m twenty nine years old. Way too old for you!” Ashley yelled. The crowd again picked up on hearing Ashley yell and responded with a communal yell of their own.
“I know what you’re doing and it won’t work. Yes, I like my girls young, but you’ll do fine for now. I can’t always get what I want, so sometimes I have to take what I can get.”
Then Bohdan saw a couple guards pull away from the crowd with the warden between them heading their way. “Looks like I’m in trouble,” Bohdan said. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with the warden.
“What’s taking so long?” the warden asked. He tried not to speak to loud so that the dignitaries wouldn’t know what was going on. “I didn’t bring you out here to have a conversation with her, I brought you out here to kill her. The crowd expects it!”
“I know this woman,” Bohdan replied.
“That’s nice, if you’re done catching up on old times, I’d appreciate it if you’d start raping her. If you need some help, I can get some guards to hold her legs apart for you,” the warden said. He was trying to be intimidating and sarcastic at the same time.
“I was about ready to start when you interrupted me,” Bohdan replied. “And no, I don’t need your help to rape, I’m an expert.”
“Fine, now get to it!” the warden snapped and turned and walked away.
“What an asshole,” Bohdan said.
“You don’t have to do this,” Ashley said. “Don’t let that asshole tell you what to do.”
Bohdan stepped over to the wood pole and grabbed the chain that held Ashley to it. He use the chain as a guide to make his way to her and stopped when he got face to face with her. He dropped the knives on the sand and put his hand out to touch Ashley’s face. She looked at Bohdan with the fear of the devil in her eyes and awaited her fate.
“I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not. I will enjoy this more than you will ever know,” Bohdan said. He pulled the chain and brought Ashley into his grip. For the next ten minutes, Bohdan viciously raped Ashley to the point of unconsciousness and then cut her open with the butcher’s knife. The crowd screamed and yelled, cheering Bohdan on as he ravaged Ashley and left her for dead on the sand. Once her heart was located, he cut it loose and pulled it out for the crowd to see. He put the organ in his mouth and sucked the blood from the large veins that dangled from it. Bohdan was in vampire heaven, and today, he didn’t mind being a celebrity. He was starving and now he fed, fed on his favorite meal.
When he was finished, Bohdan dropped the heart onto Ashley’s body and looked around at the crowd. He expected them to disperse but they seemed to be waiting for round two. Then the warden walked back out with his guards.
“What now warden? I put on your show,” Bohdan said.
“I’m getting three slaves, the crowd wants more, and the governor demands it,” the warden replied.
“What kind of sick fuck governor shows up to a killing?”
“The kind that signs my paycheck, and looks the other way when I pocket all the profits from this hell hole.”
“How long is this going to take?”
“Why do you care? You have all fucking day. Would you rather spend it hanging from your cage?”
Bohdan looked past the warden at the crowd and then up to the raised platform. “Who else is up there besides the governor?”
“None of your business, you’re here to put on a show. I bring the crowd.”
“We seem to have some time, your slaves aren’t here yet. Why do you have to be such a prick all the time?” Bohdan asked.
“If you must know, the lieutenant governor, the governor’s aids and most of the prison board.”
“I heard you invited the president.”
“I did,” the warden replied.
“He didn’t show?”
“He didn’t feel it was his place to be here. He said it was uncouth and below his office to attend. He’s just kissing butt to get reelected.”
“So what you’re saying is that these people here today are nothing but a bunch of low lives?”
“This is a circus, people like to be entertained. This might not be the most highbrow form of entertainment, but people like it all the same.”
“It’s one step above a cock fight,” Bohdan said. “Or below, depends if you’re the cock or not. I can see why the president didn’t show. But the governor, he must be a real shit bag if he showed up.”
“The governor brought the girl. Without him, you’d be dining on slaves only.”
“Tell him thanks, I like white girls, they taste the best.”
“You’re not getting girls this time, they’re bringing in some black men. Don’t worry, we’ll tie them up so you won’t get injured. I can’t have my best money maker out of commission.”
“I hate feeding on men, they’re so disgusting. Their meat is tough, the blood is thick and tastes like rotten eggs,” Bohdan said.
“Sorry, we ran out of female slaves. Can’t always have what you want,” the warden said with a grin. “But I will say you put on a good show. The governor is very happy and when he’s happy, I’m happy. I might make it up to you later.”
“I’d like to go on a trip, into the city,” Bohdan said.
“I’ll think about it,” the warden replied.