The warden wanted today to stand out, stand out so much that he brought in a brass band to play for the crowd as they waited for Bohdan to arrive. Over five hundred people paid to see today’s show and although the vast majority couldn’t see from where they were standing, were still excited to be there, and maybe get a glimpse of the president.
The sky was grey and a nice breeze blew over the crowd like a cool fall day. As one o’clock approached, Bohdan pumped himself up by visualizing what he was going to do the girl from Texas. He ran his actions over and over in his mind until he was satisfied he knew what he was going to do. He planned on her putting up a fight, and made adjustments accordingly.
Back at the killing field, the girl from Texas was brought to the same place Ashley was, stripped nude and shackled to the wooden pole. The warden considered either bringing her out later or covering her up until the reveal, but thought maybe he’d get a bigger bang for his buck if he let the crowd see her in advance. Then reveal Bohdan later, dressed in all black as he stepped out of the carriage that brought him through the crowd.
The warden checked to make sure the raised platform for the president had food and water, and a set of spy glasses so President Arthur could see the action. The warden planned to sit next to the president, associating himself with the ultimate power in the country. He had a local photographer lined up for pictures and a special place set up for the Tribune.
As the event began just before three in the afternoon, the president’s carriage stopped near his raised platform and he got out. With the assistance of the prison personnel and the secret service, President Arthur climbed the steps to his viewing platform and took his seat. He was joined by two congressmen and the governor of Illinois, Richard James Oglesby.
The warden checked his pocket watch incessantly, nervously anticipating the day’s events. The crowd was ready, the president was in place and the girl was ready to be raped and die. All that was left was for Bohdan to be escorted into the circle and put on a show worthy of all the pomp and circumstance. The band played popular music that gave the event a festive feel, and in a way the killing felt more like a traveling carnival than capital punishment.
Three o’clock came and Bohdan was transported through the crowd in a special carriage brought in just for today’s event. The carriage was owned by a wealthy local banker who loved nothing more than showing off the fine wood and leather that made up his ride. The horses that pulled the carriage were the finest Clydesdales that could be found in the region and were transported in at a high cost. But a cost the warden could afford today.
Bohdan rode in luxury, the interior of the carriage had fine black leather seats and dark walnut throughout. Sitting across from him was a single guard, more of a token for show, so the crowd would feel he was dangerous. Bohdan was going nowhere today, but the guard made him look like he might try to escape.
As the carriage broke through the crowd and entered the sandy inner ring, it stopped and the door swung open. A guard from the crowd stepped in and let Bohdan step down onto the sandy ground escorting him around the horses towards the naked girl bound to the stake. The crowd applauded and Bohdan raised a hand to greet the crowd like a gladiator ready for a fight. Only Bohdan carried no sword or armor, just a long coat, black denim shirt, pants and leather boots with matching gloves. He looked badass; like the warden wanted him to look.
From his vantage point next to the president, the warden could see the entire crowd as they hushed and closed in to get a better look at the action below. The warden looked to make sure his guests were engaged in what was going on below and was satisfied when he saw President Arthur using his spy glass to get a close up look at the action. “Would you prefer Opera glasses Mr. President?” the warden asked. “The spy glass might be too powerful this close.”
The president handed the warden his spy glass in exchange for a pair of opera glasses and continued to look down at Bohdan. “This is much better,” the president said.
“Always glad to be of assistance,” the warden said. He was such an ass kisser.
“Will this be bloody?” the president asked.
The warden didn’t know how to answer. If the president preferred blood or not. He needed more information to gauge his reply. “It can be,” the warden said. He felt this was as ambiguous as he could be.
“I’m sure it can be, what was it like that last time he killed a girl here?”
“It was quite the mess,” the warden explained. “I hope that won’t offend you.”
“No, that’s fine, I was just curious. I can handle blood,” the president replied.
Bohdan approached the girl and turned his attention from the crowd to her. He immediately noticed there was something odd about her. She didn’t shy away, or really notice him at all. He was expecting her to pull away to the excitement of the crowd, and was disappointed when she basically ignored him. “You, girl, what is your name?” Bohdan asked.
The girl looked in Bohdan’s general direction, but failed to make eye contact with him.
“I asked you a question, what is your name?”
The girl opened her mouth and drooled on herself. She didn’t answer.
“Are you deaf or stupid, what is your name?”
This time the girl looked Bohdan in the eye and he saw nothing there. She seemed to be dead inside yet alive on the outside. She continued to drool and not answer Bohdan.
“I’m about to rape and murder you, does this not concern you?” Bohdan asked.
The girl made a growling sound, then seemed to hum to herself, like a child.
Bohdan stepped in closer to take a better look at the girl. He noticed her skin looked mottled, grey in spots, pasty and wet. Like she had been sweating. “It’s a cool breezy day, why do you perspire so?” Bohdan asked.
The girl looked around into the crowd not focusing on any one person or area. She seemed confused, yet unconcerned at the same time. Bohdan looked up to the tower where the warden sat watching, as if looking for a prompt of some kind. Bohdan was out of his element and not sure what to do. Without the screams and horror he expected from the girl, he felt helpless and out of place.
The crowd began to grumble, anticipating Bohdan raping the girl and Bohdan could feel the tension. The problem was that Bohdan didn’t think he could rape her, she didn’t seem human. It would be like raping a dead person, not what the crowd wanted. Frustrated, Bohdan stepped in close enough to the girl to touch her. He reached out and put a finger on her chest just below her chin. She felt cool, moist and clammy. Not what he expected at all.
“Are you ill?” Bohdan asked.
The girl didn’t respond.
“Fuck her!” a voice yelled out from the crowd. Bohdan could feel the tension building all around him but couldn’t comply with what they wanted.
“Stop wasting time! Bend her over and give her what she deserves!” another voice yelled out.
Then a chanting of “Kill her, kill her, kill her,” rocked back and forth from the crowd. Bohdan wanted so bad to do what the crowd wanted, but they had no idea what he was up against. This girl was not normal, cold and clammy, with a distant look in her eye. She was like a zombie come back from the dead.
Then Bohdan saw the warden emerge from the crowd and scurry over towards him. Out of breath, he asked, “What’s going on?”
“She’s not right,” Bohdan replied.
“What do you mean she’s not right? Rape her and kill her, that’s what you do, that’s all you do.”
“I don’t think she’s human.”
The warden stepped over to the girl and took a quick look. “She’s human, now get on with it, I have the president of the United States and the governor of Illinois watching. Don’t make me look like a fool!”
“I can try, but I don’t think you will be satisfied. It is like she’s under a spell, a voodoo spell,” Bohdan replied. “And her skin is like ice.”
The warden stepped over and touched the girl’s back. He felt the cold wet skin and shivers went up his spine. He now realized Bohdan was right about this girl. There was something wrong with her. “She has the flu, make it quick, the president is waiting.”
“Fine,” Bohdan said. He watched the warden head back through the crowd and up the raised platform taking his seat between the president and the governor. When he saw the warden take his seat and shake his arm in frustration, he turned his attention to the girl. The girl who was now chewing on her wrist where the metal cuff attached to her and the chain.
“What are you doing?” Bohdan asked. The girl raised her head and Bohdan could see blood dripping from her mouth. Her wrists had chew marks on them that bled onto the sand below. “You can’t chew those off, are you fucking insane?”
The girl ignored Bohdan and returned to chewing on her wrist.
“I can’t do this,” Bohdan said to himself. He looked back up at the tower and shrugged his shoulders. It was obvious to the warden that Bohdan wasn’t going to try.
“Give me your gun,” the warden said to one of his guards. “I’m going to shoot the bastard myself.”
The guard handed the warden his rifle and the warden took aim at Bohdan. He pulled the trigger and shot him in the chest, just to the right of his heart. Bohdan felt the sting of the bullet and stepped back. He tugged on his new shirt and opened it far enough to see the hole the bullet made. He was more annoyed than anything trying to fish the bullet out of his chest, until he heard another shot and felt the sting hit his neck.
By now the crowd had figured out that someone was shooting the main attraction and were getting nervous. A stray bullet could hit anyone of them at any time.
The president turned to the warden and asked, “What the fuck are you doing?”
“I’m trying to motivate that son of a bitch vampire!”
“By shooting him? You’ll kill him!”
“You can’t kill a vampire with a bullet you dumb fuck,” the warden said. He was too pissed to care that he had just called the president a name.
“How dare you call me that?” the president said.
Then the governor chimed in. “You apologize immediately or I’ll find someone else to run this prison!”
“Are you kidding me?” the warden asked. “You’ll never find anyone that can run this place like I do. Who else would want to run the Vampire Zoo?”
“I have two other men who would take over in a second,” the governor said. “They ask me ten times a day to fire you so they can run this place. Everyone knows you skim from the treasury. Don’t think you’re irreplaceable.”
“I give you thirty percent of that money governor, don’t act so high and mighty. I’m here because I make you money as well as me. Nobody else is going to do that for you and you know it!”
“Is that true?” the president asked. “How are you making money in the first place?”
“I sell tickets to see the vampires, why else do you think they call this place the Vampire Zoo? It’s a prison you dumb fuck, I turned it into a money making venture.”
“I had no idea they called this place a zoo.”
“Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass once and awhile,” the warden snapped back.
“I will have you shut down by the end of the day!”
“And let these vampire’s loose? Good luck with that.”
“I’ll bring in the National Guard,” the president said.
“That will take two weeks if you’re lucky, what’re you going to do in the meantime? I’m the only person who knows how this place runs.”
“You’re fired!” the president said.
“Fired? You can’t fire me! Only the governor can fire me.”
“Fine, you’re fired!” the governor said.
“Bullshit,” the warden said and pulled a percussion pistol from his vest and shot the governor in the head. The president tried to stand and leave when he saw the governor slump over and fall off the platform to the ground below. “Don’t move asshole,” the warden said.
The president waited for his security to stop the warden from turning his pistol towards him but no one did anything. The secret service was gone, patrolling the crowd leaving the president to fend for himself. The warden tossed his pistol down into the crowd landing next to the governor’s body. The pistol was a one shot only and the warden didn’t have the time or supplies to reload it. So he pulled out a Bowie knife and attacked the president, stabbing him repeatedly in the neck and chest until he lost his balance and fell from the platform landing next to the governor.
The crowd below parted when they felt the bodies hit the ground and now they were looking up at the warden who was wielding a bloody knife in his hand like a madman. It didn’t take long for the attention to focus on the raised platform from Bohdan and this gave him the perfect chance to blend into the crowd and escape. Before anyone knew different, Bohdan was lost in the crowd and heading as far away from the Vampire Zoo as he could.
In the distance, Bohdan could hear the yells from the crowd as everyone figured out that the president had just been assassinated by the warden of the prison. That alone was a better show than Bohdan could ever have put on, and he was glad to be gone.