A Taste of Blood: Ten Terrifying Short Stories

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Summary

Terrifying and Intense Short Stories! Demons! Murder! Revenge! and ELVIS!!! "A Taste of Blood" is ten short stories written in the 1980s when I worked for magazines such as 'True Detective' and hard core adult periodicals, thus they're graphic, gritty, violent and torn from the headlines of the day. Set in and around New York City, 'A Taste of Blood,' remembers a dirty and dangerous town, where every corner offered an unknown risk. Be prepared: "A Taste of Blood" illustrates a hard world filled with extreme violence, fear and danger. These stories are tense and unpleasant and will keep you up at night!

Genre:
Horror / Thriller
Author:
Jeffrey Able
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
10
Rating:
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

A Taste of Blood

Demetrius the Blood Demon awoke and slowly opened his slitted yellow eyes. He propped himself up against his stone pillow and steel headboard and lit a cigarette. The bored devil yawned, belched and swung his legs off the bed to sit and smoke and clear his head.

“Talia,” he said, “let’s have some fun today.”

Demetrius took a long drag, exhaled and swallowed the butt. He rose, stretched and stepped over last night’s bloody remains, reached for his robe and slipped the gore-stained garment over his thickly muscled arms and torso. The ancient demon exited the apartment and walked along endless corridors, passing infinite doorways from behind which agonized groans and tortured shrieks accompanied his footsteps.

“Talia, where do you hide?” he said and bellowed. “Talia!” His volume tumbled marble pillars and ancient statuary. He stomped a clawed foot which cracked ornate tiles laid millennium ago. “What are you up to my serpentine whore?” Demetrius grunted and let loose a flatulent blast that scattered rats along the baseboards, then approached her chambers and entered unannounced.

“There you are, still abed! Arise lazy she-devil, while you sleep I anger.” His voice rose. “Demons and monsters tremble at my rage,” he said, eyes ablaze, “so you, slut, should be terrified.”

She snored a phlegmy reply, which rattled cracked mirrors and dusty paintings hung about the decrepit bedroom and woke her revenant slaves who fled the angry demon towering above. Demetrius scooped them up within his clawed fist and squeezed, then tossed the bloody pulp and licked his fingers clean.

“Wake up, you lazy bitch, your master wants his way with you.”

Talia opened her eyes. Her head and body ached and she wanted more sleep. She sat, stretched and smiled and ran her snaky tongue over greenish fangs.

“Demi, my love, what brings you to my chambers?”

“I’m here, concubine, because I’m bored, bored to death, and I need you to alleviate it.” He grabbed her breast and squeezed hard but she twisted free.

“But Demi, I have the worst headache. Maybe,” she said, her tone demure, “you could return later?”

“No,” he said, mocking her, “I won’t return later. When I want something, I don’t wait till ‘later’. I want something now.”

Talia closed her eyes and rubbed her temples, annoyed by this undignified whining, “Unbefitting a creature so large and ugly,” she thought as he sat down beside her.

“I’m bored, Talia, so damned bored. After three thousand years, I’m going out of my skull. There’s just so many souls you can torment before they all look the same. I’m sleepwalking, going through the motions. I need something to excite me, boil my blood. And if I don’t get it soon…”

“Demi,” she said, and stroked his brow, “let Talia make it better. I’ve got just the thing. Let’s unleash the hounds on the new arrivals. You’ve always loved that.”

“Boring, boring, boring.”

“Well, lover,” she said, and licked his pointed ear, “what about disaster? A flood, earthquake, storm or fire: let’s ravage New York and Paris and London. Think of the destruction and the riots and the violence. Think,” she said, and took his hand, “of the blood.”

A smile crossed Demetrius’ face but quickly vanished. “Nice idea, mistress, but far too much work. Something closer to home, please.”

“Well,” she said and sighed, then undid his robe and ran a jagged fingernail over his flaccid penis. “I’ve been saving this for a special occasion, but now’s the perfect moment.” She leaned over and kissed his cock.

“I commissioned a most-special gift, by a renowned swordsmith, Jun Hao Chen, whose black and vile magic once created the finest blades ever.”

“Ah,” the demon said. “Tell me more.”

Talia squeezed Demetrius’ organ fiercely, her lover immune to a gentle touch. “Centuries ago above, Chen met a sorcerer who taught him dark magic in exchange for Chen’s beautiful wife. Having gained the knowledge, Chen reneged, ambushed the sorcerer and murdered him.” Talia’s red flesh shone as she worked her lover’s devilish dick.

“He sounds like a good man, this Chen,” Demetrius said, gasping between words, “continue.”

She rested her arm and exhaled loudly. “A particular demon then instructed Chen, as payment due for even greater and darker magic, to slice the throats of his seven daughters. Jun Hao Chen refused and the demon ripped out Hao’s heart and took his daughters as concubines. To this day they service him while old Chen stands and watches.” Demetrius laughed.

“I contacted that particular demon,” she said and smiled, “who lent me his servant, this swordsmith, to create a gift for you, my evil lover. I promised Jun that if his craftwork pleases you, he and his daughters would be set free.” They laughed together at this obvious lie.

“Well done, my demon bitch, well done.”

Talia reached under her pillow and laid before Demetrius a black case. She released the golden clasp, raised the top and withdrew a dagger. The blade, ornately engraved, shimmered a reddish glow. “The engravings are magical,” Talia said, handing the dagger to Demetrius. “A magic so powerful it corrupts any who dare grasp this hell-forged steel.”

She paused as Demetrius examined the weapon. “This dagger’s a tribute,” she said, “to evil and depravity, the leather on the case, for example, produced from the tanned hides of pedophile priests.” They both smiled.

“My favorite kind,” said Demetrius.

Talia nodded. “The handle is carved from Cynthia Stillwell’s shinbone, she slaughtered her five children and drank their blood believing it would keep her young and beautiful for eternity.”

“I’ll never forget her face,” said Demetrius, “when she discovered the truth.” They both laughed.

“The hilt and butt,” Talia said, “contain silver from those thirty coins paid betraying …”

Demetrius waved: “Yes, yes, we all know who he is…”

She nodded. “Jun Hao Chen insists the blade’s an alloy of numerous immoral, odious and pernicious metals: the first ball fired, for instance, in the American Civil War, one of your brutal favorites, darling, and bloodstained barbed wire from Auschwitz: a place you knew very well.”

“A paradise on earth,” he said and laughed.

She smiled, took his free hand and kissed each knuckle. “All these atrocities,” she said, “and many others, comprise this wondrous instrument, and I propose we send it above into some innocent’s hands. Let’s see the mischief and evil we can cause. Does this sound agreeable to thee, my demon love?”

Talia resumed squeezing Demetrius’ hellish cock until fire burst from its fiendish tip. He groaned and raised the dagger then stabbed her chest as his flaming ejaculate ignited the bed. Talia received the blade joyously, her face a mask of orgiastic pleasures, her blood, thick and black, soaking the satin sheets. A red holocaust consumed the chamber, paint blistered and flames licked the ceiling, and as their flesh burnt and black smoke billowed, Demetrius roared.

“So it shall be!”

***

One bright April afternoon, dark clouds formed suddenly and blotted out the sun. The temperature plummeted and violent winds bent trees and blew about trash cans. A blood-red lightning bolt struck down, an explosive thunderclap followed and in a mind-moment the sun again lit the pristine sky, azure and peaceful, the spring day temperate and kind.

“Holy shit,” thought Harry Gold, who’d ducked into a phone booth against the storm, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” Harry’s thoughts moved on, the strange phenomena quickly forgotten. He’d cut math and now wandered aimlessly, his face screwed in anger: Harry hated this town and his school and all his classes. Harry hated his father, who he never knew, and his mother, who always said something mean.

Harry hated his glasses and the ill-fitting clothes his older brother had left behind. “I’m ugly and stupid,” Harry said, whenever he checked his reflection.

He hated exercise and sports, showed no talent for art or music and despised books, loving only television and movies and comics, especially violent stories depicting betrayal and revenge.

Recently a schoolmate had visited Harry’s house where the two boys watched cartoons. The television shared a wall with the master bedroom. Grunting and groaning and drunken laughter emanated from the other side.

“What’s that?” the schoolmate had asked.

“That’s my mother and her… friend.”

When the noise ceased, a half-dressed man appeared who approached the boys and farted, then laughed loudly and lit a cigarette. Harry hated his mother’s boyfriend, a cop who bossed Harry around and bragged about his Special Forces soldiering in Vietnam.

“Hey, Fatshit,” he’d said, “Get out to the garage and bring us some beer.” When Harry ignored him, the unshaven man had slapped Harry’s head and repeated his demand. Harry nodded and complied but when he’d returned his guest was gone.

The next day at school someone had defaced Harry’s locker, FATSHIT, in bright red. Inside, he’d discovered his books soaked, urine splashed through the ventilation slots. Disgusted and furious, his tears ran uncontrolled as classmates mocked him and laughed. “I’ll get them all,” he’d said every day since.

Wandering about that unusual afternoon, ruminating on his hatreds, Harry came upon a mysterious block running between a commercial office building and a one-story warehouse. “I’ve walked here a million times,” he thought, eyeing a street sign, “but Demetrius Street? There’s no Demetrius Street around here.”

He looked skeptical. “This ain’t even a street, it’s an alleyway, really.” Harry figured it ran through an old church that’d burnt down a few months earlier. “Maybe they cleared the rubble and put this street here,” Harry reasoned, “except that’s dumb because I was here last week. This is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.”

He shrugged and turned onto the strange thoroughfare, walked a bit and approached a lone shop. “Jun Hao Chen, Swordsmith,” Harry said, reading aloud a red neon sign hung in the window. He opened the door and cautiously walked through, surprised by shelves, display cases and a front counter dusty and empty, the place barely lit. Frightened, Harry turned to leave.

“Young man, can I help you?” Shaken, Harry turned back, the shop clean and well lit, the shelves and counters displaying knives and swords and daggers, the shopkeeper dressed smartly in suit and tie. “Can I help you, young man?”

“I…I was just looking.”

“Come,” he said, a hint of a smile betraying his stern features, “let me show you my handiwork.” Harry walked about, inspecting the shining steel weapons, some hung, others in stands, some protected behind glass cases. “You made all these?”

“Yes, young man, I forged all these and many more. But Harry, I have something very special for you. I know who you are, how unhappy your life has been. I know you wish for revenge and respect and mostly, for men to fear you. Follow me, young man, and I can grant those wishes.”

“How does this guy know about me?” Harry thought. “How does he know my name? And what was that about wishes?”

Intrigued, he followed the man behind the sales counter to a back room containing a workbench, empty save for a black leather case.

“Go and open it.”

Harry approached and examined the case. As his nervous fingers fumbled with the golden clasp, his forehead glistened. He undid the catch and gently swung the top open when an ominous laugh startled him, but Harry turned and found the proprietor’s expression unchanged. He gasped upon viewing the dagger, gazed in awe and glanced back at the swordsmith who nodded. He gently lifted the weapon. Red electricity popped at the dagger’s tip and surged down the blade and over Harry’s hand, arm and shoulder and continued until he stood encompassed in crimson energy.

His eyes glazed and rolled back and in a fevered vision, he slaughtered those who’d hurt him, the dagger slashing wildly, and relished the fear and terror on their faces, blood flowing from their murdered bodies. Gore-covered, Harry reveled in vengeance, dagger held aloft. But only for a moment: Harry blinked and the vision ended.

“It’s beautiful,” he said, “but I could never afford something like this.”

“Not to worry, young man, consider this a trial. You don’t have to pay unless satisfied. Take the dagger home. If you like it you may return and pay me in full.”

Harry studied the man, unsure, but desperate to possess the dagger. He’d never held something so beautiful, that felt so right in his hand and dodged and dismissed any apprehensive feelings. All he saw was the dagger, all he wanted was the dagger: he put it back in its case and fastened the catch.

The proprietor wrapped it in brown paper, which he tied off and handed to Harry. They walked to the storefront, the shopkeeper holding the door for his only customer. “I hope to hear from you shortly.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll be back real soon. Thank you.” Harry smiled.

“Yeah, right.” he thought, “What’s he gonna do if I don’t pay? He doesn’t know where I live…” He tucked the package under his arm. “But,” Harry said, “you still haven’t told me how much it costs.”

“We’ll see what it costs you, young man.”

The boy turned and stepped through the door, evil laughter behind him dismissed as he rushed away, certain the shopkeeper would demand payment or his dagger back. Harry ran from Demetrius Street, down the hill to Main and caught a bus, then walked home from his stop, sweaty hands shaking as he unlocked the front door. He stepped over shoes, discarded clothing, mail and magazines and newspapers littering the entrance, ignored stale smoke and lingering dust and ran to his cluttered bedroom. Harry locked his door and untied the twine and removed the brown paper. “You’re beautiful,” he said and laid the case on his bed.

He studied the embossed design, an array of indecipherable symbols. “I wonder how old it is?” he thought, discerning no wear or crack to mar the flawless black leather, even along the seamless hinge. Harry examined the clasp, which he drew up and out, prompting a mechanical click.

The dagger lay on its crushed velvet, blade glowing. Harry picked it up and ran his fingertip over the engraved flat, cautiously touching the point: The dagger jumped in his hand and sliced a large gash down his finger and into his palm, exposing bone, muscle, and tendons beneath.

Harry stared at the wound, stunned, but when blood streamed, he shrieked. His eyes widened as it ran over his wrist and arm, pouring down and soaking the worn carpet. The blade glowed brightly and more intensely as his blood pooled. He gasped and dropped it into the growing puddle, gasping again as the blade soaked up his blood like a sponge, the stain shrinking and the light blinding.

He grabbed a shirt from the floor and tightly wrapped his wound, then carefully retrieved the dagger, dizzy with blood loss, his hand throbbing. He held the dagger at arm’s length and turned away, eyes shut tight and pressed in the crook of his wounded arm.

“I wish I’d never taken you home,” he said, crying, the blade brighter still.

“Any wish but that can be granted. Ask again.” The words seemed to come from the dagger itself. Furious, Harry said, “Okay, I wish I hadn’t cut myself,” and the blade stopped glowing. Harry peeked over his elbow, his arm no longer throbbing.

“That’s it?”

He placed the dagger down and carefully unwrapped and examined his hand, his finger and palm whole. “Not even a scratch,” he said, “no pain or blood or anything.” Harry clenched and released his fist and stretched his fingers wide. “It’s like it never happened at all.”

Relieved but frightened, Harry closed the dagger within its case and ran through his house and out the back door. He pulled his bicycle from the garage and secured the case with a bungee and pedaled furiously towards town. Nighttime approached, and even though Harry had to duck through traffic and almost wiped out on gravel, he refused to slow down. He rode through stoplights and intersections, deaf to honks and curses, covered in sweat and gulping down air.

At Main, Harry got off his bike and started up the small hill towards Demetrius Street, finding not the street or the shop but the old burnt-down church: a scorched brick foundation and partial wall, blackened but intact, ash and charred beams and trash and a lingering acrid smell.

“Where is it?” he said. “Where’s the street and that shop? This is the place.” He looked about frantically. “There’s nowhere else it could be.” He searched up and down the block, rode through side streets and checked lots and alleys, but returned to the rubble, frustrated tears running down his face.

Harry dismounted and leaned his bike against a lamp post. He unhooked the case and walked back through the charred lot and searched for the shop but found nothing. “Fuck it,” he said, “I’ll leave you here and let someone else deal with this.” He dropped the case behind the wall and returned to his bicycle, but discovered his frustrating package securely racked, bungee cord taut, as if he’d never removed it.

“Okay,” he said, “let’s try this again.” He undid the case and threw it two-handed, overhead, and watched it fall among the burnt timbers. He got on his bicycle but found the weapon racked as before. Exasperated, he got off the bike, retrieved the case and ran back behind the charred wall, where he dropped his burden and piled atop it rubble and wood and brick, and returned to the sidewalk, only to find his bike missing and the damned case under his arm, which suddenly seemed less a problem.

“Mom’s gonna be furious,” he said. “She’s gonna kill me or worse: She made such a big deal about that fucking bike, I’ve got to do something.” He frowned and then snapped his fingers and ran back behind the wall. Harry removed the dagger, held it out and said, “I wish my bicycle was back.” Nothing happened, no glow, just cold metal. “I wish,” he repeated, “…pretty please, to have my bike back.” Nothing.

He put the blade back in its case and walked out to the sidewalk. “What’d I do wrong?” Harry tried to work it out. “I cut my finger,” he said, “and it hurt like hell, and then I wished that the cut would go away and it did. No. It was the fucking knife. It jumped in my hand and gashed me and there was a shitload of blood on the carpet. The knife fell and drank up the blood and the more blood it drank, the brighter it glowed. It needs blood...”

Harry walked dark streets, the stores and offices deserted for the evening, searching for the bike or the shopkeeper or… he didn’t know, he just knew he couldn’t go home.

A light rain fell but he kept walking, upset and frustrated. The wind chilled him so he ducked under a large maple in a small woods adjacent to a construction site, its leafy branches offering cover.

He slumped down, his back against the tree and studied the package in his lap. He hated that case and the dagger hidden warm and dry inside. He wanted to smash it and break it, throw it in a fire and laugh as the black leather blistered and peeled away.

Harry rose, and with a desperate yell, slammed the case against the tree, cutting deeply into the maple: bark and cambium and sapwood exposed, the case unscathed. He struck repeatedly, yelling with each blow, wood bits in his hair, stuck to his clothing, even in his shoes, swinging and smashing until his arms gave out. He dropped to the ground exhausted and leaned back against the tree.

His breathing came in gasps and sobs. Harry removed the dagger, holding it up against the light: “What kind of power do you possess?” He considered throwing it deep into the woods but realized the futility, the thought disrupted by a cold, wet sensation on his hand: a cat nuzzled up against him and pushed his nose into Harry’s palm.

The pathetic animal was soaked, hungry, its ribs visible underneath its soggy coat. Harry smiled and pet the cat, but an idea took hold. He grabbed it around the throat, hauled it off the ground and slashed its belly, the blade glowing faintly. Harry dropped the still-writhing creature onto fallen leaves and stabbed it repeatedly, his face blank, each thrust increasing the tepid glow.

When the mangled body lay bloodless and lifeless, Harry held the dagger, exclaiming: “I wish my bicycle was here,” and the blade stopped glowing. He turned and found his bike propped against the tree and smiled. “Thank you,” he said, addressing the dagger. He returned it to its case, brushed himself off and left the woods.

Back home he went up to his room, put the case under his bed, stripped, found a towel on the floor and padded off to shower. He returned, dripping wet, and opened his door, finding himself in a beautiful penthouse apartment, downtown Manhattan glowing through floor-to-ceiling windows. On a leather couch sat a woman, stark naked, a cocktail glass in her hand. She put the drink down on a side table and signaled Harry over.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Harry, come here.” Though frightened, he complied and stood before her. She rose and put her arms around his neck and kissed his face. “I want you,” she whispered, “Do you want me?” He nodded. “All you have to do is wish for it.” She undid the towel, which fell to the floor, “Oh my,” she said, Harry’s erection pointing up at her, “look at that. Umm…” She sat back down and opened her mouth, leaning forward, but he blinked and was back alone in his cluttered bedroom. “Oh my God,” he said, “Oh my God…”

He turned his light off and lay on his bed. After masturbating, he tried to sleep, but found his mind a whirlwind and gave in to his thoughts. “This is all unbelievable. Will it grant any wish? Okay. First, I’m gonna look good. Fatshit. That’s what they call me. No more. Big and strong. Fatshit. Those days are done.

“‘Here comes Harry Gold, better move out of his way.’ That’s what they’ll say. I’m gonna get me a girl. You can bet on that, I’m gonna get me a beautiful girl and lots of money. Yeah. And my mother, my mother ain’t gonna bother me anymore. I’m gonna be the boss around here. I’ll make the rules. Rule one: no one tells me what to do. I wish I could fall asleep. Lots going on. No school tomorrow, maybe never again.”

Harry grinned in the dark. “Never again. No one’s gonna bother me ever again.” The internal dialog continued until dawn when he finally fell asleep. Upon waking, Harry dressed, took the dagger out of its case, wrapped it in a towel and put it in his knapsack. After eating dry cereal, swallowed down with flat soda, he took crackers and some old cheese from the fridge and left in search of prey.

He walked towards a neighboring town, far enough from his own home to evade recognition, and turned off onto a quiet street, passing several homes before spying a golden retriever lying in a gated front yard. Harry approached the gate: the dog rose, tail wagging and came over. Harry offered cheese, the dog sniffed and moved closer. The boy looked around, opened the gate, and walked away. The canine followed. “I didn’t even have to take him, stupid dog.”

They walked about a half mile and cut through a small patch of woods set behind a county landfill, Harry intermittently feeding the dog to keep her interest. They followed a fence, found a sizable hole, and walked past the remains of abandoned railroad tracks, a relic of an earlier line.

Harry sat on the end of a log, tired from the heat and the long walk, and fed the dog the last of the food. The golden licked Harry’s hand, pressing her nose into his palm, and he reciprocated with a long hard scratch between her ears. Harry took the dagger out, unwrapped and laid it on the towel. He pet the dog and read the tag around her neck: “Phoebe. Well, Phoebe, I’m sorry about what I’ve got to do, but I’ve got to do it.”

Harry retrieved and raised the dagger while grabbing the dog by the collar, she bared her teeth and growled from deep within her throat. Harry cut her, slicing the dog’s side, the creature panicked, twisting like a game fish on a line, slipping her collar then lunging her seventy pounds and sinking her teeth into his fleshy arm, her jaws locked.

Harry shrieked and stabbed the animal, who returned a high-pitched cry, her jaws momentarily released but working again, biting at his bloody flesh. He knifed the creature until she fell dead, and still, he slashed away, the blade glowing only faintly, arousing Harry’s concern. He breathed hard, sucking in air, tasting blood, the carcass mutilated, its innards strewn about at his feet, and held the dagger high: “I wish I was rich and handsome and strong.”

Nothing happened. Harry paused for a moment. “Okay, I wish I was rich or handsome or strong.” He didn’t feel rich or handsome and his arm throbbed.

“I’m asking too much. Okay, I just wish I was rich. Damn you, I just wish I was rich.” Harry paused. “Okay, forget that. I just wish my arm was better.” The blade barely flickered, ignoring him.

“Okay, then,” he said, desperately, “I wish I knew why this fucking thing ain’t working.” The dagger jumped free of his grip, nosedived and spelled out in the dirt, “The blood is impure,” and returned, like a film in reverse, to his hand. Its blade was no longer glowing. His eyes opened wide as he realized his error.

“Oh no. No,” he said, screaming, “that’s not my wish. That wasn’t my wish, I was just asking a question. Oh God…” He studied the scribbled words. “What do you mean the blood’s impure? What do you mean?” Harry bellowed in frustration and threw the blade towards a rusted Volkswagen, powerless when it yo-yoed back into his hand.

“I hate you. I hate you.” His injuries throbbed with every heartbeat and desperate, he wiped the blade clean on his pant leg and then ran the flat over his wounds, smearing the dagger with his blood.

“Why?” he said, “Why aren’t you glowing? Why aren’t you helping me?” Tears streaked his filthy face, he stared hard at the dagger, trying to discern the truth. “Maybe,” he sighed, “it’s cause the stupid knife already tasted my blood.” Defeated, he used the towel to bind his injury, the pain dizzying, covered the mutilated canine in loose rubbish and cleaned up as well as possible using discarded newspaper, his black tee, and jeans, helpfully, camouflaging bloody stains.

Harry stowed the dagger in his knapsack and left the dump, taking a longer but different route home, away from where he’d found the dog, sticking to backyards and quiet streets. Upon arrival, he dropped his pack and went straight to the bathroom. He carefully removed his shirt and gently unwrapped the towel, dried blood tearing open the wound afresh, his teeth clamped down hard. “Man that hurts…”

He twisted the cold tap, took a deep breath and stuck his bloody extremity under the flow, the sensitive flesh stung but the pain eased with the cool water. With his wounds cleaned and the bleeding slowed, he rummaged his mother’s bathroom for antibiotic ointment, bandages, surgical tape and painkillers, all pilfered from her nursing work.

Harry returned to his room and dumped his supplies on the bed and sat, retrieving at his feet discarded underwear to soak up any freshly leaked blood. He squeezed out antibiotic, rubbed it in, ripped open a square dressing, placed it over his injuries and wrapped the arm in a cotton bandage fastened with surgical tape.

Back in his bathroom, Harry swallowed three white codeine pills and soaked a washcloth in warm water to clean his grimy face and torso, the towel blackened by his efforts. In his bedroom, door locked, he laid on the bed, the drugs ebbing his pain, and pondered.

“The blood is impure.” Three times the blade had drawn blood yet glowed brightly only once, when he’d sliced open his hand. The cat and dog, “they’re inferior creatures,” he reasoned, “of course their blood is worthless.

“All I got was my old shitty bike back, and then that stupid message in the dirt, dog’s blood, an insult to the dagger. But when my blood ran, the blade glowed so brightly I could barely see and it drank it up and healed me like a fucking miracle, like magic. There’s only one source that gives it real power.” He recalled the blade refusing his blood earlier that day.

“It needs a fresh source for each wish,” he figured, “which could mean a lot of dead people to get all the things I want. Obviously,” he thought, “I need to find people no one will miss, somewhere no one knows me.”

His eye fell on one of the few objects left by his father, a replica of the Empire State Building. “Of course,” he said, “New York City. Mom always complains about all the bums whenever she visits.”

Just last week, upon her return from a job in Manhattan, he overheard her on the phone stating how she hates it there, how “homeless filthy up everything, sleeping in subway cars and on public benches and in every doorway. It’s disgusting. And there’s so many of them…”

He smiled to himself. “This will be too easy, like picking apples from the neighbor’s tree.” Harry knew where his mother hid emergency cash, and first thing in the morning, the moment she left for work, he would take that money and go to the station and ride a train to New York City.

The front door slammed, then laughter and a masculine voice interrupted his thoughts and anger welled up. “Or maybe,” he said, “I won’t have to go to New York.” He took the dagger from the case. The blade glowed warmly.

“Now we’ll see…”

“Is Fatshit home?” said his mother’s boyfriend, “Let’s get him to run to the store. You forgot to get beer and I need cigarettes.”

“You leave my boy alone,” his mother said. “I don’t like the way you slap him around and I don’t like you calling him names, particularly that disgusting one.”

“Fatshit?” He laughed.

“Don’t you call him that,” she said, “or you’ll be jerking yourself off.” And then she giggled. “I’m serious…” Something crashed against the wall. And then yelling and laughter and his mother’s bedroom door slammed shut. Footsteps approached from the stairs. He hid in his closet, the door partially opened and peeked out in wait.

“Hey Fatshit, you in there? Me and your mom want you to run to the store.” The locked doorknob shook and Harry’s fingers whitened around the dagger, which glowed more brightly. “Come on, Fatshit, I know you’re there. I see light coming under the door. Open up or I’ll kick it in...” Harry kept silent. “Okay, loser, when I get my hands on you, you’ll be sorry.”

The boyfriend forced the door open, the flimsy lock offering little resistance, and entered the room. “Hey, where are you. I know you’re in here. Come on, fatty, you hiding under the bed?” He laughed to himself. “As if…” Harry’s heart raged and he squeezed the handle hard. The boyfriend turned to search.

“Come on, chubby. Don’t make me beat your ass...” Harry started from the closet yelling and swinging the blade, and cut the man’s back, who, experienced in combat, spun and kicked, driving Harry into the wall and knocking the dagger free.

The man groaned as he touched his wound and examined the blood covering his fingers, but then eyed the dagger. “What’s this,” he said, intrigued by the glowing blade. He moaned as he bent to retrieve it.

“It’s mine,” Harry screamed, lunging, “it’s mine. You can’t have it, give it here, it’s mine, it’s mine…” Surprised, the boyfriend turned and thrust the dagger into Harry’s gut, nearly to the hilt and then pulled it out: Harry gasped then stumbled back and sat on his bed.

As his vision faded, Harry thought he saw an angel above his killer’s shoulder. A few moments later he woke to his mother standing over her boyfriend’s body, holding the dagger, a bloody hammer lying at her feet.

“Mama, I’m hurt.” She glanced from the blade to her son, his torso shiny, “Mama, save me, just wish on the dagger, just wish, it’ll grant anything, Mama, it hurts, save me, please save me.”

“What do you mean, ‘grant anything’?”

“Anything,” he said, his face pale, his lips blue, his life ebbing away. “Mama, it hurts, it hurts so bad. Mama, just wish and save me, just wish for it.”

So, she wished and her wish came true…

***

Strolling endless corridors, the demon and his mistress held hands and randomly entered the torture chambers of their countless charges. “It’s my favorite time of day, dear, walking among the suffering.” Loud anguished shrieks punctuated her words. She smiled a mouthful of bloody teeth. “Oh look,” Talia said, “let’s go in here.” The demon nodded and they turned into one of the infinite doorways lining both sides of the passage.

“Ah, Harry,” Demetrius said, “Are you adjusting well to your new home?” The teen slowly rose and fell, impaled naked upon a splintered stake, the bloody tip poking out the top of his head. “I came to offer news of your mother. She’s doing very well, showered with wealth, sharing her life with her new husband and son.”

Demetrius and Talia laughed. Harry’s lidless eyes, forever seeing himself in endless mirrors, widened in anger. “She volunteers as a nurse,” said Talia.

“A smart woman,” interjected Demetrius, “allowing her access to patients, some of whom taste her dagger. Very smart.”

Harry moaned through lips sewn shut. The Blood Demon gave Harry a kick which spun the boy like a roulette wheel, who then slowed and stopped, facing his tormentors, rising and falling on that stake, the agonizing cycle repeated eternally.

“Well done, my love, well done.” Demetrius laughed. “I couldn’t have done any better myself.”

“Not true, Demi,” she said, “you sell yourself short. I only had the dagger commissioned. The rest was your doing.”

“It was, wasn’t it? You’ve given me new hope.” He held her and they kissed, and he put his face close to hers. “To think,” he said, “I was tiring of all this.”

He turned Talia towards Harry, forcing her shoulders low, she instinctively pushed her rump into her master’s groin and his evil phallus hardened. “We’ve so much to do,” he said, “so much evil to spread. I’d forgotten how much fun it could be.”

Demetrius winked and laughed as he entered Talia, thrusting hard and deep and smiling when she groaned. “I’d really forgotten how much fun it could be,” he said, and gasped, then thrust again.

“So, what should we do now?”

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Kasy68: A few wrong words used and some spelling but I really do not care it was a wonderful story. Off to the next one.

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Ellamanda: Love this book..the plot is different and unpredictable..love love

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Don Afishy: Storyline is perfect. Punctuations are in place, characters well played.Would love to read a similar one in a new by future

Mary Marcello Lyon: Who is this Lake?? How does he know so much about her?

Gerica Kitch: I loved it but dont like that it ended

amageoant: Its a good quick read

A rather bookish seamstress : I love dark romance and this ticks all the boxes for me. Thank you for writing this as I have yet to see anything as good in this app.

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