Dragna gave his bride one last spoonful. It spilled. He cleaned it. After which, her body wilted, suddenly falling down against the mattress in a cold heap. Nothing prepared him for her biological response. One by one, each rib sprung out of her like a broken violin string, blood splattering the walls and him. Her chest organs hinted a pulse of crimson energy.
“Damn, she was so close to survival.”
After wiping his face off from the blood splatter, he placed her hands into a respectful place upon her open belly, as if praying to a belligerent god. His head tilted. The rope he held slipped easily around her neck, sensitive to any remaining consciousness and awareness to pain.
“Seems reverent enough.”
He turned the horizontally placed “L” shaped handle, spinning the waist-high spool of thick rope, turn after turn. Her lifeless body rose up, held by the neck, into the intense white brashness of the moon.
Within seconds her carcass fed one million vampyric beasts. Mouths ate. Teeth fought for their flesh feast. Blood bathed him underneath.
Dragna could now hunt.
His powerful sense of smell would guide him to more victims while an impatient hunger rose inside him.
“Anything female is our prey!”
The rumble of his Master groaning pleased the soles of Dragna’s slim, pale feet.
A bolt of lightning that should have killed Dragna stopped dead in his grasp, frozen instantaneously.
“Yes, you heavenly fiends! You know your innate truth. Consume and be filled!”
Intense feeding filled the air and subsided.
A moment settled where he swore a feather falling to the marble floor could be heard.
Instead, a loud voice erupted from the darkness.
“Why do you desire female sacrifice?”
Dragna’s face violently turned toward the sound of his hidden guest. The deep blackness refused an answer. His chiseled face revealed a pale sneer surrounding pearl white fangs, suggesting his territory was his to re-take by force.
“Targeting females is not what garners victory!” the still hidden voice claimed.
His profile turned left to right, attentive to the cathedral structure of the room. His eyes slowly explored each inch of the masterfully hand crafted ceiling and wall edges, searching for the crevice that allowed this loud voice to invade.
A slight shape shifted within the darkness, indicating a partial silhouette. Its exact location played with Dragna’s senses.
“Your hunger for the death of female flesh proves little.”
Dragna’s eyes canvassed the area where subtle movement slowly danced within the shadows. His smirk rose with an inner flame, burning from automatic curiosity.
“Do you not know the origin of the female flesh, you stupid excuse for a thief?
“You have a second of my patience to deal with before your own chest gets torn apart!”
“For my ribs, Dragna?”
“Knowing my name is of no consequence.”
“One’s name is personal, Dragna. Including yours.”
“No, there is where your meager intelligence suffers.”
The mansion room shuddered from Dragna’s intensity.
“Why do you target females?”
“You change our topic so freely, like a mother to her child. Show thyself, fiend!”
“Do I confuse you, Dragna?”
“You choose to hide. My minions will crawl and claw you while leading you into my grasp.”
“Is it my death you desire, Dragna?”
“Hardly. It is a single rib that bestows meaning to my mission.”
“A rib? Ah yes, Eve’s rib? It is but a myth, Dragna. Do you not know this?”
“No, it is not. It has been truth from the start of the ages.”
“Ribs. Mere flesh ~ ash-to-ash material. You thrive on the trivial.”
“This conversation bears no divergence against my ultimate plan. Women represent the ultimate brazen insult upon man?”
“What do you mean, Dragna?”
“The absence of one rib collapses men!”
“And killing women achieves what, exactly?”
“Taking back what is ours! For all men!”
“That’s hardly an original grudge, my dear Dragna. You left her ribs intact.”
“Her rib proved far to brittle. As for Eve, let’s blame the apple she tempted Adam with. A mere fruit.”
“It represented knowledge, nothing more.”
“This is your testimony? Your lack of wisdom is hardly a surprise, woman!”
“You have known me before, in another dimension.”
“Your manner of changing our conversation is insulting!”
Minutes slowly crashed into one another, smashing the darkness onto itself, as if a shadow layered itself atop another. The heavy sudden silence pressed down sharply while a soft creaking from somewhere inside the mansion walls accented the moment.
“I am your mother.”
Dragna paused in mid-breath, catching his next thought. His clear complexion registered a deeper hue, suggesting shock or possibly slight embarrassment. His smug features resumed their taunt ways and he began to laugh.
“Shh, my young misguided Dragna.”
Dragna realized a weak moment within his mind and lowered his vocal tone to demonic depths.
“Your soft voice has little effect. Do you know how many young lasses have attempted their mothering ways on me? It wears thin, very thin. So calm and serene you are as if propped up for eloquence, meaning your skeleton is supported by one more bone than it actually needs, holding up your breakable chest. They will come now to devour you. So you join her!”
A wave of Dragna’s hand beckoned his hungry spirit servants in the far distance, all of which were pointing their hunger toward the hanging girl. Their collective countenance in the moon light exposed crevice laden appearances. Some were void of accurate description.
“They have no power to give or take from me, Dragna!”
A shadowed hand rose to shield itself.
Dragna’s hold on the lightning bolt tightened and readied it straight at his would-be mother.
“Go back from where you came!”
“Dragna, you ache for something else. Something deeper. Something you haven’t enjoyed since your early years. It is here, for you right now. Look.”
Dragna’s eyes squinted to notice two soft feminine hands offering a small apple. When he was a few years old, he preferred these apples because they were perfect in size for his young hands. For the briefest second his entire body wilted into the language of a four-year-old. His face washed of innocence and light. He felt loved in her offering. The thing he missed more than the apple was kindness, unconditional kindness and love. He hadn’t known of any of it since long before his mother’s death.
“I have returned, son.”
Dragna stood thoroughly confused, the bolt of lightning in his hand faded into light sprinkles of dust, raining upon the floor.
“Now watch carefully, Dragna. Look up at your innocent prey.”
Slowly, the figure of the dead female recomposed. Innards slowly found their fleshy home. Ribs closed and settled. The heart exhibited a soft pulse. A hint of breath returned to the female, still hanging by her neck.
A shade of light shrouded the hanging female body. Many pairs of ghostly hands manipulated it, removed the rope, and gently returned the body to the floor of Dragna’s massive mansion living room.
To his horror, the female began to re-animate.
“What are you? Why do you undo my work, you fiend! She should die for her transgressions!”
“Your mother will never be a fiend, dear Dragna. The female you are willing to hang has purpose, as you do.”
“She’s of no consequence! It was my own mother murdered in front of my eyes! By my best friend’s mother! My purpose? I am my mother’s avenger!”
“Dragna, be quiet. It befits us to speak quietly. Look, she awakens. And she smiles. Do you know why she smiles?
“To spite me!” Dragna spat out.
“No. She has forgiven you.”
“What? No one gets murdered and spliced only to return to forgive. You are a fiend waging a war against my Master’s plan! It is you who must be careful. That young woman did not feel her death. Her heart stopped before her body divided against itself.”
“You doubt her pain? Her forgiveness? My presence?”
“Your interference is most welcome! Two will feel pain now. Double the sacrifice!”
The mansion floor shook with incredible force, encouraging a deep loud primal roar from Dragna’s violent resolve.
“Sacrifice initiated, Master!”
Dragna’s arms and hands rose to the open ceiling, exposing the moon and its magnificent power.
The mansion bay room filled up with creatures ready to feast ~ again. The bay window yawned open, precluding a new feeding, bloodier than the first.
(To Be Continued Imminently)
Bill Bistak, Author, Producer of Bestshorthorrorstories.com & Founder of Friedrich Imagines, Ltd. a media production company