The knife cut the last strip of flesh holding the bloody nipple onto her breast, and popped the morsel into her mouth. Strong hand gripped head and jaw, forcing her to chew, to taste herself.
“Who is myself? I am not my degree, or what I do. I am not the protagonist of every story I find myself in, nor the villain. I am the storyteller.”
The blade plunged a vulgar slit in his belly. One hand forced him to tumescence with strong, smooth strokes, while the other grabbed the back of his neck. Slowly he was being folded together, his penis drawn toward the wound.
“The storyteller collects, revises, edits, excises, studies, creates, reviews, and remakes!”
They put the rabbits in stocks, and pinned their eyes open. The stocks were necessary, to keep them from clawing them out of their sockets. The girl looked much like a rabbit now, head clamped down between the boards, a little blood trickling where the staples dug into her eyelids. Her eyes were wide and inviting. She surveyed the bottles before her, and selected the oven cleaner.
“Some people have a hard time being creative…I just need an excuse. I think in stories. I have to tell them. It’s who I am.”
He was forced to strip. The gun barrel was steady, the voice commanding. He shrank into himself against the cold, or so he said. The bed stank of sex. The voice with the gun tossed him the handcuffs, told him to cuff his feet first, legs apart.
“I think in narratives. My life is a collection of tales. Some I craft for others, some I make for myself. There is no single journey in my life, no sole tale or role. I go through a hundred masks and a thousand labels, and remain myself.”
The pyroclastic jelly burned through her chest in moments, a shocking white burst that flared that glowed evilly for a moment, illuminating the dark shadow of bone through flesh lit from within, leaving a neat hole edged in ragged black. She choked and sputtered, still alive for the moment, and began to drown and gag as the passages to her lungs were seared shut.
“My work in life is to do this. To create, as easy as breathing. Tell the tale, be the tale. There is no change, there is only becoming more like myself.”
He read the accounts in the papers into a microphone, captured the television newspeople on tivo. Samples to arrange and play back, tweak and refine, arrange and alter with filters and effects. They were the echoes and beats of his symphony of pain and terror, but the screams and whispers and groans he had recorded from his victims were the orchestra.
“To be the storyteller is to see all sides, be all roles, respect all parts, but you don’t have to like them, except when you do.”
She almost had her, in Baltimore. The crime scenes were growing more elaborate, but more desperate. Crude surgeries, victims left to linger longer each time. Where was the patience she had shown with the little girl in St. Louis? How much of her muse was adrenaline-junkie sickness?
“Some days my brain feels like the dam before the flood. Sometimes I need to write, to speak, to compose just to release the fevered contents of my brain. Y’know what? I’m cool with that.”
He caught the detective on the stakeout, pissing against a wall after forty-eight hours in a car. The blade touched more than two day’s worth of stubble on the detective’s throat, he hand encompassed and whelmed the detective’s own grip on his dick, a razor blade held between them and forefinger. He hugged the detective from behind, drew him in close, and bit into his ear until the blood flowed. Like a virgin, the detective was so distracted he almost missed the kiss of the razor and the sudden warmth of blood mingling with piss.
“My work starts here. This blank page, pregnant with possibilities. Sometimes I draw, others I wrote. The result matters less than the act. Because once it is created, it may be improved. Refined, purified, maybe never perfects. There is no end to the work. Only a resting of the pen.”
She stripped her first. Tied her down. Rolled out the tools to make a show of it. This part she liked to play by ear, how to start. So many toys to choose from, so much that could be done. She ran a hand across the buttocks, scratched along the quivering thigh, sipped a fragrant drop of sweat as it rolled along her ribs. Her plaything recoiled at her touch, flexed and pressed against the bonds, breasts jutting out proudly. She smiled, then selected the hammer.
“Murder! He wrote, foul and sublime, to air out the dark corners of human psyche and provide a release for those who would never allow themselves to create murder in their own lives.”
The latest note was a three inch square of human flesh. It was more crude than clever; they had found the fire where he had heated the brand – a brace of typewriter keys, scavenged and bound together with wire. He knew they were getting close.
“What if I were to die? Absent the teller, would they seek the story again?”