You Don't Know Jack by Baik_710 November 12, 2020

Chapter 8

A shadow broke away from its surrounding darkness, as it had a few days prior. The same dark silhouette slowly glided down the cobblestones, hunting for prey. Events unfolded as they had before and another woman awoke to find herself trapped. But there was something off about her. Unlike her predecessors, this one did not cry or scream or struggle. Indeed, she seemed like she was waiting patiently. This surprised the living shadow. He decided to hold back, try and swallow his everlasting hunger for bloodshed, to see what the woman would do. The shadow waited, and waited, until his bloodlust was near insurmountable. Then, she spoke.

"If you're going to kill me, do it. Please. I don't want to live anymore." the woman said. This intrigued the shadow who, in all of his killings, had never seen somebody be so calm in the face of death.

"Why? Why aren't you afraid?" the shadow called out from the darkness. The woman shifted her body so she could face him.

"Let's just say that my life is... insignificant. I don't care how you do it, just kill me." she replied.

"You are quite the conundrum, aren't you my dear?" the shadow sat and thought for a while, deep in contemplation, before he simply said, "No. You? You shall live."

"What?! Why?! Please! I'm begging you please!" exclaimed the woman, tears beginning to streak down her face, "I've nothing to live for! Why won't you just kill me?!"

"You see my dear, there are certain... 'requirements', shall we say, to my kind of killing. You do not meet all of them. I require my clay to be of higher quality. I cannot make art from a feeble excuse for will to survive. I am an artist of blood and body, not a magician.

"The screams of pain that stem from the knowledge of certain death, the pain expressed in the vocal chords. Hearing such a symphony of pain, there is no greater pleasure. So you see, if you suffer whilst you are alive, then I cannot take pleasure in you death and I cannot make my art." the shadow finished, a glint in his eye. In that moment, two things were clear: 1) there would be no blood spilled nor life taken in this alley tonight and 2) this man's killings weren't violent spontaneous attacks; to him, there was no greater pleasure than to hear a scream rip though the quiet night air, and feel his blade slice neatly through to let blood ooze out, and to see the light of life drain from fear-filled eyes.

 

The woman choked on her own tears as her mind raced, not comprehending the situation. This man had only confirmed her beliefs that he was a ruthless killer. Why, then, wasn't he rushing forward to end her miserable life in a flash? Why, then, was she still alive? As she struggled to understand what had just happened, the shadow simply drifted back into the shadows. 

 

Once again, the silhouetted man was forced to roam the cobblestones in search of prey. An arduous task that took literal hours of roaming about and hunting for the rich scent of suffering, and repressed fear. After searching for a close to four hours, all the shadow managed to find was an unconscious, clearly impoverished, drunkard surrounded by newspapers and broken glass. The man sighed, the scent of this drunk had no depth to it, no underlying despair. Reluctantly, he pulled the little rope he had remaining, when a sharp pain lanced through his head. Despite his best efforts to suppress his volume, he still audibly winced. Loud enough to stir the drunkard.

"The night is my time friend." the man said, speaking to the air, "I understand that you are becoming more aware of me, but tonight is not the night and it will not be for many more nights to come. Be patient."

 

At this point, the drunkard was fully awake and shaking off drink. Still under the influence of a night of heavy drinking, the drunkard looked up to see the Devil, backlit and clutching a length of rope. The drunk froze. His eyes darting for any sign of a passerby or policeman. He began blubbering incoherently and making the sign of the Lord in a vain attempt to dispel the man standing before him. The silhouette paused, seeing this rather humorous display from the drunkard. In those few seconds, the drunk leapt up onto his feet and took off into the night screaming prayers at the top of his lungs to God and dark windows.

 

The silhouette sighed again as he watched the drunk sprinted away at full tilt. He had spent nearly all of his time hunting only to end up without appeasing his hunger. Not only that, he had found an adequate substitute only to see it escape his grasp. As if on cue, a lightning bolt of pain shot trough his head. 

"My friend," said the silhouette, through gritted teeth, "I understand that I may have infringed on your time, and I apologize for the discourtesy. However, two wrongs do not make a right. By doing me the same discourtesy, you have created an even greater issue that both of us must mitigate."

The pain flared up once more as if to say to the shadow that it didn't care. The shadow began walking in a seemingly innocuous direction, gritting his teeth.

'Soon,' the shadow thought, shielding his mind so his other self could not listen, 'I shall be in complete control. There will come a time where your mental constitution will be weak and at that moment I will strike.' At this final thought the shadow licked his lips, the ends of his mouth turning up slightly. When that moment came, he would revel in the scent of hopelessness, the expression of despair and confusion, and would finally be free of this prison.