In the Shadow of the Venetian Ripper
Madness and AngerIn the Shadow of the Venetian Ripper:
Chapter 1: Madness and Anger
He woke up, sweating and panting. He was obviously in distress. The man squirmed around, trying to escape. He cried out, not in pain, but in desperation. He was in metal binds, pinned to an uncomfortable roller bed. Realising it was useless, he stopped struggling and sighed in despair. Looking around, the man found out he was in a sewer. That would explain the smell. Suddenly, a dark person came out of the shadows. He was dressed all in black, clad in an old-style black robe, black boots, black gloves, and a wide-brimmed hat with a dark veil, hiding the mysterious man’s face. He stepped closer to the bound man, until he was only a foot away from the poor soul.
“Who are you?” rasped the captured man. The dark figure waited a few seconds to respond.
“Your killer, Mr. Jones,” said the dark figure in an eerie voice. “But not just yet. You’re still valuable. Count yourself lucky.” Now frightened, Mr. Jones, trembled a bit. The dark figure loomed ominously over him, waiting like a spider with its prey.
“I hate you,” Mr. Jones whispered harshly.
“Don’t be so quick to assume that, sir. You are angry, and afraid.” The dark figure started circling the bed, hands behind back. “Anger, Mr. Jones, is a much different thing. It consists of bad feelings toward one another. Being mad is a synonym for anger, except for one thing. It can also refer to insanity, a much different term. This isn’t a coincidence, however. Insanity consists partly of anger. The other parts consists of either accidental or intentional. Accidental insanity is the body’s reaction of a scarring event, such as a close family member being murdered. The body will enter a state of confusion, not knowing what to do until the brain steps in and fixes it. The brain can take a rational or irrational route, and sometimes, this is the main transition to insanity or relief. Those who choose relief are the ones you see and know today, but they won’t forget the incident and will always have the choice to go insane. Intentional insanity is the most common type. Often, the brain will divide into several parts, warring over who gets final control over the body, damaging the body itself.
“Meanwhile, the body is getting wrecked and the ‘voices’ people hear are the representatives of each faction, trying to convince the body to take their sides.” the black figure stopped circling the bed, and leaned in close to Jones. “If the body chooses one, the problem will be resolved, but consequences will occur. Schizophrenics are tormented by those factions, often taking all the sides and causing a bit of chaos.” Jones trembled, and his captor went to sit down on a chair.
“What does this have to do with me?”
“You don’t know what you were saying. It’s up to me to correct you. Which also brings me to my next point.” He stood up again, walking back and forth the alleyway. “The next level of anger is rage. It is more sever than simple anger, and small things are done to cue the person’s sentiment. Fury is where a person takes increased actions. At this point, they do nothing to mask their fury. You could pass off as furious, but not yet hateful. Now, hatred, is where the person develops a fetish for the subject, and does almost everything to displease it.”
“Almost?” Jones said.
“Yes. This is where the final state of anger plays in. Vengeance destroys whatever shred of respect the hateful had for the hated. It is the advanced form of anger, and the fetish turns into a passion to completely break or eliminate the subject who is hated.”
“But that’s just it. I want revenge for what you’ve done to me.” The prisoner growled.
“Stop using slang. You are at most irritated and annoyed about what I’ve done. You are not willing to pour all of your time into me, and would be satisfied if I got a 10-year sentence.” the figure’s voice got rougher and louder, until he was almost yelling. “Hatred is where you want me to be on either death row or life sentence. Vengeance is where you won’t stop until my family is dead and I’m on the way to the chair! I can tell you’re going to say you were ‘traumatized’ and get a day off at the office. If you were vengeful, you would quit your job entirely to hunt me down.” The prisoner was quiet.
“Alright, I suppose I’m not that vengeful. I’m frightened, and I want to go home, please!” His voice started quivering.
“Do you really? Careful with your words, Ben.”
“How do you know my name?” Ben Jones cried. The dark jailor ignored the question.
“Would you rather go home in a body bag, or stay in a sewer, protected from the injustices of life? Think about it. Now, answer my questions, and you can go home and be angry.” Jones nodded. The jailor pulled out a long ice pick, and placed the blade onto Mr. Jones’ naked stomach.
“Your friend, Sean Best, is it?” He nodded.
“I hate him! No, I’m vengeful toward him. See, that little lesson played a part in the real conversation. Now, where is he?!” Ben trembled. “I repeat, where did he go? He moved out of Venice for a reason.”
“I don’t know,” Jones whimpered. The jailor drove his ice pick through Ben’s belly, and he screamed loudly. “Scream all you want, no one can hear you, it’s a sewer at the bottom of Venice! WHERE IS SEAN?!” Jones cried out in agony. “TELL ME!”
“H-He’s at R-Richmond,” Ben whimpered quietly. “You’ll never be able to find him. It’s a big place,” he said with confidence.
“Mmm, we’ll see about that,” said the dark man before moving the pick to Ben’s throat. “Now, tell me the airline he went to fly to there.”
“What?” Jones could feel his Adam’s apple moving against the cold blade. “I-I don’t know!”
“We’ll see,” said the jailor as he put two gloved fingers on Ben’s throat. “Tell me the airline he went to, and I’ll let you live for now,”
“I don’t know, I don’t know! I don’t know!” Jones gasped in a desperate voice.
“You’re telling the truth. Ugh. Nevermind, I’ll just find another airline to America,” the dark jailor pressed the blade into Jones’ throat, drawing a small amount of blood. Jones whimpered in terror. “Now, be a good boy, and tell me Sean’s address.”
“You’re kidding me, why would I give you his address to a deranged madman like you, even if I did know it?” Jones added in hastily. He could almost see the veiled man raising an eyebrow.
“Why don’t I give you some incentive to jog your memory?” He then dragged poor Ben to an edge of a large pit. “Can you see down there?” Jones tried to move his head but could only see it from the corner of his eyes. Even then, he was afraid of it.
“N-No, I can’t see it that well.”
“You don’t have to. It’s as dark as a barrel of pitch down there. But do you know what’s inside of this pit?” He shook his head. “Rats. And not just any rats, they’re special.” Ben trembled with fear on what “special” could mean. The veiled man noticed him shaking, and laughed. “Oh, yes, special rats indeed,” the dark man said, still chuckling, “These rats don’t eat normal rat food, but are bred to eat only human flesh.” the veiled man dusted off his robe. “I feed them regularly.” Jones recalled the recent disappearances of several Venetians, some of them his co-workers. It was part of the reason why Best moved to Richmond. “Anyways, feeding time’s coming up, and I don’t want all my pets to die on me, would I? No, of course not,” the veiled jailor said caringly.
“How did you get all those rats?” Jones asked inquisitively, not able to hold in his curiousness.
“I was once a ratcatcher, working to get rid of Venice’s vermin. But no matter how hard I pleaded, they wouldn’t dare put a little extra money in my pockets. After all I did for them, they ignored me completely! I couldn’t pay for my home, my taxes rose through whatever roof I owned, I had to sell everything!” Jones couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor man. “So, I left. I left them like they left me. Venice, the city were couples went on honeymoons to, was a living hell for me. I wanted revenge. The same rats that I was payed meagerly to kill were now my only friends.” Jones felt a tear in his eye, but he didn’t know if it was from the sob story or from sheer terror. “I put them in a pit. They mated, and a new generation of rat babies were born. From that day on, their diet consisted of human flesh. I took some dead bodies and threw them down to the vermin. I was surprised to see the bones were picked clean the next week. I fed them more cadavers, and finally real, living flesh.” Jones’ eyes widened. “First up for the rat feast was governor Bianci. He paid me enough for me to lose my house. Oh, if you could’ve heard him scream,” he paused to chuckle some more. Beads of sweat appeared on Jones’ forehead. “Next was landowner Russo. He evicted me from my home. I made sure the rats were extra hungry.” Jones shuddered. “The rest is history. Random policemen and other government appointed people. I may have taken some of your friends, by the way,” he said in an evil and unremorseful tone. Beads of perspiration ran down Jones’ body. He remembered Ramirez and Leonardo. Both innocent people who met their end in the gullets of vermin.
“You sick bastard. Those people didn’t deserve to die. Monster! I hope you go to the deepest, most horrible place in hell for this,” Jones said with a weak edge in his voice.
“Oh no, Mr. Jones, those people had every right to die,” the murderer retorted coldly. “They didn’t know where Mr. Best was.” He cackled sadistically. Poor Mr. Jones couldn’t stop trembling. “They died. They deserved to die. All of them do!” The killer’s voice got extremely high. He started laughing again. But it wasn’t his usual chuckle of delight. It was a demented, evil howl of a madman that Jones would never forget. It was the living embodiment of madness, showing the lowly ratcatcher’s true colors. Jones screamed again, even though he knew it was useless. Together, it was a terrifying mix of horror, sadism, and craziness.
“No, no, no, no, no, no! Please, save me, Lord!”
“Almighty God won’t save you here! Think about it. Would He allow you, one of his children, to fall into the arms of a demon?”
“No, but he’ll save me from this nightmare! This will only make me a stronger person!” Jones yelled harshly.
“Oh-ho, no, not in my world! All you’ll get is death. The Lord can’t see you here! No one can but ME!” the veiled man cut the binds that were holding Mr. Jones’ hands and feet. Before he could do anything, the jailor grabbed his throat violently and thrusted Jones in the air with shocking strength, one-handedly, above the rat pit. “Now, I have a few more questions about Best.” Jones felt the cold, gloved fingers on his throat slowly squeeze.
“I weigh over 200 pounds!” Jones rasped silently. The killer ignored him.
“Tell me, Mr. Jones, did Seanny boy tell you his address?”
“This is just a dream, just a dream, if I pinch myself, I’ll wake up.” True to his word, Jones pinched his forearm over and over again. The man’s grip tightened.
“Where is he?” he said in a deathly serious tone.
“He never gave me his address, I don’t know where he is,” Jones whimpered weakly.
“No, I swear, I don’t!” Jones cried.
“You’re lying. I can tell. You’re sweating buckets, your pulse is like a drum, and you’re blushing to high heavens.” It was all true, unfortunately. Jones never was a good liar.
“Okay, fine, you win,” Jones sniffled. “Sean gave me his new address and phone number in case I ever decided to go to Richmond.” A pause. “I guess he wanted to save old friendships. He always did like working here. That is, until you came along and killed Leo and Ramirez.” The hatred came back to his voice. Ignoring the possible risks, Jones went on.
“He had to move. Everyone was scared. Pretty soon, I was the Lead Manager of Affairs. Not that I wanted to be. Just a handful of unqualified people at the office. All because of two disappearances.” Jones spat on the floor in front the killer’s boots. He let go of Jones for barely half a second and caught him by the ankle with his left hand. Pretty soon, Jones had regained his scared whimper.
“That’s very touching, but it doesn’t answer my question. Address, number, now,” the killer barked out. Jones rattled some numbers and names, effectively giving the dark man Sean Best’s personal information. After the interrogation was over, Jones started to cry, out of guilt, pain, and horror. The killer, however, was pleased and delighted. “Thank you, my friend, I now have a new destination. My work here in Venice is done, and now it’s time to go to Richmond.”
“Burn in hell. I should never have given you Sean’s address. What kind of friend am I?” Jones said remorsefully. The killer replied,
“Word of advice: never ask for consolidation from a murderer. Nothing but trouble. But I can help you solve something. If you never gave me Best’s address, I would’ve killed you, and probably find out his address anyway. You never wanted to give me his location? I won’t spare you.” And then, the killer let go of Jones who was still suspended over the pit. He fell down, screaming out the whole way and begging for mercy. Once he landed, there was a large snapping sound followed by the excited chitters of hungry rats. The screaming stopped after the first 30 seconds of the snapping noise. The killer pulled out a brass stopwatch and checked it.
“Hmm, a new record,” he said. He closed the watch, and put it back in his pocket. Then, he got a notepad from his desk and wrote a reminder to himself to catch the next available flight to Richmond. The roller bed, covered in blood, went next to the desk. Before leaving the sewer, the killer looked back at his pit, thinking about his rats. “They’ll be fine,” he reassured himself. After changing his clothes to something less noticeable, he packed his things in a suitcase, and climbed out.
The mysterious man, who had ruthlessly slaughtered several people, escaped the scene without raising an eyebrow. He complimented himself on his good work.