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The Night's Eye

By JA_Hamilton All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

Blurb

"The Night's Eye is a genre-bending, mind-blowing ride on a fast track to spectacular reading entertainment. J.A. Hamilton mixes and matches a tale of typical teen angst with the magical and mystical, elements of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. Hannibal Lecter meets The Omen in one of the most original tales you will read this or any year." --Jon Land, bestselling author of Pandora's Temple

Chapter 1

Fear is an entity waiting to be harnessed. It was unnaturally dark inside the residence, he’d seen to that by removing power from the equation. It’s not a code or mantra. The outside required a touch of finesse, so the bulbs were removed from the light fixtures of not just the intended canvas, but those adjacent homes caught within its shadow. It’s not something out of a book or movie. The glare of the full moon burned in his eyes. This is my calling, the promise of a beautiful death. I am The Night’s Eye.

He visually dissected one of two bodies arranged to face the skylight. The moonlight cut a perfect circle through the darkness, a silver iris awaiting its master’s bidding. His feelings toward the sinister orb remained undecided. As a rule, no form of light could occupy the same space as the Night’s Eye, but the beam’s reflection glistened in the hollow spheres below his brow. It is done—his right index finger unconsciously traced the bowl’s wooden rim in anticipation, but the sensation shattered when his fingertip halted its dance unexpectedly. Wet. He collected the rogue droplet and brought it forward for interrogation. Where do you think you’re going? The red dot appeared black under the scrutiny of moonlight. He closed his eyes, and opened his mouth. The blood vaulted from his fingertip to his tongue like electrical current, igniting all his senses. Ambrosia.

The small taste rippled through his body, his inner circuit board overclocked with power. The dark was no longer a problem for him. The puzzle shaped piece missing from the base of the wall sized mirror in the foyer, the buildup of dust bunnies in the corner of each stair leading to the basement, and the indents at his feet where a heavy piece of furniture used to sleep—every blemish was his to enjoy. He could sense imbalances of odor like the androstenone in sweat, the density of blood and the exhilarating musk of fear, which in his eyes, gave off a unique signature similar to infrared.

Tonight, he was blessed with a rare gratuity. Two in fact. His female victim, though pacified was still alive, her fading heartbeat made the hair on his arms tingle. He believed in drinking the blood of his victims. Lifeblood carries the essence of the soul. Certain Aztec tribes drank the blood of their enemies to better understand them and absorb their power. Some, even consumed their hearts. A little primitive for my tastes. He was not descendent of any Aztec tribe, but he did feel a spiritual connection with his prey. He was fascinated by the human heart on a different level. He reached out to touch it. Her chest cavity is still warm. He longed to feel that final beat flutter through his fingertips. He took a deep breath, savoring what happened next. Her wavering soul broke apart in a wisp of smoke which gravitated toward him, seeping into his pores and igniting the hellfire within. He brought the bowl to his lips and drank the rest of the blood. Every muscle in his body tensed, his eyes rolling back in sheer ecstasy. He rose to his feet in rapture.

The ritual was about stealing the souls of the weak and shifting the balance of power in the world. Shifting it in my favor. Each new kill fed him strength; both physically and mentally. His reflexes were honed to a sharp point. He was confident this feeling would only grow stronger, and the results thus far, were most impressive. He didn’t care much for religion, but this made him feel like a true god.

But even gods must remain humble. There were always two victims. A male and a female. Adam and Eve. They had to be in peak physical form, the male especially, and always between the ages of thirty to thirty-five. The female was incapacitated, but left very much aware. The male was tested. He explained the game with a single sentence. “There is no thrill in certain victory,” he said as he withdrew two double edged blades from behind his back and threw one at his enemy’s feet. Some pleaded. Some begged. Some even broke down into tears. But they all ask “why”. He offered them a chance to prove themselves. To earn a place in my new world. This fueled him, but it was the look of hope in their eyes he treasured most. Is it hope, or despair? He found this humbled gesture of uncertainty invigorating. His teeth then bit down on his blade, savoring the taste of blood and steel as he withdrew a black blindfold from his pocket. He wrapped the cloth around his eyes three times before tying it off behind his head. Darkness. My home. He heard their hearts quicken, and his smile grew all the wider. The scales were forever tipped in his favor, but he was sure the gods of honor and battle saluted his generosity.

His eyeballs performed a ballet beneath their lids as delicious details flashed through his mind. The first two rituals were for him, but the rest, was for them. His double bladed knife bore the fruit and provided the nectar. It was a tired instrument, one that had seen oceans of red, with edges sharpened so thin, the victim’s skin nearly split in anticipation of the coming incision. He removed their clothing, but took no joy in their nude bodies. There are so many fanatics out there. He despised those types. His work was not about violation. And then there were the real anomalies. Gacy. Dahmer. What were they about? A chill of disgust washed over him. Amateurs. The sick ones get caught, or I’ll dispatch them myself. There’s no place for zealots in the new world.

He shred the clothing into tattered pieces and placed them at the base of his canvas. He left every aspect of the scene flawless. Neat freak, they’ll say, implying a need for control. He enjoyed his dance with the police. The final waltz was a little tricky. The light of the full moon was instrumental in creating his masterpiece, so his canvas relied heavily upon window placement. The architect of this home was a crafty one. The craftiest thus far. This was his first skylight. Perfect. Ordinarily, he used stainless steel screw-ins with filed down hooks to mount his art on the wall, but tonight he arranged them on the floor.

He used a black scented marker that smelt of licorice to draw the outline of a tree between the victims. They were facing one another, both with arms and index finger extended, imitating Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel. He saw something similar in a movie. It made the FBI believe the killer was a crazy religious fanatic, eventually leading to his capture atop a church. Church. I think not. He even covered them down below with a singular leaf. In honor of a warrior’s death. The final details were for him. The outline of an eye was traced around the scene so that the light of the full moon became the iris. The Night’s Eye. And then a single word was etched into each body just above the navel: Pulchra on the male and Mortem on the female. A beautiful death.

He opened his eyes and shook his head as if coming out of a trance. He took a step back to marvel at his creation. Adam and Eve, created in my image. His gaze lifted. The full moon. What an entertaining irony. His first masterpiece was created at the beginning of a lunar cycle. He noticed of course, but thought nothing of it. When his second masterpiece occurred at the same point of the lunation, he adopted it as part of his standard. His work had no traceable pattern, so the moon angle concerned him at first, until he created the eye and became empowered by it. He carved his name into the back of each victim’s neck like a barcode. The Night’s Eye was a metaphor under his employ for years. If you’re going to play the game, you may as well reinvent the rules. It was risky, but he relished the idea of giving the police something to anticipate. This marked the birth of his fourteenth masterpiece, but tonight was special. A blue moon. A phenomenon which occurs approximately once every two and a half years. I don’t recall ever seeing one before. This was a detail he would now commit to memory. His thoughts returned to the police.

Cross. He’d seen the lead Detective, Benjamin Cross, on the news many times. He has nothing, and he knows it. The name meant nothing to him until he remembered a series of books about a Detective, Alex Cross, who hunted serial killers. He bought one to see what all the fuss was about—Roses are Red, featuring a killer calling himself The Mastermind. The real kick was that these books took place in his city, Washington DC.

He caught himself staring at the ball of mystery in the sky, for tonight’s festivities bore a peculiar piece of fruit. Break him. The two words echoed in his head as though someone was screaming at him from the darkness. He didn’t like surprises. And he liked commands even less. His eyes narrowed, taking in each pocketed detail of the moon’s surface—attributes ordinary men would need a telescope to see. You want a show, is that it? So be it.

Once again he contemplated the significance of that series of books and the sneaky detective who always got his man. His lips formed a cold smile. Luckily for me, Alex Cross is a work of fiction.

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