Cross Breton was a pale handsome man with ghosts in his eyes and a crucifix tattooed on his forehead. His wife Eliza Breton had died in a bad way. With finger nail's full of torn skin and blood. Cross has spent the last eleven months developing a way to resurrect his beloved with the help of Alice Apple (his maid and a part-time pataphysician). By means of a machine, that is located in his basement. Cross remembers meeting the women at his wife's funeral “I am a friend.” said Alice “and one that you will learn to treasure”. Cross had already spent a large portion of his finances on mediums and supposed “witches” who all claimed they could communicate with or raise the dead. And when they had failed, he was certain that he was ready to meet his wife on the other-side. But a new hope arose when she said all she needed was a place to build her machine and the finances to do so. He agreed to it and nearly a year later, here we are. The thunder in the distance. The green spark of the electricity shooting around the coils. The chamber with the corpse of Eliza Breton inside of it. The machine looked like an ancient diving helmet that was trapped inside of a mysterious engine. It rumbled and glowed as she pulled the switches. The rotting corpse reached out and put it's hand on the small glass window of the door “Eliza!?!” cried out cross as Alice Apple in her butchers apron glared at him “Not yet, lord Cross. We have not yet pulled her away from death's clutches.” So he restrained himself shaking with a mania bordering on hysteria. As the machine shook in a struggle with death, fighting Eliza away from it's abyss. A green fog filled the round chamber with the corpse as it screamed out “No! Cross let me go!” and the hysterical Mr. Breton ran to the door of the infernal machine punching Alice out cold, as she fought him to leave the door shut. With much effort he turned the nozzle, and opened the door. Only to see his dead wife was still a corpse. Then came laughter from all corners of the room so loud that cross was afraid the house would fall down from the supernatural catastrophe that hell had unleashed. The resurrection machine begin to spark and burn into uselessness. Then from nowhere yet before him came a green ghoul. It flew into him and he died, but not fully.
Out of the corner's of his eyes he could see the green skull with a mist that filled and followed it. Every time he tried to focus on it it was just out of sight. “What the hell are you?” said cross “Not what but who and you should know, I am death.” said the Grim Reaper. “and you have made me angry.”
Cross - “what have you done to my wife!”
The grim reaper - “she is a dead young women, who is very much satisfied. Now you my friend have tried to steal something that belonged to me, and you will pay.”
Cross - “fine kill me, I want to be with her!”
The grim reaper - “no, I will not do that. You will never die, because I will never come for you and I want you too know that it is indeed because you have offended me. and because you have done this you will never see your beloved again. Tragic and ironic is what I would call this but also justified.”
Cross could not explain how or why, but he was certain that the skull was smiling. That their was a black and green spiral that it collapsed into. With laughter echoing inside of it's head spilling out into the surrounding room as if it was a speaker. Cross was hypnotized by the madness of it all and began to laugh with the skull until it had receded to what ever abyss that was it's abode. Smiling at the absurdity that death had told him he was now immortal and alone. Then he thought to himself “this can not be so”. And he ran up two flights of stares to get to his bedroom. Where he found his hope, a gun in an unlocked drawer. he aimed at the side of his head saying “I will be with you soon Eliza.” before pulling the trigger. After a flash and a pop, he fell over on the floor. Their was a hole in the side of Cross's head that he could have fit his fist inside of. With the one good eye that was undamaged by the blast, he begin to cry. Trying to pick himself off of the floor he sat in his own blood. Feeling every bit of the expected pain but numb to the physical carnage and damage.
Weary with a black eye, Alice Apple could smell the corpse sitting up in the chair. Where she had left it. Obviously things had not worked out she thought to herself. “first” she said aloud walking towards the corpse. “I don't think I will be seeing you again, my love.” standing in front of what was ounce Eliza, she kissed it on the mouth. “I will never forget you, nor do I expect you to forget of me but my second point alas. Is I do not care for maggots” then she pulled one off of her lips that got stuck from the kiss. Then she worked her way through the house till she found Cross in his bedroom. Tiny spiders were carrying the pieces of his skull back to him and pasting him back together with their web. “I feel like my brain is crawling with bed bugs.” he said. “why didn't you listen to me cross?” said Alice Apple.
Cross - “how was I supposed to know this is how it would end?”
Alice - “How did it end? Last I remember you sucker punched me, out cold.”
Cross - “The grim reaper has cursed me. He has told me that he will not come for me and evidently he does not lie.”
Alice - “you should have known that us trying to take Eliza away from him would not make him happy.”
Cross - “why are you so nonchalant about all of this?
Alice - “because I am a pataphysician. And any one who plays with the aether knows that when you mess with the unreal you gamble with death.”
Cross - “pataphysicians, to me you are all insane. If it wasn't for the practical nature of you and your kind's enterprise I would say that you are all as bad as the watchmen of our madhouse.”
Alice - “I will stay on as your maid, but it is only because Eliza would not want you to be alone.”
one of the spiders crawled out from beneath the loose eye in it's web-constructed artificial socket of Cross's skull. Making a web as it slid down, then dangling as if to catch a fly. Spinning to some counter-intuitive ballet the little thing waited and watched, but for what? Only death knows. But Alice stared at it when she said “Cross, we need to bury Eliza”.
The vampire gang had killed a great many people. Though sadly for them one of those people was Eliza Breton. It had now been nearly a year since she had died. With it also being two months since Cross Breton started his quest for revenge. This would be the last death on his list before their master that lay hidden in a church like a demonic heart of the city. Cross and his friends had found these people with the help of Alice Apple who could communicate with the dead through the machine she had repaired (the one intended for Eliza). Though Cross had since learned that the machine was like a fish tank for the dead. That if the door was open who ever was inside would die. And even if the door was shut they would starve and rot in the decaying cage of there flesh until they were freed to return to lifelessness. This of course disturbed him, for he could think of what were Alice Apple's motives. The Rift had been growing from doubts and a certain madness that will soon be seen but for now let us watch as one of the vampires heads home, in the snow. He is thinking about the nature of a crime he had just recently committed, let's listen to his thoughts.
The nameless vampire (internal monolog). - “So this is what I am down to? Robbing old lady's and listening to them bitch and scream till they understand that they are not going to walk away from this particular engagement. That shutting the fuck up and handing over the money may just be the best thing they can do, if only so they can die. The one thing I have learned from this line of work is that ounce you get someone to want to die. Then you can trust them when they say that they don't have anything else of value. But until you reach that point they are all just a bunch of fucking liars and scum. And this bitch was fucking telling the truth? I almost feel bad for breaking her hand with the damn hammer, I mean all she had was a fucking old watch and I don't even know if it is even really gold. And me almost feeling bad because, she gave it too me as soon as she saw me. As soon as she saw her locks were feeble. I should have just took the watch bashed in her fucking head and left, but no. I had to stay interrogating her till I could believe she was as poor as she said she was.”
Then the nameless vampire stopped, he saw something out of the corner of his eye that looked like a man hulking in the dark of an alley. “no, it couldn't be”. He thought to himself but still he looked and yet no one was there. yet he walked faster. Thinking of his home, his wife, and their baby. Looking over his shoulder and anywhere else he could and not seeing anything. He tried to act natural but anyone could see he was scared.
The nameless vampire (internal monolog). - “It is not him. It wasn't him. It's just my nerves, their always shot after beating in some old granny brains. No one even thinks that thing is real. Who, I meant who, no one even knows who that person is. Don't think about it, that is the answer.... S-w-e-e-t Lucifer, I need to get home.... If only so I can kill this childish doubt. He is not real the others mat have died but but it wasn't some fairy tale avenger, it was bad luck or something the other. I know their has to be a rational reason for what is going on but I can't comprehend what it is....”
You see, most of the vampire gang had been killed over the last six months. Something had been doing these killing and was also murdering their families. None had escaped to tell the tale yet all knew his name he was known only by what he told the world. He left written with finger print-less hand the message in everyone one of their family homes “the midnight freak.” he wrote it on their windows so that the frost that never left this city would be the messenger of what he had done. And yet the law enforcement was unable to find anything about the murderer who had taken the life of these families, other then that all the victims were somehow connected to suspected criminals. And that the suspected criminals had vanished. So you see dear reader the nameless vampire had reason to be afraid.
When he got home the door was open, he fought the urge to run away out of duty to his wife. He found her laying in bed with only enough light to see her silhouette in the darkness. He knew she was dead before he tried to wake her. As the vanity of love makes knowing and understanding different. It also makes murderers have anxiety attacks. He shook her gently saying her name but she would not respond. All over his face was written “why are you dead?” But he lit a match and saw with his eyes the bullet hole that splintered her nose. The match fell to the floor as it burned his fingers. Then frantic he stomped out the fire much like her killers gun had silenced her life. “the baby?” he thought hearing something crying. “your still alive!” he whispered as ran down the hall to his crib but standing in the door way was a man with a gas mask on and a dark gray trench coat with boot's that had snow clinging to them and he was holding a baby. “what are you going to do to my child?” said the nameless vampire. The response however was not what he expected. The thing holding his child grabbed it by one of its legs and swung it into the corner of the door-frame, silencing the infant. Threw it on the floor and stomped with one decisive blow. that cracked the skull with a brain that popped like an orange under his boot. “you mother-fucker!” said the nameless vampire running down the hall. Then the child murderer grabbed the child's corpse and threw it at it's father that had nearly reached the place it had died. His father stumbled when his body reflexively tried to catch his dead son (with blood a brains splashing on his face). And the thing in the door way grabbed the nameless vampire by his nuts and crushed them in his hand, one at a time but efficiently and quickly, then stomped on his head as he clung to his dead son. After the father resembled his son. The thing went down stairs and wrote with a bloody finger on a window to the right of the front door. “THE MIDNIGHT FREAK.”
The mask sat on a table in the basement opposite the resurrection machine. Cross Breton, stared at it and could feel it controlling his mind not making him do things, nor say things but it would guide his thoughts so he could better understand it. “The midnight freak, is not me. No, he is my shepherd” thought cross. “You are my only friend.” he said staring at the mask. Never touching it unless it was time for his friend to go and protect Cross and his people. Who was Cross any more? And why would he need protecting? Only cross could tell you that but he never will. Because he is himself, less today then he was yesterday and he has been that way for months. “I don't mean to question you lord midnight...but I must ask again. Please don't make me remember your murders.” said Cross. “why do you expect the shepherd to ask nothing of his sheep?” Cross understood the mask in his voiceless way to have said. “I will never be able to see Eliza again, I will never be able to die. Yet you make me remember things that I will have to live with for eternity. I was only human, ounce not long ago. Yet what you do will be with me forever.” Cross waited patiently for what he thought was the mask's response. And when he was finally resolved that the answer he was to be denied. Was so done and sternly, he responded to his thoughts that he believed to be the midnight freak's but were to all outsiders his own with “Forgive me lord midnight I do not mean to doubt you.”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “you are just a child my son, but understand that I only make you suffer so that one day you will be a man.”
Cross Breton - “I understand father, But I don't understand why you make me tolerate that lying bitch. I need you to kill Alice Apple, if only so that the corrosion of my mind will cease.”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “Cross you know in your heart that Alice is not lying when she tells you that she was Eliza’s lover. Or that I am lying when I say I appreciate her for being mine. The women has charms that I will not go without as long as she pleases me.”
Cross Breton - “why do you lay with the swine, my lord midnight?”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “I tolerate you why should I not tolerate her?”
Cross Breton - “Because she says things about Eliza that can not be so. Because when you posses me, she posses you. Making me break a promise with Elisa. That I will neither forgive Alice, nor I, for so doing.”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “forgiveness does not interest me. Nor does your defiance of me. Do not speak to me again or I might hurt you. Understood?”
Cross nodded, then wandered off to take a shower to clean off the blood and baby brains. Alice apple was still laying on the ground trying to use her torn dress as a blanket. When she saw lord cross she said “would you like me to start you a bath my lord?”
Cross Breton - “don't speak to me until you have made yourself decent.”
Alice Apple - “yes my lord.”
Alice limped away trying to not shame Cross any further. Her bruised body and scratched back with hair in disarray. When she had returned he was already in the bath but she heard him scream from behind closed doors “clean my boots and my wardrobe I want all that bloody shit off of them by tomorrow”. “yes my lord.” she said picking up the folded clothes from in front of the bathroom then she went down to the basement and begin to remove the gore with a brush over the sink. The running water hypnotized her, the idea of being clean fascinated her as much as what was on his clothes disgusted her.
Alice Apple (internal monolog) - “My whole life I have not been a women but a black women. My color is more then skin deep. This society judges me entirely by my appearance and damn them for it. I want nothing more then to be a person equal to all and beholding to no one but those that I give power. And I give Cross so much. But he can be terrifying. Am I making myself into a slave by allowing a man to let me be a women? To dominate me no more then I allow. All I want is to be alive and feel life. And when he is with me my eyes are open. But would he stop if I told him no. Is it more fun if you don't have permission? Or am I making myself into a victim. What is our relationship? I Chanel the aether and interrogate the dead and he goes out and kills families and brings me body's to talk to....how did my life become this? Why so many questions? Why am I cleaning flesh off of his boots? Damn him and damn me. The silence is killing me all I want is to somehow be alive while not wanting to cry. Yet there is nothing but the madness of fairy tales.
As always snow was a both falling in thick flakes and all over the ground. The midnight freak has been waiting for this. Savage and hungry for nothing more then carnage. Hoping that this will be enough to sever cross from reality and turn his soul into a perpetual motion machine. Letting feed off of the dream of Eliza, while allowing the midnight freak to have much more control over it's own fate. He cathedral before it would mesmerize mortals but left him unimpressed. He kicked in the door and followed the stairs as they descended downwards.
He entered the chamber. Beneath the church, in the dampness of under dark. In the stone monument to some foreign religion that is as alien as the cross on his forehead that his master (an old man named Romeo Randell) had tattooed on his brow when he entered the priesthood. The worship of judgment was what they taught. The understanding that a life judges itself, be it before or after it judges others. But judgment was the primary commodity that one would come across in life and that what you were trading for it, was innocence. And what cross had changed for the judgment of his enemies was his name for now he was the midnight freak. He didn't have to look for the child of the old one. It was loitering in the abyss waiting in the middle of the chamber. But as soon as the midnight freak was close enough to see the beast clearly. He froze in the sparkle of it's eye. The cactus like texture of it's skin. It's three legs like boneless elephant feet holding itself up on will and muscle. And between those three legs the amber clear sack that held it's mighty eye that sparkled as it tore his mind apart. It probed and did not understand cross's memories. What is death wandered the ancient alien. Why does this thing not want to understand that it is a power to not understand and be understood. How can this feeble thing have killed all my playmates. With promises it spoke to cross. I can make you wealthy I can make you immortal, it still could not believe that this mans memories of the grim reaper refusing to come for him was true. What are you feeble mind little man, ah it thought yes that is it, you are cross. You want me dead, no you want to die. So I like a psycho-naught will understand you but after an hour longer then it had taken it to delve into any mortal's psychology. It began to realize that if it showed them something fun that he could really see if their was a difference between cross and this other identity? This thing that cross called the midnight freak. So in a cosmic assault he projected everything it had recorded in it's mind about this woman Eliza. And the memories rushed into cross's mind all the details of the days they kept her alive. All the things they did to her, the incomprehensible pain she suffered all because of her profession. Cross now knew that Eliza was a prostitute who had been called out to a party and had been very unlucky. That was the judgment he faced was that his wife loved him enough to spare him the knowledge of her profession not out of malice but out of love. And that this thing that tortured her did it for no other reason then that of, it could. She died because she was unlucky and he would never see her again because he was unlucky. None of this made any since and it never would but the creature beneath the church reassured him that it would all be over soon enough. Then with a glowing light he saw Eliza floating before him and what was behind her was reality. The beast controlling his thoughts was hidden behind her canonical sainthood. So he fired his duel colt 45's when her image was being swallowed into the jaws of the of the enemy. It's eye riddled with holes it bawled up around it like a spider in it's final moments. Quiet and surprised The midnight freak saw that for the first time Cross had killed something. Though it may not have been human. This was the first time that he had blood on his hands. And for a moment the midnight freak felt threatened, for his purpose was in question. It thought to itself that it's life depended solely on a friction of balance. That of Cross never losing interest in this women Eliza, all the while knowing that if he ever lost faith in her divinity. That death would come knocking and what happened too this young man would mean in many ways his end. You see the thing about the midnight freak. Is that he feeds off of fear but is rational, when he is not killing. But death has no fear other then that of life and even then it can take it. But there is nothing to kill in hell. Therefor the midnight freak has something to fear. So he thought it important to guide his young friend Cross Breton in the ways that they would continue his business. Now that the child of the old one was dead so the midnight freak returned to his basement too discuss what they would now do that Eliza was avenged.
Alice Apple waited for her lover but he walked past her to the basement his face hidden behind the mask. She worried about the things that had been happening the way she used the aether to interrogate the dead. So that they could find the child of the old one. The way he acted different when the mask was on. She knew he would be downstairs taking to himself for the next several hours. And she knew that tomorrow his murders would be the talk of the town. That more then likely their were dead families waiting to be discovered. That if she left he would more then likely hunt her down and leave her dead. All these things scared her but none more then his conversations with the mask.
He ritualistically undid the strap on the back of his head. The built up sweat rolling down his face. And placed the mask on it's round wooden stand that let it sit several inches off of the ground. “now what do we do?” said Cross.
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “We hunt, we kill, and we prey on those that would do others harm.”
Cross Breton - “Eliza I saw her ghost earlier when the creature was trying to control me. Did you see her lord midnight?”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “no, and think it best we distance ourselves from her as being anything more then the reason we have power.”
Cross Breton - “But I saw her! And I felt her whisper in my ear that she was ashamed of me....”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “you were hallucinating again. Your mind is very fragile when you do not rely on my strength. As I said before I think it best that you do not trouble yourself with things that are unreal.”
Cross Breton - “yes, I am sorry, you are right. It is just I miss her so.”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “these feelings are understandable but should not be the most paramount thing in your mind.”
Cross Breton - “If I leave her behind is their really anywhere to go but hell?”
THE MIDNIGHT FREAK - “is their anywhere else you would rather be?”
Cross Breton imagined his beloved Eliza in the flames screaming out for mercy that would never come. Remembering the cross on his forehead and the judgment it required and like Christ he wept.