The Coming of Erebus
The pulsing heave of synth-wave and bio-hum washed over the solitary man with the lineman’s gloves. He stood back-lit by neon, silent as statuary. Smoke slow-coiling about plain black ball-cap, chrysanthemum skyliner, heavy tinted aviators and trim-fit bluejeans. He stared straight ahead, as if the club goers, dancing in schismatic fits, the whirling, prismatic lights and the strippers, topless and humping silvered poles, didn’t exist; as if there was nothing in all the world save for the suited men who sat at the back of the cloistered lounge, drinking beyond the terpsichore landing.
The man with the chrysanthemum jacket stalked catlike through the sensorium of danger-red, past wine colored drapery that bespoke of blood and it’s subsequent narrative alcahest. All measured breathing and vulturine focus, the practiced strut of violence. Across and beyond the dancefloor he moved, to the lounge threshold – thick rivulets of beads – and through it. Through the satin-shine carpets and the strange paper lamps, orange-pale and vaguely Asiatic and still-tilting from the low, brooding ceilings.
A woman blocked his path, moving in a silvery arc from the bar, left-adjacent to the lounge. She a thing of light and lust, sweat soaked from dancefloor escapades, droplets moving to the ample curves of her young, pale form. She smiled at the man, perfect teeth showing between plump, red-shined lips.
He took a drag then looked to her as one might a stop-light, something mundanely-existent, to be observed without study. The dancer’s smile faltered slightly, her brows furrowing under the weight of the mysterious man’s cold, keen gaze. She could not make out any expression, his facade mask-like under the neon sheen.
Then he turned from her, moving to stand before the suited drinkers where they cajoled amidst a whirl of pheromones. He waited for the lusty dancer to fade into the heaving bio-mass of the crowd then put out his fag on table’s end. The smallest among the suited drinkers, whispering into the ear of a scantily clad nubile, looked up with confusion and irritation clouding his mirth; the mysterious man’s shade subsuming the party-goers entirely.
“You need something, pal?”
The man with the chrysanthemum jacket answered not and starred down upon the libertine with venomous intensity.
“Hey jackoff, I asked you a question.”
Again the intruder answered not.
The speaker, all slicked back hair and pampered olive skin, glanced with irritation to a large, bald man standing closest to the newcomer. Balding man nodded gravely, a subtle gesture, then stepped towards the intruder, placing a hand on his shoulder.
Without hesitation the man with the chrysanthemum jacket reached up and grabbed the bald man’s hand. A flash-blur of flawless motion, the tensing of muscles, a brutal snap and the scream of a wounded animal. Bald brute dropped like a sack of flower, writhing with broken arm strange-angled from it’s respective joints. A descending heel and the brute’s jaw shattered. Another stomp from the intruder and the downed man’s skull cracked like glass. A third blow and the floor went red with cranial cast-off and blood and rheum.
Wide eyes and the lo-fi crash of club tones, jabbering from the dancers, moving obliviously beyond the scene of death.
The intruder inhaled passively.
Then that black garbed party, three in number, rose from their carmine perch, hands going for their jacket pockets. Grasping for cold steel. Guns.
The silent intruder moved faster, grabbing a large carafe from off the marbled table and throwing it’s boiling contents in the face of the libertine. His skin went red as it boiled, a terrible moan torn from his throat by the phantom hand of pain. Then rightward went the carafe, colliding into the head of the next comrade. Then leftward, again right. Two more shattered skulls and their owner’s crumpling unto tabletop. Now only the libertine remained and him a youngish man, slicked back hair askew, faux-tan skin quivering, eyes wide, mouth agape, hands scratching feral, out into the red-blackness of the that sordid den of inequity.
The man with the chrysanthemum jacket bent a knee and effortlessly hauled the libertine out from under the table, casting him roughly to the middle of the room.
Libertine rolled to a stop, panting, then inhaled deeply, blinking against the inner dark and blood ill-clotting his eyes. He crawled along the floor, along the main aisle, heading for the exit, his face bloody and scarred from the simmering contents of the carafe. Still in her booth, the scarred man’s concubine sobbed silently, too terrified to scream.
Intruder turned slowly and cast his reptilian gaze down upon the pitiful thing moaning on the carpet. The libertine scuttled about the flooring, more liken to some long-gone crustacean than homo sapien; arms queer-angled and clawing and legs scissoring in wild jerking bows.
Silently, the invader moved to stand before the downed creature and paused, head turning to one side in queer, bird-like motion, bathed in the carmine glow of the lantern-hung walls. He observed his carnage, the dead bodies and the woman cowering in terror. Then, wordlessly, he stomped down upon the libertine’s throat, again and again until the pale hummock had been hooved plane and speckled with florid bloom.
Libertine, in his last, rattling throes, grasped at the leggings of his executioner, eyes wild and bulging, mouth spewing air and blood and garbled sound, strangely inhuman. Then nothing but the serene silence of the dead and those that kept them. A silence quickly broken by the muted wail of the girl. She ran out from under the booth, heading for the dance floor. Looking for all the world like some gut-shot deer, her huge, lazuline eyes darting from the dead man on the floor to the man with the chrysanthemum jacket, that bloodied stranger.
Stranger whirled upon her as she rushed for the door, grabbing a thick tuft of shimmering cinnamon hair and slamming her head into the booth nearest the door. A thudding-crack and the woman went down hard, blood pooling from her wounded skull. Intruder crouched, impenetrable, yellowed eyes glowing in that brooding, dark-lit space like lanterns in the night, staring into the quaking blue of his victim’s own. He brushed her hair off the face, then shifted her torso from up off the ground. He gently placed his black gloved hands about each side of the woman’s face as her lips quivered open in confused and stuttering speech.
“Please… Don’t hurt me.”
He didn’t speak but rather caressed her face, staring opaquely into the nascent fire of her wavering soul. Then he slammed her head into the sharp, wooden frame of the bloodied booth. Her eyes rolled up and back into her skull, the pure white of nerve convulsion. Death descending instantly, his great and endless wings subsuming the nymph in metronome to the club maestro’s frenetic, sinister hymn.
Then nothing but the footsteps of that singular entity, moving up and past the dead woman, the libertine and his compatriots; his chrysanthemum jacket shinning in the dull-red light. Yellow eyes flashing in the dark like a thousand dying suns.