Two Ships Passing in the Night – Part IV

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

Clara remember little after he took her hand. A distant voice in the back of her mind tried to protest her leaving before the show, but it had been drowned by her desires. In that moment she would have gladly held the weight of the world, all Jack had to do was ask.

She did not remember shedding her clothes when they entered his room. Clara had followed his lead and hurried their way towards the inviting bed. She even went so far as to hop on one foot to shed her stockings.

When he directed her to get on the bed and Clara did so without saying a word. Naked and vulnerable, her heart was racing and she and desperately sought to feel every inch of him.

Jack watched from a distance before he joined her. He glided over the bed, moving between her inviting legs then hovered over her. It felt like a cool breeze was running over her skin and covered her in gooseflesh. Everything he did made her want him more, so much so that her nipples were hard and her body ached.

When his lips were no more than an inch from hers, he gripped her wrists with monstrous strength. That earlier voice spoke up again in the hopes of raising the call to arms, but she was hopelessly at his mercy.

Her lack of response made him smile. This was precisely where he wanted her to be.

“So typical,” Jack said. “Hungry for a bit of freedom from that wretched place. You all claim to be ladies; above that base desire for sex, but I know better. In the end you all end up on this bed desperate to be defiled,” Jack added with disdain.

There was no one home, Clara did nothing more than stare into his eyes. Jack could have rhymed off the box scores of a baseball game and Clara would have yearned for him all the same.

“All the other girls died in agony because they did not tell me what I wanted to know,” Jack said.

He moved in closer and closer until his lips almost brushed against hers.

“You’re stronger than they were aren’t you Clara,” Jack said. “You going to tell me everything I want to know after this kiss,” he added.

Jack pushed his lips against hers, forcing her lips open with his tongue. For a moment time slowed down as her mind struggled to break through all defences.

Still, he was in complete control of her body, there was little she could do to counteract that raw strength. That is until his eyes opened wide, jerked away then released his grip.

“You bitch” he exclaimed.

With the fog lifted from Clara’s mind, the part of her cognizant of his intent asserted itself with a vengeance. She used forearm to push against his neck to force him off.

Without a thought her hands glided over the features of his face until they found two soft mounds. Clara pressed in with her thumbs, pushing into the soft flesh until she felt the base of his eye sockets.

He screamed in pain, creating a sound inhuman in origin. To prevent any unwanted guests, Clara pulled away the crucifix and exposed the blade.
Jack flailed in pain was flailing around like a fish on the water, while covering his eyes as though there was something left to protect. With Clara’s faculties fully her own, she danced around the bed until she faced his back.

Her attacks were vicious and bloody. Her first strike was aimed at his spine and severed his nerves. Jack went limp but her she never stopped, stabbing him over and over.

Blood splattered throughout and the room was soon covered in gore. Nothing could dissuade her, not until she had landed a killing blow, accomplished only once his head dropped onto the floor.

Clara stopped cold, her breathing heavy and jagged. On the verge of exhaustion, her hands trembled so much she was barely able hold onto her weapon. Her vision was blurred but a quick wipe against her forearm permitted her to see clearly again.

“That bastard,” Clara exclaimed while tears streamed down her bloody cheeks.

She should have trusted her instincts and reached out for some reinforcements. Perhaps they could have captured him and found out how many girls he killed?

“Pull yourself together,” Clara said to harden herself.

Her eyes scanned the room and found it to be nondescript. At least until she looked closer the bed and the imagery of a slaughterhouse it conjured.

There was a steamer trunk in the corner when she got up from the bed just as the viscous blood began to bead and flow down her body. Clara did her best to ignore the discomfort.

The trunk was not locked, and soon discovered that it contained art supplies. This was a part of Jack that Clara had never previously observed. Never had this man shown any interest in the arts, let alone charcoals or paints.

“Stop it,” Clara said.

She needed to stop thinking about that headless corpse as anything more than a monster. One who would have killed her without hesitation. Still it was difficult to separate the two entities.

Clara bit the inside of her cheek until she tasted blood. In that moment the pain focused her thoughts long enough to push away all emotion. She still had things to do, and they would not wait idly by until she got her act together.

She rummaged through the artwork and found a series of disturbing charcoaled drawings. Each work featured a different model in all their macabre detail. The first had been drawn and quartered, but Clara recognised Blanche’s soft features despite the ample viscera.

“Nettie, Ruth, Alma, Della, Lizzie, Sadie, Sallie,” Clara said once she recognised the victims from the portraits.

Had Clara not been suspicious of his actions she would have ended up in another one of his tableaus. Another notch on his bed and potentially he would have gotten that information he needed to exact his revenge.

As she flipped through his works, she came across a painting. She momentarily stopped breathing while her mind processed the image.

Before her was the face of a woman that Clara had seen both in life and in her nightmares. To think that she once believed that angels would look like her, a beauty beyond compare. Too bad these sensual and feminine features concealed a brutality that would make Jack the Ripper or Elizabeth Báthory cringe.

“That bitch,” Clara said.

So that thing had recruited Jack and used him to do her dirty work? It explained how he found those like Clara when they were away unsupervised. The older and more powerful ones of their kind had spies and agents to do their dirty work. Jack was able to borrow this intelligence to strike at when they were most vulnerable.

Now Clara was mad. She moved back towards the bed to have a better look at the severed head. There were signs that his eyes had begun to heal, one of the eyes had reinflated although the iris remained cloudy.

There was a testament to their healing powers and served as a powerful reminder on how quickly the tables could have turned. Clara would have made it less than a hundred feet before he caught up to her had she run away.

At least the holy water had proven to be effective, his lips looked as though they had been burned by fire. Clara would have to remember that trick in the future.

She would also need to redouble her efforts to strengthen her faith. Jack should have found it difficult to approach her. At least if she were half as faithful as she believed.

Truth be told she enjoyed the freedom because it allowed her to get some distance away from her faith. It was a big sacrifice for young women to give their lives for a cause, to give up on ever having a normal life.

A couple of hours ago Jack could have realistically drawn her away from that world. The temptation to fall into his arms and have a regular life was powerful.

For most of their lives, they had been two ships passing in the night. For years they had flown the same flags and paid their respects. This time he had flown under the flag of truce with all his cannons run out. His crime was unforgivable and she would make sure that he was erased from the history books.

The voice of reason and logic whispered in the back of her mind. Clara would need to prove what had happened today, otherwise agents of the Tower may blame her all that had happened.

Since her hands had steadied themselves, Clara picked up her crucifix and returned to Jack’s severed head. She then began the unpleasant task of cutting into its flesh until she pulled his fangs loose.

Their fangs were able to retract, but they were longer and sharper than hers. She looked them over for a moment, since these were her first set, even if Clara had no interest in starting up a collection.

Done with her grisly task, Clara found a nearby mirror to get a better look. Despite the gore there was something different about her. That twinkle in her eyes had been replaced by a burning flame and would remain aflame until she could calm down.

“I wonder if that’s what they call a smoldering looks,” Clara asked with a grin.

Her round cheeks and baby fat had gone, given way to a sharp chin and jaw and prominent cheekbones. It seemed that the elfin look that had been commented on years ago had come to fruition. It have her a distinguished yet feminine look which would be sure to pay dividends later in life.

Her body had hollowed out in some areas and expanded in others. Clara had yet to notice how drastic the change had been, since her arrival at the Tower. Sometimes change was good.

Clara had the body and grace of a dancer, although her chest was a bit more defined than the average prima ballerina. It was a fair compromise, she had the ability to turn heads but was still nimble enough to handle a sword.

“That mime would so have talked,” Clara thought.
Clara wiped off any blood using a clean set of Jack’s clothes. She noticed that it made the scene look more gruesome, but that would matter little in a moment.

After a last check in the mirror she got dressed and gave the room one last run through. Clara considered taking the paintings back to the Tower, many would want some closure, but no one should be remembered for how they died.

Instead, she took the portrait of that vampire and wrote the names of her victims clearly on the back. After a brief pause Clara added Jack’s name as well.

Before leaving, Clara slid open the thick curtains which allowed the moonlight inside. She then pushed the chest against the door even as music filtered through from below.

Next she opened the window then slid down a water spout. Fortunately, the ancient fixture creaked but held up to her weight.

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

Copyright © 2018 by Evelyn Chartres (Nom de Plume)
All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.