Written in Red
The gentle summer breeze softly caressed his cheek. The boy was barely seventeen. Most others his age were off fighting for Virginia against the Yankees. His brother Damon was one of the boys donning the glorious gray uniform of the Army of Northern Virginia. Stefan Salvatore was so proud of his big brother. He also missed him so much.
There was an open book in his hand. Glancing downward the crisp pages of his personal journal lay before him in his own hand. His father left him mostly to his own devices which suited the young Salvatore fine. He needed no supervision. He gave his father a wide berth. The temper of Giuseppe Salvatore was legendary.
Sitting peacefully in the summer breeze was always a good time to write in his journal. He adjusted the book in his lap setting about to write. A solitary crimson drop fell down and splashed the page. He dipped two fingers to his lips after he touched the spot. Blood
Something happened to the youngest Salvatore son. Most would find the taste of blood repugnant and recoil in horror. He hadn’t. He liked it. He liked it, a lot. He tossed the journal from his lap and ran into the woods. He had to get away from there. He had to stop the hunger.
The racing steps through the forest sounded like a deer running through the forest or a rabbit. His heart was pounding like the war drums from the Natives on the plains. He’d gone through the plains to get to Monterey. As he ran, summer turned to winter. He emerged from the woods to find a migrant camp. They were all dead. He didn’t know how he knew it, but he did.
“Come now dear boy. Haven’t you been running for long enough?” The voice came from beside him. He turned to face the male voice addressing him. There was what appeared to be a hideously deformed man there that was grinning from ear to ear like the proverbial cat. “Stefan Salvatore, you’ve been dead long enough.”
What was he talking about? What sort of madness gripped him? He was the youngest son of Giuseppe Salvatore and his wife Lillian. He was the younger brother of Damon. What did he mean dead? His mind was a violent whirlwind of clashing emotion with reason or purpose. Something was happening and he had no idea what it was.
His body started to shudder. He violently twisted to the right and then to the left. His back arched. Eyes thrust open suddenly and without hesitation. He was soon away from these cold woods outside the migrant camp. He was someplace darker now. He saw a faint light that could only be a candle.
Laying on a stone tablet, Stefan Salvatore’s eyes were open. He lay there for a moment when he heard the slimy tones of the man that was speaking before. “That’s a good boy Stefan. Why don’t you sit up and join us?”
Hands were placed on either side of his body. He pushed himself up to a sitting position. He was wearing the clothing in which he was buried. His right foot touched the ground then the other. He turned his head to the right first, then the left popping several vertebrae in the process. Sensitive hearing picked up two heartbeats. Both were racing madly. “You’re looking well dear boy.” The deformed man stood beside him. “I, THHHEEEE NECROMANCER have brought you back from death’s grip and restored to you that was so wrongly stripped from you. You are more than just a man Stefan. You are once again The Ripper of Monterey. Do you understand?”
Stefan had heard the words spoken to him. Looking down on the ground, he saw a girl and a boy bound and gagged. Both were drenched in sweat with dreadful terror etched over their faces. Fear was so powerful and absolutely delicious. Fangs elongated from his mouth and the blood mask formed around his eyes. With a gust of wind, he’d chosen his first prey. The girl found her skin penetrated by the fangs that tore chunks away spitting them from his mouth as he found the precious liquid within.
The Necromancer stood back in wicked glee as the revived Stefan Salvatore was like a snake practically devouring his prey whole. “Truly you are far more than just a ripper. You’re the master of glorious carnage…”
Ribbons of flesh fell from his lips. He kept biting like mad as the girl's struggles ceased. It wasn’t long until her severed head lay in his arms. He was drenched in human blood. The white shirt Caroline and Damon put him in was dripping red and sticking to his body.
He wasn’t thinking anymore. All he could say, he didn’t. It was by instinct in which he operated now. Pieces of the girl covered the bottom of the Salvatore crypt. It was as painful a death anyone could even fathom. In repentant fashion, Stefan would try to reassemble the pieces of bodies of his victims. With The Necromancer pulling his strings, there was little hope for Stefan to be what he was. The Necromancer would see to that.
Where is thy sting, O Death!
Grave! where thy victory?
The clod may sleep in dust beneath,
The spirit will be free!
Both Man and Time have power
O'er suffering, dying men;
But Death arrives, and in that hour
The soul is freed again.
'Tis comforting to think,
When sufferings tire us most,
In the rough stream the bark will sink,
And suff'ring's power is lost.
Then, Death! where is thy sting?
And where thy victory, Grave?
O'er your dark bourn the soul will spring
To Him who loves to save.
by John Bowring
Moral Clarity ; Stefan Salvatore; 1607177