I would appreciate it if you call me Peyton, you will hate me in the end.
I don’t take the moral path. I don’t believe in the ethics of normal people. Your beliefs are not my own. All my life, I have fought against the traditions of my ancestors. Polite. Mannerly. Moral upstanding citizens of the world. In this time period, they are meaningless. My family members are just another part of the species that share a similar blood structure. The people that came before me. Nothing but dust.
So many get offended when I talk about the dead like that. They gasp putting a hand over their mouth unsure how to react as they’ve never found another with my…ideals. I don’t care about the lives that lived before me. They may have had a hand in my existence but that is where it stops. There is nothing more they mean to me. Dust is what we all shall be. Dust is what you shall be.
It’s not like I have particular beliefs about death and dying. I wasn’t traumatized as a kid. Or. Not that I remember. No. My parents were caring, loving people. Each trying their best to instill in me a love for honor and tradition. Like all other children, I had tried to follow my parents.
It wasn’t until I was older when I suppose I faltered.”
“I was walking home from school when I heard a groan from the woods by the path. At first, I was unsure but I was curious. After I’d gone off the path, both figuratively and literally, I saw…a man.” His face lit up with wonder. “His arm raised like the arm of God. Sword sparkling in the sun. He brought it down again and again. Blood splattering the bushes, trees and ground. The man hit the other with such force it sprayed blood even the distance to me. I remember because I had speckles of red on my skin.” The awe from a second ago tempered with reverence. “The man didn’t even bother to clean up the mess. He just lowered the sword watching the man twitch and writhe on the ground not yet dead. The coldness of his face. In his eyes.” His eyebrows twitched up millimeter by millimeter. “I didn’t realize you could be anything but good, moral and ethical. At that moment, I saw what you could aspire to become. This…god among men. He was a true god. Not this figurative thing people talked about. No. He was
“I didn’t realize you could be anything but good, moral and ethical. At that moment, I saw what you could aspire to become. This…god among men. He was a true god. Not this figurative thing people talked about. No. He was truly…truly something else.” He breathed. “I don’t know what happened in that moment, but I couldn’t get the image out of my head. Him standing there like an avenging god uncaring for the life of another. Blood soaked sprayed all over him. His lips turned in a curl of pleasure. The ice he had for eyes. How calm he looked. Not the fear I saw on everyone else’s face when they talked about the frightening. No. This man knew no fear. He was the beast they feared.” His head slunk back against the wall. “I think that was the moment. I wanted to be like him. I wanted people to fear me like they did him. I wanted to bathe in the power drenching me.” A small laugh escaped his nostrils. “I didn’t want to be this fake god they spoke of trying to make me fear. No. He was what I aspired to be.” His eyes closed looking for once to be calm and peaceful. “I couldn’t get the image out of my head.”
It took a moment before Peyton continued talking. The man had captured my attention completely at this point. This man with the confidence to speak like this. I never would talk about the taboo and evil this way. He did it so naturally. I was thoroughly convinced he meant every word he said. Peyton interrupted my thoughts drawing me back into his story.
“I don’t think he saw me. When I think about that moment that changed my life so thoroughly. I don’t think he really saw me.” He turned his head to cast those cold eyes on me. “When I got home, I constructed the best effigy of him I could make at the age of twelve. I hid it in my wardrobe. And soon. I began to add things to this makeshift shrine. I began to draw him more and more always in red.” Shifting in his position against the wall, he drew a knee up to rest his arm on.
“I knew after a while it wasn’t enough. Not enough. Not nearly enough. He was demanding in his presence in my mind. He needed…He needed something so much more than crude drawings, wax and prayers.” He grew distant like I was no longer sitting in front of him. It was times like this I forgot to continue writing. “My family had a cat. It was old. I didn’t think anyone would notice when it didn’t come home.” He took a deep sighing breath. His shoulders relaxed their tension. The euphoria that took over his face sent chills down my spine. “I picked the cat up one evening before it got dark. It purred in my arms relaxed and unaware of the danger it was in. That alone made the act so thrilling. With my pocket knife my father had given me for my twelfth birthday, I held the cat down and stabbed it. I was scared at first but feeling the warmth. It was so absurdly warm. I hadn’t expected it. The cat tried to get away fighting with everything it was worth but I had it by the neck. Pinned unable to move. I stabbed it again. Then again. The glee that followed would dominate my mind from then on. I tore the cat apart throwing the blood everywhere laughing with as one in a drugged state. The carcass in my hand limp and heavier than I had really anticipated. It was tiring. I set the cat down and like my father had taught me. I skinned it. I took the skull wrapped it in the fur and tossed the body away beneath a tree. I was quite the macabre scene I’m sure, but no one was home and the ground took the blood from my shoes. I washed up after I got home having set the skull and skin to dry in a place no one ever went where it would be safe until I could retrieve it.”
He leaned against the wall again his remembrance having excited him. “I did that night what I had never done before. I’d never had the sensation before, but the memory of the cat’s pain. The whole…thing. I found a fire in my loins as had never happened before. It was only with that memory and myself did I find relief. The memory served as material for a long time afterwards.” He took a large breath letting it out all at once before continuing. “After the skin and skull were dry, I set it in my shrine. Many more would be added to it over the course of the year. Some small some larger. I even found the skull of a human at one point. I became paranoid, however. My parents seemed to be aware of what was going on in some form and I knew what I was doing was…wrong to them and so many other and knew I shouldn’t ever let it be seen. I moved my shrine to a small luggage bag taking it to the place I first saw my god in all his glory.” He was watching me now as if trying to gauge how I was taking all this information, but it was just because I had stopped writing.
“From that point on, I would take anything I had blood, bone, skin and sacrificed it to him there. I even began killing things on his shrine in dedication to him. I would pray for him to send me more victims. I asked him to teach me how to do more. I needed more. I couldn’t …couldn’t get enough.” He was breathless again with a vague look in his eyes. I had long noticed his arousal but I wouldn’t mention anything of the sort. Not when I knew what type of person he was and with everything he was saying. “It took me by surprise when one day I had killed a dog on the stone I had set up in front of his shrine. I pinned it with steel camping stakes. It whined gloriously. Beautifully while I killed it taking so much pleasure in its continued pain. I’m not sure when the man had come up, but I suppose he had been watching the entire time. Only when he got closer did I realize, he…” His eyes teared up and his voice broke. “He was my god. The one I had worshiped for years now. There he stood. His sword in hand. His cold eyes on my flesh. If he struck me down then, I would have reveled in the joy it brought me. No, he looked at what I had done.” He choked on his emotion. “No. I had pleased him. He was. He was so happy at what he saw. I had done something he was proud of.” It took another minute for him to recover.
“My god then showed me the way, the path and everything that came with it. He taught me how to slaughter the weak, the helpless and make it hidden. He taught me so much more than I could have ever learned on my own. It wasn’t until I was older did I realize I was his apprentice and our craft was of blood. He took me places I had never been. He brought such…peace and joy to my life.”
My pen paused as a question drifted up. Peyton seemed to sense the question waiting for me to ask. “So…you left home with him? Didn’t you ever think…” I didn’t finish. I didn’t have to.
“No. I left with him without a word to my family. I didn’t care. They were nothing to me and to my god. He had chosen me and called me to a greater work than they could have ever realized. They didn’t know. Nor would they.” He stopped a smile twitching his lips. “Or at least, not for a while.” I found myself frowning as I wrote this down as well. Peyton continued once again.
“It wasn’t until I was sixteen that he first introduced to me a new way. He showed me how to scare others with my craft. How to cut so the blood sprayed in a pattern that terrified normal people.” His hand made a cutting motion in the air. “Then.” He smiled readily. “He gave me a sword of my own. That night we went slaughtering like men and women go caroling. From door to door. From place to place. All. Any. He had taught me well enough no one could stand against us.”
My eyebrows drew together. “If you were both, so good at it, how did you get caught?” I asked looking up into the killer’s eyes.
“I wanted to be.” His smile faded becoming softer.
“You…Wanted to be?” I asked searching his face.
“My god died a few years back ascending into the heavens with a fury of fire. As was his request.” He looked sad, if a man like him could ever be. “But I only let myself be ‘captured’ for one reason and only one.” He looked back at me. “It’s time I took an apprentice.” Cold rushed through my veins. I swallowed hard looking back at him. “The Dark Brotherhood awaits.”
(Part 1 of the Apprentice Fan Fiction)