21 Goddesses

Watching the blonde from the coffee shop go through her routine, I think, today is the day.

“Excuse me, miss,” I ask quietly, not wanting to frighten her. “Can you sign this? I’m trying to help save the puppies at the puppy mill.”

She shakes her head. “No, I’m sorry, I’m really late right now.

I shiver from the sweetness that drifts in her voice. Pleading, I respond, “Come on, it’ll only take a second, I promise.”

“Fine, give me the stupid pad, I’ll sign it.”

I handed her the pad containing twenty other names, and she takes the pen, scribbling and then frowning. “Um, your pen’s not working.”

Taking it back, I reach into my pocket as if to get another, but instead pull out a Ruger SR9s handgun, pointing it up at her, hidden from the public by my coat. “Do not scream.”

She looks panicked.

Gesturing to the parking lot outside, I add, “Walk to that car–the cobalt blue ’69 hardback mustang.”

When I got her in the car, I blindfolded her in the front seat, watching the easy tears fall down her soft cheeks.

“Please don’t hurt me,” she gasps, “I’ll do whatever you want.”

In silence, I drive in circles to throw her sense of direction off, then pull into my studio. She’s still begging for her life, and I silence her with, “Shut up, we’re here.”

I lead her into the basement of the old building, cracked and aged as if it had been standing since the beginning of time. In the center of the room is a large table, and I strap her down to the cold metal. Yanking off the blindfold, I grin down at this porcelain doll of a girl, then lean down to bite into her neck. My sharp canines cut into her veins and draw out the blood–it takes willpower not to drown myself in it, and I hook the tubes up to continue draining her.

The burgundy red flows like a small waterfall into a jar. The canvas before me is beautiful, waiting to be painted. I remove the tubes from her neck and plant a kiss there, then step back to admire her. On her own, she is a work of art, but to capture this beauty in her own blood would be a masterpiece that can only be created once.

With my paintbrush in hand, I dip into the jar of warm blood, then apply diligent strokes to her blond hair, turning it red. Her skin becomes marked with streaks, layer upon layer until nothing else seems to exist, and then I capture her darkest secret that only those like her can see.

Black wings sprout from her shoulder blades, soft feathers now wilting. She seems more like a devil’s angel now, covered in her own blood, surrounded by a dark aura that can no longer be hidden. The sight of her would make any viewer question their sense of reality and sanity–is it real, or are you crazy? It could be both, but you will never know.

Lifting her up, I take her to the freezer nearby to let the blood cool and settle onto the canvas of flesh and hair. Surrounding me in the room are now twenty-one masterpieces. Hidden now, one day they will be in a gallery to astound and amaze the world–but first, I need another.

I can’t stop this until I find the perfect one — the one everyone loves and hates.

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