She was angry with herself. She'd failed once again. That bloody annoying Sanguine had escaped her grasp for the fourth time! How could she not catch him after so many attempts? She had studied him for three months before even trying to hunt him down! She knew him, knew his thoughts, his motivations, his skills. She knew all known associates he'd worked for in the past, and she knew every person he'd killed. Oh yes, she knew him.
In fact, the very first thing she had read about him was the story of his first murders. He was only 11.
It was late, almost midnight. The boy was tired, but pressed on nonetheless. He had to find his dad. Neither him, nor little Susie had eaten at all today. His mother was weary and blistered. She'd worked hard since dawn til dusk at her knew job, and she refused to even sleep until Henry, her husband, was home from wherever it was he'd been.
The boy's mother was a washer woman. She'd gotten baskets and baskets of strangers' clothing to wash. So, with thoughts of her children in mind, she got to it, dunking and scrubbing, then dunking once more. After that, she would take it and hang it from a line out back, returning to start that laborious process again... and again... and again til her arms were red and raw and her hands covered in blisters. She'd been worked like a dog, only to return home with not enough change to buy even a cup of soup for the family to share.
That's why the blond haired and blue eyed boy had to find his father. Where was he? Why had he not come home this night? He had been coming home later and later every night, but never this late. The boy was beginning to worry.
He spied a bar named The Irate Duckling. He scurried over there, dodging the deadly course of carriages as they hurtled past, horses a-neighing. Why anyone would willingly be out this late, he did not know.
He got to the entrance and pushed open the door, stumbling into an entirely different environment compared to the calm and cool night outside. Laughing, drinking, and wild singing filled his ears, as the smell of old beer and sweat hit him. He ducked down and stepped around two men brawling on the floor, moving over to a less rowdy table. Three men were sitting there. All of them were chatting and guffawing at the others' unbelievable stories. "Excuse me, sirs, but y'all seen a man in his thirties, 'bout 6 feet with blond hair and blue eyes like me?"
"Wha-?" they turned around to look at the boy. One of them, the one sitting on the left with black, choppy hair said, "No, now go away! This ain't no place for a child!" Then he turned back around and said the punchline of his joke, which made no since to the boy having not heard it, and burst out laughing. He sighed and moved on to another table, asking the same question and getting the same response.
Having talked to the men sober enough to understand his question and getting negative results, the boy left to search for his father elsewhere. He roamed the dark streets, going up and down them and being careful to avoid any dark alleyways which housed gangs and thieves.
On the next street he heard chatter and music. Another bar. The boy moved between two houses and onto that street, following the sound up the road a bit. It was another bar. This one was called Cosher Tavern . He stepped in.
The atmosphere was generally the same, singing, laughing, and drinking. He asked the same question at the first table he came up to. This time, though, the answer was different. "Oh, you mean Henry?"
Butterflies fluttered in the boy's belly. "Yes! That's him! Where is he?" The men glanced at each other and chuckled. "Well, boy, 'e's upstairs with Sally... I wouldn't bother 'im right now if I was you, he's busy."
The boy was confused. What did they mean by "busy?" He shrugged. "Well, awright and thanks, lads." The men returned to their beer as if it was a long lost love, and the boy gazed around the room in search of some stairs. There they were, over on that wall. He maneuvered through the crowd to them and ascended.
It was quieter up here, the noise from below was more like a rumbling and murmuring. He glanced back, slightly nervous at the thought of searching for his father in one of the rooms down this dark and empty hall. He took a step, the floor creaking beneath him. He stood in front of the first door and raised his hand hesitantly to knock. What if there was a murderer in there, thirsty for more blood, and just waiting for some dumb person to bother him so he could wring his neck, or stab his chest or slash his throat, or... maybe he would want it to be slow and would draw out a dull knife with no hurry and begin to carefully carve- no! He mustn't think like that. He must find his dad!
He shook his head and stood a bit taller with determination in his eyes and knocked. No answer. He knocked again, a bit louder. Nothing. The boy sighed with relief and moved on to the next door. No answer again. Next door. An old lady with a half knitted scarf opened the door. "Oh, sorry, Ma'am, I was lookin' fer someone else. You wouldn't happen to know which room is being used for a man in his thirties, 'bout 6 feet, with blond hair and blue eyes like me, would you?"
The lady harrumphed and pointed down the hall. He smiled, "Thank you, kindly." And she slammed the door. The boy shrugged and happily walked to the door the lady had specified. He raised his hand and knocked. No answer. He shrugged again and opened the door, knowing his dad would be in there.
It swung open on slightly creaky hinges and... there he was, standing beside a bed and facing away from the boy! Finally, he'd found him! He opened his mouth, planning to question where he'd been this whole time and how they really needed him back home and he's so glad he's alright and... Wait, why doesn't he have a shirt on? And... why is that girl in there? She must be Sally... She's probably a maid preparing a bath for his dad. Yes, that had to be it, but... why is she wrapping her arms around his neck... and his around her back. Now they're... kissing... no... they can't be.... and they're falling onto the bed. He's... he's cheating on Mum... He couldn't! He wouldn't! He surely could not leave his children at home to starve and his wife alone to work herself to death trying to feed them!
But he was.
Anger wafted over him and boiled inside. It grew and stormed in his chest. It devoured his soul. He looked down, hands clenched and heart smothered in darkness. When he looked up again, his eyes were black and empty. Never again would his eye sockets hold vibrant blue orbs. Oh no, they would hold nothing, and they would hold every bit of love he now held for his father.
His feet sunk into the boards beneath, soon followed by the rest of him. He appeared for a second next to his father's clothes and withdrew the straight razor he always carried with him, then disappeared below the boards once more. On the other side of the bed he grew out of the ground, razor in hand. "Hello, Father." The man jumped and looked up, "What are you doing here? Get out!" He glared at him angrily before noticing something off with his face as Sally tried to cover herself. "What's... wrong with your eyes?"
The boy scowled. "I just wanted you to know by who's hands your death has come. My name is now Billy-ray Sanguine."
Sanguine slashed and his father's blood gushed out of his throat. Sally shrieked for two whole seconds before the razor slashed her neck as well, cutting her off as she gurgled and drowned in her own blood. He looked down at the two of them laying on top of one another and bleeding out their life, and realized he had become the murderer he was so afraid of.