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Jack Horton

The video plays for a good minute or so before the action begins. A dark, damp room with artificial lighting, flickering in a yellowish haze from above the cameras view. The ground, a dented, cracking cement, has seen years of wear and tear, with the rubber burns of tyre marks and the damage of accidentally mishandled items and tools.

The space is clear either side, the walls far off in their respective directions, the room large and cold. In the far distance, beyond the clear visibility offered up by the lighting, a heavy, mechanical door remains closed. And upon further inspection, if one had ability to do so, you could see years of rust damage fusing the steel slats to the frame. However the camera entered the building, it was not via this door.

The occasional drip, drip, drip of water echoes of the stone and concrete, forming puddles on the uneven ground that catch the light, highlighting the movement of the ripples.

From the left a figure appears carrying a leather case upon a small, wooden stand. He’s barefoot, dark blue jeans fitting tight to muscular thighs, the hems tatty and faded - standard for someone who enjoys wearing their denim too long, catching the ends beneath their heels. He leans forward, placing the stand and case off to one side, still visible to the camera, but only just. He then exits once more from the direction he’d come, returning with too waist-high speakers that, despite their obvious weight, he carries with easy, toned arms hugging each to his sides.

The man places them either side of the case and retrieves a lead from his back pocket, taking a moment to plug the speaks into the back of the case.

Reaching, he lifts the lid case to reveal a record player and briefly turns his back to the camera, crouching to start up the device, and to delicately place the needle upon the vinyl that sits ready to play.

The speakers begin to produce a crackle that, at such a high volume, echoes about the empty space of the room.

Standing once more, readjusting the faded-to-grey The Doors band t-shirt that hangs from his form, he reaches up in the air with both arms, a crack of back and shoulders, a satisfied groan.

When the truth is found to be lies.

And all the joy within you dies.

The vocal begin at once, booming from the speakers, causing a slight feedback to the video upon playback. The man, turning, his sadistically grinning profile to the camera, walks off once more, this time to return with a car battery and jumper leads, both of which he places next to the closest speaker.

He leaves one more time. And this time, his departure takes a few moments longer.

Don’t you want somebody to love.

Don’t you need somebody to love.

He returns, this time accompanied by the frantic, muffled screams of another man who sits strapped tight to a wooden chair. The chair screeches across the concrete floor as he drags it by the back rest, tiled, bringing the two front legs up for ease of transport.

With a clutter and a further screech, he rests it down in the centre of the scene and turns it with both hands until the occupant of the chair faces the camera.

This second man, taped to the chair across his chest, elbows, wrists and shins, frantically begins to rock and struggle in his seat, desperate for release. His face is aged and bloody behind the piece of silver tape that covers his mouth, his pinstripe-grey business suit grubby and torn.

The first man walks toward the camera, leaning in to readjust the focus, and in that moment of clarity so close to the lens, there’s no mistaking the dark, handsome features of Jacques Horton.

Jack walks away from the camera and begins to rummage through the suit jacket of the man, tugging where the tape hinders his search, until he can reach within an inside pocket to produce a wallet.

The man continues to scream behind his gag, the music still booming into the room, filling the space with sound. And Jack, tossing platinum cards and photos this way and that, returns once more to the camera, producing from within the wallet, a crisp, white business card. He holds it up to the camera long enough for the viewer to read the words upon its surface.

Nicolas Farber

and beneath, a telephone number and the logo of a Fortune 500 business located in New York City.

Jack shakes his head, his hair tousled by damp, falling about his face, and reaches back behind the camera, pulling out a black ink pen. He removes the lid with bright, straight teeth, holding it in place as he amends the business card. And once complete, he tosses the pen away, spitting the lid from his lips, and once again holds the slip of card up to the camera.

Where once the word CEO had been printed, it now read Head of Research and beneath it read the words The Slayers Guild, the logo crossed out with lie noted beside it.

Once satisfied the message had been received, he dropped the card and returned to the man, Nicolas, who continued to struggle, attempting to gain a rhythm of rocking the chair left and right.

Jack Horton has first met Nicolas Farber in the early 2000’s when Jack, naive and vengeful, had joined the Slayers Guild in an effort to seek revenge for the turning, and eventual death, of his fiancé. Desperate to do something, he’d joined the ranks of Slayers, and spent many years hunting and killing, all in the name of The Greater Good. He’d lead a coven, he’d won wars, and then, despite the better judgement of everyone he knew, he’d fallen for someone, and agreed to give up his mortality for her. To give up his life to spend an eternity in her arms. And with this decision set in his heart, he’d approached the Guild and in turn, been introduced to Nicolas.

‘You understand what you’re doing?’

“I do.”

‘Maybe this could be beneficial for both parties.’

“How so?”

And so began the long discussions, late into the night, of a possible truce, an alliance, an end to the continuous war between supposed good vs. evil, light vs dark. Man vs. Vampire.

Your eyes, I say your eyes may look like his.

Yeah, but in your head, baby, I’m afraid you son’t know where it is.

The rubber coating of the jumper leads is connected in the middle, causing an odd X shape as Jack holds them up. The vampire takes a moment, looking over Nicolas who, in turns, looks back at him, shaking his head vigourously, groaning and pleading inaudibly. Jack nods back and crouches, clipping one of the leads to the mans finger, while the other, met with a scream from behind the tape, is released to grip hard between Nicolas’s legs.

In truth, even Jack winced a little to this once, while Nicolas, screaming, turned white as a sheet, wide-eyed and sweating.

Viewers of a nervous disposition, turn away now. But for those willing to continue viewing, it took mere moments for Jack to hook up the opposite ends of the leads to the battery and begin the show.

Tears are running. They're all running down your dress

And your friends, baby. They treat you like a guest

Jack had agreed to the tests. Both before and after Dannica turned him. Blood samples, tissue samples, bone marrow samples. Everything they could take from him, and inject into him, they did. All for The Greater Good, and all to keep a record of the changes within his body as his wife drew the final drops of life from him.

‘They weren’t just recording your condition’, Tanvir had told him years later. ‘You were a guinea pig. They filled you with all kinds of sh!t and hoped that when the time came, they could use you to do their bidding. My part in this was to, well, to unlock it, Jack. But I swear I didn’t know the truth. I didn’t know what they’d done. They just fed me those lies about you and I believed them. I never knew the truth. I never knew that what I was doing to you was, was...’

“Flicking the switch?”



Wouldn't you love somebody to love

You better find somebody to love

The song came to an end as Jack removed the leads from the battery. Secure in his chair, Nicolas’s head swayed, lolling down to rest his chin upon his chest, breathing heavily and whimpering.

Jack shifted, turning in his crouch to face the record player and restart the song.

When the truth is found to be lies…

In total, the video file ran for thirty minutes. And in this time, Jack reattached the leads, sparked his companion and continued to replay the song, until finally Nicolas died from the shock and volts running through his body.

Beside him, leads hanging in one hand, Jack stood silently, watching the corpse until the music stopped for the last time, and the scene was filled with the eerie silence and occasionally drip of water as the record player clicked over and over behind him.

After a minute or two more, Jack reached into his back pocket and produced a phone, sliding a thumb across the screen to unlock it. A tap, a drag down and a further tap and he placed it to his ear, waiting.

“It’s done.” his voice, a thick mix of his native french and the London he’d once called home, echoed about the space around him. From the phone, a muffled response, inaudible to the viewer.

“And you?”


“That’s it then.”

He pulled it from his ear, staring at the screen for moment before returning it to his pocket. And as he approached the camera, he gave one last look to the lens before reaching forward, the video playback ending.
January 23, 2018 05:58 pm


‘It’s done’

I take a moment, my bloodied fingers loose about the knife hilt in my grasp. I can already feel it starting to dry, to stick to my skin. I place it upon the table and wipe my palm down my denim thigh, feeling the clumps attach and tug at the fibres.

“Nicolas? Where did you find h…no, never mind. It doesn’t matter. At least it’s done.”

‘And you?’

I look over to the body on the floor, some four or five feet from where I stand. Thomas Jenson. Or rather, the man formally known as. Jack hadn’t been able to do this one. He’d made up some excuse, tried to convince us both that it was simply a matter of logistics, but I knew better. Thomas. He could never cope with the name. To many memories of his brother, taken at far too young and age. But I didn’t mind. To me, he was just a face. A face and a symbol of the suffering we’d both gone through over the years.

“He’s dead.”

‘Mmmhmm.’ was all I received in response.

We remain silent for a while longer. It’s awkward now. The last few years, travelling together, we’d found our stride. But this was end and now what? Did we go back to the way things had been before? The hatred? The pain? I mean, we can’t be friends. No one can be friends after this.

But I don’t think I hate him. Not anymore.

‘That’s it then.’ he says and I nod. I know he can’t see me but the nod just seems right. It seems final.

“Yeah.” and I can’t think of a damn thing more to say so I simply hang up, using a clean side of a finger to touch the red ‘end call’ button on the screen.
January 27, 2018 10:11 am
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