The world took him. It warped him. It changed him. It made him what he was. And then it threw him away. This is the story of a boy who lived, of a boy who killed, of a boy who died. This is the story of a ghost without a past, a string of the memories of a life once lived, now long forgotten. A glimpse of what might have been, had things been different, had the world been kinder. (This is my idea for the corporation story contest. I plan for it to become a full length novel, hopefully in time for the contest! Please support the cause and comment/like, because otherwise I really have motivation issues and will probably forget and work on another story instead).


2. Chapter 1.

            Crimson. Scarlet. No, more like burgundy. It was strange that, even with this excessive quantity of blood covering practically everything in the room, he still could not decipher the exact shade of it. Usually it was simple, boring, quick. But this time, with this blood, he just couldn’t seem to figure it out. It wasn’t as if the colors were wrong, exactly. More that none of them were right. Perhaps he was losing his edge.

            Kain turned once more to survey the slowly drying pools, but nothing came to mind. “The color…”

            “Detective?” queried a faceless officer in that particular tone used to pacify young children and wild animals, the same as every other unthinking, unquestioning slave to the system. Kain hated them all, but really what could he do? This occupation he’d chosen required that he cooperate with them. And, of course, Kain was not the type to abandon this glorious lake of gore merely to escape the inevitable irritation of temporary co-workers.

            “… it’s wrong. It should be more…” Again the word failed to come to mind as he struggle toward it. “Alive! That’s it. That’s what I was going for.” He turned to look at a somewhat nauseous looking policeman who stood just outside the apartment room, staring at the opposite wall of the hallway. “This blood is too dead, like it’s been here for months instead of hours.”

            “I’m sorry sir, but the preliminary M.E. reports clearly state-”

            “M.E.s are useless. Let me teach you a valuable life lesson here.” Kain pulled off one of his black leather gloves – who knew how many bacteria and other, even less pleasant things could get through those standard issue rubber ones – and bent to touch one of the red puddles in the room. “Still warm,” he mused under his breath. So it was recent, at least. “And so much…” Kain finally caught the eye of his companion, and, with slow and deliberate movements, he raised the sticky finger to his lips and licked it clean. The policeman paled instantly, his cheeks turning a faint green, and whirled to watch the wall once more.

            It wasn’t that he particularly enjoyed the taste of blood, exactly. It was more the feel of it. The feeling of power, the fearful glances he received, they made him feel as if, for once, he were truly alive. After all, blood was life, was it not? Kain merely possessed more life than most, then, as he’d taken dozens of others’ blood.  And, of course, no one ever believed it was true. Not of the legendary detective, the youngest and most successful in recent history, and especially not when the accusation came from a weak-kneed rookie who fainted at the sight of blood.

            Still, this blood troubled him. It tasted… off. And there was just too much of it, too many little red lakes, like the spreading petals of a rose in bloom.

            He wasn’t complaining, of course, but no one human could release so much blood, even a dead one. Besides, the corpse certainly didn’t look drained. Compared to the damage to the room, the single body was barely touched.

            In fact, it was almost perfect. Kain strode to it, careful not to step in the liquid that had collected in depressions in the wooden floors. “Unless you see something with your own eyes and feel it yourself, don’t ever believe it. If I told you right now that the blood in this room tastes like cherry, would you believe me just because I also claim to be an expert? No. So don’t go giving your full trust to those idiots who hide behind their big desks and fancy little instruments.” Placing his forearms on his knees, he crouched to finally examine the corpse, shutting away the mystery of the blood, at least for the time being.

            The body was that of a young male with short, unruly black hair. Even plastered with blood it stood up around his head, a scarlet halo. His face could very well have been that of an angel, still young and innocent. Thumbing open one eyelid, Kain saw that he had light brown eyes, almost the color of amber or gold. He was tall as well, his clothing well-fitting where it wasn’t slashed or stiffened by blood. On his right wrist was a simple metal chain, and his left arm – from fingertips to shoulder – was covered by once-pristine bandages, now stained and dirty.

            The wounds themselves also seemed almost tame, almost serene. Bullet holes in right leg and shoulder, as well as one in the center of his forehead. A slash across his throat and a stab wound to the chest. All told, the boy could have died in at least three different ways. Still, it wasn’t Kain’s norm, that was certain. It was the first non-dismembered, fully-intact body he’d investigated in weeks. Only the lake around him was enough to draw the detective to this particular crime, as well as a sense that this would soon become immensely interesting, possibly enough so to distract him from the tedious humdrum of mundane life.

            “Ah well, sorry kid. Guess we’ve got to trust those ‘experts’ this time,” Kain whispered, reaching out with his gloved hand to brush the blood-stiffened hair off the corpse’s face. After all, he wouldn’t want to look a mess when he finally died and was cut into pieces by quacks.

            “I’m sorry, but I must ask that you leave the premises immediately.”

            Kain spun instantly, pulling his glove on in the same motion, his stance reflexively shifting from casual and relaxed to a defensive crouch. “And you are…?”

            “Taking charge of this crime scene,” the man said, his voice as smug as his preppy suit and slicked back hair. Kain hated him instantly. “This is no place for a child. Leave this to the real detectives.” Yes, he deserved to be hated. Kain knew that it was true that he was at least ten years younger than this police detective - in fact he was barely old enough to be out of college. Still, he hated being looked down upon by old men with stuffy attitudes, middle-aged brownnosers who thought they were better merely because it had taken them longer to reach the exact same place in life.

            Plastering an innocent, non-threatening grin onto his face, Kain straightened and strode toward the new arrival, assuming a childish manner and adding a slight spring to each step. He moved directly toward the man, his footsteps splashing slightly and leaving a distinct imprint. With each step, each disturbed pool, the other detective’s expression grew darker and more impatient, strain clearly showing in the clenched line of his jaw and the furrow between his brows.

            “Thank you for your cooperation, sir. It is much appreciated.” The detective, whose name, according to a nametag on his jacket, was Andrews, said, false gratitude radiating off him in waves as he held out a hand for Kain to shake.

            Disdaining the proffered hand – Kain did not believe in handshakes as a form of greeting, as touching another person’s skin really accomplished nothing except spreading disease and infection – he stared at Andrews, dropping his smile and letting his eyes dull to the emptiness they usually exhibited. People thought he was emotionless, but he really wasn’t. It was just that wearing emotions openly on his face was exhausting and rather pointless, and Kain wasn’t one to waste effort on such a ridiculous thing as social decorum. But the flat stare he now gave the police detective always worked, sending chill down the spine of the recipient as they stared into the supposedly soulless depths of Kain’s inner being.

            “See here’s the thing. I really don’t like you. In fact, if you died and they asked me to investigate it, I still wouldn’t do it, no matter how beautiful the scene. You want to know why?” Kain leaned closer to the man, invading his precious bubble of personal space while still remaining carefully out of range of the cop’s breath, and lowered his voice to a whisper. “Because I’d never want to taste your blood if it meant having even the slightest bit of you inside me, you worthless bastard.”

            Leaving a shocked and outraged police detective behind, Kain strode nonchalantly out through the still open doorway. As he passed the still-nauseous rookie, he winked, sending the other into a series of dry heaves as Kain tried to suppress the laughter bubbling up inside him. “Be seeing you both at HQ, I guess.”

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