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The Dark Carnival Chapter Four


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The city had a surprisingly large amount of life to offer Blaine at one thirty in the morning. It was so far into Friday night that it was Saturday morning, but the party was just beginning at the frat house that he found himself at. He didn’t even know where he was, it didn’t matter. This was another night that he had followed his darker impulses and just like every other time, he was allowing himself to simply fall into the moment.

The loud pounding from the industrial strength sound system still wasn’t enough to drown out the raging testosterone and beer fueled melodrama that was unfolding in front of him. The men were boxing, fight club style, while drinking enough to down elephants. That dulled their pain receptors and allowed them to really get bloody, which was something these boys were proud of with it being summer time and most of them being out of classes and therefore out of purpose. It was only a few of them, but they were loud and rowdy enough to sound like much more.

It was anger this time, rage, and fighting that had drawn Blaine in and even he wouldn’t be able to explain how he found himself being accepted by these men. He played them, just like he played everyone else, and it worked so well that he fit in, but it wasn’t planned or calculated and he barely even knew he was doing it. He was just doing what it took to answer the call.

Somewhere around the third fight, Blaine was pushed in and it was his turn to put his fists up. Boxing had been both an asset for coping with his frustrations after the attack that had flipped this switch in his head and it had also been one of the doors that had led him to the realization that he could purposefully trigger himself and force himself into a state of deep emotion like this. Being around his brothers so often since coming to town gave Blaine other reasons to feel, but it wasn’t enough. He just wanted more, like an addict, which is how he felt as he stared down his opponent, knowing that he had enough knives on him to end every life in the room.

But he waited. The rhythmic and gentle, unheard thump of his heart quickened and beat so loudly that he could feel it pulsating erratically in his ears. The feeling of a quickened heartbeat was already enough to begin feeding his desire to feel; as a sociopath, there wasn’t much that affected him enough to make his heart rate pick up that wasn’t actual physical exercise. The high went nowhere when the other man landed a punch, slamming against the center of his cheek, right beneath the cheekbone. His lower jaw slackened and lips parted as the force of the hit threw his head to the side. When he snapped back, he let himself lose focus on reality, which allowed his partner to land quite a few hits. Blaine still threw punches, but he wasn’t all there, so he wasn’t as successful. The frat boys around him were excited by the fact that one of their own was beating up a stranger, and it fueled their drunken slurs. It became easier and easier to slip away.

Then Blaine was gonehe was there.

Anger hit in a hot flash of red and he thrust his smaller body forward and suddenly, his attention and focus was acute. The years of boxing he’d challenged himself through came into play and the fight turned around quickly. When the other men around them realized that he wasn’t going to stop, they tried to step in, and that’s when the knives came out. These men were mostly harmless, bored men that were trying to educate themselves and blow off some steam in a moderately harmless way and they weren’t prepared for Blaine’s fury. The first guy down never saw it coming and was hit with a knife to the throat that came out of Blaine’s sleeve. The second found himself pinned to the wall by a blade through his hand that was jammed so hard in the wall that he wouldn’t even think of trying to remove it. The man he’d been fighting fell to the floor and tripped another, and Blaine was on him in an instant. Four blades were lost in the man’s gut before the demon that looked like a man rose and turned to the man he’d pinned.

Streaks of blood fell from his brow like sweat. His hazel eyes were bright, the ragged intake of breath- or maybe the candor of his heartbeart, pulling the corner of his lips upward. His right hand lifted and he set it on top of his chest, right above his heart, and started at the fear he saw etched all over the man in front of him. It made him feel so alive. All of this did, down to the smallest detail. He could hear those bullies that night in high school, screaming in his ear. He could hear his first crush, dying on the cold concrete. The pain in his body from the fight earlier added to it, which was probably why anger-triggered murders felt so good. That night felt like it was full lifetimes ago and it was the last time he remembered feeling anything normal.

Nothing was normal about Blaine anymore.

He took his time with his final victim, riding it out until the man was long dead and he had long fallen out of his stupor. Like any addict, he clung to the moment, but he knew that he had to let it go eventually. His knives were easy to retrieve and easy to clean. A shower took care of his own mess, and there were plenty of clothes to borrow in the boy’s closets; his own were put in a garbage bag and later burned in the trashcan-fire of a homeless man.

He went to bed after the sun rose, crawling into bed and laying there for hours as he soaked in the buzz he felt. When he fell asleep, he slept soundly and woke feeling refreshed.

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