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J.T.M.

"I want a cup of tea."

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a character in “Bloodstream”, as played by inquisition

Description

Currently known as Bloodstream and J.T.M.

Though no one has connected him to the killings yet, this is what he looks like.

Image

So begins...

J.T.M.'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: J.T.M.

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The rusted teal truck came to a distracted halt, too busy screaming complaints at its driver to pay attention to its own performance. It was a cumbersome old thing—down to every last bolt. Its lungs didn’t work worth a damn, causing discomfort in nearly all his expeditions. Static and melody alike denied the lifeless radio its presence. The breaks squealed in contempt with every forced embrace between them and the leathery skin of four worn tires. Two front seats loosed buttery foam blood and spent years bathing in secondhand smoke from cigarettes and bonfires kindled with non-wood substances. On the passenger side, the window was stubborn as ever in its permanent upward position, trapping the scent inside.

It was a piece of crap, but he didn’t care. A new ride wasn’t high on his priority list—not when his life and wellbeing were still biding his attention. He stared vacantly at the building in front him. It was there his doom waited patiently. The police station. He had never been this close to it before. To him, it was like a gate to hell. There had never been a good reason to approach it. There would never be a good reason to approach it.

Yet here he was.

“This is a bad idea,” he sighed. “A really bad idea.” It was happening again. The illogicality was creeping in. Four and a half months ago, he ceased killing. Everything had been quiet since then. It was making him crazy. He couldn’t take it.

He couldn’t handle it.

From the beginning, silence was his only friend. It embraced him in a vicious cycle; it reached out with long skeletal fingers and seized his neck, stifling what little blood still circulated through his intellectual powers. He knew it was the silence that made him crazy. That was why he adored manslaughter. The screams… the sweet sound of blood dripping and splattering and seeping into the carpets… the gushing sound of entrails cascading to the floor… everything about it was wonderful. Through their sacrifice, he killed silence.

But it always came back worse than before.

It seemed like the police station was already laughing at him. He wished it really was. It was too quiet in the car. It reminded him of home.

Home? He couldn’t really call it that.

The old single-story nightmare was always quiet—even when he was little it was eerie. The obscure woods surrounding it were always calm. There was something wrong with it. When he was holed up within the house surrounded by groves, he couldn’t help being hushed. After all, it felt like he was being eternally choked. Every day the silence smothered him. That made him irrational. His unreasonableness kept him inaudible. That made the silence even worse. It was a vicious cycle.

Suddenly, it occurred to him that he was never quite happy. While he hated the inaudible horror of his life, he also longed for it when it fled from him. It didn’t make any sense.

Closing his eyes, he let his head roll back on his wounded seat. It was 15 years ago. That was when that woman joined the case. It seemed everything was livelier back then. Perhaps he wasn’t as adept at tuning the world out, but it seemed like the it was never quiet. It was true he still clutched his humanity at that point, silencing his victims with anesthetics so they’d die a screamless death, but the sounds of their internal fluids were especially flamboyant to him then. There were the voices, too. He had been a different kind of crazy when he still heard the voices.

It was a Wednesday. The voices were putting him on edge, turning against him. That was his intuition talking. They were coming for him. It was dark when he first heard the sirens. It was funny, actually. There was only one thing he could think at that point.

He was a dead man.

Longing for silence to return, he sipped his tea. It was raspberry. The color of blood. It was his favorite and most reviled color. He was addicted to blood, but he hated it. Everything was covered in blood. The garden of corpses he kept in the basement—those were stained in blood. Even the bones were tinted red. They had piled so high he couldn’t even open the door anymore. The bodies migrated to the bedrooms, now. So much blood. Everywhere. The walls had blood splattered on them. The floors had aged and sometimes fresh puddles in every room. Even his own body was sticky with blood. It disgusted him. But it also pleased him. He didn’t know how to feel about it anymore. Was he a monster, or wasn’t he? He felt like he was still human, but anyone who happened across his rotting house would disagree.

He was afraid to sleep there at night, you know. The maggots might burrow into his skin as though he were a living corpse. That terrified him. He had a treehouse outside—a mile and a half to the east. It was there he slept. He still slept there—even today.

He was a dead man. The cops were finally going to get him. He wasn’t going to run. They would have enough evidence here to convict him. He would either get death or several life sentences, but they would kill him before he died of old age. The reporters would all say he was finally locked in prison. Yet that wouldn’t be the case at all. He’d be somewhere else, getting illegal punishment. Screw the bill of rights. He was a monster. That’s what they’d think. He knew it.

But they didn’t know anything.

Someday, they would need him. Yes. They would need him. They didn’t know it yet, but it was true. The monster was intelligent. It knew something they didn’t. One day they’d be fucked and he’d be their only protector. He only hoped he lived long enough to see that day come to pass.

Throughout his dark speculation, victimized lungs screamed at him—but his brain wasn’t heavy enough to comprehend it. He was lightheaded. Dazed. Hyperventilating. Panicking. He was a dead man. A living corpse. They were going to kill him. It was real.

The sirens screamed louder and louder as they approached—he heard them over his fervid lungs. He was going to die. They would kill him. Could he handle that? No. He would plead insanity. He was insane, wasn’t he? No—he wasn’t. He was quite sane. He knew exactly what he was doing. If he didn’t, how could he escape incarceration for so long? He was sane. He wasn’t a monster. It was okay.

Everything was going to be okay.

In the end, everything had turned out okay. The sirens passed him by and never came again. The voices stopped, too. But he also became more violent. Something had started to change that day. He wasn’t sure what it was, but something definitely changed.


What… am I doing? He felt like he should either get this over with or run while he can. Running would be the smarter option. But that wasn’t what he was going to do. Shakily reaching for the handle, he threw the door open. It was now or never. He wasn’t going to talk himself out of this. It had to be done. This was the plan from the start. Do it. Get going. One foot in front of the other.

Get your ass over there.

It took a lot more mental coaxing than his dignity would admit, but he ultimately reached the double doors of hell. This was it. Open the door. Good. Now walk in. Act natural. It’s okay to be uneasy—just don’t look suspicious. You’re doing good. Awesome job. Now walk up to the desk and state your business.

Looking every bit the nervous, gentle-hearted scholar, he began by clearing his throat, “H-hello, ma'am?”’

This was a bad idea. They were going to finish what they started 15 years ago—they would handcuff him and lead him away to be waterboarded and god knows what else. He had to get out of there. Now. “Uh… n-nevermind,” he retreated slowly, fidgeting hopelessly as he prepared to make a collected, non-suspicious dash to his car. This had to be planned more. Damn impulsiveness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tyra Abernithy Character Portrait: J.T.M.

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Lifting the bottle to her lips, she closed her eyes as the burn traveled down her throat, taking with it a brief moment of feeling, of a deeper, more unbearable pain. Placing the tequila back down with a thud and a stisfying slosh of liquid, the woman gazed down at her desk, the papers strewn about in an order, a pattern lknown only to her.

Somewhere in the back of her mind, the little voice of her subconscious nagged at her for drinking while trying to look over a case. She ignored the smarter, well-reasoned part of her brain for the time being. Besides, she wasn't exactly on the clock, so technically speaking, she wasn't breaking any rules. She could drink as much as she damn well pleased.

Practically glaring at the files and papers before her, she scanned the collection for what realistically could be the five or so hundredth time. Every spare chance she got in between cases, she went back to the one that haunted her every waking hour. The one that gave her no relief at night. The one that lingered in the minds, brought teeror to people's hearts, and caused them to cast fearful eyes over their shoulders at every creak or sudden movement. She slowly and methodically appraised the timeline, searching for some clue she'd overlooked, some detail hidden.

Nothing. Not a damn thing.

Slamming her fist onto the wooden desk, the investigator dropped back down into her chair, teeth grit as she rearranged the items, putting a few away, and trying to sort through the limited information she had at her disposal, despite the number of victims. At the center of her morbid collage were three handwritten letters, and around those were any scribbled poems or notes found at the crime scenes.
In twenty years not a single usable print was ever found, and if it was a print, it was the victim's.

Another swig of the alcohol went down her throat before she scrutinized the letters. The papers were wrinkled from abuse and multiple attempts to crunch them to bits and be tossed, only to be retrieved last minute and unfurled to inspect and analize again. Tyra re-read each one, slowly despite the rush in her head, the curling of her stomach in disgust.

Shoving them away, Tyra willed away an oncoming headache. With a heavy sigh, she pulled a single photograph towards her, smiling sadly, wistfully at the smiling face.

"Sorry sis. Still nothing. I promise...I'll find this bastard....I'll find who did this to everyone, the one who did this to you." she whispered, placing the picture down lovingly in the only nice corner of her desk.

Not even five months ago she had been alive, going off to become a med student, to save lives. Now her little sister was gone, as well as her fiance. For a while he had been her comfort, her source of support. He tried to help her move on, accept her sister was gone and declare the case a failure, no one could catch Bloodstream. But she wasn't going to move on, how could she? A man who killed people everyday for twenty years? She couldn't give up!

They grew more distant, more terse, and finally he apologized, apologized and said he couldn't watch her go on like this anymore. With that perfect, gentlemanly, 'I'm not upset at all' smile that he used, hiding his frustration and his pity. It made her sad and sick. She had a chance at happiness, but she couldn't give up on this cold son of a bitch who took lives as easily as people popped pills or drank. And now it was gone, driven away by her need, her drive, her 'obsession' ( Carlos' words, not hers), with finding and catching the killer who evaded the law for twenty years.

Because of him! HE was the reason she lost her beloved little sister, he tore a rift in what would have been a beautiful marriage! And not just her, how many others had he destroyed? How many broken hearts did he leave in the wake of each victim? How many had he ruined with fear, despair, unreddemable loss? No, she couldn't let go! She growled at his accusations, his smug judgement of her judging him. He thought she'd end up in hell?

If it meant she would drag the son of a bitch down with her into the deepest pits of the inferno, she'd accept in a heartbeat.