Chapter 1 - An Unfair End
30th March, 1888
Whitechapel Borough, London, England
The deep carmine of the fresh blood pooled out in all directions around the woman. She lay twitching in the muck and the dirt of an alley made of worn cobblestone, tucked away from the prying eyes of guardian angels. Her short, raspy breaths filled the midnight air as she struggled to fight the darkness that beckoned to her. The beaming shadow of a full moon illuminated the tears that streaked down her face. With each moment that passed, more of her life force drained with each new heartbeat from the long slash across her throat. A shadow was cast upon her body from a man in black, donning the night as a veil to hide who he really was.
“Do you hear that?” said the man.
He waited for her response, even though he knew there wouldn’t be one. She tried to speak— to scream— but all that escaped her weakening lips were gurgles of anguish.
“All of the noise has faded,” the man said. “It is finally becoming quiet.”
The woman twitched, arm stretching to its limits as she reached for her locket. She strained, fingers curling as she feverishly attempted to grasp her last good memories to bring with her into the abyss.
“We can’t have that,” said the man.
He walked over to her and kicked the locket out of reach, sending it off to the side. It clattered as it struck the wall, short-lived sparks arcing in different directions as it did so.
“I take no pleasure in what I do,” the man said before pausing for a moment. “Well, actually, I do. But, alas, you, my dear, are the first of my victims.”
He returned to pacing around his prey, eyes locked onto her fading ones. A new tear streaked down her waxy cheek, mixing with the filth on the ground.
“Too long have I waited in the shadows as the tainted bloodlines of the great and magnificent King Arthur hunt me down,” the man said in a mocking tone. “But with you, my lovely one, you will be the thing that turns the tides on the cattle that dare to go against my will.”
The man crouched down next to the woman on the ground. His form cut off the beauty of the moon and pitched her in the blanket of death. She took in a few more labored breaths as she bled out.
In the blackness, he spoke. “I have to thank you, my dear poppet. With you and the gift you give me, the world will finally burn.”