The Ripper: King of Darkness

The great experiment…had come to its conclusion.
My journey into deep madness of the mind
took me to the great chasm which separates
salvation from damnation, reason from insanity
revealing such tender sweet horror.
Just 70 days within 1888, slaughtering the innocent
on the streets of Whitechapel, I became a God.
Worshipped and feared, exploited and hunted.
Never seen! Never found! Never known!
That is, until I received an invitation…

My hand of power clenched as I reached for the door,
ornate knocker in dark, sinister shape of a black rose.
The Mansion stood supremely stoic, gray and morose,
as whispers now called me to stand up for my crimes.
I sneered, for crimes a God cannot commit, feeling
the sensual sharpness of cold, gray steel against my chest,
dried flecks of blood from women spurned it yet caressed.
I banged against the door and open wide it spread,
revealing a malingering darkness that welcomed me within,
evil presence awaiting a God who simply had no sin.

Stepping into the main foyer of the Mansion
my nostrils flare at the stale pungent odor
of one hundred and fifty years decay.
My black cloak billows in the breeze
as the heavy wooden door slams shut.
I see the white fog of my breath,
hear my heart pounding against my ribcage.
Flexing my grip on the fillet knife
I move into the heart of this Mansion.
A stranger…yet somehow, I felt at home.

Home within the lustful arms of Black Rose,
her petals like satin, embracing me, erotically sensual.
Little dusty devils whirl like dervishes at my feet
as I slide like the malingering shadow of death,
for I am the final answer to all desires,
the truth, supreme judge and executioner.
Holding the cold, steel blade to my lips, I kiss
the blissful memories of feeling it slice like silk
through sweet Polly’s slim neck, her sordid days
of prostitution over, her death sighing within my mind.

I feel a hand brush against my cheek
sending shivers down my spine,
releasing an erotic sensation not felt in years.
In the darkness, a voice whispers my name.
It beckons me to follow further into
this labyrinth of corridors and staircases.
The black candles flicker as I approach,
then fall silent, as if by magic, when I pass.
The mysterious voice brings me to an oak door,
red glowing letters read, “King of Darkness”

A malignant voice seeps underneath the door,
extinguishing the candles with a hot, fetid breath,
plunging the hall into catacomb-like blackness.
Only KING OF DARKNESS glows a vibrant red.
“Touch ~ the ~ name,” the voice sighs wickedly.
I reach and let a nervous hand caress KING.
A click, a whoosh, the door squeaks open
as a white, soupy mist encircles my feet.
A crackling fire casts an evil glow upon a table.
Five women sit, eyes oozing malice and hate.

A God knows no fear…but I cannot move.
Black hollow sockets where eyes once lived
focus their wretched existence on me.
Their screams ring inside my head
like the thunderous tolling of bells.
I feel my knees beginning to buckle.
I stand defiant to their cause.
I slaughtered these five in Whitechapel.
I will now rip them to pieces in this mansion.
A God knows no fear…I am the Ripper!

Sliding through the darkened room, firelight glittered
off battered faces, throats slit garishly from ear to ear,
broken mouths frozen in anguished death smiles.
I bent at the waist and bowed, always the gentleman.
“Dear Ladies, so good to see you once again,” I said.
~ Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols ~ ‘Dark Annie’ Chapman ~
~ Elizabeth ‘Long Liz’ Stride ~ Catherine Eddows ~
and Mary Jane Kelly ~ MY victims ~ MY conquests.
Staring from sightless eyes they pointed to a chair,
head of the table, apt place for the King of Darkness.

A sterling silver tea set sits on the table.
I notice a spider crawling out of a teacup.
Looking around I begin to notice things.
Cobwebs cover everything on the walls,
the ancient artifacts, paintings, and candleholders.
A fire is blazing, but the room is cold as the grave.
The women point their decaying fingers at me.
I roll my eyes at this obviously cliché gesture.
Suddenly, I am aware that they are not pointing at me,
rather to something which has approached from behind.

I felt the shadow caress my back before it slithered
across my shoulder and onto the barren table.
The air in the room had become abhorrently stagnant,
so dense that breathing became painfully unbearable.
A voice that sounded like distant, rolling thunder
on a stifling summer day cracked the deathly stillness.
“Welcome King of Darkness to this, my Mansion
of the Black Rose,” as an icy hand with fingers
more like the white, boney claws of a skeleton seemed
to reach inside my chest and grasp my pounding heart.

“Time for a God to know fear”, it said through rotting teeth
His hand squeezes my heart like a vice
The room spins in a dazzling array of colors
My vision blurs as I feel myself blacking out
In the eternity between the tick and the tock
I experience the zenith of my victims’ pain
My body sliced open and the organs torn out
Wide-awake I feel every cut of the knife
My nerves sear in agony as I scream for death
Through this unrelenting torture, the voice speaks…..

“So you think your deeds of deadly perversion
entitle you to be called King of Darkness?”
the craggy voice wheezed in a malevolent whisper.
“You are but a sickly gray in the world of darkness.
These unique women sitting at the table before you
did not deserve to have their bodies desecrated
simply because of their sexual indiscretions.”
I listened now in abject fear as the hulking black form
standing in shadows behind me beckoned the five grinning
ladies to come forward in order to harvest their revenge.

Four of these dead decaying women each
take my arms and legs, and carry me out.
The fifth, Mary Jane Kelly leads them
out of the Mansion through a back door.
I am helpless as I float under a moonless sky.
Mary Jane opens the gates to a fog-laden cemetery.
I feel prickling tendrils biting at my flesh.
I hear haunted screams of the dead echo from the
tombstones hidden beneath the fog layer.
They let go, I fall but I do not hit the ground.

I’m falling, spinning, reeling down a God-forsaken hole,
screams of drowning souls ringing in my ears,
the evil grins of malicious beasts and demons leering
at my face that is now frozen into a death mask.
My brain is now fractured in fear, skin turning cherry red,
all the hair on my body afire amid the stench of Hell.
Suddenly I stop falling and find myself in the grasp
of muscular arms, skin as rough as sand paper,
the breath of a thousand rotting maggots envelop me.
I gaze up into the eyes of Hell, horns of goat gleaming.

“What have we here, a little god?”
he says as he sets me down
on the banks of the River Styx.
I watch bodies of the damned float by,
their screams for mercy are ignored.
The Demon leans in close and whispers,
“Jack, I’ve been waiting for you.”
I have had just about enough of this.
Reaching into my coat pocket
I grasp the handle of my fillet knife.

The silver blade became alive within my grasp,
humming and beating with a life of its’ own.
Scotland Yard cried that I had killed a mere five women.
So blatantly wrong ~ for I AM the KING OF DARKNESS.
Many more had been slain and perished underneath
this hooded and steely gaze, slaughtered bodies
of no importance littered the gutters and storm drains
along the dark and foggy alleyways of London’s
Whitechapel. Now for my biggest conquest
as I plunged the knife into the Abyss behind me.

I slice the demon’s neck clean through,
then hook my right arm under his
and hurl him over into the River Styx.
I hear his howling laughter behind me
as I run through the labyrinth of Hell.
I come to a bridge that crosses another river.
Beyond this bridge, I see the Black Rose Mansion.
At the arched doorway, Baron Von Crow smiles.
I stand here perplexed at the sequence of events
that has transpired on this most irritating day.

Looking behind me, I can see the glow
still oozing though the ground in which I fell,
screams of searing pain and haunting doom
echoing from the angry bowels of hell.
Walking towards the Black Rose Mansion
the rooms are alive with light and warmth,
something this home has not had for centuries.
I stopped before the doorway, my mind confused.
Why had I received the invitation to come here?
The Baron smiled, “Welcome home my son.”

The Baron reaches out and puts a hand on my shoulder.
I sense his thoughts as he touches my mind.
In the infinite time between heartbeats
everything from the moment I became the Ripper
to standing at the entrance of the Mansion in Hell
is made clear, and it is only now I realize
that the Mansion is a living breathing entity.
It chooses who will enter through its doors.
Those dark ones chosen, the truly dark few
must prove their worth, or face the wrath of the Mansion.

I stared with hard gaze through darkly hooded eyes
at this ancient, yet frail man who seemed to be my father.
it was now crystal clear to me that the monstrous shadows
which hovered over me during my fractured childhood
was this man who called himself Baron Von Crow.
I had always wondered where light ended and evil
darkness began, how killing became so insignificant.
Do I love him, or hate him? No matter, for he would be dead
soon and the King of Darkness would rule Black Rose Mansion.
It would live through my blood and all would bow to me.

The End

Collaboration between Kerry L. Marzock and Michael Hawks