this website is scented! imagine with your nose the musty upholstery of an RV left in an empty lot, but someone has left a fresh cup of bergamot tea on the table

beneath the mildew and citrus there is the distinct sharpness of copper. and though you recognize it, it does not stir feelings of dread, but rather a sense of deep calm.

whatever resides here does not intend to harm, and is quite content with your company.


marcel was raised in a small, quiet town southwest of hannover.

though the family he was born into wasn't well-off, they were pleasant and good-humored, and their proximity to the historic city offered many opportunities.

with his quiet, focused demeanor, it was speculated that marcel would make a fine artist, perhaps even an engineer or architect.

but it was a combination of bad fortune and worse company that pushed him down a different path.

his mid-20s saw him wrapped up in illegal drug trade, supplying cocaine to local bars and nightclubs.

the work was steady, until he was offered a promotion of sorts--a request to pull a thorn from his boss's side.

the offer was more money than he'd ever seen. they'd supply the gun, all they asked of him was that he pull the trigger.

and after the assignment was carried out--as he stood over his first body in awed silence--a realization dawned on him. not only did he have the stomach for it, he had a taste for it.

but a life as a contract killer isn't one you can brag about, and his grisly occupation, while lucrative, came at the expense of ordinary life.

marcel grew detached.

he withdrew from his family, gave up on romantic pursuits, tried to fill the void with the finest wine and cigars and luxuries that his ill-gotten money could buy.

then a struggle left him injured, and when he gazed upon his freshly-scarred face, the feeling of invincibility began to crumble.

something within him shifted . . . and feeling the walls beginning to close in on him, he fled the country.

it was the winter of 2000 that he stepped off the plane into america.

here he was a stranger to everyone. here he was free to remake himself.

falling back quite comfortably on his savings, he tried to lay low, settling into a quieter life.

but three years later, just as he was beginning to feel as though he'd successfully left the violence behind, a letter found him.

the writer claimed to know him, requesting his service in exchange for their silence.

his heart sank as he turned it over, scanning the assignment written out.

he was a fool to believe he could outrun his past, he realized. he found no choice but to comply.

still, he dared to hope. one final job, and perhaps then it would truly be over.

he purchased a new gun--noting with some humor how effortless it was to procure weapons in america--then on the date written, he strolled into a tower downtown and took the elevator up.

the shot rang true.

but his mark didn't fall, didn't stagger.

the older man with grey-blonde hair simply circled his desk, closing the wound before his very eyes. the smile on his face was pleasant. approving. as if . . .

as if he'd been expecting it.

as if he'd arranged for it.

the pieces began to come together, but moments before marcel unraveled the truth, the man's jaws were clamped around his throat.

marcel was bound to his sire not by the exchange of blood itself, but by the power of his commands.

his voice carried a weight that made it impossible to resist.

marcel became his favorite weapon, a tool to protect his domain, and once again he found himself dragged back into a grim routine of violence.

vampire or not, marcel knew he was a monster. the truth was inescapable, and though he was powerless to change it, the night introduced him to other unfortunate souls trapped in their own cruel cycles, and they stirred a sense of sympathy in him.

he developed a soft spot for strays, lost fledglings and masterless familiars, watching over them in his own distant way.

but whatever small kindness he shows them . . .

he keeps them at arm's-length, better accustomed to the company of his roaches.

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♫ : wilder wein

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