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Plutarch Octavius was born into one of the wealthiest families in all of Europe. All the other noble families within a fortnight’s journey arrived to witness the birth of a new elite. Plutarch had the blackest hair that anybody had ever seen, eyes that looked like ice, and the fairest skin in all of the country, and possibly the world. Everyone in England with a title knew Plutarch and his family, for they were rumored to be the descendants of an Ancient Roman house. As a youth, he was admired, almost worshipped, by elites. He supped with royal families from all over the world; he was educated by the greatest physicians, philosophers, historians, mathematicians, and holy men. He was destined to inherit the fortune and title of his family, given the fact the he was an only child, and the only child of his father, the sole presumptive of the family’s assets. He was meant for greatness since birth; however, fate took a darker course of action.
It was the day before Plutarch’s fifth birthday, and the estate was buzzing with activity. Plutarch enjoyed to watch the servants cook the delicious food. He had grown fond of the cooks and spent much of his time below in the servants hall. The servants' hall is one level below the soil, and is where all the unclean activity takes place.
“How ar ya t’day, little lard?” asked the head cook, a man that Plutarch loved more than his own father.
“Wonderful! Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am breathless with anticipation,” squeaked Plutarch’s chirpy voice. He sat on top of the counters which lined all the walls down there, and watched the servants go about their business, preparing for the events of tomorrow.
“YOU ARE NOT GOING TOMORROW NIGHT!” a maid rudely shouted to her young daughter, who was also a maid.
“But why?” the daughter sadly replied. Her voice so weak that Plutarch’s ears had to strain to even hear.
“Because! You heard the gypsy. Now I do not want to hear another word on the matter, young lady. Do you hear?”
Little Plutarch, despite his esteemed education, had not even the faintest idea of what a gypsy was, so he paid the exchange no more thought, and went about his day.
On his fifth birthday, hundreds of nobles gathered at the most luxurious of villas, so beautiful it could rival Olympus. Ecstasy was in the air that filled the lungs of the gods among men.
Plutarch was held by his mother during even the most virgin of storms. He loved how his mother would sit next to him in bed. The warmth of her body and the soft hymns she would sing never failed to put little Plutarch at ease.
“My sweet child, there is nothing to fear. The storm will pass, and the sun will be shining tomorrow. Do not pay mind to thunderous booms, but instead picture the birds singing their songs, the bees gathering nectar, and all the warmth of the sun,” Plutarch’s mother would preach reassuringly.
With tears streaming down his face, Plutarch sniffled,
“O… Okay. Mummy, you’re right.”
Plutarch was saddened that his mother could not be here with him, due to her untimely death, and he ran away from the festivities to be alone in the ever-expanding wood that surrounded the estate.
The moon, full of grace but nonetheless ominous, was blinding to him. It seemed to be getting brighter. The leaves of the impressive oaks began to rustle. The winds howled a howl that would strike fear through the alpha of alpha wolves. Plutarch could not help but to stop and stare at this moon. The light was different, white, but not moon-white. He wished to look away, but his neck would not turn, his legs would not budge, and the poor child collapsed.
He returned three days later, but he did not walk. He awoke in his bed believing it to be the day before his birthday. He thought the whole event had been nothing more than a terrible dream and quickly put it out of his mind. As he got ready, more like the servants getting him ready, he felt rather queer. Strange thoughts started to appear in his mind, dark thoughts, savage thoughts. He had felt compelled to attack the maid that was laying out his outfit for the morning. No sooner did the he register the thought than he found himself on top of the maid, biting, clawing, and hitting her. Since he was a young child, no real damage had been done. However, his father, a man of discipline, punished his son harshly. The Plutarch was whipped ten times with a belt made of a fine deer hide and was forced to swap places with the maid for seven days and seven nights. But the boy only got worse.
As he got older, and reached adolescence, his problems only got more severe. Things started to go missing in the nearby village, including animals and small children. Fires would start in the middle of the night, and soon the villagers believed that there was a curse over the land. The villagers began to suspect that something was off about their young lord, so Plutarch learned to control his violent compulsions, and turned to more sophisticated and intricate methods of hurting people. He tied his father’s cat upside down hanging from the gorgeous diamond chandelier that hung above the dining room hall, with a cloth in its mouth, and slowly watched it starve as his father asked every day where his cat was.
“Have you seen Mary?” asked his father.
“Father, I have not a facet of a clue as to the whereabouts of your cat,” sighed Plutarch in a tone of discontentment, as if he had an awful taste in his mouth. Then, once Mary began to fill the house with the odor of death and rot, the he cut her down, skinned her, and prepared the rotten flesh for a soup that would be served to royal guests that his father had invited to discuss economics. He swapped the lamb meat out for the cat meat instead. He had an immaculate smile on his face all day.
When Plutarch became a man, the voices started.
“Come play with us!”
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
“You know you want to.” The voices each had a unique sound, but only the Plutarch heard them. They told him to kill, and so he did. The first man he killed was his father. Plutarch was the only heir to the considerable fortune of his father. He slipped a concoction into his father’s white wine, which was produced by one of the many vineyards he owned, and by the third sip, he was far enough into sleep that at first, he thought his father was already dead. How boring, he thought, I can’t have fun with a dead man. The screams are the best part. Then his father began to let out boisterous snores, that filled up every room in the estate like the winter chill. He dragged his father to the dungeon under the estate, which everyone had forgotten about, but he discovered it years ago when he was but a child.
Plutarch was dragging the limp body of a toddler from the nearby village, and had to hide the poor thing in the wood. He needed a place to hide it. At treeline, the invisible divide between the savage and the civilized, he found a door that lead into the ground that was covered with decades of leaves and other forest debris. Perfect, Plutarch thought.
The dungeon was lit by a single torch that Plutarch had placed there before dinner. He dragged his father into a cell littered with bones of the animals that the he had practiced various torture methods on. He strapped his father to a massive wooden “X” in the middle of the cell and waited for his father to awaken. He decided to burn his father awake with the torch. Screams filled the humid air, and a smirk appeared on the Plutarch’s face.
“Why are you doing this? You are my son. Release me at once, I am your father!” he pleaded, then demanded. Plutarch put a gag in his father’s mouth. He proceeded to castrate, whip, cut, and finally slit his throat. An ocean of blood lay atop the stone floor, and bits of his father now lay with the bones. Plutarch made not a single sound during the whole ordeal. Not even his breath made a noise. He loved seeing others in pain.
He inherited the entirety of his family’s riches, and now represented an ancient house. Plutarch, now lord Octavius, hosted royal guests, met with high ranking nobles, and managed the vineyards and other business ventures of his forefathers. He was now a master of hiding his madness, and nobody knew of the abominations he regularly indulged in, all the villagers that he kept in that godforsaken dungeon, never to be seen again. He enjoyed toying with his victims. He particularly took delight in throwing two or more individuals in a cell and telling them to fight to the death. The victor shall be released and win a prize. The “prize” was death by torture, but to be fair, the victors were given the most delicious feast that they had ever tasted, for Plutarch’s victims were the poor: people who nobody would miss.
Plutarch had a man, William Morv, that was new to the dungeon of horrors. He was strong, agile, and intelligent, and thusly aggravated Plutarch. So, Plutarch decided to set him free and to sic the wolves, kept near starvation, after the helpless prey. To his dismay, William escaped, and headed towards the village. Plutarch slaughtered the pack.
The next night, he found a mob on his estate. None of his servants had showed up to work, and many of them were a part of the crowd. They burned the estate to the ground. But Plutarch was clever. As the fire raged through his home, he ran to the dungeon and grabbed a fresh human carcass, and placed it in his bed. He ran back down to the dungeon and waited. He waited two days and nights to reappear. The scene above was horrid. Ash and charr was all that remained, for even though it had been a glorious palace, it had not a piece of stone in its architecture. Nothing remained but the charred corpse.
“Everyone believes me deceased!” He cheered.
“Of course they do,” responded one of the voices. “And now it’s time to play.”
“What shall we do?” Plutarch inquired.
“An eye for an eye,” another voice calmly informed.
“But they did not harm me. Why, I have not a scratch on my body.”
“You are correct. However, you only draw breath because you outwitted the townspeople.”
“You’re right. Yes. I must have my vengeance! They burned my family’s estate to the ground! Look! They even salted the scorched earth! They desire my head! Well, they have unleashed hell upon themselves. I’ll let them sup and drink in celebration, let them taste the sweetness of this faux victory. For tomorrow, the sweetness will turn sour and their flesh shall melt from their bones!” he shouted to all the voices in his head, and to any woodland creature for miles an every direction.
The next night, he gathered all the whale oil he could find from the stock cellars, which remained largely intact, and waited for the townspeople to fall asleep. The town in question was quite small, only housing about three thousand denizens, and all the homes were tightly packed together. When the last light went out, he began to lay out a trail of whale oil, connecting every home and any building that might have humans dwelling within. Then, he dropped the torch that he used as light, and watched from the town square as the fire spread. It spread like a spider web of glorious hellfire. The screaming began not long after. Plutarch rejoiced as the screams grew louder. He carried with him a rifle, just in case anyone tried to escape. The first ball flew through the head of a child, whose mother lay dead and ashen on the ground.
When he was certain every citizen was dead, and every structure was reduced to rubble, he was happy. Until the voice. The first voice of a woman that had ever entered his head.
“How dare you!” criticized the woman.
“What do you mean?” Plutarch retorted, rather perplexed.
“YOU KILLED CHILDREN! YOU ARE A MONSTER! TAKE THAT RIFLE, END YOUR LIFE, AND BURN IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY!” Plutarch’s eyes filled with tears and he dropped to his knees.
“Mother, I’m sorry.”
“I’m not your mother! You killed her. Hahaha!”
“NO I DID NOT!”
“Yes you did,” the woman’s voice spoke calmly, like the uneasy stillness before a storm.
“Mother, I’m so sorry!” Plutarch cried.
Plutarch was four years of age when it happened. His mother had taken him to a beautiful lake on the estate to swim in. They were both having a blast.
“Float for me darling, can you do it?” his mother said, in a voice so lovely that the angels envied her. Perhaps that’s why they took her. She was too beautiful, too precious. Little Plutarch laid atop the water, and his mother cheered.
“Did I do it, Mummy?” squeaked his voice.
“You did it magnificently, my son!” his mother beamed. Plutarch grew weary of swimming, and sat along the bank watching his mother. He watched as the snake swam into the water, and he watched it approach his mother. He said not a word. He froze. The snake got closer. Then it went under.
“AH!” his mother screamed in pain. “Plutarch, find your father, now!” He did not move. He watched as his mother’s body stopped moving. She had managed to swim to the bank with the last few drops of strength that she had in her body. Plutarch stood over her and studied her face as the light faded from her eyes.
Plutarch was drowning in his own tears now. The sun had started to rise. He was captivated by the strange sight of it. It was yellow, but not sun yellow. The brightness of the sun was increasing rapidly. Plutarch could not help but to stare at this peculiar sunrise through his tears. A wind so strong that it almost knocked him down blew through the town. The sun was blinding. Blinding. Yellow. Now white. Gone.