So it began on this night, as it does on most blood tinged nights. The sky darkens to represent that which we crave more dearly than anything set upon us before. The red, the wet, the metal, the life. The moon grows plump with a sanguine song and we rejoice with jubilant throngs filling our dirt strewn streets and packing it flat with dance and merriment. On this night, much like others that came before, I stand with a bottle of unopened wine on the doorstep of my neighbor. In one gloved fist, I hold a folded parchment, an invitation in delicate filigree, ink already flaking beneath my leather grasp. I have arrived late to the celebration.
I knock once, ready to partake in the festivities and pleasures that exist just beyond this threshold. I can hear the celebration inside, the wild cheers, the carnal moans, the cries of unbridled ecstasy. I want to be a part of it, to mingle in the red and the wet but I must receive a proper invite inside before I can partake. It’s only polite.
I knock once more but my call goes unheeded. This does not surprise me though as the celebration is surely too raucous for them to hear my request. They started without me, but I’m certain there will be more left for me to indulge in once the initial celebration burns to smoldered embers. I stand disappointed yes, but this is a festival that rages for more than one night. The moon above will stay red for more nights than just this evening. Yet I have nowhere to go, no hearth to slumber within and so I set my bottle down, remove my peaked cap and nestle into the alcove. There I slumber into the red night as the celebration rages just beyond my grasp.
I awaken the next evening shivering in the amber hued cold and craving the musky heat inside. I am hungry for more than food and my patience is growing thin. I stretch my aged tendons and raise my nails towards the crimson sky, offering what little worship I can from this locale. There is a stained glass window next to the oaken door. The inlaid design depicts the annual festival, the writhing flesh and sheens of sweat depicted with starling craftsmanship. Fittingly the design is tinged red, a plume of flame blooming gently beyond.
I knock again, the third time in two nights. The revelry has died down but I still hear the occasional gasp, the faint and irrepressible moan of worship. At my audible heed, I hear hushed whispers. A stirring beyond the window and the candlelight within is snuffed out, the gossamer curtain swiftly drawn into place.
I have not spoken for some time; I have had no use to do so. But at this time, I part my gummed, blackened lips and call for my neighbor. They must let me in, there is no sense to this cruelty to deny me of wine, flesh and song. There is a clatter of dish ware within, a sudden and startling mad cackle that echoes of the slightest and most tenuous grasp on sanity. My cheeks bloom with want and craven urge, why should they get to delight in the sugar-sweet grasp of a madman’s amygdalan claws while I sit here in the cold, mind racked with the grotesque clarity of a lucid thought? I want to know what they are seeing, feeling, tasting. I ready the full bottle and ponder, just for a moment, to shatter the window and creep within. But no, is my desire truly so intense as to risk blasphemy of this sacred piece of art?
Another sigh from within and the tell-tale sound of something wet sluicing across scuffed, hardwood flooring.
I’m not that strong. Time will tell how long my patience will hold.
One more night. One more night in the sanguine eclipse and we will see how much I partake.
I awaken once more and this time, I decide I have had enough. I knock and call again and this time am greeted with silence. The raucous din within has truly snuffed into completion, a refractory period that will not end until another moonlit cycle. I have missed it, my own celebration and prostration denied by those I had considered strong acquaintances. Yes, I realize that I should have arrived in time for the soiree and I have no one to blame but myself, truly.
Still, the need, the desire, the urge is real and unquenchable. At least…at least I can quench a thirst of a different type. I shatter the neck of the wine bottle against the eave of the front door and take my fill, paying no heed to the jagged edges against my lips. If anything, it only adds to the heady flavor and I savor the rush that befalls my stricken body.
The silence beyond the threshold tells me that the party has ended. For them, yes. But not for me. Those above, those that revel in the light of the blood moon know that all beings of flesh and blood deserve to slake their desire and offer their exaltation for their sake. The ends justify the means, or so some have said in particularly violent days of revelry.
I take one more swig and let the wine flow down my whiskers. Never has it delighted me in such intensity and I ache for more. It’s time to take action. I hurl the remnants at the sacred window and wince for just a moment at the musical tinkling of broken glass. I climb within, savoring the sting of glass against skin and knowing the wounds will come into play briefly.
The parlor within is quiet save the rapid beating of my nervous heart. I smell the scene before I see it, I smell the musk and the salt tinged air. They lie within, broken heaps, red, black, tan and white. A ravenous prism of limbs contorted in the throes of desire and worship. The air smells also sweetly of fruit and it is difficult to distinguish the wine from the blood.
In their revelry, they burnt out too fast, flames of desire and hunger that wanted for nothing more until the air was sucked from their lungs and their life force extinguished in a blaze of glorious ecstasy. I weep with jealousy and step among the dead. My boots squelch in fluid and broken flesh. It makes me smile a little, a brief moment of respite.
I make my way into the sitting room, where the fire has smoldered in the gray stones that surround it. A light haze still drifts as I sit down on a purple velvet couch. My neighbor is there or what remains of them. Their body lies in supplication, vacant eyes gazing towards the moon beyond the high vaulted ceiling, flesh pale as that which gave the flush of life lies pooled around them, soaking into the cushions. I dip a finger in and strain to remove it; it has rapidly congealed. Thankfully, this has not affected the taste, the blessing of sweet and sour and metal that dances on my tongue.
I may have missed the party, but I can still partake in my own revelry. I am owed that much at the very least. I remove all my clothes. I lie down on the couch, dip my finger into the blood (or is it, in fact, wine? They are equal in decadence) and sup once more. I reach out and feel the spent flesh beneath my grasp and gaze at the score of broken, contorted bodies that surround me. I cannot tell where one ends and one begins and it is quite the glorious sight.
My mind races at the possibilities unfolded before me in the silence of the house of celebration. As I gaze about, I feel the slightest twinge at the back of my mind and I know that the insanity is taking hold. And it is oh, so sweet. I prepare myself to partake in my own night of mischief and madness.
My own, personal sanguine soiree where I can worship in whatever way I choose.
Such delight, such revelry and it causes me to laugh at nothing in particular.
Mirth, mischief and madness in supplication to the moon above.
I can think of nothing more delightful.
After all, I deserve to prove my worth to the ones above. And I will have a hell of a time doing so.