The Mask of Red DeathMature

Kera rushed through the darkened streets, avoiding any source of light. There were dozens of police and S.W.A.T. men out on patrol this night. Because ISSK was random in there timing of the Killers Games, the police had to wait until people started to show up dead in rapid procession to call the big guns in. Kera wasn't worried though. She was the Masked Artist. She had never been caught. 

Rounding a corner, Kera found her target. 

He was a large man, and not in the way of being obese either. In his hefty arms he held the dead corpse of a young girl. Upon closer inspection, Kera recognized her as Songbird, a Killer who sang beautifully just before she killed. She was extremely skilled in close combat and had nearly killed Kera a few years before. This man had gotten her?

He turned on impulse as Kera approached, unloading an entire clip - or the rest of a clip - into Kera. The bullets sank into her full leather padding and stopped, knocking her small frame to the ground. 

THe man thought her dead, so he moved from the shadows, dropping Songbird's corpse as he came. He had a dark cloak covering his body, leaving his face covered in darkness, and a suit on. So, he was a businessman? 

"Two atrocities in one night," he spat, once he was hovering over Kera. Being in the darkness of the alley and having her mask on, the man did not see her eyes. Perfect. 

Kera waited for a moment, until the man looked to his other victim, before she struck. Pulling two crossbows out, she silently shot two silver bolts into the large man. One in the arm, one in the leg. Perfect. 

"What the..." The man turned, now fueled by adrenaline, and attacked Kera, who was still on the ground. Though she could feel Jim panicking, Kera just smiled and took a deep breath. Now was the time to set up. Art took time, like always, but a real artist knew WHEN to set up their tools and when to create. Kera had the set up, now to paint.

The man's fist came down on Kera, but she easily maneuvered out of the way, causing him to smash his hand against the ground. He cursed and turned to where Kera was standing up. Such a brute he was. As if she had insulted him out loud, he attacked in a roar of rage. Kera started to worry that others might hear, but thought better of it. Big guy attacking a smaller guy? It was in her favor.

The other man seemed to realize this as Kera dodged another punch and quieted himself. "Clever woman," he said, his voice now holding a hint of pain, "Tis a shame you travel through the darkness."

Kera laughed silently. "You will be a pretty dancer."

The man cocked his head, as if questioning the obvious statement, then attacked again. And yet again, Kera swept him aside. The purpose for the bolts were to slow and they were working beautifully. It even gave Kera time to admire her latest model. He had a handsome face, sadly, but his body seemed to ache with desire. The desire to be art. What art should she make? Handsome men were never good as models due to their faces taking attention away, but.... Maybe Poe? 

Yes! That would work!

"Do you like Edgar Allen Poe?" 

The man swung his fist, yet again missing as Kera dodged gracefully. "Cursed one, please do not speak, lest your words turn me further into darkness." His movements were getting slower. He seemed to realize this and back off. Kera saw him start to pull something metallic from his suits pocket. 

Kera went on the offensive, knocking the small gun from his grip and kicking him in his leg, where the bolt still stuck him. He grunted heavily and tried to grab in his other pocket, only to miss. The blood loss was getting to him. Quickly!


"Have you finished yet?"

Kera turned to see Jack, her fedora hiding her face at the moment, walking toward her. Kera didn't answer, but watched as Jack slightly stumbled. She saw Kera's art. Kera actually started to hope it impressed Jack. Maybe it would?

It did not. "Let us leave Ji- er, I mean Kera." With that she turned. Kera took one look back at her piece before following. 

On the wall, nailed to it with large metal stakes, was the large man's body. The cloak and suit he once wore was now mostly red and torn. The girl he killed was posed on the ground as a lady fainting. It was almost believable. Why, who wouldn't faint when they saw a man with his face skinned clean off, his eyes removed, and his clothing covered in his own blood. It was just normal, really.

Kera laughed silently to herself as she followed Jack. Such a good night.

The End

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