One of Lucien's favorite games was to make his eldest ghoul beg for blood. Literally beg. And Gustaf was very very old, old enough that without the blood, he would surely die. One time, we watched as Lucien made Gustaf crawl across the floor on his belly, Lucien went even further, he would spill his blood on the floor and on his shoes, and make poor Gustaf lick it up. No one dared say a word regarding this obvious cruelty, Gustaf was, after all, just a ghoul.


It was easier after a time, like I could settle into a routine. Simple enough, collect it, throw it in the back of the truck, mind the speed limits, return to base, chunk it into the incinerator. Then wait. Bones always took the longest, sometimes I'd have to shove them around a little, or break them into bits. We're not supposed to leave anything. I do my job. And, I think I'm pretty good at it.


I seek attention, see through me. I'd do anything, be anything, for you. Every moment of my life is spent in anticipation of your next smile. On hands and knees, I beg for your touch. You can beat me, hurt me, pet me, defile me; and all of these things I will hate you for, and in the end, I'll love you more. I know you don't really mean these things, its the only way for you, the only way you know to show your affection. For each stinging bite of the lash, I know you love me. Just don't ignore me. See through my petty cries for attention, I do them on purpose, mistake instructions, undo your hard work, I do all these things to gain your favor and your affection. I hurt, I bleed,
I love, but I am not ignored.


The door was left open, that's how it all started. A singularity, an open door. And for some reason on that day, the door meant something, just staring at me, all open. He'd never left the door open before. I didnt dare walk through it, not that first day. I watched for days, then weeks, and it was always left open. And then one day, the carafe left for me on the counter, it was Thursday, I dumped it in the toilet. I thought I would die then, there was a long period where I thought I would die, more weeks passed, it became routine: I'd watch , do what I was told, each week dumping the contents of the carafe in the toilet, and throughout it all, the door was open. Eventually, was it months later, a year?, eventually I walked through the door. I never imagined it would burn so fast.....


Everything looks so barren, the furniture is gone, and the electricity was shut off yesterday. I'm waiting here, she was supposed to come back. She said she was coming back. I can't leave here, so I listen to the clicking of the clock on the wall, watch the hours go by. Maybe I should go look for her, what if she's hurt or lost. She wouldn't just leave me...would she?


I watch them from afar, all painted pale monsters pretending to be human. I have seen their power, tasted it, felt it, feared it....ultimately desired it. Loreena watches me sometimes, like she's considering it. It's at these times, I make sure she notices, understands how valuable I am to her. After watching them for so many years, I know their rules, I know the games they play...and I can play games too.


"You're never getting out of here, you know". That's what Joe told me, he was sitting there, smoking a cigar, the sentence was muttered in monotone. I wanted to argue, but I couldn't think of anything, any response to those cold words. "When you die, maybe...if you do it right". Joe continued on, swirls of aromatic smoke around his head. I nodded, death was tricky business, sometimes you don't die, they just pull you right back, laugh at your stupidity, humiliate you, and then the torture begins. Joe leaned back, his massive frame creaking in the lawn chair that seemed like it would go at any moment., "Let me tell you what to do..."