The Eyes of Mictlan Origins: Marinaby Michael Rappa / Fantasy
The Eyes of Mictlan Origins
By Michael Rappa
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, organizations, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright 2017 by Michael Rappa.
All rights reserved.
Cover by Michael Rappa.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only and may not be re-sold or given away to other people. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the author, except in the course of writing a review, for which short excerpts may be quoted.
The following short story is part of a series of tales excerpted from my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan. Although the novel is primarily a dark fantasy, I designed the flashback chapters to be self-contained origin stories that would allow me to play around in different genres. The installment you are about to read, Marina, blends historical fiction with the supernatural.
All of these stories are available for free as part of my The Eyes of Mictlan Origins series. If you enjoy this story and would like to venture deeper into this world, I invite you to read the full novel, which can be purchased for $0.99 at all major booksellers. Visit michaelrappa.net for more information.
Thank you for reading,
A dense fog flooded the city of London. In the slums of Whitechapel a solitary woman strolled along the eerily quiet streets, white puffs of breath escaping her lips before dispersing in the cold November air. If any of her contemporaries had seen her they would have called her crazy, but they were too busy hiding. A serial killer had recently claimed his latest victim in an act of brutality so gruesome and shocking as to drive most of the district’s prostitutes behind closed doors. Any woman foolish enough to walk the streets of Whitechapel in the middle of the night by herself was practically begging to become his next victim—which was exactly what Marina was counting on, for on this night she was the predator, not the prey.
The sick bastard would pay in blood for what he did to Ginger. Marina would never forget seeing the pile of gore that had once been her dear friend. She had screamed at the top of her lungs, tears streaming down her face, as a constable dragged her out of the room. Why had she pushed past the policemen and photographers gathered around Ginger’s place? She knew something horrible had happened; why did she have to see it? The image of Ginger mutilated beyond recognition had burned itself into her brain. To everyone else she was just another chapter in a sensational story, a curiosity, a headline: Mary Jane Kelly, Latest Victim of Jack the Ripper. But to Marina she would always be her friend and lover, Ginger.
It still sounded funny to call herself Marina after going by the name of Maria for her entire life, but it was only a one-letter difference, and she did so to honor the man who had changed her life.
Maria had first met Xavier at an outdoor market when someone tapped her on the shoulder while she was perusing produce. She turned around to see a well-dressed, dark-haired man staring at her in disbelief.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“You look just like someone I once knew. The resemblance is uncanny.” He bowed his head. “I apologize for the intrusion.”
Maria interrupted him as he turned to walk away. “Wait. What’s your name?”
He was obviously a wealthy man and Maria could see in his face that she was the spitting image of a woman who had once meant a great deal to him. She could turn that to her advantage. “Care to buy a lady a drink?”
Over the months they had developed a close relationship. Xavier hadn’t even minded when Maria revealed her profession. On the contrary, he paid very well, and he wasn’t like the multitude of perverts she had dealt with in the past; his only quirk was that he wanted to call her Marina.
Honey, for the price you’re paying you can call me anything you want, she had thought at the time.
Xavier always made her feel like more than just a common prostitute. He even allowed her into his home, an extreme rarity for a woman of her profession. He was the only man who had ever really understood her. Thus, after the murder of Ginger, the first person she thought of was Xavier.
She desperately needed to see him, to have him hold her. She could not get the image of Ginger’s lifeless corpse out of her head; she needed to replace it with something, anything. She wiped fresh tears from her face as she turned the corner toward Xavier’s house. She ran up the steps and banged on his front door.
In a moment the door opened to reveal Xavier. “Marina? What is it?”
“She’s dead! That sick son of a bitch killed her!”
He took her arm. “Come inside.”
Xavier led her into the parlor and together they sat on the sofa.
“Tell me what happened.”
“Ginger’s dead! That Ripper fuck tore her to shreds!” She sobbed openly, burying her head in Xavier’s chest.
“I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do?”
Maria lifted her watery eyes to meet his with a look of fierce hatred. “You can help me kill the bastard.”
Xavier leaned back, his lips rising into a thin smile. “I could help you, but revenge is sweeter when carried out personally.”
Maria looked astonished. “You won’t help me?”
“On the contrary, my darling, I can help you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.”
“What does that mean?”
Xavier leaned forward and took her hands. “What would you say if I offered you immortality?”
“I . . . what are you talking about?”
“Would you like to have the power to tear this Ripper limb from limb?”
“Of course, but I don’t—”
“I can give you that power. I can make you stronger than 20 men. We can live together for thousands of years, never growing old, never getting sick.”
“Xavier, you’re not making any sense.”
“What if I told you that I was almost two-thousand years old?”
She jumped to her feet. “You’re a nutter!” She stormed out of the parlor and around the corner toward the front door—to find Xavier standing right there. “What? How did you—”
“Like I said, I have great power. I can give this power to you and you can take your revenge. Normally I do not give people a choice in the matter, but I have too much respect for you than to bring you across without your consent. The choice is yours.”
The rest, as they say, was history. Maria had accepted Xavier’s offer, which he had granted with only one condition.
“Your name is now Marina,” he had said.
Thus, Maria was reborn as the much more powerful Marina, who now prowled the streets of Chapel Hill in search of Jack the Ripper.
Marina thought back to the last time she had seen Ginger alive on the night before her murder. They had eaten an early dinner and then made love. Marina left shortly before 7 p.m. to begin her nightly search for clients. Ginger had asked her to stay and skip the night’s work, but Marina could not afford to take even a single night off, so she said goodbye with a kiss on the cheek. After Marina left, Ginger had apparently decided to go out after all—only to meet her doom. Marina blamed herself. If she had stayed Ginger would still be alive. She couldn’t bring herself to go to the funeral but she visited the grave afterward.
Now, only she could speak for Ginger—and the Ripper would hear her message loud and clear. She had tried to lure him out the last few nights to no avail. On the previous night she thought she had finally hit pay dirt, but the man turned out to be nothing more than your average sex-crazed bully. She thanked him for his patronage by slashing his throat and drinking his blood.
The Ripper had changed his modus operandi with Ginger. The previous victims had all been killed quickly on the street and then partially mutilated, but for some reason he had entered Ginger’s home and taken his time turning her into a pile of meat. Perhaps this was what he had wanted to do with the other women but had not had the time. Either way the sick fuck had murdered his last woman; Marina would see to that, even if she had to patrol the streets all night long, every single night of the week until he surfaced again. Fortunately, such vigilance would prove unnecessary, for this was her lucky night.
Marina turned down an alley to find a tall man dressed in a long black coat standing before her. The fog obscured most of his face but Marina could see that he was very well dressed, with a white cuff protruding through the left arm of his coat and a long white collar that came down over the front. In his left breast pocket he wore a bright red handkerchief. He appeared to be carrying some sort of bag in