Blood for Blood

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: the Long Awaited Sequel to The Butcher’s Daughter!

OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement. I’ll give you that. But even an old man can dream…



Lex Talionis

Chapter One

Blood for blood. I fall asleep with these words ringing in my ears each night. I awake with these same words lingering on my lips at first light. I take strength from these words without fail each and every day. As I meander aimlessly about, stumbling in the dark, these words, as wicked as they may be, give my life purpose in an otherwise purposeless world. Blood for blood is my rallying cry. Blood for blood is my daily, ungodly prayer.

Revenge, raw and sweet, unbridled by any moral limits, unrestrained by any pretense of humanity, is my North Star. Wrath is the course by which I set my compass. Except for the children – perhaps – there are no innocents. In the end each of us richly deserves our fate.

You wish to know who I am? I will tell you plainly who I am. I am a child of the gutter. I am the daughter of a whore. I am the bastard child, the last child, of the last of the Kings of Umaill – though a common butcher raised me.

Some call me el Cascabela Muta, the silent rattle snake, a monstrous creature found deep in the sweltering jungles of New Spain. I never cared for the comparison. The description lacks imagination and imagination is something I hardly lack. Even so, I will confess the name rings true. I strike without warning. I strike without hesitation or reservation of any kind and when I strike, I feel no regret, no remorse or shame. My enemies never see me coming. They never see where I go. The wounds I inflict are fatal, always.

Despite my sex, the blood of warriors flows through my veins and I have a wanderer’s restless soul. My heart rejoices most when I am standing on a rolling deck, navigating across the open water with a brisk wind at my back and fair skies above my head. At such times I can pinch a fleeting moment of peace; I can quiet my troubled soul. Sailing across the vast oceans, I am made clean again.

But now I reek of stinking death. I glide across a poisoned sea and roam over hostile hinterlands stained in blood, always on the prow, restlessly tracking my elusive, loathsome prey. Nothing can still the raging beast inside me. Grim Death, uncompromising and absolute, follows me like shadow wherever I go. Death and I are fast and inseparable friends.

An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. A life for a life. Lex Talionis is my war cry.

This is who I am. It was not always so.



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