Epic Fantasy

Blood, Flesh, and Tears


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Daemos stalks the skeletal streets of Viscrucia looking for a worthy victim. He finds it in the city’s nightmares when a sinister Lord challenges Daemos to claim the unkillable in return for a chance at immortality. The crimson odyssey leads him to monsters, obscure religions, lust, and a transformation no human has ever survived.

Something emerges from the depths of the Suffering eager to drag him there, but the Lord has other plans. A storm grows. Viscrucia evolves. More and more want Daemos’s head. Flesh will be paid.

Pain is just the beginning.

Daemos throws open the flesh curtain entrance to the weapon shop and collapses onto the counter, dripping blood. “The Black Fangs!” he demands, gasping for air. He slams a bloody eyeball and ear on the payment scale. The few fingernails he has left are chiseled into talons. “Now!”

“That’s not enough,” the large flesh peddler says. Holding a bloody scythe, he crosses his burly arms. Daemos knows the posture and stance the peddler is taking. Feeble attempts at bartering are pointless. The peddler’s ready to cleave him in two without a second’s hesitation.

“I’m no tourist.”

“Then you wouldn’t be buying a weapon. Viscrucians acquire their own.”

Daemos eyes the Black Fangs across the wooden counter. The dual-bladed weapon is forged of black iron. Its two black hooks resembling fangs precede two spoons, guaranteed to scoop out whatever the teeth rip through.

“Death is knocking,” the peddler adds.

Coughing blood, Daemos grabs the Fangs. The peddler tightens his grip on the scythe.

Daemos slices off his two end fingers with one of the teeth. Grimacing in pain, he pushes them over to the peddler. “Consider it a down payment. More’s coming, I promise.”

Esim, an immense man, throws open the flesh curtain to the shop. Blood runs down the side of his face from his missing eye and ear. The brute is riddled with scars. A stump lies where his right hand once did. His left raises a stubby ax, eagerly awaiting Daemos’s flesh. “I’ll feast like a king selling your flesh, ghoul!”

The ax races toward its victim. Daemos spins away and puts his new weapon to work. The Black Fangs tear through Esim’s testicles, scooping them out along the way. The brute’s breath escapes him as he plummets to the ground. Daemos steps over him. He rams his razor-like fingernails underneath the base of Esim’s skull in the back of his neck.

Daemos pulls his head back toward him and slams the Black Fangs into his eyes. Esim wails. Using the top of his skull as leverage, Daemos snaps the Fangs back, cracking open the top of Esim’s head.

Daemos breathes deeply. He steps back to the counter and presents the additional payment. “Here, one brain, and a set of nuts.” Both squish as he places the matter on the scale.

The flesh peddler stands there unimpressed. “That’s more than enough.”

“Good, because I want my fingers back.”

The peddler chuckles. “What for?”

Blood and sweat run down Daemos’s face. He stares into the peddler's eyes. “What’d you say to me?”

The peddler leans in, staring right back. “What do you want them for, bleeder? You’re gonna drop dead any moment, and soon I’ll be selling you for parts.”

Daemos stands up straight.

The weapons dealer tilts his head black and looks up at Daemos. He is a gargantuan brute with a shaved head. Blood pulses out from his mutilated body. Flies buzz, following the trail of death.

Daemos slides his hand to his severed fingers. Blood spurts onto them, and the tissue slowly reconnects. The peddler’s eyes widen with disbelief. The blood seeps back into his fingers as if rewound in time. Not even a scar remains. Perfect.

“That’s impossible. How did you do that? I’ve never seen anything like it,” the peddler musters.

Daemos raises his hand and wiggles all his fingers. Before the peddler can say another word, Daemos rips the peddler’s throat out with the Black Fangs. “Don’t ever question me.”

Daemos grabs a jar from the counter and sets it in front of him. The man collapses. His gaping neck lands on the jar and fills it with crimson.

Daemos walks outside. He scrawls the word “Closed” with his bloody hand across the curtain entrance. Limping back in, he slams the wooden door shut behind it. 

About the author

Robert Weber has worked in front of and behind the camera for decades in film, television, commercials, and sports, and is a former NCAA Division I Tennis Coach. His love for horror began as a child, watching the Crypt Keeper read Tales from the Crypt. Robert and his son Feyd live in Omaha, NE. view profile

Published on October 13, 2020

70000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Epic Fantasy