Straight Razor Cabaret

My new Vampire: the Requiem character for the Isles of Darkness is more than a little based on a character I created for a PBeM Vampire: the Masquerade game.

One of the main differences is that my Requiem character is male, while the Masquerade character was female. One of the things I did to solidify that character in my mind was write the following fiction piece. Some people may prefer not to read it due to triggers or just plain unpleasantness, so I’ve placed it under a cut.

I’m not sure how well it would stand up to being gender-switched, which may be a flaw in my writing – not that I’m going to claim excellent ability at writing in the first place.

For those who might recognise it, some of the character inspirations come from Aurelio Voltaire’s songs, specifically Straight Razor Caberet and Cathouse Tragedy.

My mistress sat there, watching her closely, intently. I remembered that look, and even the memory makes me shiver to my core. Such magnificence contained within her glorious glare, it can bring anyone to their knees. The new girl had buckled early, and tears flowed down her pretty little face.

Henry responds to a signal I didn’t see and brings over the tray. I remember that tray well. Elegant, silver, with delicate engravings on every surface. On it, rests a plum velvet cushion, gold tassels on the corners. On that, a single perfect razor blade, so sharp you won’t even feel the cut until the blood starts flowing.

The sobbing begins anew, but the new girl stays where she is, resolute even now – or just too scared to run. Running is worse. With shaking hands, she picks up the blade, wincing as a careless slip slices her fingertips. Is that the slightest smile that shadowed my mistress’ lips for a brief second? The new girl raises the blade to her delicate cheekbones, pale skin trembling, but my mistress does not stir; only when new girl is about to start slicing does my mistress speak. “No, my dear. Not this time.”

A trembling wave of relief passes through the new girl. “It wasn’t your face that got you into trouble was it?” And suddenly still, like a rabbit in headlights, the new girl freezes, and shakes her head slowly. My mistress smiles slowly; a predator watching prey, sharp fangs glinting in the light.

The razor shakes slowly across her face as she opens her mouth wide, straining to look into the mirror, straining to look as she makes the first slice. Blood pools in her mouth, and she makes a messy job of it. Wincing at every slice, making slow careful cuts, it’s a wonder she managed to finish cutting through her tongue at all. She’ll learn in time.

Mistress looks pleased at her newest toy, gazing at the red blood dribbling down her chin. She lets Henry take care of the details. The new girl’s surgery will be looked after, and she’ll be back on the floor soon enough. For us, the distraction is over, and it’s back to work; for our audience, the night has just begun.

Mistress never touches us, never punishes us. She knows that we feel agony enough for failing her, and so she lets us make up for our failings with our own penance. No one is unscarred here, but we all bear our scars proudly for having gained them in her service. Perfection does not belong to us mortals – only to our immortal masters, and bearing the semblance of perfection in their presence is far too much to bear. My mistress takes care of us, and we serve her in turn, doing everything she bids in hope that it pleases her. We are hers before all others; we exist only to serve her; we are her Straight Razor Cabaret.