Blood

  • A Deadly Terror That Had Seized Upon All

    It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all.

    He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter, having attained the extremity of the velvet apartment, turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer. There was a sharp cry –and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero. Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.

    The wild courage of despair: a screech of blood orange and a splash of blood entangled in a corpse-mask of tattered white sandalwood stained with balsam and a grime-crusted winding sheet.

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  • Blood Amber

    Slivers of warm, pulsating blood forever crystallized in golden amber resin.

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  • Blood Popsicle

    The scent of frozen Type O negative.

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  • Centzon Totochtin

    The Four Hundred divine rabbits of the Aztec pantheon that preside over parties and drunkenness.

    Bittersweet Mexican cocoa with rum, red wine, and a scent redolent of sacrificial blood.

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  • Dead for Filth

    From the ooky spooky mind of horror personality and screenwriter, Michael Varrati, comes the REVRY Original Podcast DEAD FOR FILTH, for all things queer horror and beyond. Dead For Filth brings you the best queer & horror icons out of the closet and into the night to talk about the genre they love.

    Listen to DEAD FOR FILTH on REVRY, iTunes or SoundCloud.

    Raw Patchouli, opoponax, and a coppery dry blood exhale.

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  • Eau de Ghoul

    They all started telling stories, then, of how fine and wonderful a thing it was to be a ghoul, of all the things they had crunched up and swallowed down with their powerful teeth. Impervious they were to disease or illness, said one of them. Why, it didn’t matter what their dinner had died of, they could just chomp it down. They told of the places they had been, which mostly seemed to be catacombs and plague-pits (“Plague Pits is good eatin’,” said the Emperor of China, and everyone agreed.) They told Bod how they had got their names and how he, in his turn, once he had become a nameless ghoul, would be named, as they had been.

    “But I don’t want to become one of you,” said Bod.

    “One way or another,” said the Bishop of Bath and Wells, cheerily, “you’ll become one of us. The other way is messier, involves being digested, and you’re not really around very long to enjoy it.”

    “But that’s not a good thing to talk about,” said the Emperor of China.”Best to be a Ghoul. We’re afraid of nuffink!”

    And all the ghouls around the coffin-wood fire howled at this statement, and growled and sang and exclaimed at how wise they were, and how mighty, and how fine it was to be scared of nothing.

    Dessicated skin coated in blackened ginger, cinnamon, and mold-flecked dirt, with cumin, bitter clove, leather, and dried blood.

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  • Fighter

    Leather, musk, blood, and steel.

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  • God’s Own Country

    “Yes, it’s still God’s Own Country,” said the announcer, a news reporter pronouncing the final tag line. “The only question is, which gods?”

    Circuit boards, cathode rays, and exhaust ramming against frankincense, myrrh, soil, and blood.

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  • Hinzelmann

    Where Hinzelmann had been standing stood a male child, no more than five years old. His hair was dark brown, and long. He was perfectly naked, save for a worn leather band around his neck. He was pierced with two swords, one of them going through his chest, the other entering at his shoulder, with the point coming out beneath the rib-cage. Blood flowed through the wounds without stopping and ran down the child’s body to pool and puddle on the floor. The swords looked unimaginably old.

    The little boy stared up at Shadow with eyes that held only pain.

    And Shadow thought to himself, of course. That’s as good a way as any other of making a tribal god. He did not have to be told. He knew.

    You take a baby and you bring it up in the darkness, letting it see no one, touch no one, and you feed it well as the years pass, feed it better than any of the village’s other children, and then, five winters on, when the night is at its longest, you drag the terrified child out of its hut and into the circle of bonfires, and you pierce it with blades of iron and of bronze. Then you smoke the small body over charcoal fires until it is properly dried, and you wrap it in furs and carry it with you from encampment to encampment, deep in the Black Forest, sacrificing animals and children to it, making it the luck of the tribe. When, eventually, the thing falls apart from age, you place its fragile bones in a box, and you worship the box; until one day the bones are scattered and forgotten, and the tribes who worshipped the child-god of the box are long gone; and the child-god, the luck of the village, will be barely remembered, save as a ghost or a brownie: a kobold.

    Shadow wondered which of the people who had come to northern Wisconsin 150 years ago, a woodcutter, perhaps, or a mapmaker, had crossed the Atlantic with Hinzelmann living in his head.

    And then the bloody child was gone, and the blood, and there was only an old man with a fluff of white hair and a goblin smile, his sweater-sleeves still soaked from putting Shadow into the bath that had saved his life.

    The luck of the tribe: black pine pitch and gouts of blood, darkness and bonfires that cast long shadows.

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  • Mage

    All mystique and thrumming power: gurjum balsam, Sumatran dragon’s blood resin, olibanum, galangal, oleo gum resin, and frankincense.

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  • Mithras

    “…You run into Mithras yet? Red cap. Nice kid.”

    “No, I don’t think so.”

    “Well . . . I’ve never seen Mithras around here. He was an army brat. Maybe he’s back in the Middle East, taking it easy, but I expect he’s probably gone by now. It happens. One day every soldier in the empire has to shower in the blood of your sacrificial bull. The next they don’t even remember your birthday.”

    Oblations of milk, oil, honey, and blood.

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  • Moons of Saturn: Hati

    East sat the crone,

    in Iárnvidir,

    Fenrir’s progeny:

    of all shall be

    one especially

    the moon’s devourer,

    in a troll’s semblance.

    Hati Hróðvitnisson, He Who Hates, the Enemy, He Who Swallows the Moon. The son of Fenris, he feasts on the flesh of the dead and on the final day, he will devour the moon and spatter the skies with blood.

    He is sated with the last breath

    of dying men;

    the gods’ seat he

    with red gore defiles:

    swart is the sunshine

    then for summers after;

    all weather turns to storm.

    Frost-limned fur, hackles hunched with insatiable, implacable rage, and death-white fangs crusted with clove-tinted blood.

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  • Plutonian

    Once the world’s greatest, most beloved superhero, he has now become its greatest villain — a capricious and vengeful god who haunts the skies and toys daily with six billion lives.

    Soapy cleanliness sullied by blood and ashes.

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  • Quintessence of Dust

    “What a piece of work is a man!”
    “What is this quintessence of dust?”

    The passing: beeswax and smoke, yellowed paper and well-worn leather books, droplets of spilled ink, faded incense, blood-tinged salty tears, and the metal of the knife that skewers that illiterate zombie philistine’s portrait.

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  • The Blood Garden

    Vast open tents have been erected further down the lane. Ornately carved wooden poles support swaths of drooping black lace and blood-crusted burgundy velvet. Grapevines and ivy creep over the beams in the tent and curl like cocoons around bodies that hang upside-down in the caliginous gloom of the tents. Within the shadows, pale figures recline on divans covered in moldering, frayed fabric. As you pass, a feral, white-haired man hoists a tall-stemmed crystal glass of deep red liquid in a toast to you.

    Blood accord, bitter clove, English ivy, Tempranillo grape, red currant, oak, leather, blackberry leaf, and ginger lily.

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  • The Carousel

    Calliope music played: a Strauss waltz, stirring and occasionally discordant. The wall as they entered was hung with antique carousel horses, hundreds of them, some in need of a lick of paint, others in need of a good dusting; above them hung dozens of winged angels constructed rather obviously from female store-window mannequins; some of them bared their sexless breasts; some had lost their wigs and stared baldly and blindly down from the darkness.

    And then there was the carousel.

    A sign proclaimed it was the largest in the world, said how much it weighed, how many thousand lightbulbs were to be found in the chandeliers that hung from it in Gothic profusion, and forbade anyone from climbing on it or from riding on the animals.

    And such animals! Shadow stared, impressed in spite of himself, at the hundreds of full-sized creatures who circled on the platform of the carousel. Real creatures, imaginary creatures, and transformations of the two: each creature was different. He saw mermaid and merman, centaur and unicorn, elephants (one huge, one tiny), bulldog, frog and phoenix, zebra, tiger, manticore and basilisk, swans pulling a carriage, a white ox, a fox, twin walruses, even a sea serpent, all of them brightly colored and more than real: each rode the platform as the waltz came to an end and a new waltz began. The carousel did not even slow down.

    “What’s it for?” asked Shadow. “I mean, okay, world’s biggest, hundreds of animals, thousands of lightbulbs, and it goes around all the time, and no one ever rides it.”

    “It’s not there to be ridden, not by people,” said Wednesday. “It’s there to be admired. It’s there to be.”

    A place of power and possibility, of gods diabolical and celestial: glowing amber and heady cinnamon, the green of growing things and the white of thunderclaps, sweet myrrh and sacred styrax, forest moss and blood-soaked battlefields, papyrus and clay, rose petals, wildflowers, abbatoirs, and honey.

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  • The Chapel

    You come to a building that seems to have been hastily erected from splintered wood, stone, and plaster. Flickering light from within sparkles out through blood-tinged chunks of glass that have been wedged into the arch entrance. You push open the thick velvet curtain that covers the mouth of the building and look inside. The chapel is small and cramped, and the air is thick with heavy incense, bitter wine, sulphur, and the coppery scent of blood. A massive stained glass window is set against the back wall, glowing brightly.

    In the center of the room, a groveling figure is crouched before a woman draped in purple-black clerical robes. The woman’s eyes are filled with righteous hellfire, and she extends a hand in benediction to the man who has fallen prostrate at her feet. He murmurs, “Libera Te Ex Caelum”, and she gestures for him to rise. As he gets to his knees he winces in pain and moans in a strange expression of ecstasy, and you see small horns growing from his skull.

    Black incense, bitter wine, brimstone, bile, and blood.

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  • The Edge of Doom

    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

    The night flight from Tangier: drops of spilled blood color the antiseptic, bland, plastic paleness of the fuselage, with violet leaf for longing, rosemary for reminiscences, and black opoponax for apprehension.

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  • The Sea Foams Blood

    When you return go alone, just you and the children and when you approach the beach then call for me:

    Zilvine, Zilvineli,
    If alive, may the sea foam milk
    If dead, may the sea foam blood…

    And if you see coming towards you foaming milk then know that I am still alive, but if blood comes then I have reached my end. While you, my children, let not the secret out, do not let anyone know how to call for me.

    Blood rising through an ocean wave.

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  • Transeo

    The Transeo are vampires that have assimilated into human society, often reaching positions of power. Among the Transeo there are many celebrated politicians, scientists, businessmen, philosophers, artists, writers, and musicians, and, surprisingly, a large number of influential clergy and militarists. Not every Transeo is an illustrious public figure; many simply desire the comforts associated with reentering society. In the past, most Transeo posed as humans as best they could, concealing their true natures. In the twenty-first century, more and more Transeo are coming out in the open, and they form the backbone of most vampire-acceptance movements.

    GA cologne that (almost) blends well into human society: benzoin, orange blossom, cumin, King mandarin, gaiac wood, juniper berry, Calabrian bergamot, Ceylon cinnamon, and blood camouflaged by wine.

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  • Vasilissa

    “Take it, then,” the Tsar said, “and bid her do it for me.” The old woman brought the linen home and told Vasilissa the Tsar’s command: “Well I knew that the work would needs be done by my own hands,” said Vasilissa, and, locking herself in her own room, began to make the shirts. So fast and well did she work that soon a dozen were ready. Then the old woman carried them to the Tsar, while Vasilissa washed her face, dressed her hair, put on her best gown and sat down at the window to see what would happen. And presently a servant in the livery of the Palace came to the house and entering, said: “The Tsar, our lord, desires himself to see the clever needlewoman who has made his shirts and to reward her with his own hands.”

    Vasilissa rose and went at once to the Palace, and as soon as the Tsar saw her, he fell in love with her with all his soul. He took her by her white hand and made her sit beside him. “Beautiful maiden,” he said, “never will I part from thee and thou shalt be my wife.”

    So the Tsar and Vasilissa the Beautiful were married, and her father returned from the far-distant Tsardom, and he and the old woman lived always with her in the splendid Palace, in all joy and contentment. And as for the little wooden doll, she carried it about with her in her pocket all her life long.

    She herself had cheeks like blood and milk and grew every day more and more beautiful.

    Creamy skin musk and blushing pink musk with soft sandalwood, white amber, dutiful myrrh, and star jasmine.

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