He was an assistant to the Inquisitor. Also he was a member of the tribunal for that part of Germany. The tribunal was quartered in a large castle. The castle was drafty, cold and wet. It was gloomy, smoky and dark. In short, it was perfect.
The call had been sent out, far and wide. All heretics and accusers thereof must be presented to the Inquisitor for decree. In the Holy name of Pope Innocent IV, torture was endorsed for those foolish enough to try hiding the truth of their heresy. Torture slated for the unjust, truly stubborn sinners.
The Inquisitor’s assistant was especially diligent in this regard. It’s said the assistant enjoyed delivering torture. He had a taste for blood. He preferred the unjust and truly stubborn ones.
The Inquisitor used the growing infamy of his assistant to strike fear, encourage blind obedience in all who stood before him. In the end, truth tumbled over tongues of the wicked. The assistant never failed to secure a confession.
The assistant stood quietly, watched the heretic cry out in pain as he was stretched on the rack. The assistant turned the wheel. He heard the human’s body pop and crack. The heretic passed out.
The vampire left the wheel and fetched a bucket of human waste. He poured it over the heretic’s face. The sinner came to, spitting bucket contents. He gagged and choked on the wastes, tried to spew out the big pieces.
The assistant went back to the wheel. He was alone with the heretic. He didn’t care about the truth, whatever that was. He didn’t care what was coerced, what was not. Nor was he interested in the motivation of the accusers. The assistant cared only for blood. He experimented with different torture techniques to determine which would produce the highest quality blood.
Tortured blood almost always tasted better than blood hunted.
All his life, the vampire followed tragedy like a camp whore. He lived and prospered off misery humans caused themselves. They filled, fed and amused him.
The assistant had hands on wheel, readying another quarter-turn. He had a change of mind, a better idea. Let’s see how long it takes for the rack to separate head from neck.
He took pride in his work. He always strove for craftsmanship and ingenuity in torture. He never failed to secure a confession. He knew some admissions were influenced by the pain. That was fine by him. They all confessed in the end.
The assistant loved the stubborn ones who refused at first to confess. Somehow the fear and pain of those lovelies made them taste all the better. He didn’t know why, but it was so. The longer they lasted questioning and subsequent torture, the richer their blood. The greater the agony was, the tastier the meal.
The vampire detached rough leather straps from limp unmoving arms. The heretic’s a delightfully intractable sinner, loudly proclaiming innocence. The assistant let the heretic thrash about, carry on. The sinner was sweetening the blood with his insistence.
The vampire secured straps tightly to head and chin. He made sure it was tight. The slack was taken out with a couple quick partial turns of the wheel. The vampire made sure the tool he needed next was right behind him, ready to use.
The heretic panicked. He realized what would happen. The vampire smiled, allowing his true self to emerge. The heretic saw teeth puncture torturer’s lip. Blood drops bubbled out, mixed with saliva, and inched lava slow down his chin. Talons dug in wood of the wheel, splintering as they split the surface. The vampire’s yellow eyes assessed closely the accused.
“God in Heaven,” the heretic cried when the torturer changed. “By the Cross of Jesus,” the sinner shouted, “I confess! I confess!”
The heretic’s eyes wide, horror dominate. Fear his mask. The vampire smelled sinner blood ripening beautifully. He was ready to be plucked and savored.
“I confess!” the heretic repeated.
“Tell God your sins,” vampire muttered as his hands burn, “In person.”
Bending slightly for purchase, the vampire spun the wheel. The sinner’s neck split and his head tore free.
The spine stretched, fractured, but remained intact. The rack rotated feet down; letting gravity pull most of the blood back into the body. The vampire reached behind, grabbed the waiting tool. With a flash of glinting, a sharp blade sliced spine in two. The tool dropped. The vampire had talons sunk in tortured sinner before the blade settled on hard-packed earthen floor.
The vampire torturer lifted the headless body skyward lightening fast. He quickly dislocated his jaw in a three part: left, right, left downward movements. The human’s ragged neck in the vampire’s cavernous mouth. He snapped his jaw back up once. It locked onto warm flesh with no leaks.
The heretic held aloft, a giant bowl of mead. The vampire opened his esophagus to empty the man. He sucked hungrily on the severed neck like it was his momma’s swollen breast.
When finished, the vampire released the empty body. He eased his jaw back into place. Hands burned fiercely. The assistant rinsed with cool water. He dried them and the burning ceased.
The vampire sat the floor, stared absently at the heretic’s remains. Vampire signs faded as he relaxed and floated within the surge of power. It’s the blood. The torturer wanted rivers of it. He wanted as much as he could get.
Especially, the vampire thought, from the fearful.
Instill the fear and infuse the blood. Increase the fear and make them hold it. Ripen the fruit and drink deeply of it.
God’s green Earth’s a banquet, the vampire decided. It was bountiful and his cup truly runneth over.
The vampire stood. He placed the stubborn sinner’s head in a burlap bag. He shall present it as a souvenir to the Inquisitor. It will add nicely to the Papist’s collection of those who have confessed their heresy, but only after being subjected to torture.
The assistant gave the Inquisitor the head of the obstinate heretic. The vampire no longer required its services. There’s plenty more where that came from.