Author's note: This story was an entry in Koromo's Song Competition. This story was loosely inspired by the Joy Division song "Day of the Lords".

Luke had an unexplainable feeling that someone was watching him. He hasn’t been able to think about much else since he woke up. He isn’t usually the type to get paranoid, but it was beginning to creep him out.

“Christ, Luke, will you give it a rest?” George asked, not even bothering to look up from his phone, “you’ve been at it for an hour now. I told you, I’ll fix the damn thing later.”

Luke sneered at his roommate. He knew it wouldn’t get done otherwise. George, to put it bluntly, was a freeloader. If you ask the bastard to do anything, he’ll take about an hour and a half before he finally decides he’ll start.

“You’re a history buff, right?” George asked in a bizarre tangent.

“I guess you could put it like that. It's a pretty interesting subject,” Luke replied, disappointed that George had forgotten that he was studying to be a history teacher.

“Alright, well I got a joke for you. Why did the Spanish go through with the Inquisition?”

“George, aren’t you Jewish?”

“Dude, just ask me why.”

“Ok, why did the Spanish go through with the Inquisition?”

“Because nobody could Torquemada it,” George answered, trying desperately to hold in the laughter. Luke didn’t laugh.

“C’mon, man, you gotta admit, that was a pretty good joke.”

“Will you shut up or give me some help?” Luke said slightly irritated. George got up, after taking a quick sip of beer, and walked towards him. He felt a little bit guilty for snapping at him like that. It wasn’t his fault, after all. Luke was just on edge lately. At first it was because of Mary, now it was because of the feeling that he was being watched.

Mary was his girlfriend. His ex-girlfriend, now, he guessed. Things didn’t work out between them. Things just got repetitive and monotonous for her. Luke wouldn’t really describe himself as a boring person, just a guy who doesn’t want to get shit faced and wake up hung over every morning. One thing he knew about Mary was that she was a really lively person. She loved to exercise, party, and practically never stood still. Luke had nicknamed her “Mako” after their half in the bag visit to the aquarium. Surprisingly, this was one of the only things he remembered about that night. Underneath the shark tank, there was a little sign for the Mako shark. It said this type of shark needed to keep moving in order to get water into their gills so they could breathe. If the shark stopped moving it would die. Just like Mary.

Luke shook his head.

“Alright, it was a pretty good joke,” Luke said, chuckling to himself. He saw the smile beginning to form on George’s face. A few hours later, Luke was getting ready to leave when George came out of his room.

“Where are you off to?” George asked.

“I have to go to Greg’s house. He asked me to feed his cats while he was away,” Luke replied.

“Greg? I fucking hate that guy. He’s such a self-pitying piece of shit. Not to mention that his breath smells like he gave a donkey a rim job,” George replied, the smell of alcohol clinging to his breath.

“Greg’s a good guy. I’ve known him since high school, man. He’s been through some shit. You don’t need to be so hard on him.”

“Whatever. Oh by the way, Trish stopped by. She was wondering if you wanted in on the league again this year.” George was talking about the Fantasy football league.

“I’m not entirely sure. I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I wanted to last year.” Luke was refraining from bringing up his fight with Mary at one of their parties last year. The league would get together on Sundays to watch whatever game was on TV. He couldn’t even remember how it started, but he did remember the long taxi ride home. Mary had driven them there, so when the fight got out of hand, she left him at the party and went back to her apartment.

“I know, man, it felt so bureaucratic last year. I mean, who cares if I didn’t get my waivers in on time, I thought we were doing this for fun.” Once again, George could only think of himself. He wasn’t a bad guy, just a bit oblivious. It was a well-appreciated contrast to Luke’s parents.

Luke’s mother expected great things of her son. She had come to this country from China in the early 80s and met his father a few years later. His mother always wanted Luke to succeed, even when success seemed impossible. That was something Luke always hated about her. She had fully adopted the idea of the American dream, not realizing that at least some failure is going to follow suit when you try to achieve it. His father was an American, coming from a family of Irish immigrants on both sides. Most of his anxiety had been because of his mother, who pushed him to pursue a job in medicine. Luke hated the site of blood; something his mother never even bothered asking him when she decided he was going to become a surgeon. It wasn’t entirely her fault, though. Luke had been too passive with her, never able to speak his mind until he was around 20 when he told her that he was going to be a teacher. After his father’s death, his mother has been more persistent. She calls every couple of weeks to ask if he would consider reapplying to medical school.

Luke left the house and got into his car. The feeling hadn’t left him yet. He was beginning to wonder if someone was actually watching him. There’d be no reason for anyone to be watching him, right? He started his car and began to drive. It was only after twenty minutes of driving when Luke realized that the car behind him had been tailing him for a while now. This couldn’t be a coincidence. He was getting closer to Greg’s house. Just a little bit further, and if the guy was still following him, he’d call the cops. The tinted windows of the car behind him didn’t help with his paranoia. He eventually reached the house and parked in front. Luke looked at the rear view mirror to see the car pulling around the corner. Looking behind him, he saw that the car was getting slower for a moment. He was beginning to get worried. Luckily, a few moments later, the car drove down the street and disappeared around the corner. Luke breathed a sigh of relief. He was being ridiculous. Luke got out of his car and walked up to the door. He knocked on the it, hoping that Greg would be home. After waiting a while, Luke realized that Greg must be out. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out the spare key that Greg had given him a few weeks ago. Luke opened the door and then closed it behind him.

Then Luke saw the man on the couch. He was a man finely dressed man with a grey suit and a blue dress shirt. He wore a metallic mask with the face of a rabbit carved into the sterling silver. There were no holes in the mask, only the ominous face of the almost photo-realistic silhouette of a rabbit’s face. He was lounging on the couch, relaxing as if he didn’t have a care in the world. It was then when Luke had seen the blood on his mask. The man pulled a blue handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiped the blood away.

“Well, Luke, I was hoping to get a bit more of a reaction out of you than that dumb look on your face,” the rabbit said matter-of-factly. He spoke with a kind of accent that he couldn’t quite nail down. It sounded almost German. Luke turned around to leave the house. He was not going to put up with this bullshit. That’s when he saw the second man in a metallic mask with a monkey’s face, standing behind him with a crowbar. Luke paced backwards with his hands up. He then turned to the man in the rabbit mask.

“Who are you? How do you know my name? Did George put you put to this?” Luke asked, convinced-- more like hoping-- that this was some kind of joke.

“Such a clichéd response, don’t you think, Mr. Darwin?” The other man nodded slightly.

“I’ve been watching you for some time now, Luke. You’re obviously confused. They all usually are. But let’s get straight to the facts, shall we? Mr. Darwin and I represent clientele of enormous wealth and status. To put it in layman’s terms, it would be very easy for us to cover up your death. Don’t worry though, my dear friend, because we have a proposition for you. Your first option is to come with us right now, take a short drive to our little playground and have ourselves a little bit of fun. Your second option is to die right here and now. My colleague and associate Mr. Darwin here will bash you over the head with his crowbar repeatedly until you are dead. A skilled, professional clean up crew will arrive in twenty minutes and dispose of your decomposing body before your friend even comes home. Now, personally, I’d advise the latter, considering what’s to come. But I’m afraid we’d like you to consider the former.”

Luke stood there, dumbfounded and confused. This had to be a joke, right? The utter absurdity of this scenario was getting to him. He was about to be kidnapped by men with animal masks. It was like he was in some cheesy B-movie. Luke began to chuckle, thinking that this was a joke planned by George. The rabbit looked unamused. It’s not like he could tell if he was amused, anyways.

“Alright, you got me for a minute, there. Seriously though, what’s with the masks? I would have taken you a bit more seriously if you were wearing ski masks or something.” The rabbit sat down on the couch and put his hand on his chin.

“You know, Luke, we’ve been asked that question almost every day for the last three years. People always laugh and dismiss us, only to realize a few moments later how horribly wrong they were. I’ll admit, it was cute at first, but at this point it’s just become annoying. We will, however, indulge you, just this once. Part of the reason we wear a mask is because of this.” The rabbit removed his mask, revealing his grotesque, rotting face. Beneath the mask was a shimmering, white smile. One of his ears was missing, leaving only a hole where his ear hopefully once was. The rabbit’s eyes were bloodshot, yet full of an almost childlike excitement. His face was covered in scars and burns. For a moment, Luke thought he saw some pus seep from one of his gaping wounds. The man pulled out a cigarette and lit it with a lighter made out of the same material as his mask. Luke saw a deep scar on the man’s neck. Around that scarred neck was a rabbit’s foot dangling on a thin, black string. Luke staggered backwards. He didn’t know what the hell was going on.

“Please, just let me go. I won’t-“

“Won’t tell anyone? Even if we were going to let you go, who would believe you anyways? Time is running out. We’re running on a very tight schedule here. Have you made your decision?” Luke paused for a second. What had the man meant when he said, “considering what’s to come”? Before he could finish that thought, the man began counting down.

“Five.” This couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t possibly be happening. Why him? Why now? Maybe this is all just a sick joke. Maybe he can still make it out alive.

“Four.” No, these sons of bitches can’t be reasoned with. Luke accepted that this was real. He thought of trying to fight the man with the crowbar, but knew it was useless. This powerlessness was one of the most infuriating things he’s experienced in his life.

“Three.” Maybe he could give them something. Maybe he could try to give them his wallet. He still has his grandmother’s wedding ring. The one she got from her fiancé, even though they never actually got married. She kept it anyways. Apparently the guy was loaded, so it might be worth something.

“Two.” Luke knew this was futile. Maybe the right idea would be to let them kill him. He doesn’t know what’s waiting for him, but by the seriousness in the rabbit’s voice when he said he’d rather die than do what Luke was about to chilled him to the bone.

“One.” No, even if he has the smallest chance to get out of this alive, he has to take it. It would be risky, but he could possibly pull through.

“Alright, I’ll go with you!” Luke shouted.

“Excellent, Mr. McCarthy, wonderful! Now all I need you to do is sign this contract, giving your consent, then we’ll be ready to go. Mr. Darwin! Fetch the papers, we’ve got ourselves another contestant in the Day of the Lords!”

Luke sat down in the couch where the rabbit had been sitting. The man with the crowbar came back with the papers. The rabbit reached into his breast pocket and got out a silver pen. These people really loved theatrics. The rabbit snapped his fingers.

“Mr. Darwin, please give our friend here a surface to write on.” The giant got onto his knees and pointed to his metallic mask. Up close, Luke could see this man had similar scars to the rabbit. Luke placed the paper on the man’s mask and signed his name, even dotting the I in his last name like he always had.

“Excellent. Now, Mr. Darwin, if you please.” As soon as the rabbit had said this, the man kneeling before Luke stabbed him in the neck with a syringe. Luke grabbed the man’s arm, trying desperately to break free, but he could already feel his vision fading. Before he knew it, he woke up on the tiled floor of a white room. Luke was wearing loose fitting almost robe like white clothes. There was a large door in front of him. The door was decorated with an ebony doorknob and some form of pattern painted in gold. Luke opened the door. An auditorium full of people was now visible to him. Each of the audience members was wearing the same metallic mask as the rabbit and the man with the crowbar. They were all dressed in elegant, but gaudy clothing. The entire audience began to clap as the spotlight was shone on Luke.

The rabbit walked out. He was holding a microphone in one hand and a pocket watch in the other. He’d had a wardrobe change since they’d last met. He was now in a white suit with a dark green undershirt and black tie. The rabbit waved to the crowd like he was a politician on a campaign trail. Luke couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Should he laugh or should he scream? The rabbit glanced at the pocket watch and pressed his hand against his mask.

“Oh dear, we’re running a little bit behind schedule, folks,” he chimed. The crowd began to laugh.

“Let’s make this quicker than usual, shall we? Ladies and gentlemen of the distinguished aristocracy, welcome to the 95th annual Day of the Lords. What a show we have planned for you all tonight. It’s been my honor to host this event for around three years now. We know you’ve all been waiting for this for some time now, so I won’t indulge too much in theatrics. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Luke McCarthy. He is the biological grandson of a man that I’m sure you all know very well. Mr. McCarthy is a descendant of the former council member of our little club. He’s a direct descendant of Theodore Kennedy.” The rabbit paused as some of the audience members gasped. People in the crowed began to whisper. Luke had now idea what this man was talking about. He didn’t have any grandfathers by that name. In fact, he hadn’t heard that name in his life until this point.

“Now, I’m sure you’re all confused. As I’m sure you are aware, we already purged our ranks of the dreaded Kennedy line years ago, but what I tell you is the truth. The Kennedy legacy did not die in that fire. Our friend Luke here is the last remaining Kennedy on the planet Earth, whether he was aware of it or not. According to our information, his father was conceived out of wedlock. His mother had broken off her engagement to her husband after discovering the secret of our distinguished organization. They did not part ways after that. We don’t know the exact details of how this man’s father was conceived, but the evidence is overwhelming that this is the last remaining Kennedy. What an excellent turn of events, don’t you think?” The crowd began to clap once again, cheering wildly, yet still having a sense of civility. Luke couldn’t even comprehend what was going on. His senses had been completely overloaded. This was insane. He stood there, not able to understand what was going on. All he could do now was watch.

“Theodore Kennedy was a traitor and a disgrace to this renounced organization. To think that moron believed he could really take out this leviathan of an organization always makes me laugh. Unfortunately, Mr. McCarthy’s father passed a few years ago, long before we discovered Mr. Kennedy’s secret. So we must be satisfied with the next best thing. Instead of killing the last remaining son of the Kennedy line, we’ll have to settle for… this. Now, let’s begin the blood sport and pain, shall we?” As soon as the man finished this sentence, two more men appeared from behind the curtain. The crowd at once began to cheer. The two men put a bag over Luke’s head and tied his hands and feet together. Luke was dragged for around five minutes until they finally reached their destination. They cut his restraints and pushed him into the room then closed the door behind him. In front of him was a glass window with two buttons in front of it. Above the window there was a sign written in red paint.


Luke walked up to the window and placed his hand on it. The window was sturdy, maybe made out of Plexiglas. He could barely make out what was on the other side. He tried to take a few steps back to get a better look. Two spotlights turned on and revealed two men kneeling on the ground, stark naked and chained to the wall. They were either passed out or drugged. A projector turned on above him and the spotlights turned off. It projected the face of the rabbit on the wall.

“This is the first of your tests, Mr. McCarthy. The two men who kneel before you are what most people would consider a determent to society. One is a homeless man by the name of Alfred Kennedy, the other a sex offender by the name Alfred Kennedy. Both of these men share the name of your grandfather. You most likely noticed the two buttons in front of you. The one on the left will kill the sex offender; the one on the right will kill the homeless man. Let me give you a little bit of their back-story.

“Alfred Kennedy lost his job in 1999, the job he worked at for over twenty years. Suffice it to say he couldn’t get another job after that. The problem was that he needed money for his daughter. When she was just ten years old, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After two years of desperately searching for a job, Alfred eventually realized he would not be able to save his daughter. She died later that year. The only solace he could find from this pain was rum and painkillers. Things ended up with him on the streets. That is where we found him. He is a man who’s lost his reason to live, but a good man at heart. Tell me, Luke, do you value this man’s life?

“Alfred Kennedy has been called everything from a gentleman to a monster. He was an extinguished member of our ranks for many years until he eventually decided that he would throw his life away. He was found guilty just last month. Before his trial, we snatched him up, called in a few favors, and now he’s here with us. This man has ruined the lives of up to twenty women in this county alone. Running him through would not be such a bad thing, would it?

“There is, however, a third option. You probably haven’t noticed it yet, but there is a saw in the corner of the room. Both of these men will get to live on one condition. We want two fingers, two of your fingers for the lives of these men. Will you be willing to sacrifice them in order to save your fellow man, regardless of their crimes?”

Luke was simply not the kind of man to make sacrifices for such a vile person. He thought the choice was relatively simple. He was going to kill the monster. He was going to kill the one who ruined so many people’s lives. But there was something about this decision that made him shiver. It made him apprehensive. He had never taken a life before. This would be a first for him. He wasn’t the type to sacrifice for a monster, but he wasn’t a monster himself. He stood there, hoping that someone would make the decision for him. Luke didn’t know if he could live with the guilt of taking another man’s life. The situation was so surreal. Luke began to trace his steps, hoping that maybe he was dreaming. Maybe someone had slipped him something last night at the bar. This train of thought was interrupted by the current situation. He had to make a choice. Luke took the easy route. He pressed the button to kill the monster.

The spike shot out immediately, piercing the man’s chest. At least he wouldn’t be awake to feel it, Luke thought. A few moments later another spike came out from behind the other man, piercing his chest as well. Their blood began to trickle to the ground and pool around them. Luke fell to the ground, stunned by what had just occurred. Why did both of them die? It was his decision to kill one of them. Why did they kill both? This was not his decision. This was not his choice. The rabbit came over the speaker.

“I bet you’re wondering why we killed them both, aren’t you? Well, we couldn’t just let him loose to tell the world our secret, could we? It’s beginning to get to you. I can feel it, the utter helplessness. How intoxicating it is to see you struggle like a fish caught on a hook. You know your struggling is for naught, yet you continue because that’s the only thing you can do. You struggle and pray for a quick death. I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I should save the monologues for later. Well, then, off to the next room.”

A door opened up to his right. Luke did not move. He just sat there. The guilt and shame of what he had done had begun to swallow him whole. There was a civil war brewing in his conscious. Part of him just wanted to stay here for as long as possible. He wanted to delay the inevitable. Trying to stop the death was futile, but he just wanted to sit here quietly. Luke wanted this to pass, but he knew it wouldn’t. Once again he rose to his feet and began to walk towards the door.

The next room was pitch black. Nothing could be seen apart from a sign illuminated with a small spotlight. The sign once again was one word written with red paint.


The spotlights light up the hallway one at a time. Once again there was a man naked and on his knees at the end of the hallway. But the long, shaggy hair was familiar to him. His vision wasn’t as good as it used to be, but it looked almost like George. He ran up to the man. It was George. There was a crowbar in front of him with a note attached to it. On the note it said “A Little Gift –Mr. D.”

The rabbit’s voice came on the speaker once again.

“I’ll keep this short, Mr. McCarthy. You’re a smart man, well not that smart, but at least above average. I think you understand what you have to do. Kill the man in front of you or neither of you leave here alive.”

Just as quickly as the voice came, it left him. It left him with a simple ultimatum. Kill your best friend or die. Luke stared at the crowbar once again. He was almost numb at this point. His senses had been flooded to a point where he felt like he was going to vomit. Luke wished for it all to be over. He had already killed two men this night. Did he really want to add another to the body count?

George started to wake up. He looked up at Luke and began to speak.

“Luke? What the hell are you doing?” he asked groggily. Luke couldn’t say anything. He didn’t know what the hell to say. Where the hell would he even start? Being kidnapped by men in animal masks and forced to kill for their entertainment seemed like something that could only happen in fiction. It was just a bad dream. Either that or his sanity was starting to unravel. Either way he hoped it would all end soon with him waking up or him falling asleep for one last time.

“Where the fuck are we, Luke? What are you doing with that crowbar?” George was confused. It was obvious to him. He had no idea where to start. His throat began to burn and swell up. He couldn't tell if he was going to cry or laugh. George noticed the restraints. The man began to tug desperately at his chains to no avail. Luke tried to help him. He tried to break the chains and set his friend free, but a piercing screech came from somewhere in the room. Luke dropped the crowbar, covering his ears, and fell to the floor. After the sound stopped, the rabbit came on the loudspeaker once again.

“You didn’t think I would make it that easy for you, did you? No, Luke, you’re not weaseling your way out of this like your grandfather. This was your decision. Now you have to be a man and stick with it. Now, Mr. McCarthy, pick up that crowbar and get to work.”

“Who the hell is that? Luke, please tell me what the fuck is happening right now. Please.” He was beginning to tear up. The reality of the situation was getting to him. He thought for a moment. Maybe if he just let them both die now nobody else would have to die tonight. What happened next, he could never explain. He didn’t know if it was out of cowardice or some kind of primal, animalistic survival instinct. George began to speak, but Luke had made his choice. It was impulsive, yes, but it was a choice he came to regret for the rest of his life.

“Please, Luke, I just-“ the crowbar smashed George’s jaw first. His shattered jaw bone began to hang loosely below his mouth. Gurgled moans of pain were the only thing that came out of his mouth. Luke hit him again. Part of his skull had caved in, but the bastard was still alive. He just wanted it to end. He just wanted it to stop. Luke hit him again and again until the only sound that came out of George was the sound of the blood seeping from his open wounds.

Luke panted, trying to catch his breath. His breathing was shaky and his heart was racing. This was his third kill tonight, but this time it was by his own hand. His heart wasn’t the only thing that was racing. His thoughts were jumbled.

“Well done, Mr. McCarthy, excellent job. This was a surprising turn of events, wasn’t it, ladies and gentlemen? He sure does have the Kennedy blood running through his veins. A true blooded killer through and through!”

The rabbit began to whisper into the microphone.

“If you knew even half the things that man did to me, you’d be thanking me for the things I’m doing to you, Luke. Now move on to the next room before I change my fucking mind and kill you right now.”

This man was insane. What had his grandfather done to this man to make him so angry? By the way he spoke, it had made it seem like there was a long running hatred between the two. But Luke couldn’t think about that right now. He was mourning the loss of his friend. What a pathetic excuse for a man he was. He had killed his best friend without a moment of hesitation. Luke fell to his knees and began to cry. This was the end. There was no way out for him. After a few minutes the piercing screech came again. This was his one and only warning for him to move. He complied and walked to the next room. He held on to the crowbar. Once again the next room was dark and illuminated by one spotlight, shining like a lighthouse on a foggy night, on a sign with one word written in red paint.


The rabbit's voice echoed throughout the large room.

“You know, folks, my associate and I were not the only one mutilated by Mr. McCarthy’s illegitimate grandfather. No, these things that lurk in this labyrinth got it much worse than I. You should hear the screams of the cleaning crew who come to clean up the blood and remain at night. Keeping this abominations fed is a hassle, but it’s worth every cent. It’s very single cent to see the sheer horror on men’s faces when these pitiful bastards get close enough to see them. Now, then, let’s get this show on the road. This is the room I lovingly call ‘The Finale.’”

Jesus, when will it end? Hadn’t he already gone through enough already? Luke took a step forward. There was something different about this room than the other ones. His breath was visible now. The room was cold, colder than anything he’s experienced in his life. His thin clothing didn’t do much to protect him against the cold. His muscles began to twitch and his knees began to quake. The icy sting was starting to nip at his face. Each step warmed him up slowly, but then the cold would rush back to him. The cold was goading him into thinking he was actually going to get away. It almost reminded him of a neighbor in his childhood. The boy would constantly goad Luke into arguments he could never win. He has one of the most annoying laughs you could ever hear. The distant humming of the room even reminded him of that prick’s cackling. Maybe it was the cold, but he felt his mind begin to wander. Luke had to focus. He started to walk again. In the distance he heard muffled screaming, like someone was trying to cover a scream with their hands over their mouth. Luke pressed his back against the wall. When he heard the thumping of his heart, he tried taking slow, deep breaths to calm himself down. Staying calm was the key to getting out of here alive. He needed to think as rationally as possible if he wanted to get out of here alive.

Luke looked around the corner to get a better look at what was making that noise. The sight made him dry heave. A man—at least he thought that was what it was—was standing in the middle of the long corridor. It was wearing the same clothes as he was, thin white robes with bare feet, but the clothes were tattered and torn. By the looks of it, the thing was missing an arm. Luke eventually noticed that the creature was dragging the missing arm behind itself. Its head was shaved and scarred by surgical incisions. The face reminded him of the rabbit’s. The monster grunted like some kind of animal and looked behind itself. He saw that the creature’s eyes were sewed shut. Luke quickly went back behind the wall and he gripped the crowbar tightly.

The temperature of the room began to rise. It wasn’t just hypothermia setting in. The labyrinth was getting noticeably warmer. The monster was getting closer. It dragged its decomposing arm behind itself. The grunts were more curious now. It was like it was trying to find where he was through some form of echolocation. Luke heard the familiar voice come over the radio.

“There’s no room for the weak, Luke. No room for the weak. Nobody out there will show you any mercy, so why do you expect us to? We’re trying to make you a better man. We’re making you a more experienced man. The Lords aren’t just a group of wannabe serial killers, dear friend. We’re merely firm believers in natural selection. But that’s been treaded on so many times before. Tell you what, you get past this little trial and we’ll let you free. We’ll even pay for your therapy when you get out. All you have to do is bash that thing’s head in.”

The thing was getting closer now. It was do or die. Luke gripped the crowbar even tighter now. Before, the killing had a bit of hesitation because he was killing another human being. This thing lost whatever humanity it had a long time ago. Freedom was close. He didn’t even care if it was just another trick anymore. He needed some kind of hope to cling to. Otherwise he’d fall apart. He needed something to believe in, even if it meant being in denial. Ironic, considering how worried he was about rationality a few minutes ago. No time for that now. Luke turned the corner and raised the crowbar. Before the swing impacted, before the killing blow had landed, there was a split second where he saw her face. It was the face of the woman he’s spent months of his life with. He really was loosing his vision, wasn’t he? He recognized the face. It was Mary’s.

The crowbar shattered her fragile skull like porcelain. He’d killed two of his friends tonight and two more innocent people as well. That wasn’t the thing that scared him. It was the numbness he felt, the tingly feeling he felt in his breast. The pain was being delayed. He just knew it. He didn’t even mourn this time. Luke just kept walking, dropping the crowbar behind him. He opened the next door to rousing applause.

He was back in the auditorium. He was back in the room that started it all. He confronted the clapping with a look of complete confusion. Whatever had happened had completely drained him. He was a broken man. The rabbit came out and pulled a handkerchief from his breast pocket. He dabbed away some of the blood on Luke’s face and then turned to the crowd.

“What a wonderful performance, right, folks?” The crowd roared in excitement. “I’d like to thank Mr. McCarthy for his stunning display for us tonight. The raw emotions that we captured here tonight will stay with me for the rest of my life. So, how does it feel, Mr. McCarthy?”

Luke began to mutter to himself, still staring at the crowd. The rabbit pressed the microphone to his lips until he heard his own voice over the speaker.

“What if I tell everyone?”

The crowd laughed. They laughed like he was some kind of child trying to grasp how the world worked for the first time. They knew it wasn’t so simple.

“Do you wonder why we wear these getups? Didn’t you even wonder why we went through the effort of putting such showmanship and vigor into this night? It’s because no one will believe you. Telling anyone is social suicide. They’ll lock you up in a padded cell and happily listen to your deranged laughter knowing that their bank account is full of the Lords' money. Now, I must wish you goodnight, everyone. The wife is cooking meatloaf tonight. See you next year, and have a great night,” the rabbit said. He placed something in Luke’s hand and then closed it for him. Then he whispered something into his ear.

“We didn’t kill you for a reason. Your grandfather was a monster, but then again, we all are. Welcome to the Lords, Mr. McCarthy. Hope to see you again next year.”

Then the man walked out like nothing had happened. The crowd began to get out of their seats and talk among themselves. Luke remained on the stage for around an hour staring at his fist. After the crowd had cleared out, a door opened behind him and sunlight began to flood the room. Luke turned around and walked out the door. On that night Luke McCarthy died and a Lord was born.

Written by The Damn Batman
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