They called it a disease. Something that needed to be cured. But not Theo. No, he called it a blessing. He could speak to Angels, he heard them in his ears, they talked to him. They told him of the sinners and their crimes against humanity. They told him who needed to die. The Angels spoke to him all the time. But no one else would hear.
What did they call it when he was diagnosed at the age of 16? Schizophrenia? Ha! Just the scientific heathens trying to make sense out of Theo’s gift. But it already made sense to him. He was on a mission. God sent down the Angels to guide him on his path. And he would listen to everything they said. No matter how gruesome. No matter how deadly.
(( Theophilus is asexual now, but I know who I would ship him with. I SHIP THEO AND MOLLY!!! Yes, it makes sense (in my head at least, but that’s how most ships work, yes) and it will hurt but it will be fantastic and I need this done, I need a Molly!!! ))
Dimethylmercury. Precisely 0.5 ml injected into a wine bottle. It would have killed Vernon J. Smith within the year, an appropriately slow death for one such as Greedy and Gluttonous as he, a bank owner who has been secretly embezzling millions from his banks and living in luxury. Yes, it would have been appropriate. Funny even. But this satisfaction was taken when Mr. Smith was found murdered.
He had sliced his own wrists open and bled to death in his backyard. A violent, gruesome death. Far too gory for Theophilus’s tastes. But evermore interesting. It was soon discovered, through conveniently placed information, that Vernon had also been raping the children of his employees during career socials. So, the mysterious Maestro had stolen Theophilus’s kill.
The Maestro had been a subject of interest for sometime now. He had all the signs of a narcissistic maniac. Pride beyond that of most men, Pride that caused him to kill those he felt deserved to die. Ironic, but only to eyes not as blurred by one’s own scrupulosity as those of Theophilus.
Now, he had found him. It wasn’t hard, this man was actually not as perfect as he thought. He left evidence everywhere at the Vernon crime scene. Shoe prints, loose hairs, and just general psychological mirroring of personal life to that of his murderous life. Ludwig van Amsel. The Maestro.
And it was simple enough to attract Ludwig’s attention. Very simple, actually. Theophilus kidnapped a young girl. He made the trail to the apartment, a wrecked little place with a sturdy closet door that kept the drugged girl’s frail attempts to call for help quiet, very obvious. Not obvious enough for the coppers, of course, but just enough for someone of advanced intelligence to discover. Theo laid on the couch, eyes toward the ceiling. A couple was fucking upstairs. He scowled, and hoped the Maestro would appear soon, for all he could do now is wait.
There was another wolf on the scene. It was nothing new. Since he first took on the mask of the Maestro at thirteen, he had always been aware that he would encounter other predators. It was inevitable. With so much prey in the world, it only made sense that there were other hunters out there. Most of them were the typical, common once-in-a-lifetime murderer. The kinds of people who didn’t even surface onto the news. Then there were the absolute bloody crazy lunatics who just had to be so goddamned messy, then get the media sharks in a frenzy.
The Maestro liked those predators, because they were just fucking dumb. So goddamned dumb that the attention they craved for was from this fucking filthy world. Sometimes they did cross over into his territory, and take one or two of his targeted rabbits. But the Maestro let it slide, because those men and women were animals. Savage, bloodthirsty animals. Too blinded by their own hunger to take just a few moments to clean up their trail. The Maestro had no need to hunt those killers down, because the police (as incompetent as they are) would catch them. Eventually.
But the Maestro was not a killer. No. Nope. Not at all. Throughout all his nineteen years, the Maestro had never taken a single person’s life. The rest of the world considered ‘murder’ as even just partaking in creating the circumstances for it. But you see, in his book, ‘murder’ was defined by being the direct cause of the end result. However, the Maestro had never shot someone in the head, stabbed someone in the heart, or forcefully feed them pills. He just gave them options. He believed that every human - even those corrupted enough to become monsters - had the right to make their own decisions. So, he let them choose: “Save your own life by exposing your crimes, or end your own life to keep it all one big secret.” Simple as that.
However, all the seven continents were convinced that the Maestro was a serial killer. What a pity. He found it hilarious. Let them think what they wanted. But then it stopped being funny once a competent adversary appeared on the battle grounds, and this fucker was daring enough to get an innocent child involved.
Oh, this pig was asking for it. The Maestro wasn’t quite sure if he was going to have to kill this swine or not, but he was damned well sure that he would make them suffer.
There was a little girl who had gone missing. Right after the suicide (mind you, not murder) of Mr. Vernon J. Smith. Too much of a coincidence The Maestro was aware that the girl was being used as bait. He wouldn’t stand for it. Tracing the location was too easy for him, but still too obscure for the police. This foreign entity wanted to meet him.
So, he came. He wasn’t going to go about this with any stealth. He wanted this done quick and easy. The Maestro wasn’t surprised to find the apartment door open. This person was waiting for him. With his violin bow in hand, he entered. He closed the door behind him, then settled his attention on the man on the sofa. “Let the girl go, Monsieur,” he said while keeping his distance. “Then we can talk.”
"The girl’s drugged." Theo said, still staring at the ceiling with a scowl on his face. "I let her out now, she’s just going to end up blindly fumbling along the streets of this dirty neighborhood until she catches the attention of a real predator." He sat up and looked straight into the eyes of the fellow who entered the room. Young. Slightly ragged, but well kept in health and mind. Peculiar eyes. "She was but a worm in this sea of crime, and I’ve got the catch I’ve been looking for." He tilted his head to the side, his face expressionless. "But you knew that already… didn’t you?"
Standing up, Theo moved to the dresser on which an old television sat, it’s dusty and outdated design taking up most of the space on top. However, balanced to close to the edge for comfort were two, steaming tea cups. He took one in each hand and placed one on the short coffee table in front of the couch.
"You’ll have to excuse my ignorance" He said as he sat on one side of the small couch. "But your files neglected mention of your favorite beverage, so I went with a traditional tea, weak. No sugar, you didn’t seem like the type." He blew the steam from the top of his own cup before sipping from it quietly and gulping loudly. "I, myself, prefer coffee. But I suppose that is to be expected of me, being American born and all. Tea never did sit well with me."
Placing his cup onto the table, he reached into his inner coat pocket and pulled from it a small Glock 19. He stared at it for a moment, a look of contempt on his face, then placed it on the table, replacing it’s spot in his palm with the tea cup once more. Theo patted the cushion of the spot next to him on the couch, attempting to form a smile beneath his thin beard. ”Come, Mr. Van Amsel, there is much to discuss.”
From birth to the age of 17, Theophilus lived in Charleston, West Virginia, USA. There, he had grown up with a Appalachian English accent. However, since moving to Swindon, South West England, where he has lived up to now, at the age of 34, Theo’s accent has become a combination of his Appalachian English accent and his developed West Country dialect. Such notable characteristics of this unique tongue include the pronunciation of the word I and short ‘a’s with a short ‘o’ (Ahh), ending words that end with r with the short ‘o’ sound, and drawing out words and phrases unnecessarily.
He kept the newspaper close at his side as he approached the large mansion. It was very beautiful, quite a relic. The definition of a rich person’s Greed and Gluttony. No one needed that many rooms, that much space, and looking at it only brought him pleasure in the idea that she was always lonely. She had no one. And she deserved no one. For she may as well have raised the Seven Deadly Sins themselves.
As Theophilus looked up, he saw the end of the tall doors at twice his height. Unnecessary, unless the lankiness of the Holmes family wasn’t as exaggerated as he thought it to be. He quickly rapped his fingers on the cold, white washed wood of the door and grinned, awaiting it’s answering.
He moved his eyes to the paper in his hand, holding his up slightly. Across the bottom of the page was the small ad in the want section. “Staff Members Wanted, Private House Keeping and Butlery. Apply At Holmes Mansion.” Afterward was the address and some regulations. Theo gripped the paper tighter before knocking once more. He had to present himself perfectly in order to get into this place. He needed to get into this place. If his plans were to succeed, he needs information. And this woman, this Violet Holmes, was the one to provide it.
Violet looked up as she heard a resounding knock to the door. Her eyes darted to the clock, an eyebrow arching upwards. She hadn’t been expecting anyone for lunch. The boys were all busy with various tasks and the neighbours rarely ever called in unannounced. Sighing slightly she placed her paperwork to one side, wearily rubbing her eyes as she moved to the door. Pausing for a moment she ran her fingers through her hair, straightening before pulling the door open, eyes narrowing as she saw a stranger standing there. He was wearing a smile, looking quite dapper and clean cut. Violet didn’t recognize him and she wasn’t quite sure what he was doing here. Her eyes wandered to the paper in his hands and realization hit. The job application.
“I take it you’re here for the vacant position?” She asked, leaning against the door, arms folded across her chest. “Well then come in darling. I’ll put on the kettle and we’ll see if you’re suited to the job” She stepped back, giving him room to pass, eyes watching him carefully all the while. Violet wasn’t entirely sure why she wanted more staff in the house. Probably to make the place feel less lonely. However she wasn’t going to let just anyone into her home. Background checks would have to be done and she would have to be thorough about the interviewing. “What’s your name then?” Violet asked, leading the way into the kitchen and stepping over to the kettle.
"Grey, Madame." Theo held his head low as he spoke, but his eyes kept their focus of Violet. "Theophilus Grey, former Butler to Lord and Lady Kavanagh over in Cambridge for over ten years. Both have since passed and I’m looking for new surroundings."
Taking his eyes off the Holmes woman, he allowed his focus to shift to his surroundings. The Kitchen was spotless, the kind of clean only money could buy. There was a shine to each pot and pan hanging from the rack above the island table resulting in their doubling as mirrors slightly above head level. Pride.
He focussed again on Violet. “A friend of mine, Mr. Pike, informed me of the ad in the paper, and I was intrigued. I’ve heard a great deal about the Holmes family. The law, I believe they are called. Very fascinating, naturally, I felt compelled to inquire about the position.” He raised his eyebrows and half-smiled. “Would you like my resumé? I’ve been practically training to be a man of service my entire life. My father was the butler to the Kavanaghs before I, you see, and there was a time when I thought I would serve them forever. They were the sweetest couple, you know, but when the Lady died, it broke his heart and he just became so distant… And then he died, and I’m left with…” He sighed heavily, shaking his head. “I’m sorry… I suppose you could say I’m not only pursuing this job for profit, but for passion. I do enjoy my work.” His smile widens. “I really do…”