The Tale of Duchess Dark

In the early days of the city of Detroit, there were rumors of a huntress, a sinister succubus if you will who would lure away undesirable and rather cold-hearted and selfish men who preyed on women in the dark, only to kill them where wary eyes could not see.  Every one of her victims was left with a signature kiss on their necks, sealing their fate in the color of crimson.  Any man who had been laid a target by her would meet a horrific fate.  This is the tale of Duchess Dark.

It was late Friday evening in the cold walls of the Detroit Institute of Arts.  A young woman by the name of Beth Halls was hard at work on restoring art pieces and vases that were gathered from Egypt.  A few of the vases had been brought in to be restored before the exhibit was supposed to open in the coming months.  She was not paid much for her work, but it helped her to escape her small project apartment.  As she continued along with her work that night, finalizing one of the vases, she noticed a large tablet that was brought in earlier during the day by one of the museum employees that had laid dormant and untouched since its arrival.  

She picked up the tablet and carefully placed it down onto her work desk.  She took a dust brush and carefully began to brush away the dust and impurities that had been covering the stone.  Once she was done, she was left with a strange depiction of the Egyptian God Isis casting out a woman and her subjects shaming the woman.  The text described a rather strange occurrence, one that filled Beth with anger.  

The goddess, Isis cast out one of her loyal subjects for refusing to be a mother and for defying against her husband’s wishes to become a father.  Her subjects joined in shaming the outcast and she never bore any children to continue her bloodline.  Her punishment was a long life without any children or men to bear children with her.  

Beth was not angry with the painting, but rather with the owners of the museum who would always treat her poorly and taunted her by telling her that “soon America would return to simpler times, times where women kept to the kitchen where they belonged and looked after the kids.”  This was only ever brought up around Beth while she was working and was made apparent to her every time her employer was around.  They made sure that she was aware of their wording when they were present and said it in such a manner as if to try and indicate another form of superiority over her, one that extended beyond her occupation.  This behavior continued until closing time and Beth was left to continue her work.  Or so she thought.  

Eugene, one of her colleagues had snuck back inside of the museum and snuck in, preying on Beth from the shadows.  She went to set up an Egyptian canopic jar containing the viscera and remains of one of the ancient Egyptian queens when Eugene snuck up behind her and pinned her up against a wall.  As he tried to undress and molest her, the dust from within the jar swelled up in spirals around Beth, forcing Eugene back and filling Beth’s lungs like a breath of fresh air.  She began to feel new strength and a will to defend herself.  Her strength grew to an immeasurable size and her speed was quick.  She kicked Eugene with her shoe and sent him flying back against a blank stone wall.  She had planned on having him run out, but she began to hear a voice inside her head.  

“Kill him….bite his neck and rip his throat out.”

“What?  Who are you?”

“I am the ancient queen Nefertiti, and it is time for you to take back your freedom and safety.  Kill him, kill him now.”

Beth was about to question the queen again, but her body lurched forward and her teeth sank into the gritty flesh of Eugene’s neck, pulling out his esophagus and ripping out his tongue along with it.  Her body finished this motion with a kiss on the side of his neck nearing his right jawline.  It was disturbing to Beth to have done that, but at the same time, she felt…good somehow.  It felt satisfying to give in to Nefertiti and her desires and to eliminate the men who were after her.  It satisfied her so much that every night thereafter she would walk the streets in a trench coat, and whenever a passerby man she wanted to kill came lurking by, she would reveal herself in a beautiful dress underneath, revealing her elegant leg and drawing them away into an alley or obscure club where she could finish them off.

Over the course of a few months, she had amounted dozens of murders, finishing each of them off with a kiss of blood on their necks.  She became ruthlessly efficient with handguns, knives, strangling rope like garrote wire, and other forms of murder.  She would finish each kill off by taking a quick sip of their blood and spitting out onto her lips to give a wet, bloody kiss up on their exposed flesh.  With each kill, Nefertiti taught her more and more about the art of murder and how to pursue those who would persecute women, but this act of vigilante justice would not last for long.  A policeman who was undercover on a sting operation ended up being murdered by her and an investigation into his death and the many other deaths in the area.  

Beth wanted to quit her murderous spree at this point and wanted to end her reign of terror as Duchess Dark, her alter ego that she created to lure men away at bars or on streets, but Nefertiti kept ordering her forward.

“Why stop now?  The authorities being involved concerns us none.  In fact, it means there are more disgusting and evil men to prey upon, to liberate this world of.”

“No!  I can’t!  They are good men.  They have done nothing wrong.”

“Do as I say or the last kiss you shall receive is the kiss of death.”

And with that final remark from their short debate, Beth knew she had to continue on with her operations, less Nefertiti take her life as well.  More and more deaths began to pile up, and the Detroit police staff began to worry as four of their men had been found dead, having been murdered by Duchess Dark.  So, the police staff turned to the aid of a woman, someone who had been a private investigator for many years, but worked in private and never with the police.  They hired her to tackle the case of Duchess Dark and the many deaths that surrounded the iconic crimson lips and the many deaths.  Her name was Lizzette Richardson, and she was considered a veteran by many of the other investigators, and was likely their best shot at taking down Duchess Dark.  

It call came down to one winter night in December, one of the local clubs was still open and Beth was in there and managed to encounter someone who, at first glance, she thought was a man at the bar, but found herself handcuffed quickly by Lizzette who immediately recognized her.  


Beth immediately ran off with Lizzette, barely having enough time to escape to the back of the building and into a warehouse area without anyone noticing or giving a response.  Beth pulled out a knife and drove it through the chains of the handcuffs.  

“Who are you?”

“I am detective Lizzette Richardson, and I am here to prosecute you, miss Beth Riches to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Under what charges?”

“Five counts of verified murders of Detroit police officers and several unidentified murders of men around the city have been traced back to you by the kiss tattoo you have on your leg.  Several witnesses have pointed back to you being the murderer, and after having found you in that club, I knew it was you.  I knew I had found you, Duchess Dark.”

Beth was taken aback by this sudden approach and knew she had been caught, but something began to overtake her.  Nefertiti was beginning to possess her body.  “You know nothing!  You are but a worthless sheep at the hands of such men who hired you.  You will mean nothing to them once you arrest or kill me.”

Lizzette giggled at this remark and set her hat aside and pulled out a blade to meet Beth’s. “That may be so, but that would also mean that it wasn’t you who killed Nathan West on 23rd street in the back alleyways, or that you wouldn’t have harmed Hubert Whimsley on November 3rd, or that you had absolutely no hand in leaving the kiss of death on Maxwell Norton in the same back alley behind this very club.  I know your murderous ways like the back of my own hand.  The time has come for you to surrender to the firm grip of the law.”

Beth wanted to surrender, to make all of this madness end, but it was no use.  Nefertiti had fully possessed her body now and had taken control of her every move and every word.  “That will never happen.  I would rather die before I am taken into your unruly prison.”

“Then, by the city of Detroit, so be it.”

The two began to engage in close hand to hand combat, Beth’s body going in for the first strike, but missing completely as Lizzette sidestepped it and countered with a slash at Beth’s left shoulder.  The pain made Beth wince, but her body held stern as Nefertiti was determined not to give in.  

“You fight for such filthy men, who never give you the recognition you deserve.  You let them use you and toss you aside when they no longer need you.  Why can you not see that you mean nothing to these people?”

Lizzette continued to counter and strike at Beth “Men are capable of compassion and are able to help those who are in need, and women can do the same.  Men are as compassionate as women.”

“They are not!”

Both came to a standstill as the both reached out and pointed their handguns at each other.
“Why did you not remove your gun sooner, detective?”

“I wanted to have a bit of fun and was still hopeful that you would see prison and a death in front of those you could confess your sins to before God would be more pleasant.”

“The only god I look up to is Ante.  Your god is nothing to me.”

Lizzette saw the growing impatient face that Beth was making and decided to ask her one more question.

“Before you make your choice, think.  Is the pursuit of killing men really worth dying for?”  But before Lizzette could make any further remarks, her hand pulled the trigger as Beth’s hand raised the gun up to pull the trigger and release the bullet at Lizzette’s face.  Beth fell back, blood quickly pouring out of her right side.  Lizzette walked over and picked up her gun and walked off as police cars arrived to investigate.  For a very long time after, the serial murders of Duchess Dark came to an end, but now, nearly a century later, deaths are surfacing with the same crimson kiss on the necks of both men and women, all found within the red light district of Detroit.  This legend is sent out now with an urgent message to all in the Detroit area who may read it, watch your six.  Beth may have died that night, but the spirit of Duchess Dark lives on and is waiting to sink it’s teeth and lips into its next victim. Be wary of Duchess Dark.  


Popular posts from this blog

Carnivorous Encounters

The Monsters In My Mind (Why I Started Writing Horror Stories)

The Playwright