The Butcher's good eye was colder than his glass eye, which was embedded
with the noble symbol of the American Eagle. Bill's icy blue gaze was now
resting on the portrait of the only man that was ever worth anything. The
sketch was darkened and yellowed with age and filth, but you could still
make out the strong, handsome face, and the eyes that revealed his
integrity. He was the only man Bill has ever pondered after he had struck
Bill was seated at his table, alone but for the watchful eyes of Vallon,
staring at him from the mantle. Outside, cursing and screaming could still
be heard of the commonfolk that lived in the Five Points. The moon was
full, cloud smeared across is gave it a ghostly effect in the quiet sky.
But it wasn't the moon that kept Bill awake. Bill could never sleep much.
He had to sleep with one eye open, and he never cared for sleeping. Life
was too wasted with sleep. A man that slept was a man that lacked control
of his own body.
Bill's knives glinted from the flickering candlelight on the table beside
his rough hands. He had countless numbers of them, but he kept track of his
knives like they were his children. Some of them were stained with pig's
blood, some with the blood of a human. Bill tore his eyes away from Vallon
and slowly reached down held the blade of a cerated knife in his right
hand. Rage settled in the pit of Bill's stomach. His eye twitched as he
held the knife. A knife was just a tool to him. A tool to carve out the
guts of a pig, or when the time came, the guts of the enemy.
He lifted his gaze once again to rest on the portrait on the mantle. Bill
stared at Vallon's dead eyes. He was a more noble man than him, Bill knew.
More honorable. He had fought for his people, and what had Bill done? He
had struck him down the thrust of a knife. His young son had lain with him
as the last breath left his body.
As Bill stared, he was unconsciously squeezing the blade of the knife in
the clench of his fist. A row of blood, diagonally across his palm, began
to fill his hand. Bill had noticed the pain, but though his lips curled and
his yellow teeth clenched together with agony; he only squeezed harder, the
sharp blade digging deeper into the flesh.
Bill had damned Vallon's tribe. He had brought strong men, warriors. Many
men went down that day, but none worth remembering except the Priest. The
snow was mixed with blood.
Bill honestly hated the Irish. They were nothing but a waste of human flesh
and blood, unworthy of the right to live in the fine country of America. If
Bill had had his way, every Irish man, woman and child would be hung over a
pit of fire, and when Bill gave his word, the ropes would be cut. Their
screams would echo in the night. He would take their fucking heads and make
them trophies, display them in the parlor. Bill chuckled at the thought.
Every Irish bitch would die. Every one.
Except Vallon. There was a time when Bill thought of Vallon as his own
brother, even if he was unaware. The Priest and the Butcher weren't so
different, after all. They lived by the same principles. In honor. Loyalty
to their blood and homeland. Would do anything for their people. Or against
Bill had been pondering this nearly every night for the last sixteen years.
Bill finally looked done to see blood trickling through the contours of his
hand onto the table. The table was already stained with layers of the
stuff. Bill growled from deep in his throat and opened his hand slowly,
feeling the warm redness run between his fingers.
Outside, daybreak came.