April 25, 1928 Hell's kitchen New York.
Eric’s eyes jolted open. He was in reality again. At least that’s what it seemed to be so far. The lunar glow from of the late evening illuminated the trashy apartment just enough for Eric to see that there was no danger. But to this poor beaten wanderer there wasn’t any such thing as “no danger”.
He could feel the evil priest’s presence growing stronger each day, no, each hour. And this nightmare he just had didn’t help things one bit. The sights, sounds, and smells, all retained their potency. It was as if time itself had returned him to the dark caverns, were he received the mark.
Eric suddenly gripped his chest in agony. Just thinking about the mark made the burning intensify. He could still feel the rusty blade carve into his flesh, as if the priest himself had returned to finish the job. Something that Eric had spent the last twenty- two years trying to prevent.
He rose from the cot, taking in the full scent of old sweat and fresh urine. The old wooden floor creaked loudly as his feet pressed against. This of course startled Eric for a moment, but he continued towards the bathroom. His eyes dashed from wall to wall. His breathing became heavier. The priests aura was all around him it seemed.
Eric reached the doorway to the water closet. Before him was a mirror that cast a slight reflection of himself. For a moment he examined his strange ruddy silhouette, then reached for the chain that dangled above. A brilliant burst of light forced his pupils to quickly retreat into his eyelids. Slowly and painfully they rose, peering into the mirror. Eric suddenly let out a short yelp as he whirled around.
The hair on Eric’s arms and neck stood up straight. His heart began to pound loudly. Tears weld up in his sockets. “He was there… I seen him… I know I seen him” The room, however, was still and quiet. Eric was alone in his apartment. His heart began to slow and his breathing returned to normal.
He turned to the mirror once more and examined his chest. There lied the burning insignia and the black veins that spread all over his torso. Twisting every which way, in every direction. Killing the hair that tried to grow.
The unrelenting pain triggered his memories of that evening. The evening his papa was murdered. Forcing him to hear his fathers agonizing screams once more. And then hearing his own shortly after.