Julian grinned and gave himself a metaphorical pat on the back as he surveyed the setting for his contribution to the Commemorative Blitz Exhibition. He had endured weeks of meticulous planning and foot-weary hours scouring the local musty junk shops for old furniture and furnishings for the bombed house. It looked remarkably like his grandparents’ semi; in fact, this old wreck of a building was only a few miles from the dreary, downtrodden East End street where they had lived their miserable lives.
Julian had left those lowly ranks to become renowned in modern art circles for his imaginative and radical ideas. He liked to shock. This, he hoped, would be the pinnacle of his career. But he had a long night’s work ahead.
The recruits from Cardboard City were easily enticed by the promise of a hot meal, a few coins in their scruffy pockets and some clean, albeit ’40s-style, clothes. This ready-made family was very bleary now, having unwittingly consumed large quantities of sedatives with their meal.
He secured them and protected himself with a large, full-length plastic apron. Bomb damage: certainly some broken limbs, others blown completely off.
Restrained on tables, gagged and immobile, the victims foggily realized the extent of their involvement. Julian needed the horror and pain etched on their faces.
He arranged the mutilated “family” amongst the shattered remains of their “home.”
His exhibit had surpassed his expectations; the carnage and pathos of the victims was stunning. This, he knew, would make him a household name; he would be feted by his contemporaries.
Fresh blood–he needed constant fresh blood to keep the immediacy of the scene alive.
The last volunteer, still tied and awaiting her fate, tried in vain to scream as Julian returned and approached her. In his hand were a hypodermic needle, some tubing and a plastic bowl. Relief at not being mutilated was replaced by the realization that he was slowly draining her. How little blood could a body survive on?
On his fourth visit he smiled at her. The exhibition was creating quite a stir among visitors and press; he was on a high but he needed to up his game.
“Don’t worry,” he said happily to her. “I’m not going to drain any more blood.”
A glimmer of hope sparked in her weakened body.
“No, I need some entrails–blood and guts–to provide more impact.”