1104

“I am not a Collins, my dearest son.  But you have the capacity to be the greatest of them all.”

Joshua’s words, before this glorious age when only fools dream of virtue.  My father sent me to the future with the hope that the beast could serve as protector as well as predator.

How much anguish did that choice create?  What good came of it?

Tonight, Gerard Stiles finally had the braggadocio to engage me in a war of sheer nerve.  Did he think that I would shrink from his serpentine gaze?  Far from it.  No matter what horrors gestate within the corruption of his mediocre mind, my eyes have seen far worse.  Atrocities for which I take ready credit.

My opponent relies on the innocence of his victims.  He is limited only by his own imagination.  But I am a man with no innocence, whose crimes surpass the most demonic of designs. My experiences with evil exceed anything such a novice could conceive.    I have killed.  I have brutalized.  I have shredded the innocent of hope and dignity.  I have relentlessly consumed my way across the centuries, reveling in the blood-drenched sadism that is my ignoble legacy.  I am no hero.  I am a monster.  Worse, I am deliberately such.  I take my greatest delight when I inflict pain upon those who dare love me the most.

And this is the man you wish to frighten?  You pathetic amateur.

You see, Gerard, you may eviscerate this physical body.  Any coward with a crucifix can do that.  But I know that you want my mind.  Look inside, Gerard.  Take it.  Take in the acid legend of Barnabas Collins and let it poison your insidious heart. Let it drive you to ruination the way it has broken and twisted everyone who has dared to embrace me as friend or enemy.

This is not an age for heroes.  Nor is it, dearest father, one for greatness.  The Great die with the sun on their face, reeking of honor, saving nothing.

I am not the greatest Collins who ever lived, dear father.  I am the Worst.

I will do everything.

 

My name is Barnabas Collins.

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