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Literature / Blood After Midnight

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Blood After Midnight is a noir/horror/sci-fi short story written by Therealjackieboy on Fictionpress.

In the year 2039, technology has become more integrated into everyday society, with most machines taking various jobs from humans. Bryan Cyon is a down on his luck reporter in Counsil City who is in the middle of a case involving people being killed, with the bodies being branded and the right arms missing. With the help of his police friend Vivian Potch, Bryan tries to stop the murders when the rest of the police department don't cooperate.

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jackieboy is currently in the process of giving the story an expanded remake, titling it Blood After Midnight Redux.

Spoilers are unmarked. It's best to read the story first before diving into this page.


This story provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Taking place in 2039, Counsil City is filled with robots replacing multiple peoples' jobs, along with advances in medicine such as Band-Patches, which heal wounds faster than a regular bandaid.
  • Arc Words: More like "Arc Initials". SR keeps getting branded onto the bodies. These actually mean "Shadoth, Return", which is what Kelvin says during his ritual.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Missing arms are a motif of the story, as they're used for a ritual to summon Shadoth. Bryan himself ends up losing an arm thanks to Kelvin.
  • Bad Boss: Once Kelvin has the power to summon Shadoth in his right arm, he uses the power stored within it to kill every one of his cult members.
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  • Badass Longcoat: Everyone, specifically Bryan, Vivian, and Kelvin.
  • Big Bad: Kelvin, the mastermind behind the cult of Shadoth.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The story ends when Shadoth begins using its powers to grow to the size of a building, with Bryan commenting on the amount of destruction the creature might cause.
  • Cyberpunk: From the large, bright, breathtaking skyscrapers, to the corruption down below, this story fits the mold.
  • Deadly Doctor: Nurse Kikio, who is a member of Kelvin's cult.
  • Decapitation Presentation: When Bryan's kidnapped by the cult, Kelvin shows the reporter Vivian's head.
  • Dirty Cop: Officer Pennyworth, who is revealed to be a member of Kelvin's cult, actively trying to prevent the murder case from being solved.
  • Downer Ending: Sure, Kelvin's killed, but Vivian's dead, Bryan lost an arm, and Shadoth's awakening ends up dooming the entire city, killing everyone there, including Bryan.
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  • Evil Luddite: Kelvin's cult is composed of these people, though ironically, it's subverted with Kelvin himself, who is just indifferent towards technology.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From what we could gather about Kelvin, he started out as a grocery store clerk before graduating into a Satanic cult leader who managed to bring about the apocalypse.
  • Genre-Busting: As noted at the top of the page, the story combines science fiction with both noir and horror.
  • Hate Sink: Officer Pennyworth, who is loud, obnoxious, and uncaring towards the dead bodies. Bryan hates his guts, and even hopes that Pennyworth's the one behind the murders.
  • Gorn: The hospital scene, which is loaded with blood and guts.
  • Karmic Death: Kelvin loses his right arm after summoning Shadoth, who ends up crushing his face by placing his fingers in it like a bowling ball.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Kelvin uses a katana to chop off Bryan's arm.
  • Kill 'Em All: Every named character dies in the story, along with the entire city of Counsil.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kelvin presents himself as a caring individual promising those without jobs that he'll use the demon Shadoth to destroy technology. In actuality, he couldn't care less about his followers, and only wants to summon Shadoth so he can become feared and powerful.
  • Only One Name: Kelvin, which Bryan even lampshades near the end.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Shadoth, who is summoned via a magical right arm.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Kelvin, who is described as having black hair, and pale skin.
  • Reality Ensues: Vivian tries to use Bryan as bait to lure one of the cult members, but instead results in the killer committing suicide via cyanide pill after stabbing Vivian, sending her to the hospital without any info on the cult whatsoever.
  • Religion of Evil: Kelvin's cult, who worship Shadoth, a demon who was so monstrous, the its name has been rarely spoken, or even written.
  • Sadist: Kelvin, who enjoys the carnage his followers are causing upon Counsil, and the pain he himself brings toward Bryan.
  • Serial Killer: A whole cult of them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bryan references the Moe Greene special regarding Vivian's missing eye.
    • The cyberpunk setting and the hospital scene are both ripped straight out of Genocyber.
  • Smug Snake: Kelvin knows that nothing can touch him, but when Shadoth’s released, he can’t put up a fight.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kelvin gets one when Shadoth starts awakening within his right arm.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: What Kelvin does to his followers after the ritual is completed.
  • Your Head Asplode: Kelvin kills some of his followers at the end by either this, or having their chests burst.
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