Red Death by Monroe Hayden Picture

I needed a break from realism and wanted to go back to my roots. (Sorry I haven't been submitting anything.) So, in an attempt to escape reality, I designed my very own. Plus it was really quick, like 45 minutes compared to 8 - 24 hours of work to make something look real.

Here's an idea that was inspired from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera's Red Death and Jacquotte Delahaye (Back From the Dead Red). In Mythology class, we were assigned to write short stories and myths of our own as a way to learn how and why they were created in the first place. One of them I wrote was Red Death and I recently found my paper that I wrote on her. I did my research and mixed up the facts with my own fiction to create a character that had a history that I hope to remember to tell my children someday... (I better keep the paper).

- Monroe Hayden

Note: The following is a shortened version.

Red Death

Jacquotte Delahaye was a poor woman but a beautiful one to say the least. It’s no surprise that a woman of beauty can capture the hearts men, regardless of their income or status and she managed to capture the heart of a very wealthy politician. Although she did not love him, they were arranged to be married but four days before the wedding she met a Spaniard who stole her heart. On the eve of her wedding, instead of going to her new husband she ran away with her new lover.

It so happened that her mystery love was actually the pirate, Crimson Death, and he had a debt to pay to the Heathen God’s (but she didn’t know that). His debt was his life and he wasn’t ready to pay up. He betrayed her by offering seven souls to the gods to do what they wanted in exchange for immortality.

The gods didn’t like negotiations but they accepted his offer and did exactly with the seven souls as they wanted: he would live an immortal life as he wished but the Seven he exchanged for it were the only souls who could end it and much to his surprise, they too were granted immortality but there was a catch. Something had to amuse the gods and drive the Seven so angry that they would search for him forever. They cursed the Seven until one of them stopped his heart.

Jacquotte was the first soul and her curse was to roam the earth with a marked face; a mark so hideous she had to cover it with a mask. She couldn’t return to the life she knew before, so she faked her death and became the pirate, Back From the Dead Red or as sailors call her, Red Death. The color red became the symbol of blood and she would never stop sailing the seven seas until she drained the blood of Crimson Death. Many decades past and her rage grew stronger. Her heart, colder and eventually she forgot what her real face looked like. Her reflection, a constant reminder of the one who broke her heart and traded her soul for his. For years she searched for him. For years she slaughtered all who stood in her way. For years she hid behind the mask she learned to love...

Originally, Jacquotte was known for her striking red hair but the pirate, Anne Bonny also had red hair and I wanted to make Jacquotte different but yet still find a way to incorporate her with the color. Her costume was inspired by the Red Death in Phantom, wearing the infamous skull mask to frighten sailors and pirates (seen in her right hand) but I suppose she grew too cautious of her face that she also wore a back up (as you can see her wearing). She's a woman, she thought ahead- you gotta' give her credit! She became one of the most feared pirates and master swordsman. After a kill she would leave one alive so he could tell the tale of his encounter. Did she ever catch Crimson Death? Well, that's a story for another day.

*Don't know if I'll ever get around to designing the rest of the Seven, so maybe you can design one to add to the cursed crew? Make up your own short history. I think it'd be cool.

(c) Monroe Hayden
Map image is not mine.
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