Cumberland County, Maine.
The site of seven grisly murders over the past three years, each elaborately staged, with grotesque stylizing that varies between incidents. The latest victim: a 34-year-old salesman discovered near a pond in Naples, his throat slit, his tongue cleanly cut from his body and deposited in the briefcase laying at his side.
Local authorities are baffled. The victims vary in gender, appearance, and age groups, which makes the killer's motive unclear. Worse yet, there might not be a motive at all. Paired with the various causes of death, the methods of which range from stabbing to garrotting, the murders have next to nothing in common, only the signature removal of at least one bone. Neither the local nor the state police can make heads or tails of the killings, and it's only a matter of time before the case is handed over to federal authorities.
Mikkel Ostergaard is a forty-something surgeon of some repute. After completing his studies, emerging with a specialty in cardiothoracic surgery, he divided his time between practicing in Denmark and occasionally consulting at practices in New England. However, he has since embarked on a sabbatical to recharge and recover from a home invasion that left him with a bullet wound on his chest.
Now, he spends the bulk of his time at his home in Windham, where he enjoys a comfortable lifestyle thanks to both a successful career and family money. He often finds himself at various performing arts centers to enjoy operas and symphonies, taking up hobbies such as painting and sailing, and occasionally picking out a member of the human horde for slaughter, depending on where his whims take him. He has, in fact, racked up a body count of over twenty, only seven of which he has chosen to display on his New England canvas. Murder is an artform, and he has devoted much of his time and effort into perfecting it.
With nothing but time on his hands, Mikkel is out to perfect his craft. He is especially drawn to those cut from the same cloth, born with the same desire to hunt, kill, and elevate. Of late, he has taken a liking to a younger man, an intelligent man with such creativity and a hidden potential to kill that has piqued Mikkel's interest. As it's such a shame to let such a promising talent go to waste, he decides it only proper to see if he can't nurture those impulses...
I'm looking for someone to take on the role of Mikkel's apprentice. Ideally, he would be a man in his mid to late twenties from whatever background you choose, who has the potential to become a serial killer. Initially, he would be hesitant to engage in Mikkel's lifestyle, repelled by the knowledge of his murderous proclivities, but fiercely attracted to him all the same and thus seduced into his world. The plot would follow your character's descent into depravity and the grotesque nature of the romance that blooms in between.
The details of the apprentice are up to you, but I'm thinking of him as someone with a strong personality. Mikkel would have no use for someone with no backbone. Furthermore, it would help if he was either an academic or an artist, who despite his intelligence will be refashioned in his new mentor's image.Photo Inspiration:
I rounded up two possible reference images for Mikkel, although I'm leaning toward the first, as that's how I originally envisioned him. [One. Two.
The following images are a rough idea of how I envision the apprentice, but his overall appearance is for you to decide. [One. Two.
[Given the nature of this story's content, I feel to need a tiny note to the end of this post. Despite all the nasty business of murder and such, all characters/victims will be over the age of 18 and there will be absolutely no rape involved.