Compulsions of both love and sardonic fear adorned her face. She could see his blood streaked across the white silk apron she had received for her 12th birthday.
With tears soaking her rosy cheeks and sobs escaping her lips, the young girl created gruesome moon-shaped cuts in the man’s face, all parallel to each other.
She watched the blood seep from his skin to collect in a puddle on the floor. Her tears died down and, in a trance-like state, she whisked her fingers around in the puddle then spread it across the open wounds of his face like finger paint. She left one final smudge on his nose, completing her artwork with a few taps of her finger. The body flinched. And with one swift and final movement, she lifted the glass far above her head, and came down resolutely on his chest, screaming with an indefinable pain. Blood poured across her hands, sprayed on her face, and sucked the last hint of his soul from his body. Her hands danced across his chest, spreading, mixing, and squeezing the last evidence of his life through her fingers, executing the final strokes of her canvas.
She fell upon his lifeless person. Her ruffled dress faded, the age in her fingers returned, and her teddy bear melted away.
The first few seconds of her final conquest passed quietly and calmly. Then slowly, slowly her mind shifted and she began to look around. Her breath quickened. Her heart pounded. She looked at her hands, her dress, the body of the man below her. All the blood. Her throat restricted in terror as she recalled the person she loved taking their last breathe. She looked at his face, his gorgeous face, and her panic soared to levels of pure insanity. Her mouth opened wide, her face contorted in shock. She shrieked, dropping the glass in disgust and falling across the body in a desperate embrace. With her shaking hands, she maniacally swept the blood as close to his person as he could, willing it to return to him, wanting one last moment with him whole, every bit of him wrapped up in her arms.
It’s your fault, a voice seethed.
She stood and backed herself up against the wall. Her mind was spinning, angry, torturous.
What have you done?! The voice screamed with hatred and relentless spite.
What is wrong with you, you fucked up bitch! Her arms flew across her face to shield her as she sank despondently to the ground.
I knew something was off with you, the voice spat, Now you’ve really done it! Have you no soul?!
The voice continued to screech and scream as she lay on the floor, staring at The Chauffeur’s lifeless face with a regret so deep she waited for death.
But as always, it didn’t come. She was left to writhe on the floor, irrevocable pain shooting through every limb, desperate to relieve her of no punishment for her crime.
Hours passed. The torturous monster finally began to concede its evil game. The anguish gave way to shock. She felt numb. Nothing was functioning but a very small portion of brain. It poked her. Pushed her.
She brushed it off.
Silence. Beautiful silence.
Her brain nudged her again. Get up.
She didn’t want to think. Didn’t want to face anything but the darkness. But again it urged her to get up and self-protect.
Get up. It nagged again. He’s not worth it. You did what you had to do.
She raised her head off the floor minutely, acknowledging the first rational thought that entered her head.
The mess, She thought. I have to take care of the mess.
She stood again, in robotic fashion, assessing the situation before her and searching desperately for rationalizations that could lead her to take action. Achieving nothing other than a knot of scrambled half-memories, she simply began to work.
She tugged harshly on The Chauffeur’s heavy boots, casting them aside for disposal later; they would only get in the way now. His body squeaked loudly against the wooden floor – a sound that always destroyed her, but to which she had built resilience – and his hair picked up flakes of dirt and dust on the porch and front walk as he was dragged away. The body was beginning to stiffen. She never liked this part. The muffled swooshing sound he made on the crunchy fall grass caused her mind impermissibly enter the doorway of yet another scene, not unlike the one before.
She stared around her terrified at the winter snow that fell. Her eyes followed the dripping, blurred crimson ribbon running from his cheeks, across the snowy walk, and in the front door. She began to feel ill and grasped her ruffled dress for just a moment…until her resolve returned, the snow disappeared and she continued her labor all the way to the nearby creek.
There wasn’t much left to feel; no thoughts to be had. Just a stiffness mocking the corpse silently vandalizing the beautiful nighttime river scene. She was barely conscious walking back to the house as she went about cleaning up her mess, doing her best not to imagine the illicit cargo the creek carried.
Everything goes in the fire, her brain commanded. Then bleach. You can’t rest until it’s done.
When her primal instincts were satisfied, she dragged herself through the hallways, up the stairs, and to her room.
Everything went quiet. Everything went dead. The flames burned down. The house dared not creek.