Smiling faces line the top of mama's piano. I stare at them, wondering what made them feel that way. When nothing comes to mind, I walk away and admire my new white dress in the mirror.
“Such a pretty linen,” I say, fingers running along the skirt's soft fabric. Eyes narrow, I study my reflection waiting for my face to mimic those I've envied so much. No matter how long I stare though, I know it'll never come. Daddy says I'm not made that way. But what does he know? He's a drunk and I despise him with all of my soul.
“Vivian!” he shouts from the other room, making me jump and back out of the room. He has no idea what's coming as his heavy footsteps come closer to where I'm hidden. “Vivian, where are you?”
Holding my breath, I replay all of my practice runs through my mind. How their startled eyes bulged when they saw it was me. How long it took to end it all and how much quicker I am when I want to end their horror swiftly. The problem with daddy is, I don't want it to be swift. Not after what he did to mama.
“Vivian, come here! I have something for you!”
I bet you do.
My eyes follow his stocky frame trudge by, igniting the inferno running through my veins. I hear mama's cries and vow he'll repeat her words to me. I'm certain he's far enough away not to hear me. So I slide from the small space between the bookcases, hatchet in hand. Too many years he's gotten away with it and what he's done to me. It's time for it to end. For him to pay.
“Vivian,” he calls out to me again, “don't make me keep yelling for you or else—”
His words are cut short as I make my first swing. Edge of the blade landing in the center of his shoulders, bringing him to his knees gasping for air. My hands never leave the handle and with one yank, I rip it free from his body. Crimson splatters my dress, but I pay it no mind as I walk around to give him a view of who's doing this to him.
“Viv—ian, why?” He tries to stand but another chop to the shoulder keeps him down. I wonder why he's not jumping up. Maybe the first cut did more damage than I'd expected? Who knows now. Guess I'll find out later when I'm playing the grieving child.
“Why do they always ask that?” I catch a glimpse of my raven tresses in the mirror and make a mental note to chop them off once I'm finally free from his chains.
He's gasping harder now. Hands held up, he asks, “What—does that—mean?”
I shake my head, “Let's not do this now. We both know what happened to those people.”
Daddy's hazel eyes widen. “You?”
The question rips a demented laugh from my throat. Calming down, I reply, “Well, if it wasn't you. Who did you think it was? A ghost?”
He's trembling, shaking his head with tears in his eyes. I want to puke at this little show. We both know he's as damaged as I am. Maybe even more. I'll stop once I'm done with him. Something I can't say about daddy.
“Viv,” he gasps again. “Your mother wouldn't—”
“Wrong thing to say,” I growl as I raise my weapon and bring it down hard across his chest. No one can hear us. We're too far away from the world. That's why he liked the place. Nobody could hear him play his horrid games.
With every whack I take, my ears block out his screams and pleas for me to stop. “Did you stop for mama when she asked you to stop? Did you stop slicing her skin? Did you make it quick?” I'm screeching, but I can't stop myself now. I've come to far to let him live.
He's on his back now and my pretty white dress has a river of scarlet splattered over its darling ruffles. Catching the sight from the corner of my eye, I adjust my hits to land swifter and harder to add to the portrait I am creating.
The screams have stopped. I'm sure he's gone, so I step back to prepare for my greatest act when his hand comes up and lands on the bottom of my dress. Our eyes lock and I watch him fade away.
My face feels odd. My cheeks are tight like I'm clenching my teeth when I'm not. Walking over to the mirror, I can't breathe. For the first time in my life, my face looks like those in mama's pictures. The feelings I am feeling are wonderful. I want to keep feeling them.
I promised I would stop. My eyes never leave my reflection. From where I'm standing I see daddy's tools. Something's written on the box's plaque. Walking to where it sets, it all becomes clear.
Scrawled in elegant gold script, J. Ripper tells me who I am and what I must do. Maybe daddy was right. But who knows now? Guess I'll find out later when I'm playing the grieving child.
So, I hope you enjoyed it and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Until next time, happy reading/writing everyone!