This world was too cruel to love.
Even now, drenched in the blood of someone unknown. It's impossible not to think the being at fault was someone far more influential than a mere human. God, perhaps, but she had never been one to make insinuations. It was arduous to find incriminating evidence against a divine being, so she kept her narrow-minded opinions to herself. The moon danced above her head, casting pale lights upon her victim. Blood slipped toward her on the cracked pavement, and gazing at the corpse's mutilated, porcelain skin, she wondered why she killed her. She had done nothing wrong besides being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she still tore her apart as though she were made of paper. She wouldn't have done this unless there was a reason, would she? Was this corpse innocent?
Even now, being a spectator of her own actions. She couldn't help but reach for her neck with shaky, bony fingers to make sure her pulse was still there. This was something she couldn't bear. The corpse's limbs were tossed in various, twisting directions like a puppet, and the slits she made with her sharp knife were waves parting on her body. Her skin was peeled back like rose petals, and her cracked lips were still open as she had them while screeching for help. At first she had tried to reason with her attacker, but in her current state, she was beyond reasoning. Here, you can take all the money in my wallet, it had been one hundred and thirty dollars, but now it was stained with dark red blood. After the porcelain girl had realized that her attacker had other motives, she started to run. She didn't get very far before a knife was slicing the tender skin on her neck apart with a single swing. She had to be innocent, what else would she be?
Even now, seeing what she had done. She realized her apathetic state of mind. Why did this keep happening to me? In seconds, I wouldn't remember any of this. This beautiful, young woman laying here will just be a figment of her imagination. Her suppressed memories will overtake her again, and she will be a pawn on the world's chess board once more. The knife slipped from her hand and clattered onto the bloodstained pavement.
As soon as she turned around, her emotions snapped back into her body.
Her mind reeled, and she put her hand to her face. She gasped. Blood? It happened again. Oh god, why did I keep doing this? Why was she cursed with... with whatever this was? Why did He hate me so? She let out a scream, but slapped her hand over her mouth to muffle the sound. She turned back to the body, tears slipping from her eyes, and the smell of flesh and blood rising to her nostrils. The salty droplets flowing from her eyes felt like acid. Those broken, cursed eyes.
The corpse was in pieces. She looked at her trembling, bloody hands. She couldn't leave her like this. With heavy movements, she cupped the splayed flesh on her thigh and placed it back in its proper place. She was wailing the entire time, but this poor woman couldn't be discovered this way. She was like a beautiful shattered doll-too bad humans couldn't be glued back together. The remorse tugging at her heart dragged her to the ground. Her fingers made a squishing sound when they came in contact with the corpse's cold skin. How long had I been standing over her? She shoved herself away from the body, and the food she had eaten that day splashed onto the pavement with a whoosh. She groaned but went silent at the sound of static.
The light from a flashlight fell over her. "Miss?" her burning eyes latched onto a shadowy figure, and she wiped her mouth with her warm arm. The blood smeared across her face, and now she appeared as though she had just feasted upon her. The beam of light was shaking. It was possible he was with the police, but with the flashlight flaring her vision, all she could see was the blinding light. Without thinking, she lunged for the knife. She flung it through the air as a gunshot reverberated against the sides of the alleyway, quaking her vision. The blade went over his head, taking the hat he was wearing with it. Her eyes widened, and the bullet smashed into her lower arm. She snarled, and her hand wrapped around the spewing wound.
Ignore the pain, a malicious voice inside her demanded.
She charged at him, shoving his arm up as he went for a clumsy shot. The bullet whizzed into the air with a sharp crack. She let out a rabid scream, sinking her teeth into his muscular arm. His briny blood collided with her taste buds, and he let out a pained and confused yelp. Her foot landed between his legs. He fell to the ground, grunting, and her left hand found its way around his neck while her right constricted his wide wrist like a snake. She tore the gun from his hand and sat on top of his chest with the gun's grip resting on his broad shoulder.
His light gray eyes caught hers. She wouldn't have been surprised if they fell out of his head. He opened his mouth to speak, but the sound of the gun going off next to his face made him cry out instead. She was panting, and her eyes focused on a tear sliding from his eye. He looked like he was her age, and now he was quivering underneath her with his eyes pressed tightly shut.
What on earth was I doing? Where was I? She sat up, gazing around her. The young man's flashlight was rolling on the ground, displaying the silhouette of a young woman's body outlined by a river of red. She breathed in with a shaky breath. Who was that? Her body crashed into the ground suddenly, and her scream pierced the atmosphere. She threw the gun from her hand in shock. It clanged against the pavement and fired, a deafening crack pounding against the alleyway. The bullet drilled into the gray eyed young man, and he lifted his right leg up with a yell. She hopped to her feet and slipped around the corner. His hand caught her blood splattered shirt, and she kicked between his legs again. "Please," another kick, "just stay away from me! I... I didn't mean... I'm... I'm so sorry."
She let out a crazed cry and crushed his fingers. He finally released her and crumbled to the ground. She charged down the street, but had no idea where her feet were taking her.
The young man reached into his pocket, putting a cell phone to his good ear. He touched his other, and when he pulled back, there were traces of blood on his finger. The phone rang a few times before a woman answered. "Noémie, I found the serial killer," he reached into the wound on his leg with two thin fingers and grumbled as he wiggled the bullet out. It rolled across the slanted pavement.
"You found him?" the voice asked with childish excitement.
"Her actually," he groaned, "she got away."
"Her?" the line was silent for a few seconds. Noémie sighed, "I'll be there soon. You okay, Caleb?"
He gazed down at his leg. When he wiped the blood away, the bullet wound was already healed. "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm sorry I let her get"
"Save it," Noémie snapped. She hung the phone up, and Caleb looked at the bright screen with squinted eyes and breathed out. His arm flopped to the side. Above him, the moon was a crescent, and the stars were hidden behind dark gray clouds. He pushed himself up, running his hands through his blond hair but tearing them back abruptly when he remembered there was blood clinging to his tanned skin. The bright liquid appeared to be glowing like fire in the moon's light.
Caleb slipped his phone back into his pocket and headed toward the corpse in the center of the alleyway. He returned his gun to its holster on the way there. She had really done a number on her. Caleb put the sleeve of his jacket to his nose. Thank god, it still smelled like chemicals from the lab; that was enough to overpower the stench being emitted from the shredded body. The girl's face was made unrecognizable, and the only flesh still intact was her lips. She had been screaming. Her throat had a deep gash in it that went down to the bone, most likely the cause of death. He had to turn away from the grotesque sight.
"Oh, hey, do you think her name is Mary Jane Kelly?" Zephyr had popped around the corner with his silver ring held tightly in his hand. He grinned at Caleb with a stunning white smile, and nearly fell into the wall when a strong wind blew. It tossed his reddish-brown hair to the left, and he supported himself on the wall with his thin, pale arm. His face lit up with excitement when his gray eyes fell over the corpse.
Caleb shook his head.
Zephyr let out a cute laugh. "Come on, it's a joke, you know? Jack the Ripper and all?" Caleb had no idea what he was talking about and how he managed to joke when there was a mutilated corpse at their feet. Zephyr shrugged, walking past Caleb and snapping pictures of the victim with his camera.
"Why are you taking pictures if you'll just remember all of this?" Caleb asked. "And what do you mean, Jack the Ripper?"
Zephyr looked over his shoulder and blew a tuft of his russet hair out of his eyes. Caleb had his back to him with his arm still pressed over his nostrils. "He was a serial killer in East London, England in 1888. Killed his victims quite gruesomely too. Actually, one was exactly like this girl. Look―"
"No, I'd rather not," Caleb countered, still trying in vain to make the smell of chemicals drown out the odor of the girl's corpse, but at this point the chemical smell had dispersed into the thick air, leaving the salty smell of blood in its wake.
Zephyr laughed again. "Well, the damage on this girl's face makes her unidentifiable, just like Ripper's last kill. Breasts cut off and one put under her head and the other under the foot, intestines to the right, skin on her legs and arms splayed, throat cut down to the bone, she was ultimately eviscerated. It's amazing that he could mimic this so precisely. Wow, just like Jack the Ripper, this girl's heart is missing."
"Missing, did she take it?" Caleb turned his head and regretted it immediately as nausea attacked his stomach.
"She?" his calm, light gray eyes went back over the woman on the street before them. He raised one of his thin eyebrows. "A girl did this? She must really be the person we are looking for."
"She is the person we are looking for. Fourteen people killed in the past three months, and no M.O. One person would not be able to do this unless it was him-her," Noémie had arrived, and she cleared her throat to regain her composure after misspeaking. "We are closing in on the killer, and I don't think we've set off an alarm with Leah. My father and I are one step closer to her. It will only be a matter of time before Leah is dead."
Caleb looked up to catch her burning green eyes, and he took a half step back with a stifled gasp. It was frightening when she became like this. Nothing could stop her once she set her mind to something. Zephyr's camera snapped another picture, and he hopped to his feet with a giant smile sweeping across his face, "Caleb, how did she beat you? I've never seen anyone beat you before!"
Noémie's brows furrowed like a crinkled page in a book, and Zephyr's eyes widened. He scrambled to put his ring back on his thumb. Her palm went across his face with a loud smack. He let out a high pitched yelp and rammed into the brick wall beside them. The playful smile had disappeared from his face, and now his thin lips were wavering. "How many times do you have to be told to keep your ring on?" he had his gaze on the ground and simply shook his head with tears threatening to fall from his eyes.
"He was just telling me about Jack the Ripper," Caleb stepped toward Zephyr and placed his arm in front of him, "relax, he was only trying to help to the best of his ability."
"Both of you don't seem to be helping very much," Noémie growled. Zephyr looked up with anger steaming from his gray eyes. He took a step toward her with his nails slicing crescent shaped slits into his palms. His eyes narrowed, and Caleb pressed his arm against his torso to keep him silent. Noémie scoffed at him and flicked her hair over her shoulders, "I'm going back to the labs, and unless you want more restrictions, I suggest you get back soon."
The two watched her in silence as she marched from the alleyway. She turned the key in the ignition of her motorcycle, and the loud engine roared to life. She yanked a sleek black helmet on and drove down the street. As soon as the sound faded into the night, Zephyr said, "I wish this serial killer would rip her apart. She deserves more than just a slit throat."
"Zephyr," Caleb breathed.
"What?" he demanded, angrily rubbing the tears from his eyes. "She treats us worse than people treat their pets," there was blood streaming down his arm from hitting the wall. He rubbed his hand over it in an attempt to clean the red from his skin, but only ended up smearing it all over his arm.
Caleb tried to smile, but his lips wouldn't form the shape. He sighed, "Let's just go get something to eat, and then hurry back to the lab before she puts us on tighter leashes, okay?" Caleb's matching eyes caught Zephyr's, and he nodded.
They headed down the sidewalk. Zephyr gazed up the side of one of the towers beside them. According to Noémie, the city had become more industrialized in the last fifteen years. This was one of the only buildings that didn't have lights on; it was the perfect setting for a murder.
"Hey, Caleb?" he glanced back at Zephyr. He had stopped walking. Caleb froze because of the apprehensive expression painting his face, "What do you think Noémie's going to do once she finds this girl?"
Hmm... Caleb tilted his head into the air to see the blanket of clouds uncovering the stars. They twinkled softly, and when he looked back at Zephyr he could see the light reflecting in his hand. Zephyr had taken the ring off of his finger again. "I don't know to tell you the truth. I only hope she can help because the girl didn't seem like she wanted to kill anyone."
"She's probably a nice person. Noémie is the only person I know that wants to kill someone," Zephyr muttered. Police sirens in the distance put the life back into him. "We wouldn't want to get caught here! Pizza awaits us!"
Zephyr charged down the sidewalk with a skip in his step, and Caleb laughed. He knew half the time Zephyr pretended to be a lot happier than he was, but even his fake happiness was contagious.