project intended to be a collection of short stories by various authors.
Peering out the window from the safe comfort of my desk as dense, black, and awesomely ominous clouds crept over my house, I witnessed these clouds coating the neighborhood with early morning darkness.
Leaning forward and extending a cautious hand, I flicked the latch on the window unlocked and propped open the splintery wooden frame with an old college book of mine. Mathematics were finally serving a purpose in my life. A gentle and cool zephyr discovered my open window and enveloped me in invisible tendrils of affection, causing me to hug myself and rub the backs of my arms. I could feel the goosebumps creeping up along my arm and stopping just short of my elbows.
For a few moments I allowed the curious and chilly breeze to embrace me before scooping my sweater from the floor of my den and tugging the thick woolen fabric over my head.
The clouds passed within a matter of minutes as I gazed dreamily out the window, lost in reveries and a deliciously childlike feeling inside. Soon, droplets of rain began to sprinkle on the ledges of the parapets surrounding my little windowed alcove. I watched them make contact with the old planks, splashing in their miniature tempests, as though waging war on the ancient balcony. Never hostile, I noticed, just persistent. The delicate drops eventually found themselves dissipating as well as the clouds which took them to the west.
Lacing my fingers through the deteriorating cloth bookmark’s fringes, I was again lost in thoughts from someplace buried long ago in the pit of my being. I then grasped the spine of the book with one hand and used the palm of the other to tenderly lower the window into it’s original resting place, careful of the rebellious splinters protruding from random knots along the edge and the sill. Letting the book tumble back onto the desk with a mild thud, I slid the latch locked once more on the fragile window. Leaning back in my desk chair, the lids of my eyes grew heavy and I fell into a peculiar sequence of dreams…..
The first dream, of which I’m not particularly fond, has always held an intriguing amount of curiosity. In fact, as I focus on the details which I’m about to unfold for you like a nice present on Christmas, questions still linger in my mind as to what provoked the beginning of this adventure. I take you now to a place that is not entirely unlike our world today, perhaps the reason for my dismay in my arrival.
Sky was blue, politicians were wankers, and cereal bars tasted like they should.
by Jasmine Weston
I couldn’t conjure a way to clean up the blood. There was just such a vast amount of it. Increasing every second, little rivulets winding down her face spilled into pools which collected on the linoleum like syrup. Luscious locks of blonde curls were tainted a strawberry color and matted against her cheek as her dead eyes stared into mine, asking, “Now that you’ve got me, what are you going to do?”
What a terrific question she posed with those inquiring eyes.
Being my first killing, it was untidy work. Sloppy footprints tracked in and out of the red puddles. Musing to myself, I considered eating her flesh and discarding the bones. Maybe burning her hair. Then it occurred to me- what a waste that would be! Such gorgeous tresses and what an awful smell twould cause to burn it. Lovely jewelry fashioned from her bones could adorn my wrists and throat. Fabulous!
Still, cleaning the mess and disposing of evidence was a pressing matter. Much as a housewife debates dinner while washing dishes from lunch. However, I did find the urgency of my own dilemma had a slightly higher caliber of importance.
Why couldn’t I have waited to carry out my devilish handy-work until I had her in the safety of my own domicile? I suppose I could blame it on passion. Yes, it was a crime of passion. She looked so delicate and lonely sitting there. Posing while I committed her portrait to canvas. Every stroke of acrylic paint with the brush drawing me deeper into the rapture of her beauty.
Admiring the way she lay crumpled on the floor in a heap of burlesque gore, I was awed still by the gracefulness in her limbs as her body lay prone in that horrific and unnatural juxtaposition.
Almost all her blood had drained from her open wounds, which now began to crust over as I had stood so long adoring her. The floor was so delectably soaked with her DNA, I couldn’t help but kneel beside her on one knee just to be closer to it. Swiping a curious index finger through the mess and lifting it to face level, I watched the excess liquid form a crimson trail leading down to my knuckle. Craning my neck just so, I tilted my finger to where the blood now flowed the opposite direction and a single drop splashed upon my taste buds. Delicious.
A sharp pain near my kidneys caught me off guard, forcing me to jut out my palm and make contact with the floor in order to steady myself. Blood lubricating the linoleum removed all friction with which to become steady, and I soon found myself lying face down.
Just perfect, I mused as I collected my wits and pulled myself into an upright sitting position. I could feel the mass of blood splitting into streams like a delta across my jaw and chin. Drops fell into conformity with the majority of its former coagulated self as I leaned over the body and promptly spit on the girl’s face.
Immediately apologetic, I tried to wipe the spit off her face. What I succeeded in doing was smearing blood down her cheek. I looked at her for a moment, cocking my head to one side. She looked quite like a porcelain doll with her translucent and bloodless shell of skin accompanied by that gaudy rouge on her face.
This girl was now my greatest masterpiece, was she not? Or at least the first of many. And all masterpieces have names, do they not? Or at least the ones remembered.
“I dub thee…” I trailed off in thought for several seconds, then focused directly on her dead eyes, spread wide with fear in her last earthly minutes.
“Dollface!” I clasped my hands together joyously at the idea. “Yes, Dollface!!” with my excitement growing rapidly, “You, my dear, are the loveliest little dollfaced girl I’ve ever seen! We shall make royalty out of you, my little diamond in the rough. It’s only fit to seat you in a throne of your own, dear. Ah, my little Princess Dollface!”
Princess Dollface looked happy just then, as I spoke to her corpse with accomplishment in my voice. Delightful, almost. I had to look twice to make sure I hadn’t seen her smile.
Then I remembered the pain that erupted this volcano of elation, and just as I began to wonder why…
“Eh… Comment t’appelles tu?” (What’s your name?)
Finding my body frozen at the sound of the voice, it took stern volition to turn my head. I directed my attention toward the voice, which was soft and barely audible. Frigid muscles in my neck bulged in shock and then from the shoulders down I felt paralyzed as I fixed my eyes on the speaker.
Lifeless, but utterly undead lips wavered and spoke again, “Qui-est’ce que tu veux de moi?” (What do you want from me?)
Jaw dropping and with mouth agape, I gasped hoarsely. Yes, these fluffy French words floated out of the young girl’s throat like music to my ears. A classical symphony blanketed us. Quietly at first, but then it began to crescendo with the pace of my heartbeat. Clearly the music was not inside my head.
Princess Dollface’s chest convulsed, causing blood to gurgle up from the man-made blowhole in her ribcage which I’d given her earlier, much as cetaceans expel water and air. These wounds must have been previously unknown to her as she herself appeared quite dazed at the sight. Obviously not overly alarmed, her empty eyes glanced at me and she asked in that sweet flowery voice of her’s, “Je suis mort?” (I’m dead?)
Then it struck me how positively rude I was behaving. Here I was, doused with the poor girl’s blood and all I could do was stare at her in awe.
“Uhh….” I stammered, struggling to find the right words, my brain desperately trying to formulate a sentence properly. I was so rusty with my French. “Oui, oui. Je m’appelle-” I shook my head, my face displaying a befuddled expression. “Je ne parle pas le français bien, mais… Mais… How are you talking? You’re dead!” (Yes, yes, My name’s.. I don’t speak French well, but.. but..)
My dollfaced little princess must have been a familiar with English because she had that look of satisfaction you get when someone answers your question, regardless of whether or not it was an answer you liked.
“If you can talk, can’t you move? How are you doing this? Aren’t you upset that you’re dead?” I demanded, confused by her nonchalant reaction. She has a languid nature about her.
“C’est pas grave,” she answered gently. Other than her eyes, only her lips and jaw appeared to have life in them, or at least some form of motion. (It’s not so serious)
Wonderful, she was keeping it simple and using familiar terms, but I was still lost as to why she was saying this, not what she was saying.
Oblivious to the mess of blood on the floor through which I slid in order to hear her more clearly, I inquired, “N’est-ce pas?” as I drew closer to her. (It’s not?)
“C’est la vie…” trailing off, she paused and pondered her last verbal thought, “Ou c’est la mort, je dirais!!” A colorful giggle came from her little pouted lips, that facetious mouth of hers. (That’s life…. or that’s death, I suppose!)
Fascinating! She was both quippish and decently optimistic for a talking corpse.
In retrospect, she had died long before the day I killed her. Our many conversations had drawn us together in a bond stronger than breastfeeding. My beautiful little Dollface illustrated her short life to me in a verbal tapestry of adjectives and verbs. How tormented her sanity had become, withered and decrepit. Virtually nonexistent. Cascades of torrential depression had flooded her mind and consumed her soul, she said. It seems that in the end my selfish and homicidal deed had wrought clarity for her in this maelstrom.
Diligently, I strove to clean up the blood and mess. As I stooped to sweep her entrails into the dustpan, I couldn’t help but wince and look at her apologetically. She continued on with her story, telling me of piano lessons and her instructor.
In one perspective, our murderous romance had become a great relief to both of us. Princess Dollface seemed indifferent mostly, but copacetic nonetheless. She praised the incidence of our encounter as one would show gratuity to a college professor for a passing grade on a final exam.