Behind the Leather Apron
by Alana Turner
The streets were darker this particular night. Perhaps that is the reason they were also much quieter, maybe the darkness was simply devouring whatever sounds anyone dared make. It was most certainly feasting on the fear that was all but permeable in the air, gorging itself on such a glorious meal. For the dark had not been the main source of fear for many people the past few weeks. No, the darkness merely reaped the benefits of what I had caused. I could not hold any ill will against it either for its willingness to take advantage over such circumstance, for it benefited me quite nicely during my dark deeds.
While the people of the White Chapel district went about their night lives, some in delicious fear and others in blissful ignorance, the darkness shielded me from their view. One could argue that in some ways we weren’t so different, they and I. After all, we’re all out tonight to have some fun. That is what the night is for anyway. The dark hours are always for the best experiences in life. In the dark, we believe to hide from God our dark and sinful deeds, freeing us to do what we will, free of consequences. This is wrong of course, but I have found that I no longer care. Perhaps I never cared.
From the beginning I knew that my kind of fun was more than frowned upon. That fact never bothered me, except when I was young and my mother caught me. She never did appreciate having to clean the animal blood out of my clothes. She would complain that it cost too much to replace them and that the stains never fully came out. You would think the wife, and eventually mother, of a butcher would not hold such hateful feeling toward blood. To be fair I did butcher more than just animals. Mother dear was always on my mind though, no matter my prey.
Especially the last one. I believe she called herself Mary, Mary Kelly. She was a fine specimen, and an even better plaything. I always loved the moment when they realized that they were in peril. That truly was the moment they became my toy. She struggled and squirmed more than the rest had. She put up a fight. She had even managed to land a solid enough hit to my jaw to make me spit out blood. I never would have guessed that my blood would be the first to stain her shawl that night. It was most certainly not the last. My knife penetrated her quite a few times before I could get her still enough to quiet her completely. She could no longer let loose her awfully shrill screams once I cut her throat, my knife snagging on bone at some points. Still the stains kept coming for her poor shawl; my mother would have disapproved highly I think. It almost mirrored her, for as I kept defacing and disgracing her body, the shawl grew equally as unrecognizable. I took her apart, piece by dripping, bloody piece. When I was finished with her, I stood back and admired my work.
She was ravishing now, well to me at least. With her legs now a brilliant red, and her innards splayed about her like wings, she looked more like an angel than any living woman ever could. I positioned her legs to make her more inviting to those who found her and tucked some of her hair behind her ear. She was so very stunning. I could only hope that I could create another angel such as her. An angel that might even make mother proud.
I snapped out of my reverie with a pleasant tingle crawling down my spine. Yes, she had been wonderful, and I most certainly hoped the police thought so as well. I often wondered what they appreciated more, my gifts or my letters. Despite what many may think, I do truly hope they appreciate them. After all, everyone should appreciate a challenge. This is especially true of challenges that you still have a hope of overcoming, or in this case, catching. I suppose that was the cruelest thing I was guilty of, giving the police false hope that they’d ever manage to find such a grand prize as myself. No, I would be immortal in my semi-anonymity, they would only know me by the nicknames they gave me, and the one I gave myself in the letters. Perhaps I would send another with my next kill.
That was when I saw her. Oh yes, she would indeed make a marvelous plaything. The illumination of the streetlamp gave her an unearthly glow. She was obviously waiting for someone as she was scanning the sidewalk on both ends, this cast shadows on her face at several different angles making her appear even more ethereal. Her corset hugged and emphasized every curve in vivid detail, leaving painfully little to the imagination. The matching navy blue skirt exaggerated her backside, as is the fashion these days, but came to a graceful hem at the bottom which would caress the ground when she moved. It was revealing even for the women that practiced such an old occupation as I’m sure she did. She herself had the most majestic ebony hair I have ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on. It was so black it probably made the feasting darkness quite envious. In the illumination of the Streetlamp she was as pale as a porcelain doll, with unnaturally blue eyes. Oh yes, she would most assuredly be mine.
I allowed myself to be seen as I strolled up to her, causing her to smile sweetly in greeting, “May I ask why an astonishingly beautiful woman such as yourself is out at such a late hour on a rough street?” I returned her smile with one of my own, the one reserved only for my playthings.
She giggled and looked away momentarily before responding, “Well maybe I was waiting for someone interesting to give my time to.” She tucked one of her ebony locks behind her hair and bit her lip before continuing, “I don’t just give my time away after all.”
With how well this was going, luring her to her tomb would be far easier than it had been since I started my dark endeavors. I chuckled, “Well, one has to respect that, thankfully I don’t like anything that’s cheap.”
“Well, I can’t imagine anyone else will be as wonderfully kind to me tonight, so why don’t you escort me somewhere more interesting, hmm?” I offered my arm, which she graciously accepted. Everything was painfully normal about the walk, making idle conversation with sexual undertones and playful flirting, that is until we passed an alley. I’m not normally taken by surprise as I am usually the one giving them. When she dragged me into it however, I was most certainly shocked. The effect was even more so when her mouth attacked mine.
I played along with the charade, kissing her passionately as she moaned and pushed me harder into the wall. All my thoughts were really concerned with was how delightful it would be to thrust my knife into her repeatedly until the blood ran dry from her body. I found that the more confident and strong-willed they were, the more I loved tearing them to pieces. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn’t notice when one of her hands left me. I was not aware of it at all in fact until I felt a sharp pain in the side of my neck.
Groping my neck in agony, I crumpled to the ground. I felt the hilt of a knife and the sting of cruel irony. In a vain attempt to live I tried to crawl away. I was halted rather quickly by her heeled boot striking the middle of my back. She graceful, cruelly, maliciously brought her self down onto her knee, lodging it right between my shoulder blades.
She put her lips to my ear and started whispering to me, “All of you men, all the same,” She took the knife out of my neck, causing me to groan deeply. She then plunged it into my back with a ferocity that shouldn’t have been capable for a woman her size, “All so easily deceived, all so easy killed,” she dragged the knife from its current position to the original cut. It felt as though it snagged on something several times. My entire body numb except for my neck. That I could feel with intense clarity as ruby fluid gushed into my view. I was torn between whether it was beautiful or terrifying. She grabbed my hair and pulled me closer to her so she could easily whisper to me once more, “Goodbye, you bastard.” She let my head hit the pavement with a solid thump. If I were not already in agony it probably would have hurt. As it was, I could do nothing but watch as she walked away, never looking back. I closed my eyes and let the darkness take me. I vaguely wondered if mother would be cross.
Comments by Judges
“I loved it! It sent chills down my back and it really seemed like the author did a little research to get in to the character of Jack the Ripper. Very well done! I would love a book like this!”
“Loved this one! Great story. I really enjoyed this version of Jack the Ripper.”
“I loved how short and sweet (well…maybe “twisted” or “dark” are a better word choice here) “Behind the Leather Apron” was. And again, that twist! It didn’t just make me happy that the twist itself exists, but also that a woman single-handedly dispatched a male predator!”
Join me in congratulating Alana
as the 1st place winner of the
1st Ever Plot Monster Writing Contest!