The Bone Jar Full

WARNING: The series below may contain images and subject matter that might be disturbing to some readers. [18+]

We hold no legal ramifications or liability, nor does anyone at Black Cat Editing or The Real Saga Press. The series you will be reading does not depict any real events past or present, nor real people. It is a work of fiction.

THE BONE JAR

© Larisa Hunter & Sheal Mulling Berube 2018

A production of Three Little Sisters,

The Literary Sisters Podcast and The Real Saga Press Publishing.

 

The hallway is dark and dingy. There is very little light. The buzz of the run down over head halogen echoing slightly off the walls. Tapping sounds float out from the door at the end of the hall…tap tap tap… a pause and again …tap tap tap. A mutter of soft words as if under the breath. Someone talking to someone else. It gets a little heated but only one side of the conversation can be heard.

“You should have listened to me…I told you so…” the voice mutters, “they never listen.”

Moving down the hallway, the door looms foreboding, a heavy oak door with years of wear and tear. Streaks of paint from different decades etch across the four-panels. Chipped and peeling, it shows the different stages of color schemes used over the years, almost reminiscent of a broken jaw breaker with its multicolored stripes.

The door is heavy, pushing it open reveals a harsh laboratory light that spills into the dank recesses of the hallway. He can be seen sitting there tapping a scalpel, smirking at the body in front of him on a shiny stainless-steel table. The tapping of the scalpel on the cadaver table accentuates every rock back and forth of his head as he plans his next cut, thinking to himselfthatit must be perfect, this type of art takes not only precision but talent. Both of which he has, after all, he is an artist don’t you know.

The smell in the room is almost sickly sweet. Formaldehyde and candy mixed together. The chemicals searing the nostrils and throat while the sweet candy smell could choke a bull elephant. It’s like death meets bitter sweet and that can be dangerously soothing at first but nefariously deceiving underneath.

It’s so cold here, I can’t believe how cold and my toe itches…if only I knew how to reach it but alas I can’t seem to reach it

And why did they put me in this outfit? What is wrong with them

Don’t they know I don’t like plaid?

“She would kill me if she knew I’d put her in this outfit,” he says straightening out and smoothing the plaid slacks.

All these thoughts swirling in my head…but it’s pointless isn’t it…

Because all I can feel is the cold….

I don’t know why I am obsessed with my toe, or why I have this insane sense of regret. I feel like I should be doing something right now, but I don’t know exactly what. I feel myself slipping into unconsciousness, and yet I am awake and alive…. what is this sensation. I can feel my skin and it feels so different, its wet, and cold, and smells funny. Yet, I feel peaceful and somehow completely aware of myself, like I am floating in a deep and dark abyss and yet I can’t quite shake the feeling that I should be slightly more concerned about this feeling of cold, this smell of rot and the fact that this toe will not stop itching.

I loved him. It was not just the kind of love you feel when you’re a young stupid girl who is writing I HEART XX on your binder at school. I loved him so much I would fucking do anything for him…and I did, didn’t I. But, this is not where it began. It was innocent at first…. I loved him from the moment we met. It was a day like any other, me grabbing my soy latte at Starbucks, and that’s when I met him. I turned around from the counter and there he was, directly behind me. He was tall and slender, with red hair and these deep blue eyes. He was rocking a pair of denim blue jeans and a simple black t-shirt…I don’t remember his shoes…it was his eyes I remember the most. He smiled at me, and I smiled back and for some reason as I stood there at the cream counter adding in two packets of sugar and some half and half, he approached me. I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. I wanted him to talk to me, I wanted him to ask me my name, I felt dizzy.

“Hello there” he said, his voice as smooth as silk

“Hi”, I squeaked, trying my best to avoid him making me blush

“I don’t usually do this, but um, would you like to have a coffee with me?” he asked, his voice was now a deep resonating sound that seem to feel like I was drawn into him, and yes, yes I wanted that coffee…perhaps even more than just that….but now I am certain, that thinking just about him in that way, was making me blush.

“Ok” was all I could muster

“What’s your name?” he asked, ushering me toward a nearby table.

“Ivy” I replied

“Nice to meet you Ivy” he smiled back at me.

***

The woman was something he had never set eyes on before in his life. This beautiful creature had a smile that could charm the devil himself he thought. I must have her. Troy moved a little closer to her in the line of the Starbucks. Time to turn up the charm. Troy smiled his lopsided grin, the one that puts a twinkle in his eye. Women generally couldn’t resist that lopsided grin of his, but this woman wasn’t paying attention. Damn.

He looked at her again, watching her inspect a sugar packet closely then reject it and put it back down. He watched this cycle of pick the packet up, inspect it and reject it until she finally found one she wanted. He cocked his head to one side and raised a brow. Glancing down, he gently reached out and flicked one of the bins of packets at the bottom, sending a cascade of sugar packets across the floor and their feet. When he looked up, the eyes that stared incredulously back at him took his breath away.

“Why did you do that?” She asked in a huff.

“I…uhm…sorry?” Troy stammered, “I was uhm, reaching for it…I guess I knocked everything over huh”

The woman shook her head and smiled softly, Troy smirked and shrugged his shoulders at her as if to say heh, yeah ops…She giggled at him and smiled again.

“Uh, I don’t usually do this but would you …well…like to go for coffee sometime? I’m Troy” he said offering his hand to this little pixie of a woman.

“I’m Ivy,” the woman squeaked, “sure, why not.”

I can’t describe how that smile felt, I should have detected then what I know now, but how can you. How can you know……and that was it, it was the beginning of a relationship that would transform me. I can’t describe how much our love was like a run-away freight train. It was a quick transition from dating to living together to full on committed living together happened. It seemed like the days just bled one to the next with little break between. If only I could itch that toe though…. that hasn’t changed, the itch is still there, but now it’s more burning, more intense and I can’t tell you how much it’s still so cold…. I wonder if I am dreaming, if this is all just not happening…. I think back to the sheets. The sheets of our bed so hot from his body, enveloping me like warm water, he smells good, he tastes good. His smile draws me in, sometimes bearing his beautiful teeth in a playful way to say, I might devour you my love…and how much I want that to be true. Devour me, consume me…I am yours……

The flashes of his face seem to almost fade for me now, but I am recalling something, something on my hands…what is it, I cannot see it…. help me…. its so cold…so cold…and that toe…just keeps itching.

How they met was not purely by chance at all, Troy scoped out his hunting grounds – and there were several hunting grounds – for ripe pickings on a regular basis. This was just another doe in his headlights, albeit a very rare and beautiful doe, ready to be picked off by him. He had seen her back in the mall at the natural foods store obliviously riffling through the discount bin and followed her to the Starbucks. Why did they always seem so oblivious to their surroundings – foolish little creatures. Didn’t they know there were predators lurking or were they so satiated by their false sense of securities that they no longer had instincts left for danger.

Her beauty was something to behold…

…This dark haired and green-eyed doe. Her eyes were what got to him the most. A deep emerald green that he could lose himself in. She was the first woman who had taken him by surprise at what she stirred in him. He had not expected her, she blind sided him completely. He might even hazard to say that she stirred some version of love in him. Not love that any normal sane person might describe but rather his own twisted and sinister version.

There was a lot he hadn’t expected with her. She had been easy enough to target but, in a way, without them both knowing it, she had targeted him as well. She had this, seemingly soft and gentle nature but there was something darker roiling just beneath that. Something, familiarly sinister even – like sweet cherry candies. The ones that if you eat too many of them it makes your gut roll but eat just the right amount and its heaven in your mouth – but there is always that fine line with both those candies and Ivy.

Troy stared at himself in the mirror then looked past himself at the bed where she was laying on her belly under the silk white sheets. The curve of her shoulder just poking out of the sheet while the silhouette of her hips and ass tried to entice him back into bed. Troy felt the heat of himself start to respond with a twinge and then an ache, he had work to do though. No time for a second round of her sweetness, it would have to wait.

The sheets were wet and cold, and the smell of cologne and sweat dripped from our bodies as they twisted in the sheets. The feeling that I was falling and floating all hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to consume him, devour him…I was giving myself to him over and over. There was something else in the room……but what it was now…. I don’t know…. what is that? What is that in my hand…. what is that feeling, I am rocking and swaying and so cold…so cold. I hear him call me…. “Ivy, Ivy, I love you…. come to me darling…. come”. I feel him around me, and in that hour of my longing and needing that can’t be satisfied. How did it come to this, these sheets…the cold….my toe….and yet I keep feeling myself back in his arms, he holds me and cradles me against his chest. His heart beats so rapidly, and he smells so good…but something isn’t right is it…. something is wrong….so wrong…I just don’t.

Around the apartment the mood was still, it was calm and quiet, the iPod pumping out the same old song, what was it about that song? He always listened to it…. especially when he came back from his trips away. I never knew where he went, and honestly never asked. I had surrendered myself to Troy fully, I would never disobey him nor flout him in any way, I belonged to him, heart and soul. The apartment was never the same without him there, it was like a dead zone, empty and sad. I would remain ready for him coming home, never going into the room he told me to avoid, never asking questions…..maybe I should have….maybe I will…..

But, then there is his eyes, his eyes are deep pools that make me lose whatever inhibitions I had, if I ever had any…Maybe the true Ivy is the one that lives for him, that holds him and is with him, but there it is…that toe again…why can’t I scratch it…what’s wrong with me….I simply can’t hold on to the visions of him….I am falling and it is dark here.

Troy smiled softly and picked up the brush with a raised brow. Brushing through his curly blonde hair while contemplating his work at hand. Staring into his own piercing deep blue eyes and running his tongue across his upper teeth, Troy smirked playfully. There were a few new cuts to his art he needed to make this afternoon. He had found the perfect silky fabric for the new piece of art as well – finally,found the right one.

Putting the brush down, Troy slowly pulled out a pair of briefs from the drawer, only pausing when Ivy stirred a little then settled. He threw on his briefs and went searching for his pants and button up shirt that Ivy had so unceremoniously torn off his body last night in her moment of heat.

Time to get to work, Troy grinned as he kissed Ivy on the temple softly.

 

***

I woke up with the bed empty and cold, but his shirt had been left there just waiting to hold me and tell me all the truth I wanted to hear. The apartment smelled like lemon, almost antiseptic. There was a new present for me laid out on the dresser. A silver locket lay there ready to be placed on my neck. I put it on and smiled. My body was still shivering from the night before, ridding the sheets like waves was hard on me, but I simply composed myself, walked to the fridge, grabbed an apple and bit into its flesh. I took myself in the shower to clean off from last night. The shower was odd this morning…. a lot of towels again, Troy must have cut himself shaving again…. I get into the stall, feel the steam….but that’s all. I don’t remember now what I was doing, or what soap I was using. But I do remember stepping out of the shower, looking in the mirror. I was not Ivy anymore was I. I was his Ivy, a different Ivy….

The hum of the car tires on the highway was always soothing to Troy’s frayed nerves. He was antsy, fidgeting badly with the knob of the shifter. Caressing it back and forth with the palm of his hand. Wishing he could slam the accelerator a little heavier but if he got stopped by a cop that would be very, very bad right now. Patience Troy, he told himself. The song blaring out of the car speakers was his favorite hunting song.

Though he had bagged his little prize replacement doe for this piece of artwork, she was in the trunk right now, he had had to move his prize. He hated having to move his work. It disrupted his artistic creativities. Sometimes he even lost his mojo and had to start all over, but Ivy had been lingering too long at that door. The look of curiosity was too much for him to bare leaving his work where she might find it. Just in case she might get too curious. He wasn’t ready for her artwork yet, not nearly close to ready to start that one. He needed more time to finish this one first and prep for hers.

The music blaring in the background, …does she know that we bleed the same…, almost a scream at the level Troy had it at. Again, he caressed the knob of the shifter before shifting into fourth gear, the burr of the engine responding to his demands easily enough. He would be there soon, hopefully he would have enough day light to make it to his work space with his precious doe without ruining what he had already started.

The forest grew denser as the car careened further off the beaten path. There was no one to hear the muffled moans from Troy’s car, no one to hear the thump against the hood of the trunk. She was a tiny little thing, five foot something and maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet. She was tied up, trussed like a Sunday turkey dinner and naked as the day she was born. Her hair was shorn short, bald patches here and there on her scalp where the scissors cut a little too close.

She moaned, tried to roll to her side but instead set her crushed wrist to screaming hot white pain up her arm again. Kristin couldn’t understand why this was happening to her. Why had he done this to her? What did she do to him? Her mind raced through every possible scenario that could happen from here out, what were his plans? She did know one thing for sure, his plans included her dying – she knew this like she knew the feel of her own heart beat against her chest.

Troy slammed the car to a stop at the beginnings of a dirt road wedged between two crops of pine and birch trees. He nearly missed, he always nearly missed it, so much so that it became habit now. Damn autopilot. Thump. Thump…thump…

“Knock it off bitch” Troy growled loudly through clenched teeth, thumping his fist on the steering wheel. There was a whimper and then silence. Troy shook his head and grunted. This little doe was feisty, a fighter. It sometimes gave Troy a wicked hard on when they fought him, he liked the feisty ones but today was not one of those days. They may be out in the middle of butt fuck no where bush but there were still prying eyes on occasion even out here. He had to move quickly or else risk losing his beloved prized doe. Bombing down the dirt road at break neck speed Troy yanked the steering wheel with a hard left, nearly careening into a crop of three birch trees. He got so close to them he could see the thin papery bark peeling off the trunks in his side mirror. God damn Troy – patience man, patience, he cussed himself out.

As he was about to holler back at the bitch whimpering in his trunk again his eyes fell on the bunker door at the end of the dirt path. If you didn’t know what you were looking for you would miss that as easily as you can miss the dirt road itself. It was tucked away into a densely packed thicket of bushes, trees and rocks.

Absent mindedly Troy fingered the key on his key ring. The key to the very bunker tucked away in the middle of the bush. He had found it quite by accident, had had to have the lock retooled by a lock smith after purchasing the land it was on. It was left overs from a long-ago fevered mind that thought the world was coming to an end in the seventies. Old coot’s family let the acres go cheap too, a last remnant of a long-passed family member that they didn’t want to remember.

Troy rolled his car to a hard-jerking stop, hopefully the bitch back there would finally shut up long enough for him to think straight. He slammed it in park and cranked the – …Did she run away, did she run away …I don’t know…, music down to a whisper.

Troy slid out of the driver’s seat while pulling the keys out of the ignition. Trotting to the back of the vehicle he tapped along the side of it and over the hood of the trunk with a wide lopsided grin. He chuckled when the prized doe more than whimpered at his impending approach.

“Doesn’t that sound like inevitability dear precious doe,” Troy purred through the trunk of the car, tapping softly with every syllable, “you will make a fine piece to resistance my sweet darling doe.”

He sighed softly as he jammed the key into the lock of the trunk, turning it. The trunk flew open wildly startling Troy backwards. Oh, that fucking bitch– Troy looked up in time to see a pair of feet come flying at him and he barely had time to side step it. Kristin clipped him in the shoulder sending him twisting around and sprawling across the leaves and dirt.

“For fucks sake” Troy cursed loudly as he rolled away from another attempt at Kristin trying to kick him. Seems she somehow slipped her ropes around her ankles and was now attempting to escape himhe thought as he rolled away, barely missing getting kicked in the side of the head, and grabbed her ankle then yanked upward hard. The thud of her landing on her ass squarely in the leaves made Troy bare his teeth in a primal growl of satisfaction. She has brass ones to pull this shit, now look at her. She’s all dirty and full of mud and leaves. It’s ruined, just ruined.

Troy glared at her as he came to his knees, the stupid bitch ruined it. Just completely ruined it and now he was going to have to start all over again. Why did she have to be such an ungrateful goddam bitch. Didn’t she know she was destined to be a beautiful piece of art, forever etched into time immortal. Some people just couldn’t take a gift without ruining it for everyone else.

Troy’s face reddened with pure rage and the scream that poured from the core of his being and out his mouth was more animal than man. It was over so fast Troy himself didn’t have time to realise it at first either. The shick of the switch blade as he produced it from his pocket and the sweet sickly rip of skin, followed by the coppery smell and slippery feel of Kristin’s blood splashing his face and neck. His hands had done his thinking for him and he had slit her throat in a blind rage. Now he would have to find another replacement doe for the artwork. How disappointing.

“…come back home…”

***

Kristin was tiny enough for Troy to carry over one shoulder. His clothes were soaked in her now coagulating blood. It had been surprising how long it had taken her to bleed out and die. She truly had been quite the fighter. Troy had lain next to her on the bed of leaves and stared into her eyes while she choked to death on her own blood and she had stared him right back in the eyes with this glare as she died – feisty little precious doe, a shame to waste such a beauty. Patting her bare ass with his hand Troy nodded and produced the key to the bunker door, unlocking it.

Walking down the dingy hallway of the bunker in the dark he started whistling softly to ease the eerie feeling he had slithering up his spine. The hallway of the bunker kind of creeped even Troy out. The echo of his footfalls sounded like little lost souls howling out of the dark shadowy corners. Sometimes he swore you could almost hear them whispering from the darkness.

Why…what did we do to you Troy.

Help me, he won’t let me go.

You are going to die like we did Troy, you’ll see, you will.

Troy shivered as he came to the four-panel door at the end of the hallway. As he opened the door he flicked the light switch bringing to life a glaring halogen light that hummed miserably. The shine of the cadaver table in the middle of the room made Troy squint a bit. He flipped Kristin off his shoulder and coldly slapped her body down on the table.

Staring at her open eyes and face Troy smiled softly and cocked his head to one side, picking up his scalpel from the medical side table he reached for the woman on his table. Just a little slit there and a big cut here…maybe I can salvage this into something else. He would still need a new doe for the current piece he was working on though.

***

It was on our anniversary, that I asked Troy to share more about himself. It seems kind of dumb in retrospect that I never asked him about his work. The photography in the apartment of bondage and death was always curious to me. But, I figured he was just an eclectic artist, like many of my boyfriends, he liked the same macabre things I did. We always enjoyed the darkness together, and Troy was very much that side of me. The dark Ivy, the Ivy that liked to play in the shadows.

She had surprised him with her question out of no where. They were at the restaurant for their anniversary. One year already. My does time fly, Troy mused to himself as he twirled the dessert spoon in his fingers. He was lost in thought and the spoon when she asked him to share more about himself. His eyes had flicked from the spoon to her while pursing his lips. Caution Troy, his mind screamed.

The last time you shared anything with someone it ended badly, Troy frowned, started for a punishment with a spoon to the back of the hand because of being mouthy and ended with broken fingers and a whole lot of blood to clean up that night.

He shook it off though, this was Ivy. His beloved Ivy, his dark and twisted flower that wrapped and enveloped him with her deadly vines of desire, choking him just enough to elicit the most wicked of heat in him but not enough to squash the life out of him either. She was a fine balance of pain and pleasure his dark little Ivy.

Then again, he had been following her when her curiosity peeked, and she started snooping around the locked door. One night he followed her to the police station. She had cried all the way there in the rain, looking over her shoulder like some sneaky child trying to get away with the whole cookie jar let alone one of the cookies. He had watched as she left a letter in the outdoor mailbox of the precinct then slinked quickly off down the alley way beside the building. Troy then trotted up to the mailbox and dug for the envelope. When he had pulled it out and looked at the front of it he had recognized her scripty hand writing. Neat and tidy, every letter in its place, curves of the letters all tightly compacted in neat little loop to loops.

Troy had slipped down the same alley way she had gone down. Opening the letter to read it. He had stopped dead in the darkness and rain when he realized what the letter confessed. Face turning red and eyes darting back and forth as he had read each damning paragraph while his stomach rolled making him turn his face up to the pouring rain. How could she, she had betrayed him. It couldn’t be possible, not his sweet dark twisted Ivy flower.Troy had shuddered and hung his head, dropping to his knees with the letter clenched in his fist. Rolling the other fist back and forth across his thigh.

Troy had cried out as thunder rumbled through the air and a streak of lightening lit up the alley way. He had spent what seemed an eternity weeping with his face turned up to the torrential down pour that seemed opened from the sky that night. Finally, when the last hitch of agony in his breath had subsided Troy tore apart Ivy’s letter with a seething rage rolling across his face and body. He even left the confetti like pieces drifting in the rain water in the gutter that night too, spitting at them like they were little evil blanched demons sprouting out the dark, dirty water. He had stood up and stared into the darkness in the direction she had gone with a demented grin growing across his face. She would pay for this, soon, but he had to bide his time and make her pay in a way she would never forget – even in death.

He had also found out quite quickly how deeply dark Ivy could be. She was, surprisingly, his match and equal in almost every way he could have imagined, perhaps even surpassing and schooling him in some respects. Her penchant for hard, rough sex over top his prized doe had really taken him by surprise. Ivy had relished in the blood that had sprayed her face and body, slick with it she had become wild and unhinged, thrusting backward against him so hard that he had barely been able to hold on to her. It had been a carnal almost animalistic kind of sex. It seemed to be a primal rebirth for Ivy somehow and he had just been along for the ride that night.

What I can’t tell now is why it’s all so fuzzy. Why is it so dark here…? what is that? I can’t make sense of it all, I feel like I am falling…but then there is his voice, he is calling me, Ivy….my love, come closer, feel that, take this, its wet, its dark, you will like it…. come play”

And yet I did enjoy it…. whatever the it was…. these memories are just flooding me back and forth…. there is the car. His jacket…the smell…. the room and this toe…. why in the fuck is it itching? There I am again, floating back, his chest pressed against me, his lips, the steam of what was twisting in the sheets, the throbbing heated desire that dripped from me…that lingers…. Why can’t I recall what happened between us? Why is it so hard for me to know what time it is…?

I can still smell him on the pillow….my body was limp from the passion that we showered on the bed last night, my body still feeling him in me, and on me….gods Troy, I love you when you do that too me…makes me all tingly, wanting to do that again, now, here, wherever, take me like that…destroy me….that is what your dark Ivy wants…give it to me, tie me, bind me whatever you want. I give you all and everything of me…. It’s our love I feel and yet I look down and feel something. My hands are raw and red, as if I have been scrubbing things way too hard.

They had both collapsed to either side of the dead doe between them, her peering over the top of the doe’s head at him with this lustful grin, lapping up the blood off her fingers and palms of her hands. He had smiled back at her thinking this is the one, I’ve found THE ONE.

The one he could share his work with and not have to worry about her ever turning her back on him or judging him with that look that was like fingernails on a chalk board to him. How he hated when people looked at his work and scoffed at it. He put so much effort into it, he detested, abhorredthat ungrateful look. It filled him with a boiling rage that consumed every thought and feeling, leaving him reeling like a wild animal. Ivy didn’t do that at all to him, in fact she embraced his work fully. Though, sometimes he wondered if she was simply willfully allowing herself not to see, smell or feel what was around her in the apartment.

He had started leaving hints of his work more willingly in the open for her to find. From trinkets that came from his precious doe’s body to outright leaving a doe or two around the place. Sometimes he swore she looked right at them and saw nothing but then she would come out of left field at him like she did with that blood rebirth of hers the other night.

But it was not that…I don’t remember cleaning anything “Ivy…. Ivy…look closer”, “Who’s there?”, “I don’t see you, I can hear you, where are you?” I feel like I am walking in fog, this place is not clear. I can’t see where I am, I call out again, “HELLO??”

I start feeling nervous, as no one answers. I reach out, and feel the air around me, I feel like I am moving towards a thing, but there in the fog, there is nothing, I am nowhere, I am alone. I feel cold, I reach my arms rubbing them, but they feel wet, and do not heat my body from the cold. I find myself in a room, it’s cold here, so very cold. There is a single chair, a table, a mirror, a cup, and paper…. that is all. Where am I? “TROY???”, “Please answer me??” …” TROY” I scream out…sobbing, I collapse on the floor…

“Did you hear me my love?” Ivy asked, staring at him funny from across the restaurant table.

“Yes Ivy, I heard you,” Troy spoke softly, “Okay, I’ll show you what I do Ivy, I’ll show you my work.”

***

The place was a bit crowded, Troy hadn’t expected a damn carnival in town. Its bright lights and annoying music on an endless loop. Ivy seemed enthralled with it all and Troy shook his head and had to smirk softly at the adorable wide-eyed stare she was giving.

He nearly missed the doe while staring at Ivy, his deadly little flower. He smelt her first, the doe was wearing a scent that was light and creamy. Troy nuzzled into Ivy’s shoulder and stole another glance toward the doe. Red hair and caramelized amber eyes. Ivory pale perfect skin. Ivy turned to Troy and looked at him with a puzzled look.

“Why are you looking at that red head like that?” Ivy asked him.

“You asked me to show you my work, she is a part of my work.” He responded with a whisper in her ear.

“What the hell are you on about? Troy, you don’t even know this girl.” Ivy grunted with indignant attitude. She stared hard at the red head, giving her a look that could run your blood cold. Ivy turned back to Troy with a warning look.

“Darling, I don’t do threesomes if that’s what you are after, I don’t like sharing” Ivy growled.

“No love, not what I’m after. She is a prized doe for work, she is art waiting to happen” Troy grunted with his teeth bared at her. Troy was now slightly irritated with Ivy, she is smarter than this usually. It normally never takes Ivy much to realise what he wanted from her, but this was ridiculous.

…No, not that look, anything but that look…

Troy’s feathers were now ruffled as Ivy stared at him wide eyed as the realisation struck her full force. She tried to hide it though, Troy watched her pathetic attempt at recovering from the shock of understanding.

Ivy shook her head to clear the cobwebs and something shifted across her face that took Troy by surprise. You could see the shift from shock to serious analytical thought then to acceptance of the whole idea. Troy began to relax a little. Troy watched Ivy closely again looking for that look that made him seethe so badly. It was gone but the fact that it had been there at first troubled him gravely.

She was scoffing at his work after all, just hiding it all this time. The letter that rainy night had proven that hadn’t it. Troy gritted his teeth and forced a wide lopsided grin in Ivy’s direction. Oh, how his heart ached, shattering into a million pieces. His precious flower has betrayed him. Troy’s grin floundered a bit and he rolled his shoulders back and down, stuffing the pain deep into the core of himself.

I see a letter, I feel the paper in my hand, so heavy…it tells everything…everything about it…there is something I am missing, but the paper is there. It looks like my hand did this, but I can’t recall, its so frustrating…. the fog, the table, the chair, the cup…nothing makes sense here. I feel something…. something on my hands…. its sticky and dripping…. something isn’t right.

“My precious Ivy be a dear and hand the red head one of my photography cards” Troy spoke as gently as he could while raising a brow at Ivy when she gave him a confused slack jawed look, “I meant art work as in photography work my darling, what did you think I meant?”

***

As Ivy caught up to the red head in the parking lot away from the crowds she stole a glance back toward Troy. He wasn’t there, it startled Ivy that he was gone, and she tripped right into the red head at her car. The photography business card loop de looped its way to the ground between the two women.

“I’m so sorry” Ivy kept repeating frantically.

“Hey, hey it’s okay” the other woman said with a soft smile as she picked up the card and flipped it over.

The room was dark, it was always dark there…My room where the stuffed animals guard the secrets of my scars, of the screams, the figures in the night, slipping slowly in and out of my room

I hear him…he is breathing

His hand strikes hard onto my face…he was doing it again, I was a bad girl, I was nothing

I am no good anymore…I am dirt…he told me that.

I scream out “Daddy no” he does not stop

The belt comes out

I know what happens next….and still I look at myself in the mirror

Little Ivy innocent no more…

I am broken

I am not the same…

It was these constant terrors in the dark, that walk with me…and what now strikes me to my core as the blade nicks at my wrist

Each cut a reminder that you are nothing, you feel nothing, you deserve to die

That’s when ithappened. It was so fast Ivy nearly screamed for the red head who couldn’t. Troy had appeared behind her with this look on his face. It was pure unadulterated rage rolling in waves off his body. There was this almost wild look in his eyes, Ivy couldn’t quite place that look right away and gasped when she realised she was staring into the eyes of a predator. He bared his teeth and they looked almost razor like as he growled while grabbing at the red head. He had something in his hand that he slapped over her mouth and nose. A rag of some sort.

When he started dragging the red head toward their car, her eyes rolling back, Ivy began to panic. Troy growled a warning at Ivy to pull her shit together and get in the car. At first, all Ivy could do was stare at her beloved Troy as if he was someone she didn’t recognise. Then this cold chill ran down her back and spread from the core of her being out to the tips of her fingers, down her legs and into her toes. Up her neck and across her scalp into her face. A cold calmness over came her and she stared into Troy’s eyes as she slid into the drivers seat with her own teeth bared.

Troy tossed the car keys in her lap as he hopped into the passenger seat then turned to look at her. He studied her face for what seemed like an eternity. When he seemed satisfied with what he was looking for he told Ivy to crank the key and hit the highway, that he would guide her to where they were going.

“Afterall, you asked to see my work Ivy,” Troy grunted, “I will show you my work.”

“Where is she Troy?” Ivy whispered, afraid to speak any louder.

“In the trunk of the car, just drive Ivy.”

***

“Don’t miss the dirt road Ivy.” Troy told her curtly.

She did miss the road by a full two feet and had to slam the car in reverse and back up to pull into the dirt road. Troy laughed wildly when she missed it, howling with laughter deep from his gut. Ivy growled indignantly, was this their first fight? Ivy slammed the car to a full stop and turned toward Troy. How dare he laugh at her.

“That’s not funny Troy,” Ivy tried to keep her voice to an even keel but ended up hissing the words through gritted teeth, “You have never treated me like this before, Why now? What did I do?”

Troy cringed and hung his head while shuddering in his seat. He struggled between the utter sadness that ripped his heart into pieces and the rage that racked his body and coiled it like a viper getting ready to strike.His precious Ivy was poisoned to him, she had turned on him. How, how could this have happened, how did he miss it. She would pay for this, he would make her pay in the worse way possible.

“I’m sorry Ivy,” Troy whispered softly while reaching for her across the seats, “you’re right, I behaved poorly and I’m sorry my love.”

Troy pulled her into his lap, kissing her forehead, both her eyes, then cheeks and mouth. Ivy, at first, didn’t reciprocate but warmed to him after a moment or two. Kissing back, darting her tongue into his mouth then playfully nipping his lip. Troy gasped softly, sliding his hand under her skirt and tugging at her lacey panties, breaking them away from her body.

I found the monsters that feed me this narrative, again and again, they stripped me from the good Ivy and left only the jagged rocks of a girl no longer innocent but forged into a dishevelled husk. Each partner I chose, was one that reflected back to me those nights when I was little, the hot steaming pain of each strike, bruised and bleeding, my heart, my soul.

Do you love me now daddy… Am I what you hoped for… LOOK AT ME… I am the result of you… You made me this… I am with this knife the monster that you forged. Troy…Troy was not to blame for Ivy, no, he only saw what was broken in me. In a different life, I would have taken these scars to a place of light. I would have found a way to be a better Ivy, but the darkness was my chamber of solitude and in that chamber, he found me, he embraced me and the monster I was… I became a toy for him to foster, I was the product built to perfection. Ivy 2.0 and she was not the innocent one anymore. She as his and his alone and thus I give you…. The makings and reasons for me.

THUMP THUMP THUMP

Ivy jumped right out of her skin. For a moment she had forgotten the red head was in the trunk. Troy was staring at her with a wide lopsided grin on his face and a sparkle in his eyes. Ivy’s own eyes roamed from his face to his chest where his breath heaved in and out, he was excited, aroused even. The hard heat in the crotch of his pants confirmed that he wasaroused. More so than she had ever seen him before. It stirred a strange guilty warmth in her abdomen that snaked down between her legs, making her squirm.

“No time, my love, for pleasure, there is work that needs to be done first” he whispered as he kissed her on the mouth while she whimpered in protest.

Troy slipped out from underneath Ivy and slid into the driver’s seat. He would take them the rest of the way. The dirt road here, in the dark, was dangerous and they couldn’t afford to roll the car over in the bush at night. Not with a precious doe in the trunk at any rate. It’s time to show Ivy what his work was about, then…then he had to work out how to make her pay for scoffing at that work.

***

Ivy was sure now that Troy didn’t suspect what she knew now. She seemed to have gotten away with hiding her horrifying realisation that Troy was a serial killing lunatic. How had she not seen it before? She stared out the passenger window, feet up on the seat while hugging her knees tight.

THUMP THUMP THUMP

Ivy came to a horrifying second realisation, she couldn’t help the red head in the trunk of his car. She would have to feign her way through this whole thing. She would have to witness a woman dying while a crazed lunatic took her life with a sadistic satisfaction.

She should have listened to that oh so familiar letter more closely. She had thought it was a crazy ex girlfriend who had sent it, trying to break her and Troy apart. She had been willfully blind to his activities around the apartment and his long excursions without her. She fingered the locket around her neck and almost didn’t gag down the vomit that rose sourly to the back of her throat. Oh my god, her eyes widened, and she whined softly against the window.

Troy grit his teeth as he cranked the music to a high crescendo, deafening them both and drowning out the thump-scream from the trunk of the car. He took the left bend turn hard, clipping the back of the car against the three birch trees that he normally narrowly missed.

…cold bones, yeah that’s my love…she glides away, like a ghost…

THUMP THUMP THUMP

Troy cursed under his breath and cranked the wheel the opposite way to catch the reverse S bend toward the bunker. There, the door at last. He brought the car to a screeching halt causing Ivy to lurch forward and slam the heel of her hand on the passenger dash. Her feet made an oddly satisfying plop, plop on the floor of the car.

“Let’s go Ivy, get out of the car.” Troy told her, “We have work to do.”

“Troy, please. Can’t we just go home now.” Ivy whispered softly, nuzzling up to him.

Troy yanked her roughly away from his body and stared her in the eyes, teeth bared menacingly. He turned her around and pressed the keys into her hand while shoving her toward the back end of the car. Tonight, he would guide her hands in her debut work of art. She just needed a push in the right direction is all. Tonight, two would become one, he would take her here and reshape her into his dark and deadly Ivy. He would make her his finally. No more games, no more playing around, Troy thought to himself as he growled an instruction at Ivy.

“Careful, she’s feisty. The feisty ones are trouble sometimes.” Troy growled. “Be prepared.”

“Troy, I don’t know if I can do this, please.” Ivy whimpered.

“Move it.” Troy grunted as he yanked the keys back from her with a sigh and popped the trunk suddenly.

The red head sprung like a wild jack rabbit from the trunk of Troy’s car, yowling loudly and taking wide sweeping strikes at the air between her and them. She was throwing her punches wild and cockeyed without even looking. Probably praying she makes some sort of connectionTroy smirked side stepping a wild right hook. There was a thud and Ivy was sprawled on her back with her cheek throbbing suddenly. The red head made contact after all,Troy mused.

Ivy felt the wave of rage building in the center of her body, she shuddered and glared up only to see the red head being led from the back of the neck by Troy to a door.

A door in the middle of the woods?Ivy cocked her head to one side curiously, now she had seen it all. Why was she not surprised in the least?Ivy yanked herself to her feet and rubbed her stinking cheek. She looked up and made eye contact with the red head. Her mouth split into a wide, predatory grin. Her teeth gritting back and forth and fingers rubbing her now bruising cheek. Bitch is going to pay for that.

The click of the lock startled both women for a moment and the door to the bunker swung inward. Troy flicked a switch and the droning hum of a set of halogen lighting cranked to life. The lighting made the corridor of the bunker eerie. It made Ivy’s hairs stand on end. She swore she saw something pass in front of them, in the dark shadows.

Ivy could almost hear whispers, she gave her head a shake trying to rationalise the whispers as the scuffing of their shoes on the concrete floor of the corridor. You’re imagining things Ivy, pull your shit together, there’s nothing there.

The red head screamed and tried to pull away from Troy, but she only succeeded in making him furious. He slapped her then shoved her up against the wall of the bunker. Pinning her to it. There was an audible shick and a flash of what looked almost like liquid silver then the red head’s shirt fell away from her body revealing her black lacy bra underneath. Troy gyrated against the red head’s rear, pressing hard and letting off a low deep moan.

Ivy’s eyes widened as she growled “What the fuck Troy.”

Troy looked up just in time to catch Ivy’s hand before she could grab his switch blade from him. The red head managed to slip out from under him as he moved away to catch Ivy’s hand. Good thing I locked the bunker door back there. Troy looked past Ivy, watching the red head run down the corridor and slam against the door at the end. He howled laughter as the red head scrambled with the handle of the door, scratching and pawing at it desperately. He looked back at Ivy and raised a brow at her as if to say, go get her.

Ivy cringed back at first then turned on her heel abruptly. She nearly screamed herself when a hand reached over her shoulder and stopped her in her tracks. Troy turned her around to face him again. He stared into her eyes making her shift uncomfortably from one foot to the other. She was about to ask him what the hell he wanted when she felt the cold hard shaft of the switch blade being pressed into her hand.

“Ivy, my love, bring her back here but cut away her clothes as you do,” Troy purred softly in her ear, “bring her to me, naked as the day she was born.”

Ivy couldn’t help it, she moaned softly as she fingered the switch blade in her hands. Turning it this way and that then looking up at Troy. He nodded back at her and she turned back to the red head. The precious doe, his precious doe. She had to go get the doe, like a good little girl.Ivy started down the corridor while the precious doe mewled and whimpered in her direction.

“You’ve been a very bad little doe.” Ivy hissed as she sashayed down the corridor. She dragged the tip of the switch blade along the wall as her head slowly rocked from side to side. She eyed her pray with a wild shit eating grin and swirled the blade in the air in front of the doe’s face.

“Please…help me.” the red head whimpered trying to grasp at Ivy, “please Ivy…”

Ivy bore her teeth and what came from her throat had no resemblance to the soft spoken and sweet Ivy that most people knew her as. This was the dark and twisted Ivy, the Ivy that could choke you one handed while laughing hysterically in your face. How dare this little bitch let my name roll off her stupid little tongue. I’m going to rip that tongue out and shove it down her throat.

Ivy lunged at the doe, grabbing her by her red curls and yanking her to her knees. She was going to make this bitch bleed, she would make her pay for that little taunt with Troy back there. Thinking she could get a little something from her man. Bitch was going to regret stepping into her territory that’s for sure.

Ivy rolled her head from side to side, taking a deep breath. She had to be smart about it. Troy had asked her to bring the doe back to him naked. Ivy knew she and Troy would make the doe pay.She just had to be patient didn’t she.Ivy pulled the precious doe gently to her feet, nuzzling the red head’s face with her own. The red head relaxed a little letting Ivy get a little closer.

“There, there sweet precious,” Ivy cooed softly, “it’s okay, put your head on my shoulder sweetheart.”

“Thank… Thank you.” The doe whispered, “Please don’t let him hurt me.”

“Oh, he isn’t who you need to worry about.” Ivy grinned maniacally at the doe as she swiped the blade under the red head’s belt. The sound of the belt giving under the sharp blade was surprisingly satisfying to Ivy. She hadn’t thought there could have been anything more satisfying to her ears. Ivy heard Troy shift behind her and felt the hardness of his manhood press into her bottom. She would make him wait like he made her wait in the car. Ivy pushed him back, waving him away and making him smile while he stepped back for her.

She popped the button on the doe’s pants with the switch blade and tugged at the zipper. Letting the red head’s pants hit the floor with a soft swish. Ivy nuzzled the whimpering woman, making her stand straight as she pulled first her bra roughly over the doe’s head and then her panties down her legs to her ankles.

“Step out of them like a good little precious,” Ivy whispered, “be a good little doe.”

The red head did as she was told, trembling and trying to hide her nakedness from both Troy and Ivy with her hands. Ivy looked back at Troy, his eyes sparkled, and his hand rubbed at his manhood, he was outright panting now. Ivy smirked at him and took the doe by the hand as she walked the red head back down the corridor toward him.

“Christ,” Troy moaned as Ivy pressed the red head against him. He turned the precious doe toward the wooden door at the end of the hallway. “Start walking my little doe.”

Ivy giggled as she twirled the silver switch blade around. Watching the halogen lighting sparkle and twinkle off the hilt of the blade. Something moved beyond her vision and past the blade. She looked and had to cringed backward, nearly tripping over her own feet. She slapped a hand to her wide-open mouth to keep the scream from escaping. There in the darkness was a face, slices up and down the cheeks. The mouth pulled into a grotesque perverted permanent smile with staples and stitching. The eye lids were missing on this woman’s face. Her silvery grey eyes staring woefully into Ivy’s deep emerald ones.

Look what you helped him do. How could you…

Ivy tried to gag back the hot putrid vomit rising in her throat. It was no use, she no longer had control over her own stomach and it’s urgent need to empty itself. Ivy felt the sting of bile as she heaved and wretched the contents of her gut all over the wall and floor of the corridor. The face came closer to hers, rising between the wall and her, materializing through her stinking vomit pouring from her mouth. Those eyes staring deeply into Ivy’s, staring into the very core of her being.

…. Come back home Ivy…. We are all waiting for you.

“Ivy.” Ivy jolted at the sound of his voice. It was loud and stern in the cramped corridor. The smell of damp earth and rotting leaves with her steaming hot vomit on the ground made Ivy wretch again and she slapped her hand on the wall to steady herself. Her other hand had a death grip on the hilt of the switch blade. She looked up and again nearly screamed but this time at the icy blue eyes she had come to love losing herself in. Troy had this odd look on his face, Ivy couldn’t quite figure out what that look was…then it dawned on her as she rasped a forced giggle out of her raw throat.

He was uncertain, confused. Ivy would even guess unsure. She had never seen him not sure of himself. Uncertainty was not in Troy’s vocabulary. He touched her face, lifting it to look her in her eyes. Troy swiped a lock of her jet-black hair away from her face and unbuttoned his shirt. He pulled it off and wiped her brow and face then mouth with it. It was as tender a gesture as a lunatic could possibly make …or was it mimic… and it made Ivy guiltily swoon all that much more for Troy. He may be a lunatic serial killer but wasn’t he her lunatic serial killer as much as she was his dark little Ivy.She forced the thoughts from her mind and straightened herself, pushing off from the wall shakily.

“I’m okay, just the excitement of the night.” Ivy managed through her sourly raw throat.

Troy frowned, a deep furrow in his brow forming. How oddly sudden, she seemed to have seen something too, I wonder what it was Troy thought. Troy had already knocked the new doe out a second time and placed her in the room beyond the wooden door. He had had to go back for Ivy because she had lagged behind him. When he had reached her she had already been dry heaving with a strange look on her face, liked she’d seen a ghost or something.

Ivy was looking at him with a tenderness that made him shiver delightfully. He pulled her close to him, kissing her forehead and taking her hand to slide it between his legs. When she gripped the bulge there it made him tilt his head back and shudder a long, deep growling moan. It was like a million tiny little deaths when his sweet Ivy caressed him like that, the tingling prickly feeling as his breath came in heavy and fast. She started off gentle and ended rough with a strong squeezing grip that made him both shake with excitement and shivered as a twinge of pleasurable pain buried itself deep in his groin. What a fine line pain and pleasure. The sweet caress of fingers combined with the hard pull. It made him bite his own lip and draw blood.

Ivy pulled away while peering over Troy’s shoulder. She gasped, wide-eyed and astonished. What lay beyond him was a room. The light hummed miserably over a shiny table. The kind of table you would see in a coroners morgue. It was shiny, and the red headed doe was laying on it. Beside the table was another table with odd looking instruments on it. Ivy knew what a scalpel was but that bigger one that was wide, the name of it eluded her right now. Bone something or other. Her eyes roamed, and she croaked a startled grunt. A mirror. It caught her face in its reflection and threw it back at her. Beyond the mirror was a wall full of shelving. On that shelving were mason jars. So many mason jars Ivymarvelled. She slowly tip toed into the room, almost resembling a little mouse in a field as she crossed the thresh hold of the door.

In those mason jars… My god, was it? It is?Bones, floating in an odd fluid in each of the jars. Some had small trinkets with the bones, bobbing in that strange clear brownish liquid. Other jars had an eyeball or an earing with the bones. Ivy gazed at the shelves of bone jars, staring at them in pure child like awe. How many were there, how long has he been doing this? Each jar had its own label, meticulously and lovingly labelled in a neat, tight cursive writing. That is Troy’s writing!Ivy touched one of the jars and let off a strangled whimper, THAT jar label had herwriting on it. No, no she didn’t, she couldn’t have.Ivy backed up into the cadaver table behind her causing the red head to moan softly and weakly flail her hands.

Troy turned Ivy around to face the precious doe. The red head’s eyes fluttered as Ivy moaned softly when Troy slipped his hand into her shirt. He pushed her over the table, pressing himself to her. Ivy stared into the doe’s face as Troy pushed her skirt up over her hips.

“I’m taking you here Ivy, spread your legs” Troy breathed heavily

“Not here, Troy ….no, why can’t we go back to the bed at home” Ivy moaned

“No, my love, not there, here is where I want my dark Ivy, you are mine now, bend over like a good girl and smile love smile…you are mine now love, mine alone”

What was it about the smell that was familiar, I recall the feeling of thrusting something, a cold wet liquid spilling on me, but it was not his…there was a whimper, a sigh and there I was, writhing over the sound, riding over the wave of the smells the sounds the feeling of cold. I slump over a table, Troy shoving my skirt over my hips, “I am taking you here Ivy, spread your legs” …” Not here, Troy…no, can’t we go back in the bed?”.

“No, my love, not there, here is where I want my dark Ivy, you are mine now, bend over like a good girl and smile love smile…you are mine now love, mine alone”.

I give and consent to him, riding his hardness with a pleasure I have never known, I am in ecstasy, he lifts me slightly, bouncing my round bottom off his manhood, I was surrounded by him, whimpering, and gripping the table….

“Ivy, you are helping me, do it for me my love, twist her good” Troy breathed heavily in Ivy’s ear with each thrust of his hips.

Ivy gripped the table as climax ripped through her body in waves. She cried out just as the doe started screaming. Her hands did the work for her, the shick of the blade, the rip of skin and the splash of coppery hot red liquid slapping Ivy full in the face. Ivy screamed her pleasure and Troy’s name as he arced his back with a low rumbling moan of his own. His thrusts became wild and erratic, his manhood stiffening as Troy bounced Ivy’s round bottom, banging her thighs hard against the cadaver table. Ivy surrendered all of herself to his darkness embracing it as her own. Becoming whatever he needed her to be. The dark, twisted little flower, his little Ivy flower.

The doe struggled to breath through the gaping tear in her throat, mouth opening and closing like some odd half human – half fish thing. It was wholly irritating to Ivy suddenly and she felt a cruelty seep into her heart,god this bitch couldn’t even die quietly either.

“Die you stupid bitch.” Ivy hissed through clenched teeth pushing herself up from the doe. There was a sound like metal on metal and Ivy panicked, where did the switch blade go, her hands groping around for the silvery hilt. Troy leaned in and held her hands to the table with one of his. Sliding something under them. The switch blade!Ivy drew a shaky breath and relaxed.

The doe beneath her was now cooling off, her death rattle slowing to nearly nothing but a gasp here and one there. The blood dripping off Ivy’s face was starting to congeal and clot on her forehead and cheeks. Her hands were thick with the doe’s blood and Troy’s seed mixed in. She stared at her hands for a long time, watching the crimson blood turn to a deeper red then a sickly brown on them. What had she doneIvy thought as tears started rolling down her cheeks creating tracks in the drying blood on her face. What have I done? Ivy tossed her head back and froze staring into her own deep green eyes in the mirror. She didn’t recognise herself anymore, this wasn’t her anymore.

“Ivy…..the mirror….look….its time now” a voice reaches out to me, I search for it but it is not there, I can hear it, and without knowing why I pick up the mirror…..what I see….this is not me….what is happening…oh my god why…why am I loosing myself…..TROY….WHERE ARE YOU!!! I am panicked…I cannot find him, my heart is racing, I pick up the mirror…and in there is us…our apartment, but what…. what is this…. what did I do.

Looking down now at my hands it all comes into play. There in the mirror, we were that night, ridding pleasure like a never-ending wave, back and forth in the deep and dark places only known to that which holds my intimate places…cradling them with care, he honors them like a jewel and worships at the temple of my secret places for which he is the high priest. That is not water….it is blood. It’s clear to me…the thing that I am riding on is one of his doe’s, he is fucking me on her as if she is nothing…. this is the last of what I am the last part of me that was clinging on in denial.

Then the memories become clear…. looking into that mirror, I see who I am, Oh Ivy…what are you now…there on our first night…there on the bed in which I loved him…his toys lay under the bed rotting like raw meat. The smell becomes clear, the house is laid with stains of that which has left its mark, the claws in the floor, the bits of blood and teeth that spew up into the sink…I am suffocating…. I feel it now…gods Ivy, you are a killer aren’t you.

I recall now what that feeling was that night….it was the knife in my hands, he told me…Ivy just do it, you are helping me my love. Come on he said in his honey voice….do it for me…twist her good. The blade went into her like butter. Blood soaking us both, and he fucked me in it, right there, the feelings of blood, the puddle, it was more than I could take, but if I was good at all, or even possibly in the light still, I would have run from this place, but no, he knows me too well, I am like him…I am not Ivy anymore…I am his creation. The time slips from me, as corpse after corpse piles up like stacks of paper, one on the other, I begin to loose whatever I have left, I tell this one “shut up, and die”, I become deeper and darker, loosing myself in Troy, in his heat, in this sickness, I want to be doing this don’t I….I want to put this mirror down, I don’t want to look…but my hand….its stuck….I cannot help it…I am forced to obey, forced to look…

There again…those nights in darkness, ridding me, holding me, twisting and turning me over and over, the memories flooding back and forth and I am here, and I am there, and it is cold….so cold…I cannot see myself, in this thing…only the apartment, only the bodies, only the squealing, wrenching sounds of the doe’s wide open throats then me and Troy and the writhing agony. But, it got to me…like a festering wound I could not continue to be like him…it was because I grew afraid…. seeing how deep and dark he was, I may have hurt them too, but not like him. I wanted to spare them, he wanted to prolong it…. I couldn’t anymore….

I wrote it down….i walked in the rain, I left the letter in a box by the door of a police station, I ran….how did he know…but I know now, he was following me…stalking me, his Ivy, because his Ivy could not look at him anymore, she was scared, I was scared, I wanted out….and that night…there was the dinner, there was the last night and now here I am…wherever this here is.

***

The nausea over came Ivy again, her stomach rolled and recoiled. Ivy started gagged violently as Troy was washing up at the utility sink. He looked over at Ivy and watched with mild curiosity. He brought Ivy a cup and a cloth. The cup had a warm liquid in it, it smelled so good. Ivy sipped gingerly at it, her eyes peering over the lip of the cup at her beloved Troy. He smiled softly, offering the cloth to Ivy.

It too was warm, and Ivy relished in it as she started wiping her face and neck with it. Troy was such a darling, always thinking of her. Troy seemed oddly quiet though. Keenly watching her every move. Ivy watched him pick up the scalpel and cock his head to one side. A quick flick of his wrist and the doe’s smile was widened into an awful gaping grin. The sound of the staple gun made Ivy nearly jump out of her skin. With thread and needle, Troy made the final adjustments and the doe’s gruesome smile was now complete.

Ivy leaned heavily against the table, grimacing as a cramp rolled through her guts. She started to pant and gag when another cramp followed quickly behind the other. Why was it so hard to catch her breath, why is getting so cold? Ivy thought as she glanced over the edge of the table. She had knocked the cup over off the smaller table and the liquid was running between her big toe and the one next to it. She could swear her toe was starting to itch.

Ivy looked up at Troy and croaked a whimper at him. He was standing over her staring down at her. His face twisted in a rueful smile while he twisted the scalpel between his thumb and finger. The light of the halogen gleaming off the sharp edge of the scalpel blinding Ivy.

“My sweet little Ivy flower,” Troy whispered as he bent to catch her eyes with his, “you broke my heart you know that. You didn’t appreciate my work. You tried to ruin it by writing that letter. Why, Ivy. We were so good together and you were my sweet twisted little Ivy.”

Ivy moaned deep in her throat and stared back down at the cup. No, it wasn’t a letter from an ex girlfriend. It was her letter to the police. He must have been following her around. She hadn’t gotten away with it after all. Ivy looked back up at Troy, searching his face for some left-over hint of love or passion, something she could lean in on, maybe use to survive with. There was nothing, Ivy sighed heavily and hung her head as she resigned herself to what was to come.

“Troy, what was in the cup?” Ivy asked as another cramp in her gut caused her to lean into the table and groan, “What did you give me?”

“Oh, my sweet twisted Ivy.” Troy hissed, “You were poisoned to me, so I poisoned you with, of all things, your very name… Poison Ivy.”

Ivy started gasping for breath, her heart thudding in her chest. Rattling her rib cage and racing it’s final laps. Ivy moaned as her gut rolled and she threw open her mouth. Frothy vomit streaked with bile and blood flowed from her mouth and onto the floor. Her head spun, and her heart thudded against her chest again. Ivy stumbled forward, and Troy caught her tenderly. He pulled her close to him and put her head on his chest.

“It’s alright my little Ivy flower,” Troy purred as he kissed her forehead, “time to rest my love.”

Ivy rolled her head to one side and her eyes caught in the mirror again. Her green eyes staring into themselves, roaming over a face she no longer could begin to recognise or understand. Ivy’s chest heaved as she shuddered the last breath of life out into Troy’s shoulder and she closed her eyes to finally rest.

The mirror fades to my face, I finally see me…I am not the Ivy I was, my face or what remains of it a haunting memory, and I finally understand…. I see someone walking towards me…a woman smiles at me reaches out her hand

“forgiveness is this way, my dear” she says

She takes me to a room, there I am in the void, around me circles the doe’s.

“ask them for forgives” she says, “and mean it”

“please forgive me” I sob into the darkness

They come closer, surrounding me, they hold me, I feel something, they take out their knives, this time it is for me, I surrender to them just like Troy, I am nothing now, nothing but the dark black earth…nothing but these bones….nothing but that piece of tooth you see in that jar….I am there…my story is one of many, we are in this jar….together, waiting, to be free…

There was a time when I was innocent, all around me there was love and care and hope…. I don’t know how that was lost…it was not my music, I am not insane, I have never hurt anyone before.

Yet there was something wasn’t there. This darkness in me, growing like a cancer. Troy is not to blame for finding that, I let him. I let him take me, touch me, penetrate me, and in the safety of his arms there is crumpled, died and there left bare the deepest darkness. It was always the blood…the blood the feeing of it…I can see it on my arm as a girl, the cuts, the coping…the silent reminders of the covering of the pain…. the sobbing, the darkness, my heart…broken and shattered like glass. They took it from me, my innocent heart. There in the dark, my wrist painfully scared from the flimsy blade…releasing the pain, why could I not take this pain into the light…why is it pushed me to darkness. I Ivy, admit fully, that I do not think everyone becomes like me….but there is always something in us, that chooses the light or the dark there is no middle, there is no semblance of grey, we are either drawn to live in the sunshine or the darkness….and I fell in the abyss, like a dying star, I gave way to it, and it engulphed me. I should have never let them silence me, the silence was deafening for me, I felt things, heard things, I was not whole anymore, and life just went on.

My scars were that which made this Ivy whole and yet broken. When Troy saw them he knew I was like him, even though his wrist did not bear the brunt of my secrets he knew, that this shattered fragile little bird could be wrought into the darkness, for she was seeking it out, and in him she found it…He knew what was in me, and if by any other circumstance, I met anyone else that day, I could be Ivy the well-rounded suburban housewife instead of this….this disgusting mass of decaying flesh, bone protruding over the skin…my dress hanging from me like oiled cloth, I am rotting and unnatural, I am what you see in the dark on Halloween, I am not Ivy anymore….but a shell. Troy knew me, he knew that shell was waiting to be filled and he filled it. Not just filled it, but reformed that shell-like clay, he molded me. His precious Ivy, his creation, his desire. I was his masterpiece and yet in the end, it was me….I am that which took him down, and for that you should understand that this means some part of me deserves redemption, even though I know you will not grant it. Why should I expect anything other, the women who kill, you understand nothing about them, how much do you expect us to take….there are things in us that force us to commit unspeakable acts, and in that you will never understand what it is like to have all that is in you taken….until all you have is a black, decaying heart, where no light can reach….and that heart finds another just like it….someone who whispers understanding, acceptance, one who is there to comfort you and mould you, but yet this other half…..is as rotten as you, perhaps even more so…and your hopes lay bare on a mountain of decaying bones with only the scars of what you have done reminding you of what you did. You cannot erase it, you cannot remove it, you face it, and know you did that, you became the thing that all fear, you become death.

So, when the knife went into my hand, slicing them this way and that, his was slicing me. I was killing me, I wanted to end myself and Troy knew. He knew that even in my normal perfection I was inside a shell. Judge me if you want, I would. Seeing them dying on me, the blood, the knife, these bones in the jar…. they tell my story, and theirs…The ivy that was is no more and yet they will not weep for me, because I killed and to tell you the truth…I liked it.

The cold is now something I am, I understand why I felt it so harshly, I understand now why I cannot saccate my desires, corpses do not get that. We don’t get the comforts of life, but instead get only the reminder of what we have done. The doe’s now around me, those fragile hands that took their pound of flesh, that stabbed what was left of this decaying husk…they deserve peace, and I hope they find it…I walk these halls, while my bones sit on his mantel, and I wait for him….however my love, when you find your Ivy, I hope you know this time….your monster, your creation, is coming for you…..

There was in the distance the sound of a blade, sharping itself on the stone. The knife is waiting, its ready….it calls out…and says “Come play with me” …. the knife is there, its ready….it sings to me, and calls me, there it is….my little darling, my little friend…. its cold steal waiting. The blade is the only comfort now…my only solace. It has taken the place of my precious stuffed animal, it has become what holds my secrets. This blade, she is my only release, she knows me, maybe she is an extension of me, this bitter, cold, hopeless blade…. she is waiting to find her resting place….and she is hungry.

***

The bathroom door was slightly ajar, the shower running and steam pouring out the crack of the door. A soft whistling of a tune drifting lazily along with the steam from the shower. He wasn’t the biggest guy on the profiler team at the FBI special crimes unit, or agent for that matter. Not by a long shot but he had proven that you didn’t need to be the biggest to be the badass in the team either. Stepping out of the shower he caught a glance of himself in the mirror.

The tattoo was extensive. Running from the left side of his back, wrapping around his left set of ribs and over his shoulder and down his left arm. They hid something a little more sinister on his skin and from his past. An accident, he had been the only survivor, but it had left him with extensive physical wounds that had healed into scars, but the psychological ones would never quite heal.

The one part of the tattoo was a samurai, face mask violently pulled away and a geisha’s hand firmly planted on the warriors shoulder. His sword drawn down the inner forearm and 7-5-3 brandished across the blade. The geisha reached from his back to the samurai where her touch squarely landed on both his and the samurai’s shoulder. She was his temperance, his patience, his purpose and honor. His ribs baring a tattoo matching the samurai’s own armor across them. It was a symbol of a way of life mostly long forgotten except by a few select people like himself.

Whistling the tune again, one he had heard not that long ago, and had stuck like the ear worm that it was, the man wiped the mirror in front of him meeting his own steely blue-grey eyes in it.

…if you bleed, I bleed the same…

He picked up the brush and ran it through his wavy shoulder length hair. He was thinking about the file that hit his desk yesterday. The crimes in that file were the work of a serial killer across several states. All women victims. Faces gored and disfigured, stapled and stitched into a grotesque version of a smile. Some had been violently ripped apart, as if the killer had been enraged. Most though, treated tenderly. Almost lovingly.

All the victims had the same thing in common though, pieces of bone and teeth missing from the corpses. Some had both fingers and toes missing. Some only a few fingers. All had teeth missing. Their bodies scrubbed clean with disinfectant and left in open areas. The agent suspected they were left out in the open because the killer wanted them found, like pieces of art.

The killer was an ambush killer, he used chloroform to subdue his victims from behind. Where he took them after that was a mystery still, but the agent and his team knew where they found the bodies was a secondary crime scene. The killer’s dump sites. There was something else that was a mystery too, the last dozen or so victims the modus operandi had changed drastically. It seemed, their killer may have picked up a partner in crime.

The killer’s partner was confusing even to the agent, delicate hand yet sometimes a heavy hand with the way the cuts had been made in the last dozen plus victims. Almost like this crime partner wanted to spare as much pain as possible but couldn’t help indulging in causing as much pain possible too. It was all over the place. The agent suspected the killer’s new partner was still evolving, growing more confident at every new kill.

A soft rap at the bathroom door tore the man’s attention away from his thoughts. He looked over with a soft grunt and put his brush down on the ledge of the sink.

“What is it?” He asked irritated at the disruption of his thoughts.

“There’s another victim Agent Denver”

“For fucks sake, do we have any details yet?”

“Yes, it’s a dark haired, female victim. Green eyes and dressed in plaid slacks and a white blouse. She was placed, not dumped in the middle of a park and Agent Denver, this one’s very different. Fingers missing, teeth and this time eyes missing but no disfigurement, hair brushed even. Seems she was treated well. Bloody foam in the throat and mouth suggests she suffocated somehow says the CSI unit on the scene now.” The other agent replied.

Agent Denver, Leo stared into the mirror. Damn.Sounds like they had another change in motive and modus operandi. This case was proving to be a royal pain in Leo’s ass. These, now two killers, were leaving a bloody fucking path across several states and the team was trailing painfully behind.

“I’ll be out in a few minutes, make sure no one screws up my crime scene and we can head there asap.” Leo spat out.

He looked back into his own steely blue-grey eyes and cursed these two, swearing he would catch them even if it meant he had to sacrifice a pound of flesh and blood to do it. Looking at the samurai’s face on his shoulder Leo bore his teeth for a moment then rolled his shoulder and started to whistle that infernal damn tune again as he got dressed.

…If you’re scared, I’m on the way…

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