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She was always beautiful. Even in death, her cold touch was soothing to my soul. Whenever I felt the urge to take the blade and end my life with it, I heard her gentle voice asking me to stop. I've been sitting in this palace of the dead for so long... that I swear it's heaven. I've grown so fond of it all. The darkness. The gray. The death. It's all so peaceful to me now. Then a force brings me back to life. The sadness for my lost Mary. Why does she retain her beauty? Why is she still so fair? Even after the alleged man who killed her had been caught, I felt no satisfaction. I long to be with her again. But the black robe of death refuses to meet with me. It refuses to come. Do I have it in myself to end it? Can I take the blade that ended my love's life and finish mine too? I would gladly spend eternity in hell to see her one last time. Yet death refuses to come. The darkened sky seems so fitting for a morning like this. Or is it the night that brings my sorrow, as the sun vanquishes the darkness? I do not wish for the light. I wish for darkness. Just as I wish to see life in my lost love's eyes. As I relive the day that laughter died for the thousandth time when I lay my eyes on her, I recall another familiar emotion. The rage. It burns in me once again. And I want to see the end of my life. Taking it myself would mean my soul wanders in the pit mapped by Dante. I long for the end of my life. I long to see her again. I long for Mary...
Two fortnights have passed since her life was shattered within my arms. Long had we lived in the Whitechapel district of London. And only recently was it that a killer had begun terrorizing the night. They called him Jack The Ripper, a name that was instantly feared. He killed four women before setting his sights on my Mary. He never killed people that were not alone. I thought we were safe. I was wrong. He approached us at a slow pace. When he closed in on us I saw the whites of his eyes, and that was all the time I was given. He lunged at me and slashed, carving a bloody V in my chest. I was in shock when I was suddenly bashed to the ground and stabbed in the arm with a knife, no doubt rusted by the blood of his past victims. I was helpless when he set his sights on Mary. One stab was all it took to cause her death. The last I saw of that villain was his feet hitting the ground, now stained by the blood of my love and of mine as well. I held her in my arms as her final breath escaped her lips. Only then did I realize the killer had left his blade in the chest of my love. I retrieved it. Staring at the knife, how easy now to sacrifice my life to have her with me. But I was stopped by the law from committing the mortal crime. If only they had not. Oh God, I wish they had not. I wish they had not.
So here I lie, in a land of dread, waiting for death's cold embrace. Waiting, though it never arrives. Do I dare take my own life? I am reminded of the killer when I lay my eyes upon her again. The rage is building inside me. And it shall not subside. Never will I be satisfied with my life, unless I take the murderer with me. And my decision is made. I shall find the wretched spawn that caused this, and end his life with the knife that ended my love's, and the sheath shall retire itself with a seventh death. My own.
I ride to the site of my love's tragic death. The blood has been cleaned from the pavement, though I can still see the crimson liquid flowing from Mary's wound. I can still hear her final breath escaping her lungs. I can still hear the killer's feet as he was running away. It was a mistake returning here. But I must search. Where are you? As I search the night, I hear a scream that must have been someone's last, and I'm given the answer. I ride.
The screams continue. The killer has stricken again, but he shall not escape this time. I ride as fast as I can to a ghastly sight. A woman’s stomach has been ripped from her body, and her throat cut, nearly severing her head from its very spot. But the killer is nowhere to be found. I can hear the law arriving, and should I not escape this scene, I shall be pinned as the causer. But I must not. The killer is near, and I can hear his breath. Enjoy it while you can. For the next few are your last. I see a robe from the side of a building. “You're found." The killer hears, and flees.
“There is nowhere to run, you vile wretch!” I scream as his figure furthers away. Ride, ride! You shall be found, Jack, and when you are, that hour is your last.
His figure escapes into a theater. I run in after him, and I see a sign outside. “Romeo and Juliet."
"How fitting for a night like this,” I thought as I entered. The famous balcony scene. How fitting. The room, filled with dark clothing and black robes masks his location. The killer is no fool. But I shall find him. I know his eyes. I shall find you. This is the night you die.
As I search the room, I catch a glimpse of a man on the balcony. This is no actor. I see a pistol in his hand, pointed at the actress playing Juliet. I won't let you kill another, Jack. I can't let it happen. I run up the stage. A shot is heard. I am too late. Then I hear the snap of another shot. The killer has jumped down the balcony and injured himself. A mistake. He has also dropped his pistol when he jumped down. I take the gun, and run towards him. He attempts to escape. He apparently came prepared. A horse drawn carriage is waiting for him. I cannot let him escape. I call my horse, and we ride.
A fire fight is broken out. We shoot at each other, knowing that there can only be one left standing. “This is the end of the line, Jack!” I yell as we're both headed into a closed gate.
“No. This is the end of yours."
He shoots, and I feel a pain in my arm. I fall off my horse. I have a clear shot to one of his horses for a second. Two bullets are left in the chamber of my pistol. I shoot, and the horse falls. I have you. I feel a stabbing pain in my arm, but not where he shot me. I then notice my chest is also bleeding. The wounds he caused me those nights ago have opened with the fall from my horse. I will not survive the night, the least I could do is bring him with me. Then I notice something stirring in the overturned carriage. The killer has mounted his other horse. I do the same. The night is not over yet.
He seems to have dropped his pistol. He is injured further with the overturning of the carriage. I must ride as fast as I can to catch him. But he is no fool. The carriage seems to have crashed into the gate, opening it in the process. He is trying to escape the area, but I shall not let him. “Jack!” I yell as his injured horse begins to slow down. “You knew, didn't you, Jack? YOU KNEW!” I yell. As he is distracted, I stop my horse, but he keeps going. He crashes into the side of a building. I run to where he is. Still alive, but not for long, a truth that's the same for both of us.
"You knew you were destined to die by my hand. It's the reason you tried to kill me that day. It's the reason you killed her. It's the reason that you won't face me now. I will be the one to end your tyranny!”
Then, the killer speaks. “It seems you are not as big imbecile as I thought you were. We're not that different, you and I. And that is the reason you don't have it in you to kill me.”
“Like hell I don't." I shoot the remaining bullet into his side. He falls.
“I knew you didn't. You would have shot me in a fatal area. You know it's just a flesh wound.”
“Looks like we do have something in common, Jack. We're both about to die,” I say, about to pull the infernal knife that caused all this.
“That's where you're wrong. Only YOU are about to die." Jack pulls two knives from his sleeves and stabs me. Then, I see his face. He runs.
As I lay on the ground, bleeding, I mutter, “I know you, Jack. I know you're real name. I know you are Francis Thompson. You didn't know what would happen if those that knew you saw your face. I know where you're going to be. I know who you are. I must survive." I drag myself onto my horse, and ride to the hospital. I shall find him there. I shall die there.
As I walk to the hospital doors, a force seems to stop me. I can hear her voice. I am too weak to carry on. “Mary, I'm sorry. I couldn't stop him. He'll continue to kill, and I'll die without avenging your death. I'm sorry."
I fall down. I can feel the blood draining from my body, and I know I'm growing distant from the world. The killer will probably survive. His black robe will be the last thing many other people see before their deaths, and I couldn't stop it. Death has come for me. I shall never be content with my life. I will die soon. Then... I hear a familiar voice.
“You do not get to die yet. You're too much fun. Come and get me Mr. Crow. Come and get me. Avenge her death." I summon all my strength and plunge the blade into the killer's chest. "I have now."