He was reciting the rhyme again. She wasn’t sure where it was coming from but she heard his unmistakable timbre following the somehow lilting melody…
“There was a lady all skin and bone;
Sure such a lady was never known;
It happen’d upon a certain day,
This lady went to church to pray”
The metal felt cold.
Her neck was cramped from lying on that table. Still drowsy, she wasn’t sure how long or even if she had been unconscious. She hadn’t opened her eyes and yet they felt like they were never closed. Slowly, the realization of where she was started to grow and the need to scream started to return. She opened her mouth, or she thought she did. Her lips did not part, no sound escaped her either. It is really frustrating, not to mention terrifying when the body isn’t able to obey the mind. In her head she was struggling against restraints she couldn’t imagine. In actuality, she couldn’t move a muscle, if she wanted to. Imagine panic, without any of the physical manifestations of panic being possible. Imagine panic festering inside you, with no place to go.
Her mouth felt dry, it tasted like thick paste of stench had formed inside her mouth.
From the corner of her eye she could just about see him slightly. Sitting at a desk that was much too small for him to actually work at. He seemed to be cleaning something, merrily humming along…
“When she came to the church stile;
There she did rest a while:
When she came to the churchyard,
There the bells so loud she heard”
He sat cleaning the scalpel that hand long ago lost its ability to be clean. His fingers, long and hairy, methodically working over the blade.
He set it down and watched it for a little while, smiling to himself. He admired this instrument, for all its efficiency and all they had been through together.
He picked it up again and resumed his cleaning…
“When she came to the church door;
She stopt to rest a little more;
When she came to the church within,
The parson pray’d ‘gainst pride and sin.”
He was walking towards the table, his contemptible voices getting louder and cheerier.
She started to feel a warmth around her bottom and discovered that she was urinating. The smell more powerful than it ever had been before. It poured down the table and onto the floor, making that ever so slight dripping noise that so often keeps people awake at night.
She couldn’t but lie in a puddle of her own urine as she put all of her mind’s might into one final attempt to break free.
It’s funny how people believe they would magically be able to summon any power if they try hard enough in a threatening situation.
There was no magic for her. She lay there, still, her eyeballs following him as he walked around the table.
Smiling, taking her in.
He extended his hand to graze her thigh and pulled back the moment he got close. He’d been tempted, she had soft-looking, young skin.
He reached into his pocket to remove his treasure as he looked into her eyes. Smiling wider when he saw the fear in her.
He turned away and sang on…
“On looking up, on looking down;
She saw a dead man on the ground;
And from his nose unto his chin,
The worms crawl’d out, the worms crawl’d in.”
In an instant, barely noticeable as a measure of time, he turned from a happy clown to one you might find in the basement.
His laughter echoed, as his scalpel etched and her screams never did escape her mouth.
He slashed her hip, her mouth, her toe.
He slit her wrist, her nose, her breasts.
His hands bloodied and his face covered in droplets of red.
She wish, she hoped, it would soon end but for all his urgency, he took his time in draining what was no longer hers.
She saw his face before her eyes. One last time, she tried her might.
It didn’t work then, it wouldn’t work now.
He set the blade against her throat and in one swift stroke, slaughtered her like a goat.
He watched her bleed, her eyes already dead.
And once again, his rhyme he said.
“Then she unto the parson said;
Shall I be so when I am dead;
O yes! O Yes, the parson said,
You will be so when you are dead”
Disclaimer: I did not write the Rhyme, it is from “James Halliwell Philip’s Nursery Rhymes. That’s right, nursery rhymes.