As it should be

by Jenny

They will say that I am a hero when they see what I have done to you, when they see the exquisite work I have created from this poor pile of meat and gristle. Doubtlessly they will say that I am mad, but they will also say that I am an artist and there is consolation in that recognition.

The scraping of metal; the splitting of flesh; the tightness of bare skin in ice cold air.

And I must say it was a pleasure, from beginning to end; from the planning of it all, the watching and waiting for you. The pregnant pause when you realised who I was in the darkness and confusion; the beautiful moment when you knew, when it clicked, that you deserved what was to come, the realisation in your wide, bright eyes that of course it would be terrible. All of that held, frozen in the second when our eyes met for the first time in all those years.

I waited for days. I knew exactly where you would be and when. I knew the perfect moment.

Whatever else they might say about all of this there are few who would disagree that you did deserve it. After the things you did.

The ragged, cutting sound of panicked breath in stillness. The periscope reflection of the bare, candlelit room in the soft, wet film of your eyes

I wanted you to know what was happening, I wanted you to know why. An eye for an eye, and all that. I wanted you to suffer, like she suffered. And I made certain that you did, I’m sure you will agree. I’m not sure how long we have been down here together, but I have made each moment last - each one a perfect eternity. And nothing was wasted. I know that you will appreciate that. I used every scrap of you, just like you used her.

I’m not saying it wasn’t messy, but I had planned all of that in, you see, the mess was always to be part of this final tableaux; the crimson spatters, fading to rust even as we watch, the stained beach towels set to catch the spillages. I used old ones, of course, no sense in ruining the nice new ones, still piled soft and bright in the cupboard. Everything exactly where it should be.

The frightening snap of bone, the sound that fingernails make as they are dragged across concrete for the tenth, twelfth, thirtieth time.

And now, as the last bright drops of life drain out of your eyes, it is, after all of your begging, finally over. The last thing you will see is my smiling face. And we both know that all is once again as it should be.