Chapter 9: Evil John
“So, that’s the truth, then?” Jack was staring at me from across his small kitchen table. “Your father…his death.”
I couldn’t even speak, I just buried my head in my arms on the table crying and sobbing like a hot mess.
I felt his hand on my shoulder in comfort. “John,” he said. “Your mother does not blame you.”
I shot my head up. “It doesn’t matter what she thinks. I killed my own fucking father! I’m his murderer! How could I have done something like that? Why would that even be in my mind?”
“It wasn’t in your mind, it was in his.”
“We’re basically the same person,” I stood up and walked into the lounge with my back to Jack, arms crossed and eyes closed, taking in deep breaths. “I’m still guilty,” I said still not facing him. “It was my hands that brought down an ax into my father’s chest…forty-seven times. It was my hands that dragged his body through the snow. It was my hands that killed all those people. It was my hands that fashioned murder. I’m just as guilty as the other John, if not more considering I’m the one who runs this freak show.”
“What are you going to do about it?” he asked. “Kill yourself?”
“That seems like the best option.”
“John, you can’t,” his eyes were wide with disbelief, however he seemed almost amused by this notion. “No! Suicide is not the answer.”
“Then what is? Huh? What else can stop this madman running around in my head? You can’t stop him and I certainly can’t.”
“We’ll find a doctor.”
“If they find out that I killed people then it'll certainly be my head. Either way, I’m dead. Let me just end the suffering now. I can’t go on knowing that I killed my father.”
“Fine!” he grabbed my arm and dragged me to his bedroom, kicking open the French doors and pushing me out onto the balcony.
“Do it, then!” he ordered. “You jump off there, you’re falling five stories and that will certainly kill you.”
I peered down over the balcony at the people walking beneath. Then looked back at Jack who was standing there, looking as though he was waiting for something.
“Are you going to jump?” he asked with a harsh voice.
“Too much of a pansy to jump?” he pushed me against the railing. “Well then, go on then, tough guy! Jump!”
“No!” I was getting angry then.
“You don’t what, John?”
“Spit it out!”
“I don’t want to die!”
Below me I could hear a dog barking but that was it. Jack stared at me before smiling slightly. “There it is: the truth. You don’t want to die.” Catching me off guard, he slapped me across the face. “And you ever say such reckless things again, I’ll remove one of your limbs, understood?”
I smiled. “Understood.”
“Good,” he smiled. “Now, we’ve got a trip to plan, eh?”
I attempted to stay out of sight for as long as I possibly could, so I would remain inside Jack’s apartment while he was at work. Sometimes I would follow him to the morgue but, to be honest, I wanted to be alone. After my recent grim realizations, I’ve distanced myself from reality. I had been thinking about him.
The other John that lurks in the back of my mind.
Of course, it had been nearly two months since he last showed up but I think he’s waiting for the right moment. I think he’s waiting until everybody least expects it and then he’ll strike.
According to Jack, he’s seen nothing out of the ordinary pertaining to me. He had never witnessed “another John” or anything of that nature and I hadn’t experienced any missing memory or blackouts.
I found this to be extremely suspicious. Knowing that the evil John is a bloodthirsty maniac, I can imagine that he wants to kill again. He must be craving it. So why hasn’t he showed his face?
Could it be because I had finally realized he was there? Am I controlling him?
I wasn’t certain but I hoped this was the case. I didn’t want to continue killing people. It was wrong and I knew it was. But the evil John’s judgement is much different than mine. I’m sure the line between right and wrong has become faded for him.
Since I’ve had all of this alone time, I had been doing a lot of reading as Jack owns one of the biggest collections of books I had ever seen. His lounge was like a miniature library. This kept me occupied for the most part.
But then I did a lot of reading of my case file. Yes, I had a copy of the J.W. Cannibal case file that Abelian had given me. I had actually put cut out articles from the newspaper about me in there.
Yes, I had created my own little demented book that you hear about in stories. I didn’t create it out of pride for what I did, I created this so I would remember my crimes. I didn’t want to forget what I had done in London in the year of 1889.
I wanted it forever embedded into my memory.
Why? So, I can remind myself of the pain I caused many people so I’ll never do it again.
To be honest, there’s a part of me that craves the blood and the gore and I think that’s because of evil John tapping in every so often. There are times when I get a chill up my spine and I can almost feel him inside of my body. I know how strange this sounds but it’s true.
It scares me.
Knowing that he’s there, lurking like a ghost, I felt sick. In my mind, a killer is trapped and, if you trap a beast for too long, he will soon break free of his chains and become something much more dangerous, angrier, and more driven to get what he wants.
I’m afraid that if I keep him all bottled up inside for too long, I’ll explode.
I shook away my eerie thoughts and decided to go to a café for a little meal. I couldn’t remain locked up in that bloody apartment all day or I would go mad.
Down the street from the apartment building there’s a wee little café that serves the best breakfast and, frankly, that sounded delicious right then.
Entering the café, I was surprised that nobody turned their heads to stare at me and whisper amongst themselves. Nobody really acknowledged me which made me very happy. Of course, there were only about five people in the whole café but still, it was nice to not get stared at for once.
I sat down and ordered some breakfast with some coffee in a mug beside me. I got a seat by the window so I could gaze out at the streets of London which were decorated with numerous colored leaves that had fallen from the ground. The sky was still gray and it was still frigid outside but at least there was some aesthetic value.
The leaves added some color to gray and gloomy London.
I ate my breakfast rather slowly, taking my time, dreading the fact that I eventually had to enter that apartment again. I didn’t want to leave. I was at peace in this small café.
Nobody was staring at me and I could sit there with some serenity. I didn’t need to be cautious or careful about my actions or words. I could just sit there in complete silence and enjoy my meal.
But I knew that Jack wouldn’t be happy about this. He instructed me to stay inside because of the police and other antagonists that could take me down. I didn’t understand where his paranoia was coming from. It’s not like they have hard evidence against me and now I’m wanted by all of Europe. I should be able to walk freely, the only problem is that everybody thinks me guilty so I would receive a lot of stares and cowers of fear.
Regardless, the police couldn’t touch me without evidence.
So, what was he so afraid of?
Suddenly, a familiar faced blonde entered the café. When she saw me, her eyes lit up. “John?” she asked as she approached my booth. “Wilkinson? Right?”
I sighed, thinking that she thought I was a killer. “Yes, I imagine you’ve read the papers this morning.”
She chuckled. “No, it’s me, Elizabeth. You know? Your best friend’s wife? You just went to our wedding.”
“Oh, blimey!” I stood up and pecked her cheek then sat back down with her across from me. “Sorry, I’m a bit out of it.”
“Yeah, I can see why. I have read the papers, John.”
My heart sank. “You have?”
“Who hasn’t? This whole case has gained international attention. Everyone knows your face.”
“I know…so I can understand if you wish to keep your distance from me.”
She laughed as if I had told a joke. “You must be kidding! Do you honestly believe that I would think you guilty? No! You’re such a kind man, there’s no way you’re capable of such horrific crimes. Henry thinks it’s all lies as well. Don’t worry, John, we’re on your side.”
“Wow,” I said with a smile. “I was not expecting that. I thought the only reason you wanted to talk so you could tell me to stay away from you. I’m glad Henry thinks I’m a good man.”
Now, I am guilty but I wasn’t going to tell her that. I was lying but I had a good reason. I couldn’t ruin my reputation with Henry. I wanted him to always believe that I was a good man. Being the moral person he is, he would never trust me again if he knew the truth. Even if I do have two personalities, to him, it would be no excuse for murder.
“Of course, he does!” she interrupted my guilty thoughts. “You’re his best friend; his best man. He said that the wedding was perfect and, if you hadn’t been there, it probably would’ve been as good.”
I smiled happily.
“I did notice that you slipped out with your friend Jack as soon as he got to the reception. What was that about?”
“Oh,” come up with a lie, “We had some business to attend to and we decided that Jack would pick me up from the wedding and then the two of us would go and do that business.”
“What kind of business?” she asked. I will say, her questions matched that of a police officer interrogating a criminal but her voice was gentle and she genuinely looked curious.
“He works at the hospital and I’ve been working alongside him, I suppose. It’s not really an official job for me, more of a learning experience.”
“What does he do at the hospital? Is he a doctor?”
“No, he’s actually a mortician amongst other things. He’s done all of the autopsies for the recent victims and some of the Ripper’s victims.”
She raised her brows. “The Ripper, eh? Wow, I haven’t spoken about that madman since his crimes last year. They truly shook London, didn’t they?”
I nodded in agreement. “Indeed they did.”
“I remember the papers saying that they believe that this cannibal fellow could also be the infamous Ripper. What do you think?”
“I think that’s true,” I decided to give an answer that I wouldn’t give even if I never knew the truth. I didn’t want to seem suspicious. It was obvious that she wanted to speak about more than brunch.
She came here for answers but what?
“May I ask you why you’re here, Elizabeth?” I had then realized the abnormality of the situation. Henry is a high-class gentleman, living on the south side of London in a nice little townhouse.
What would Elizabeth doing in a run-down neighborhood like this? Sure, this café is cheeky but there are many other beautiful cafés where she comes from.
Perhaps she was looking for me.
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” I began as I put down my fork. “I find it a bit odd that you, a lovely aristocratic lady like yourself, would be doing just going to a cheap café in London’s east end. It’s a bit out of character, don’t you think? I mean, it must’ve taken you an hour just to get here. Why waste all that money and time to come to this street?”
“Are you implying something?” she was getting defensive, I could hear it in her voice.
“No, I was just recognizing the abnormality of this encounter and wanted to see if you had anything to contribute.” I smiled slightly. “You know, I’m sure your husband would like to know what you’re doing on the east end. Considering the murders that have taken place here, I highly doubt that he would want his new bride wandering the streets alone. I could never see Henry agreeing to such a thing. That is…unless you didn’t tell him where you were going because you’re doing something shady. You’re doing something that you don’t want anyone to know,” I leaned in. “So, tell me Elizabeth, what is it you’re doing on London’s east end at six o’clock in the morning?”
She squinted a little as she stared at me before looking around the café and leaning in a bit closer. “Honestly?” her hand found mine. “I was looking for you.”
She chuckled as if I had told a joke. “As if you don’t already know.” When she stroked my face then pushed my hair back behind my ear, I understood and I backed away from her touch.
“What’s wrong?” she looked confused.
“What the hell are you doing?” I was shocked.
“John,” she spoke quietly. “Ever since we met I could feel it between us.” She squeezed my hand.
“This!” she gestured between us. “This attraction between us.” She took my hand and placed it on her cheek. “Don’t you agree?”
I couldn’t believe my ears.
I quickly yanked my hand from hers. “What are you doing? How could you betray Henry? I have to go.”
I stood up but she blocked my path by standing in front of me.
“Henry is…nice. But you…” she ran her fingers through my hair. “You’re a real man. Henry barely carried me over the threshold but I bet you can do lots of things.” Her hands were all over me now and I was getting angry.
I gripped her wrists, tighter than necessary. “Elizabeth, you need to leave.”
“Because I don’t want this.” I had never sounded so harsh and bitter towards a woman.
“Why not?” she seemed shocked, as if she was the best thing a man could get.
I leaned in close to her face for this answer which made her blush. “Because you’re a whore.”
Her jaw dropped and she gasped, pushing away from me. “How dare you?!”
“Well, it’s obviously true, darling…now go home to her husband.”
With a scoff and a scrunched up face, she hurried out of the café and into the streets.
Should I follow her?
Then the voice in my head, which is probably evil John, told me to follow Elizabeth. I perked up and headed out the door.
I kept my distance from her, for I didn’t want her to know what I was doing. I found it odd that she never looked behind her as she walked. This was strange to me, considering all the murders that have occurred and just the fact that she’s a woman alone in the wild, you would think she would be less oblivious to the world.
But no, she wore a smile and was probably daydreaming as she practically skipped home. It was as if I was following a young schoolgirl.
I followed her for quite a few blocks when she suddenly stopped walking.
Did she realize that she was being followed?
I waited for her to turn around only to see her turn to her left and skip off into a shop. I leaned up against the wall in the alley beside it.
I was going to wait for her.
The last thing I remember was seeing a black bird swoop down above my head.
I was yet again rising from a haze. Natural light poured into my vision.
Where the hell was I?
Surrounding me were gravestones and a church to the left. I didn’t recognize it as the famed church in London, no, this church was in the middle of nowhere.
Adjoining this house of God was tall grass and a field nearly the size of London itself with thick forestation surrounding that.
I looked down at my attire and realized that I was wearing something completely different than I had slipped on that morning. I was wearing a pair of thick brown overalls, heavy boots and a green wool shirt.
Why was I dressed like a farm boy?
But then my memory came back to me. I remembered my conversation with Elizabeth and how she threw herself on me then I was stalking her for more than an hour before she stopped at a shop. I can see myself leaning in the alleyway and then a bird swooped down.
I don’t remember anything else after that.
Looking up at the sky and the position of the sun, I recognized that it was almost nightfall but I wasn’t sure if it was the same day. Hell, weeks could’ve gone by and I wouldn’t have known. I didn’t even know where I was.
I left the old church and stepped back a few feet to get a wider view of it.
Then old memories came flooding back.
I could see myself as a young boy, clinging to my mother, entering this same church. This meant that I was deep in north England. I looked to the woods beside me in realization that I was near my childhood home.
It would be just a few kilometers in those woods before finding that small log cabin.
I decided to seek it out.
So with no food, water, supplies, or even a weapon, I entered the wilderness.
I walked through those woods with my head held high with fake confidence. I was a bit afraid, it was almost night time and I was alone in an immense forest that I could easily get sidetracked in.
I stopped for a minute so I could have a break. Sitting on a rock I felt something in my pocket. Pulling it out, it was a knife. Like a knife. It was a hunter’s knife with the rubber grip and long thin blade that could cut through something like butter.
This gave me the chills.
I didn’t own such a thing, well, at least I don’t think I do. It could belong to evil John.
If people heard the thoughts that ran through my head on a daily basis, they would most likely think me crazy. But they wouldn’t be far from the truth.
At least I was equipped with a weapon now.
I shoved the blade back into my pocket then continued my walk. Thankfully, it was the middle of October so it wasn’t blistering hot outside, but it wasn’t freezing cold either. It was in the middle which was perfect for a hike.
As I continued on through the forest I noticed that it started getting wilder and wilder. There was no longer a dirt trail for me to follow. Now it was trees, huge branches I had to step over, tall grass that surely contained snakes. Seeing this, I began getting paranoid thoughts in my head like dying of starvation and thirst.
What if I trip and break my leg? I could picture myself dragging my broken body across the forest floor while some wild beast comes and dines on my flesh.
Bloody hell, I have an active imagination.
Then I saw the sight I was waiting for: that old rickety cabin. Bearing in mind our lack of wealth, we actually owned a pretty good-sized log cabin with three rooms.
We had a big porch, stretching the length of the house with my mother’s old rocking chair still sitting there.
My father is probably rolling over in his grave to see his grass nearly taller than his house. The cabin itself was still in pretty good shape but everything surrounding it was dead. I climbed up the stairs then stood in the doorway, looking out at where my father’s body once lay as my mother cradled him all while screaming up at the sky.
I shook away those memories then progressed into the house. As I entered, small critters scurried about and an owl actually leapt down over my head with a whoo!
I could hear all sorts of bugs chirping and clicking and I could also hear the creeks in the floorboards as I took every step.
Approaching the backdoor, I noticed something odd. Rammed into my parents’ bedroom door was an ax. It was just hanging there, with the blade dug into the wood of the door.
I yanked it out and examined it. Carved in the wood of the body there were those infamous initials: J.W.
This ax belonged to me. A young lad, I think I was, holding this ax with excitement as I watched my father chop wood. I could see myself using the ax on the wood. But then another flash of memory, I saw blood splattering the walls.
This was the ax that killed my father.
There was only one problem, the ax was dripping with fresh blood.
I dropped it as my stomach felt sick just thinking of the fact that that blade had broken my father’s chest. But why would there be fresh blood on the blade? It didn’t make any sense.
I backed away looking at everything before turning around to run right into somebody.
“Jack?” it was my French companion standing there looking up at me.
“I’ve been looking for you.”
“How did you find me?” I asked in disbelief. I was literally in the middle of bloody nowhere, how could he have possibly located me?
“When I came home from work I noticed that you were gone. So, I decided to search for you. Walking down the streets of London I saw you leaning in an alleyway by some shop in north London. I saw a bird fly past your head which seemed to startle you…and then I saw him.”
“Yes, your little friend up there,” he gestured to my head. “Anyways, I watched as Elizabeth emerged from the shop and you began stalking her. I followed you for a few more blocks until you knocked the girl unconscious, threw her into some random carriage that you stole right off the street, and then you drove off to the unknown. I hopped on a horse and followed you.
“We rode for quite a long time, many hours, before coming to this very cabin. You took her inside and I decided to remain in the woods waiting for you. A day had passed and you hadn’t emerged from the cabin. I was sat in the bushes feasting on an apple when you finally revealed yourself. I watched as you walked nonstop for hours out of the woods and to that little church in the field.
“You stood in the graveyard, staring down at one of the graves. I couldn’t see the name titled on it. But then you suddenly collapsed. It took you hours before you woke up. You looked around in confusion and fear and that’s when I knew that the good John was back.
“I stalked you through the forest and to the cabin and now…here we are.”
I gawked at him. “You truly are incredible.”
“Oh, I know,” he smiled with pride. “You don’t have to tell me twice.”
I looked down at the ax. “What’s with the bloody ax?”
He sighed. “I’m thinking that’s the weapon you used on Elizabeth.”
“Where is she?”
“Based on where the ax was planted, I’m guessing…” he pointed at my parents’ old bedroom.
I looked at him and then back at the door before approaching it stealthily. I slowly gripped the doorknob and I stood there for a matter of minutes petrified.
Jack and I both seemed to hold our breath as I opened the door. What lied before us was a true horror scene.
Blood was everywhere.
Lying on the bed spread out like a star was Elizabeth with her face forever frozen in fear. Her chest was spread open with a missing heart sitting on the bedside table, mangled and meaty. Her hands and feet were cut off and she was completely naked.
Jack walked inside the room and placed his finger to her throat with a pause.
He smiled as he looked at me. “Well, she’s definitely dead.” He laughed.
I just stared at her body as he picked up her heart, examining it closely before putting it back on the desk. He sniffed her body then waved away the flies.
“She’s been dead for at least twenty-four hours, if not more.”
I felt my stomach turn. “I think I’m gonna be sick.” I hurried out the backdoor and vomited off the porch. I heard Jack’s boots on the floor behind me.
“You know, for a cannibal, you’ve got quite the weak stomach,” Jack said. “Of course, you’re not really the cannibal, it’s the other John. I wonder what kind of person he is. Clearly, he’s a bit sick in the head but I would like to sit down and have a conversation with him. Perhaps, we could compare notes.”
I leaned against the porch railing as I stared at him. “I can’t believe I killed Henry’s wife.”
“I know, and they’ve only been married for what? A month?”
“Oh my God,” I whined, “What am I going to do?”
“We’re going back home, John.”
My head snapped up at him. “What? We can’t just leave her here.”
“Well, what the hell else are we supposed to do? Throw her over our shoulders and deliver her to Scotland Yard?”
“Can we at least bury her?”
He huffed. “Fine, if it will amuse you, I’ll help you bury her.”
After finding some shovels in the shed out back, we began digging a hole not far from the cabin in the woods. We dug pretty deep in the earth before placing her body inside and covering it up. We covered the disturbed ground with leaves and grass.
I sat there, on the ground, staring at her burial in despair. She seemed like a lovely woman until she practically molested me at the café but Henry will never know that. I’m sure he’s losing it right now considering, according to Jack, she’s been missing for two days.
“You shouldn’t let it bother you,” Jack said as he sat down on the dirt next to me. “It wasn’t you, John. We’ve been through this before.”
I sighed. “But it was me. What if evil John is just acting on what I'm already feeling? Deep down, I’ve wanted to be a killer and a cannibal. I’ve felt the urge to take somebody’s life but I never had the balls to do it. Then…he came along.”
“So, he’s your subconscious?”
“That’s rather interesting.”
“It’s insane, is what it is,” I stood up and then walked over, leaned against a tree and stared at the cabin.
Jack took his place next to me. “John?”
I looked at him.
“Stop moping around about this evil John. It’s just more power to him. You’re going to worry yourself to death. Once we leave London everything will get better, I promise.”
“How can anything get better when the problem is inside my head? It’ll follow me everywhere, Jack! I can’t run from my own mind.”
“You’re not alone in this.”
“You’re right. I have him.”
“No, you have me,” he said. “And I can promise you, I’m much scarier than him.” He placed his hand on my shoulder. “You’re next to me in my life.”
I stared down at him. “Thank you, Jack. I’m sure that, without you, I would go completely mad. He would certainly take control of my mind.”
“I’m here to keep you sane, mate. But I can’t promise that evil John will lie dormant. He will continue to arise from his slumber but it seems to not happen as often now that you know he’s there.”
“Maybe I can find a way to get him out for good.”
“Yes! That’s the spirit! No more pessimistic thoughts. Think about a solution.”
I turned to him with a smile. “Let’s go home.”
We had what we needed to leave the U.K. but we had to pick a time when nobody would suspect it. Jack was still working and I had seemingly disappeared. I hadn’t spoken to Ed in a very long time, thus I was no longer getting paid. I wondered what he thought of my absence. Perhaps, he suspects that I lost it and hung myself or I ran away.
I hadn’t spoken to Henry either but that was for obvious reasons. I didn’t think that I could face him after murdering his wife. I knew that he would bring up the subject of his missing wife, although I know that he would never suspect me to be the culprit.
In his eyes, I’m a gentle soul…if only he knew.
But I decided that I had to see him. In a normal situation, before I realized the truth, if Elizabeth went missing I would certainly go to Henry and comfort him. The only reason I haven’t is because I know I’m responsible, thus my actions are looking suspicious. Henry knows what I do so I’m sure he wasn’t surprised to see me at his doorstep.
“John?” Henry looked tired, not the bright-faced man I had come to know. I could tell that Elizabeth’s disappearance was eating him.
“I’m surprised to see you here,” he said.
“Are you?” I asked. “I read in the papers about Elizabeth’s disappearance. I wanted to come check on you.”
“You know they think that the J.W. Cannibal has gotten ahold of her?”
I lied. “I doubt that’s true.”
“Please, come in,” he sighed.
I entered his tall, skinny townhouse and was greeted by the scent of cigars and burnt wood. It was a rather glamorous setup with a wide brick fireplace, shiny wooden floors, a winding staircase, and a golden chandelier.
“Come sit down,” he offered.
He took his seat on the chair next to the fireplace while I sat to the side of him on the sofa.
“This is a nice place you’ve got here, Henry.” I noticed which he responded to a slight smile.
“Thank you. This is probably the nicest home I’ve ever had.”
“How long have you been living here?”
“About a month now. Elizabeth picked it out. She said she liked it because it wasn’t far from her favorite tea shop.” I could see the pain in his eyes. “I’m worried about her, John. What do you thinks happened to her?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. How long has she been missing?”
“It’s been a week now.”
Has it already been a week since that horrific day? I can’t believe it. I’ve felt as though this week has just zipped by but I knew that Henry did not feel the same.
“I know that you’ve been working with Scotland Yard on this case,” he looked at me, “If the J.W. Cannibal was the one who kidnapped her then her body would’ve certainly turned up by now, correct?”
This was actually true. Normally, the evil John would kill his victims and then almost immediately display them to the public. I found it kind of odd that he would take Elizabeth to the middle of the woods, kill her, and then leave her there.
It was completely out of character for him.
“Yes,” I said truthfully. “If the J.W. Cannibal was indeed your wife’s kidnapper then her body would’ve turned up by now.”
Now that Henry had brought this into light, I began to question it myself. Why did the J.W. Cannibal leave Elizabeth’s body in the middle of nowhere? Why did he take her there in the first place?
I began to think, if anyone ever went up there and somehow found Elizabeth’s body in the ground next to my family cabin, then everyone’s fingers would point to me. And yes, they would know that I lived there from the belongings in the house. Our family portraits still hang on the walls and my name is still carved in the wood of my bedroom floor.
Now we definitely needed to leave.
“Enough of this sad crap,” Henry said after clearing his throat. “Let’s talk about you. How’s your friend Jack? I saw you with him at my wedding.”
“Yes, we had some business to take care of so we had to leave rather early but he said your wedding was lovely. He’s doing rather well actually, still working at the morgue.”
“That must be a revolting job. I can’t imagine who would want to work with dead people.”
“Apparently, he does,” I chuckled.
Henry smiled. “He seems like a good man.”
I nodded and spoke truthfully. “He is.” I actually believed this. I’m sure a while ago I wouldn’t agree but, seeing him ever since shit hit the fan, he’s shown his true colors even if some of those colors are dark. But who am I to judge?
When it comes to sadists, I certainly take the cake. Why would I cut off her hands and feet? This is still baffling me. There must be a reason for these murders. In the beginning, he was killing people involved in the Ripper murders but Elizabeth wasn’t even London during that time.
Why kill her?
It could be because he’s losing control. Considering the fact that he hasn’t showed his face in a long time, I can see where pent up rage would be evident. But it didn’t seem like he lost control in her murder. Everything was precise and specific.
There was nothing messy about this crime.
Perhaps it was me.
Sitting there across the table from her in that café, I remembered getting angry with her on the inside. The way she acted really pissed me off. She’s married for God’s sake.
Well, she was married.
Honestly, deep down, I wanted to choke her.
Maybe my angry feelings are what caused evil John. Why was I following her in the first place? Looking back on that, I’m not sure why I was stalking her. What was I going to do? I could only follow her so far before I would have to go home.
I had a purpose when I was following her but what was it?
Deep down, could I have wanted to kill her? But why? What did she do other than annoy me?
No, this doesn’t make any sense. I’m all scatter brained and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
“John?” Henry’s voice brought me back to reality. “Are you alright?”
I sighed. “Yes, I’m fine,” then I stood up. “I need to go.”
Henry also stood up. “Why? You haven’t even been here for an hour.”
“I just,” I backed up, “I just remembered that I have some important business to attend to.” I opened his front door then waved at him. “It was a pleasure seeing you. I hope everything goes well on Elizabeth’s case.” And then I escaped.
I needed to speak with Jack, he was the only one that I could speak to about this.
“So, you killed Elizabeth?” Jack asked in utter confusion after my big spill of information.
The two of us were standing in the morgue and Jack’s gloved hands were bloody.
This was an odd situation looking in.
“No,” I said waving away that question, “Evil John was the one who killed her and cut off her hands but I’m the one that wanted to kill her and cut off her hands.”
He stared at me blankly. “Wait…I still don’t get it.”
I huffed and groaned. Then I sat down at his desk motioning him to sit down as well, which he did.
“Ok,” I began carefully. “When I was sitting at the café talking with Elizabeth I was becoming angry with her because of the way she acted. She was all over me, telling me how much she wanted to be with me and I was pissed off. I think this is why evil John killed her. Why would he in any normal situation? She wasn’t on the Jack the Ripper case last year. There was no reason for him to kill her other than the fact that I wanted to deep down.”
“We did agree on the fact that he’s your subconscious.”
He looked at me. “Man, your subconscious is a scary place.”
“You have no idea.”
“Do you think evil John is aware of your presence? I mean, obviously he knows you’re alive as he targeted you during the murders, but do you think he knows that you’re a part of him?”
That was an interesting question that I hadn’t thought of.
“I don’t know,” I thought about this. “Why would he…but then again why would he not?”
“Maybe I should speak with him. I could get a better understanding of this person. We could get inside his head.”
“How are we going to do that? We can’t predict his next appearance.”
“That’s true,” I sighed. “But we can certainly lay out some bait.”
“There’s more witnesses to the Ripper case. Maybe if we talk to one of them he’ll reveal himself.”
“What makes you think that he’ll just appear?”
“Well, you’re going to be with me at all times, no matter what, and you’re going to be watching. I could also picture myself killing the witness, get those dark feelings bubbling up. Maybe it’ll draw him out.”
He smiled. “This should be fun.”
“For you, maybe.”
“I’ll tie him to a chair and talk to him.”
“How will you know when it’s him?”
“Trust me,” he reassured, “After seeing his eyes in that alley, anyone can tell the difference.”
“What if you can’t restrain him?”
He gave me that “really” look. “John, I’m Jack the Ripper, I can restrain anyone.”
Well, isn’t he modest?
But Jack would certainly prove his abilities when the time came.
Coincidentally, evil John would reveal himself on Halloween night although our bait would be dropped in the water a day earlier.
Halloween really isn't a big deal in the U.K. but people still feel the immersion of the holiday and the dark night, especially now, considering the two killers on the loose who have been reaping the country for the past two years.
I’m sure Abelian is having a conniption fit.
On the thirtieth of October, Jack and I traveled to 32 Church Street to query a Ripper witness. Her name is Elizabeth Long and she was a witness in the disappearance of Annie Chapman: the Ripper’s alleged second victim.
According to Long, on the morning of September the eighth, she was passing Hanbury Street when she overheard a conversation between Chapman and a man. She was unable to see the man’s face as he was shielded in the shade.
And then she was never seen again until later that night with her insides displayed on the pavement.
To Elizabeth Long, this wasn’t abnormal as Chapman was a prostitute; she could’ve been talking with a john.
But after what happened to Chapman, she believed that the man she saw was the Ripper and, according to my French friend Jack, she was correct.
He did solicit Chapman on the streets and then take her to a dark alley where he then did his dirty work on the broad.
We were going right up to Elizabeth Long's door on Church Street which was an old barber shop that she apparently operated and lived in.
Upon entering the shop, she seemed alarmed by us but Jack’s kind words soothed her.
“Mrs. Long?” he spoke in his most gentle voice that made me roll my eyes.
“Who are you men? Are you here for a haircut?” she was an older woman with gray hair and a wrinkled face. She was also very short and plump with an old dirty wedding ring tight on her fat finger.
“No, we are detectives from Scotland Yard and we are here to question you on the night of September the eighth of 1888.”
Her eyes widened. “The Ripper case?”
He nodded. “Yes, Madame."
“Is this about that J.W. Cannibal bloke?”
“Yes, Madame. We believe that the Ripper and the J.W. Cannibal are related somehow."
“I saw that in the papers. May I ask your names?”
“Certainly, my name is Maçon Hanson and this is my partner Cassidy Rogers.”
Yes, we had to come up with fake names so we chose our middle names as our first with random surnames. I was also donned in a disguise with a pair of spectacles and a fake mustache.
“I will gladly help you gentlemen with any questions,” she smiled. “I want this freak off the streets just as much as the next lady.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Long.”
Then she crossed her arms and prepared for any questions.
“So,” he began with a clearing of the throat. “Tell me, have you received any letters or have noticed anyone stalking you lately?”
She furrowed her gray brows. “Well, I haven’t noticed anyone stalking me but I received a rather strange letter two weeks ago.”
“What was the address it was coming from?”
“It was blank. I think someone just dropped in me mailbox.”
“May we see the letter?”
“Of course,” she stalked off to a backroom. “If I can find it,” we heard her voice call. “Ah! Yes! Here it is!” she came back into the room carrying an envelope.
I looked at the infamous handwriting on the card and my heart dropped. “Bloody hell, it’s him.”
“Who?” she asked.
“Pay no attention, Mrs. Long, do not fret.” Jack smiled. “Thank you for your time. We hope we did not bother you, Madame.”
And then we quickly exited the shop with the letter in hand.
We found a pub on the corner and sat in the back so we could examine this familiar envelope.
“I was living with you two weeks ago,” I said. “We were planning our defect from the country."
“True, but I was also at work at lot meaning that evil John had plenty of time to tap in, deliver the letter, and tap out during the night.”
“I have no memory of any blackouts.”
“Perhaps he did while you were sleeping and left no unusual markings or missing pieces of time. What does the letter say?”
I opened the envelope and took out the piece of aged paper inside. Again, it was written in red ink. The words said: “Will you?”
Jack thought for a moment. “Isn’t that the question I asked Annie Chapman?”
“And the exact words Elizabeth Long heard that night in September.”
Jack sat back in his chair. “What does this mean?”
“I don’t know…will she what?”
“Maybe he’s just quoting me to scare her.”
“No, there’s got to be some other meaning to this.” Suddenly, a piercing headache stabbing at my temples. I leaned over in pain as I gripped the sides of my head.
“John?” Jack asked alarmed. “Are you alright?”
“I think evil John is scratching the walls.” I looked up at John. “We can’t let him reveal himself here, in the public."
“Let’s go home.”
Then he grabbed my arm and practically dragged me out of the pub and all the way to his flat.
With my vision blurring, everything flowing in a slow motion, I couldn't catch up with my own body.
I could feel myself collapsing on the couch and I could see Jack gripping my face while saying something, but I couldn’t hear him. All I could hear was my heartbeat, for it was ringing in my ears before it went faster and faster.
And then blackness.
I opened my eyes, they hadn’t been opened in a long time. In fact, the last thing I remember was the graveyard in north England after I murdered that broad…Elizabeth, I think her name was. Peering around, I noticed that my surroundings were alien to me.
It seemed as though I was in some kind of warehouse. There was a banging sound coming from above but I couldn’t identify its source.
Trying to move was unsuccessful as I was bond to a chair. I struggled against my bindings frantically.
Then I heard footsteps behind me. Whoever they were, they were wearing heavy boots.
“Well, well,” I heard a French accent with a deep, smooth voice. “Look who’s back.”
“Do I know you?” the sound of my own voice nearly startled me, a rusty tone from the middle of my throat.
“You don’t, but the other guy does.”
This man walked around to face me with pure shock painted on his perfect face.
“Yeah,” I said. “I know that we’re sharing the same stage, sadly he's the leading man."
“That would make sense. Considering you’re no leader.”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Jack. I’m John’s best friend also the Ripper who you’re seemingly impersonating.”
With a wide grin, I chuckled wickedly. “Well, isn’t this a pleasure to meet the big man himself that’s been driving John insane. Does he know?”
“Of course he does and he also knows who you are.”
I glared at him. “Impossible.”
“No, it’s true. I was the one who brought it to light and his mother told the whole story.”
“His mother…ah yes, the woman from the cabin.”
“You killed his father. Why?”
“Where do you come from?”
I smiled. “I come from the darkest place in John’s mind. I’m his subconscious.”
“I doubt that. I think you’re posing as his subconscious.”
“I’m afraid not. You see, John has some rather demented urges and fantasies."
“Why have you lied dormant for so long? It seems like, before this, your last appearance was when John was a wee lad.”
“It was easier then,” I said. “He was young and easy to control. He was naïve. Now he’s a man but, recently, he’s been vulnerable because of you. So thank you, Mr. Ripper.”
“Why are killing the witnesses from my crimes?”
“Like you said, I’ve been posing as you.”
“There’s something else, I can see it in your eyes.”
“I couldn’t just start killing random people,” I said. “I had to be more prestigious. What better way to fuck with John’s mind then to bring the Ripper case back into light?”
“So this is about torturing John?”
“I don’t like him. He has too many morals. He’s too righteous. Besides, killing everyone linked to the Ripper case meant putting the past behind us.”
“John and myself. We’re two souls that have been split and then morphed into one. Obviously, this was an accident. For, I doubt the higher power meant to cause such a unity."
“So, what are you then?” he asked. “Like a dead killer coming back for vengeance?”
“I’m not a ghost, they don’t exist.”
“Then what are you?”
“Soon I will be one person…soon John will be gone and I will be supreme."
“No you won’t. Not while I’m still alive.”
“Well then, I guess I’ll have to kill you."
His smile was sly, severe and confident. “I’d like to see you try.”
I glared at him, feeling myself become angry, pushing against my restraints. Pieces of the rope frayed as I put up a slight struggle. “You’ve got some nerve kidnapping me and then interrogating me in this pit.”
“It was John’s idea,” he said. “We planned it. You see, he knows nothing about you, other than the fact that you're crazy."
“You’re both crazy,” he crossed his arms. “You just don't have any shame in expressing it."
“What do you want from me, Ripper?”
“I want to know your intentions,” he sat down in a chair across from me.
“I want to get rid of everyone linked to the Ripper case so we can move on.”
“You said so yourself that you were forced into solitude until I came along. Whenever John got sensitive you were able to take advantage of him. What happens with I’m gone or when everyone from the Ripper case has vanished? What will John have then that will make him vulnerable?”
I smiled. “Me.”
He glared. “That may be true but have you noticed that you haven’t been able to emerge much recently? Do you want to know why that is?”
I remained silent as I stared at him as I didn't wish to dignify him with a response.
“John knows you’re here,” he pointed at my head. “Lurking upstairs waiting for something, anything that can give you a window to reality. But the truth is, John doesn’t need you and he frankly wants to get rid of you. With enough strength, perhaps he can run you out of his house…what will you do then? Your hunger for blood will never be satisfied.”
“It’s not my hunger, it’s our hunger. Deep down, John is a beast that wants nothing more than to slice at the bellies of his enemies and it is my job to fulfill that need. Sooner or later, he’s going to snap and I’ll be there to take over.”
“I think John is stronger than you think.”
I chuckled. “I highly doubt that, Jack. I think I’ll go back to sleep now. Tell John I said hello.”
Then I closed my eyes and fell back asleep.
I sat up gasping with a sense of fear that seemingly had no source.
“John!” Jack's voice and his footsteps were the best sounds I had ever heard in that moment.
Looking around, I gathered that I was in his flat on the couch. This was the last place I remembered before blacking out.
“What happened?” I asked as I gazed up at Jack. “Did you talk to him?”
“Yes,” Jack sighed. “And he had a lot to say and yet...he didn't say much."
“Really? What all did he say?”
“Well, he told me to tell you hello.”
I looked up at my forehead. “Hello, you bastard.”
“He claims to be your subconscious; your darker side or whatever. He said that he’s killing everyone linked to the Ripper so he can escape the past. He’s not too fond of you, he thinks that you’re too righteous. His voice sounds different to yours. It’s raspy.
“He doesn’t really like me either. I told him who I was and he is very aware of you and this situation.”
“What do you mean?”
“He knows that you two are the same person. And it’s true, this is the first time he’s showed his face ever since you were a kid. He says that it was easier to get out of your head when you were younger because you were naïve and vulnerable. And when you turned into a sensible man, well, it made his life harder.
“But recently, ever since last year when I started my murders and messed with your head, he’s been able to emerge from your mind. He said that my murders had awakened something in you; something dark."
“What else did he say?”
“He said what you’ve been thinking,” he sighed. “Deep down, you wanted to hurt those people. According to evil John, you’ve always possessed a thirst for blood.”
“So, he’s aware of everything then?” I asked. “He knows who I am and he knows that I run the show.”
He nodded. “Yes. But he’s got big plans for the future.”
“He wants to control the show and he’ll do anything for it. He also wants to destroy me." Jack actually laughed.
“Because I told him that I would never let him control you. As long as I’m around, you would be sane.”
“It’s true. I would go completely mad if it wasn’t for you.”
“Evil John knows that now, which means my life is in danger. So, you’re welcome. The things I do for you…”
“I’m not worried about him, John. I can take him. He’s not much…he reminds me of a child.”
He nodded. “Perhaps that’s because he hasn’t been around since you were a child. There could be parts of him that are still childish. We can use that to our advantage.”
I sat there, dwelling on every word. "Did he say why he eats the victims?"
Jack shook his head slowly. "He did not..." sighing, "However, I have a theory. When he was talking about the Ripper murders, he said something. He said that if he killed everyone related to the Ripper then you and him could perhaps forget. But that doesn't make any sense."
"You would think that me forgetting the Ripper case would be beneficial to me, not him."
"Yeah, according to his philosophy," he sat there, thinking, just as I was. "He consumes everything. The Omega."
I perked up. "What?"
"He's got quite the ego on him, I will say that. The Ripper was a case that sparked his existence and your inner desires. By consuming these victims, he's reclaiming them as his own, taking back the night, and keeping these memories inside of you so you'll never forget. The Ripper case will forever be a part of you because you're consuming it."
We just stared at each other.
"He's utterly mad," Jack remarked.
“I need to go speak with my mother.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea? You have a cannibal killer living in your head that has vowed to take over your world.”
“I’m not afraid of him.”
“Good,” he said. “You shouldn’t fear him. Not only is it unhealthy for you but it just adds to his power."
“What do we do now?”
He arched a brow. “What do you mean by that?”
“What do we do about evil John?”
“There’s nothing we can do except ignore him.”
“We can’t just ignore him.”
“Listen, according to him, the more you think about him the more power he gets. Ignoring him is the best thing to do in this situation.”
I sighed. “You’re right. So, I’m just supposed to sit back and live my life normally?"
“Well, we’re leaving the country in a few days so you’ll be distracted soon enough.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”
“Of course you did,” he sighed. “I’m going to bed but I’m locking my bedroom door because you’re little friend upstairs is crazy and has vowed to kill me. No offense to you or anything.”
“Trust me, I take no offense. I would advise you to lock your door and probably keep your blade close."
He smiled. “Goodnight, John.” Then he disappeared into his bedroom and I heard the locks turn.
I sat up and held my face in my hands, rubbing my eyes and running my fingers through my hair more times than necessary.
Jack instructed me not to be afraid of evil John which didn't seem too difficult. After all, he's not even a physical being. But he does have unprecedented power over me and he's proven he's capable of much.
No. I am not going to think about him. Jack urged me not to and I need to listen to him. He spoke to evil John one-on-one, he knows what I should do.
I lied down and covered myself up with a blanket, closing my eyes and preparing for sleep.
For some reason, in the back of my mind, I felt as though something bad was going to happen. I dubbed it as a possible omen.
Could it be related to evil John? I was afraid to go to sleep but my exhaustion won that struggle and I slipped into a deep slumber.
Awakening the next morning, something bad would happen. But it would not be related to evil John.
It would be something much worse than that.