I stopped in the darkness, my chest heaving. This was ridiculous. Of all the killers in the world, I had nothing to fear from the police. I left no DNA, no fingerprints, no trace at all of my presence. My victims were labeled as freak accidents, sudden heart-failures, strokes and aneurysms and even suicides.
No one believed in ghosts in the 21th century. Hell, people hardly believed in God anymore. Even the angels had lost their faith. So why made Detective Michael Malak me feel like I was in the presence of something holy? What was it about him that shook me to my very core?
The door to my dark sanctuary opened and I could see Georgie silhouetted in the opening. “You get back out here, Mary!” He hollered. “She’s just quarter past one. I own your ass for another forty-five minutes!” He squinted, trying to see through the shadows that filled the corridor.
I bet you wished you’d gotten the light fixed after all, you cheap bastard, I thought, resisting the urge to flick my tongue out or flip him off.
“Goddammit! All right, princess, have it your way! I’m taking this from your pay, and the twelve minutes you were late too!” He slammed the door shut and I stepped out of the dark corner where I had been hiding.
I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. In over 300 years, I hadn’t met a mortal who had rattled me like Michael Malak had. There was just something about him, something… unsettling. But now was not the time to ponder the mystery that was him. I had work to do. I pushed the thought of the detective to the back of my mind and turned my attention to what was in front of me instead.
There was a small, dirty mirror hanging on the wall, all but invisible in the darkness. I walked up to it and looked into it. A ripple ran through the glass. I closed my eyes and focused, and another ripple made the mirror tremble.
Shifting plane was like jumping into a cool pond without moving. A third ripple shook the mirror and when I opened my eyes I was on the other side, looking out into the dark empty hallway. All my trepidation and anxieties gone, my mind felt as cool and clear as glass. Nothing could rattle me here. This was my world, here I was in control. It was like being a spider in a web; my senses reached far beyond my physical appearance. And tonight I had a fly to catch, trap and devour.
IT WAS EASY TO TRACK down Ryan O’Sullivan. Having met him, and taken an instant dislike to the man, all I had to do was to recall the essence of him… the smell of his soul if you will, reach out and through, and into the reality of a dirty little bathroom with bad plumbing and mold-stains in the ceiling and on the walls.
A fitting place for Ryan to meet his demise.
I moved towards the door, making no sound, my mortal guise sliding aside to reveal my true nature. I could hear a voice coming through the door that had been left ajar, and I stopped, tilting my head to the side, listening in on the one-sided conversation.
“I have the money! I swear! I fucking need a car. Now! Don’t even think of ripping me off this time, Tommy or I’ll skullfuck both you, your mother and that cute little sister of yours to death. You feel me!”
What a charmer… I left a trail of bloody footprints on the already stained floor and a hand print on the door as I pushed it open. The creek made Ryan turn. For a moment he just stood there, staring, his brain denying the presence of a woman covered in blood standing in the doorway of his bathroom. Then a synapse or two fired through the initial shock.
“Who the fuck are you?” He demanded, Tommy and the car-deal forgotten.
I moved towards him, my anger radiating from me like a shockwave, making him take a step back. “You killed her.”
His eyes widened. “I-I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about-”
He took another step back. He was a big burly man, and you could tell that he wasn’t used to being afraid. “W-who are you?” The slight tremble in his voice made me smile.
I cocked my head in a sinuous movement. “You know my name… you all do.”
“Well, I fucking don’t”, he said, trying to sound brave. “Now, I don’t know what the fuck you want but you better get the hell out of here before-”
I surged forward, moving effortlessly through the room until I was right in his face, so close the tip of our noses almost touched. “Before what?” I hissed softly. I was a visage of nightmares, of terror and rage. I hung there in the air, dripping with blood, mere heartbeats from adding another gallon to my collection. A wild joy welled up inside of me. This was what I had asked for all those centuries ago when I cut my palm and let my blood drip onto my mother’s mirror: Revenge. Retribution. It was why I existed. I smiled.
“J-jesus…” Ryan whimpered. “What are you?!”
“You know. You called me once. You pushed your little sister into the bathroom, turned off the light and locked the door.”
Ryan shook his head almost desperately. “I-I don’t remember-”
“But I do”, I said, floating forward, forcing him back towards the wall. “And so does Sandra…”
“How do you know her fucking name!” He roared, surprise and rising anger dulling the shock and the fear a little.
“She peed herself”, I continued, reveling in the emotions spilling from him. Confusion adding its own special note to the mix. “And I know, because I was there. I was watching from the mirror. A part of me is always watching…”
“No…” His eyes growing almost impossibly large. “Y-y-you can’t b-be…”
“But I am”, I whispered, smiling at him, my eyes filled with nothing but darkness, the blood painting a wild tribal pattern on my pale skin as I moved even closer. “Say my name.”
“B-bloody Mary…” He whispered. “B-bloody Mary. Bloody Mary!”
He screamed like a pig when I plunged my spectral hands into his chest and yanked his soul out. His body sagged, then collapsed on the floor while his soul screeched and howled in my grip. “YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!” My voice made the walls shake and the windows tremble in their frames.
“No no no! Please…” Ryan begged, just as Joy no doubt had begged, and just like her, he would receive no mercy. I dragged him with me back to the mirror and he started sobbing. “P-please… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to… Oh God… Sweet Jesus… Help me!”
“God isn’t here”, I hissed. He was struggling in my grip, flopping around like a fish caught out of water. “No one will save you.” I retreated into the mirror, pulling the soul of Ryan O’Sullivan with me, trapping him there with his fear and his guilt forever. Forever denied the grace and peace of a true death.