He was still alive. Bloody; bleeding but still alive, lying  prone on a cold floor. She sat on a chair he had vacated, watching blood flow away in trickles. She prodded his wounds with her boot- clad foot, laughing softly as he yelled in agony. “Don’t you look more handsome this way?” she bent over, whispering into his ear. He slowly wriggled about, trying to get away from her. “Little wormy Jerry.” she sat back, allowing him to move, watching the blood patterns he made on the concrete ground. “Little wormy Jerry, trying to run away.” He whimpered, every movement, a sharp stab of physical anguish. Tears mixed with drool and blood flowed unchecked down his face. With ease, she dragged the rope binding his hands and feet, to her presence roughly, enjoying his scream as every part of his skin grated on the uneven floor.

“You can’t say you didn’t deserve this Jerry. Truly, you can’t. What you and your other goons did was despicable. And just so you know, you are the last one alive” His eyes widened at the revelation, terror turning his blood to ice, causing him to tremble. “Mer..mer..mercy..” She threw back her head, tears streaming down her face in mirth.Mercy? Did you say mercy? Fuck you sweetheart.” She landed a kick at his groin, where his penis was evidently missing, in its place, a cauterized mass of flesh. He passed out from the pain, the umpteenth time. She got out a vial from the pocket of the blood-stained raincoat she had on. She opened it passing it over his nose until his face grimaced, bringing him back to consciousness. “Just..let..me…die” he whispered with laboured breaths. “Please.”

She ignored him. “A vulnerable teen in an asylum depending on a doctor to make her better; to make her whole. Even her druggie of a mother told her Doctors were the most reliable people. She believed she’d be better. She was making progress with Dr. Farzhan, until she was transferred to the care of the newbies in the medical profession. Five doctors recently graduated, doing their housemanship with the mentally ill. They take an unhealthy shine to this pretty, schizophrenic girl. She enjoyed their presence; the attention they gave her. John always found a way to make her laugh, bringing her out of her schizophrenic depression. He protected her from Jerry’s snide jabs at her strawberry birthmark on her forehead. They were alright, until lust came in, fuelled by Jerry, who commented on how well-formed her body was becoming. A touch here. Squeeze there. They became scary.” She paused, lighting a cigarette quickly, inhaling with a sigh.

“They became scary. They weren’t satisfied with just tweaking her nipples. Only John was decent enough to feel ashamed. Sad, little twisted men. She was crazy. Who would believe her if she claimed upstanding men from Oxford and Cambridge molested her? Men with clout. Men with class. She, a nobody. She knew the futility, and bore it. They had the advantage and they used it without shame. Little worms in their fancy Saville Row suits and hand-made leather shoes. Rumours flew around the ward about one of them, caught in the act touching a patient inappropriately. The Board of Directors hushed it, sending them to finish at a Teaching Hospital to placate the other staff. They left a broken schizophrenic girl, bitter at the injustice.Bitterness easily turns to the need for vengeance doesn’t it? Do you remember Jerry? Your eyes say you remember. I was that girl. To you guys I was another Jane Doe; another piece of flesh.”

She noted his lips move soundlessly and went closer. “Have something to say, Jerry?” He coughed up a little blood and whispered. “Kill me..please.” She huffed. “Kill you? Ha! In my own time, worm! But before that, I asked a question. Have something to say?” He was silent. She dipped her fingers into the gaping wound on this stomach, watching him shudder in agony. “Do. You. Have. Something. To. Say?” “Pl..ea..se”

She shook her head, dissatisfied, digging her hands deeper, smiling at the misery on his face. “So..rry. I…am..sorry..” She slipped her out of the crevices of his stomach, holding his face close to hers. with her bloodied gloved fingers. “Was that so hard small man? Was it? Apology accepted!” she said in a cheerful voice and landed a blow on his jaws, standing up. She picked up a pistol lying on the table, fitting the silencer expertly unto into tip. “Remember the name of the girl that would send you to hell Jerry. My name is Joan. Saw hello to the rest in the Abyss.” From that distance, she aimed for his head and a second later, Jeremiah Oakley spotted a third eye on his forehead.

***

His body was placed in her usual spot, in the alley. Her face mask was on, the identity with which the world knew her by. The schizophrenic girl  with her vivid strawberry mark died in a fire, and a new woman rose out of the ashes, like a phoenix. This time she did not run for help. She made a quick call on her mobile and a few minutes later, the police cruiser was there. A man came out of the car and walked up to her. “Wow another one?” She shook her head in distaste. “Yeah Rob! This is crazy” she replied.

“I’ve given the ambulance a call. Take me car and pop into the station and alert the Chief please?” the police man asked

“Sure” she took his keys, walking towards his car, the blue and red lights illuminating her police uniform with the name ‘Phoenix’ on a name tag. She got into the car and sped away.

THE END

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