I woke up from a pleasant dream to the harsh sounds of the siren. It was barely morning I realized; just around 6am. Drowsily, I made my way to the bedroom window. Pulling away the curtains, I had expected to see an ambulance at the Mehta’s home two blocks away from mine, announcing the 80 year old man’s heart attack or something similar. But it wasn’t an ambulance which I saw. Rather there stood a police van securing my neighbor’s home with yellow tape.
The reporter instincts in me decided to find out what had happened, admittedly though, I was working for a fashion magazine. Well, a girl can dream, can’t she? Quickly securing my robe over my pajamas, I went outside. Unsurprisingly, half the neighborhood stood surrounding the yellow tape. Hardly anything interesting happened in this locality. People were too used to routine, so when something extraordinary happens everyone is about worrying or gossiping or giving their own versions of what could have happened.
In the time it took me to get down from my bedroom, the ambulance had already arrived. The police had brought out a man’s naked body completely soaked in blood. The man’s groins were brutally stabbed particularly. ‘He would have never recovered from that’. Just as I was about to get a closer look, the paramedics team hurried forward and covered the body, looking slightly disgusted at the sight themselves.
I headed over to Sasha, who was standing closest to me. No one knew how, but if there ever was any gossip in the area, it would always reach her first.
“What’s up here Sasha?” I asked.
“Oh you didn’t know? Mr. Burton is dead. Murdered actually, by a woman that too.” She said it so casually, like murder was a everyday thing in the locality.
“But why?” I almost squeaked out. A man had been killed just next to my home. It could have been me. Don’t be stupid, Why would anyone try to murder a person who spends her day writing about shoes?
She seemed to have waited for me ask this question as she shrugged theatrically and said “No one knows why. The police aren’t telling us much.” After a few seconds of silence and staring creepily into my eyes she spoke again.
“But I have a theory.” I snorted at this and she straightened herself, seemingly offended but continued to tell her opinion anyways.
“Did you know that Mr. Burton was a divorcee and a womanizer? I think that woman must be some sort of scorned lover from his past, unable to forgive him for letting her go. It could have been his ex- wife herself.”
“Well, that’s plausible.” I said, not believing her for a second. She was a romantic if there ever was one and this might seem like some twisted romance to her.
“Nonsense. Burton’s women adored him, Sasha. He was that good. The chick must be a nutter if you ask me. Good thing, Hannah had come in early today. Jesus knows what she might have done to him otherwise.” Andy or Anderson, living opposite my home, had joined our conversation.
“But-” She tried to speak, but the policed had come out of the building and tried to shoo us away. ‘Like we were little kids’ I thought sarcastically. Knowing I would not find much out, I headed back home, to make myself a hot chocolate.
Secretly I agreed with Andy. The wounds on his body were brutal. No normal person would have been able to do that.
Suddenly in the quiet of the early dawn, I heard muffled sounds. It took me awhile to realize it was coming from the outside. There was a window in my dinning room, though it had always been closed as it overlooked the Burton’s household. I had felt it was too intrusive to both of us. Already guessing what I was going to hear, I opened the window a little bit. I hid myself from the view of anyone looking out of the other window and settled to hear the woman’s reasons (or excuses), unknowing that I was about to have the shock of my life.
I remembered Mr. Burton as a stodgy middle aged man. He had been arrogant and often looked down at the working class. But that’s not something new is it? Rich thinking the poor as dirt isn’t exactly sensational or shocking. What no one knew was that man also had another face to him. A perverted and terrifying face.
The murderess, Anna, had been a maid working at Mr. Burton’s family home in the outskirts of the city, years back. She had been a widow with a 11 year daughter and 5 year old a son, working to support her family. Her daughter had often complained of the Burton’s inappropriate remarks towards her. Anna had ignored that as either harmless or over imagination of the girl. Unfortunately it was neither of the two.
One evening being too ill to even move, she had to send her daughter in her place, to work. That had been the last anyone ever heard from the girl.
She had been found a week later, only due to the putrid smell of her decaying body, by a local farmer in the dump yard nearby. The doctors had told the little girl had been raped and beaten all over. She was then stabbed multiple times before finally being allowed to die. A police case had been impossible as the Burton’s had been an influential family and had threatened to take her son away. Now after all these years, Anna had finally avenged her daughter.
A maniacal laugh erupted from the old woman at the end of her confession. Maybe she was mad after all, but I might have cracked too if I had been her. She hadn’t planned on getting caught, but she didn’t struggle when the police had arrested her and took her over to the police station to finish their investigation. It didn’t matter to anymore. Her little girl shall rest in peace.