A Soundless Evening on Dorset Street
It was a soundless evening on Dorset Street. A fog slowly slithered through the air like a phantom and blanketed London in a chilly embrace. Nothing stirred, not even the tongue of fire that burned in the streetlamp. It did not even do so much as to flicker.
From beneath the shadow of the clouds appeared a man, drifting like the travelers in the black sky. He was shabbily dressed, his hands covered in spongy, old gloves that bore tiny holes. He smoked a cheap cigar in an attempt to warm his blood from the cold. Gray smoke rose through the mist and fluffy, white ashes dropped to the ground like snowflakes.
Suddenly, a startling howl pierced the silence. His eyes darted to their corners. His heart palpitated. He narrowed his eyes. He waited for something to move.
A minute passed. But there was nothing.
He drew a long breath through his cigar, causing an exhilarating rapture to course through him.
When he returned from his foolish stupor, he realized he was not alone. Something icy was biting his throat. He felt a warm air against his ear. He can hear breathing. It was steady and unruffled. Light from the flame painted on the brick wall before him a silhouette. It appeared to be a man in a bowler hat and overcoat. Then, something glistened. It blinded him for a fleeting moment. The light also reflected off what seemed to be a knife--it a cutthroat razor to be precise--held to his neck. One hasty movement, and he would be finished.
The cigar plummeted to the ground.
"So, it'is you, The East End Slasher"
He sounded not too surprised. When he spoke, he felt the blade's edge slice against his neck. Blood slowly began to trickle down to his collar.
"Martha Tabram," The Slasher began in an eerie voice. "Do you remember her? Of course you do." He caressingly smoothed his hand over his captive's forehead. He tightly clutched his slippery hair. "You stabbed her thirty-nine times," he whispered.
"She was a whore," the man said in a tone from a man not too sober, "and she was blackmailing me."
"And that makes you a murderer."
"She was an evil woman. We're alike, you and I. We both put an end to those who deserve to die."
"No; you just did it for yourself."
The man's head was pulled up. His throat was bare. He just closed his eyes. He prepared to bear the pain. The razor flashed. In one fluid motion, The Slasher buried it into the man's neck and slashed his gullet open. Hot blood splashed onto The Slasher's gloved hand as he pulled the blade away. It stung a little but not for long. His body went limp.
Blood churned out from his veins. It leeched into the cracks fractured upon the pavement. It immediately filled the tiny nooks and crannies. A thick puddle beneath the corpse formed. Crooked snake-like rivers flowed into the red sea. The Slasher tore a handful of the man's hair as he pulled away. He thrust the prize into his pocket. His finger slickly ran along the tainted blade. He gingerly wiped it on the dead man's shoulder. He held it to the light with his nimble fingers, instinctively searching for speckles of blood. It was as spotless as a whistle. He folded the blade into its wooden handle.
Then, he lay his victim flat on his back and unbuttoned his moldering coat. The Slasher chanced upon a shilling and a woman's wedding ring. A twisted grin crawled on his face. These items also went into his huge pockets. From another, The Slasher drew a large knife. He made a grove on one of the dead man's fingernails to test its sharpness. It went deep. Excellent.
Quickly, he peeled the corpse's flannel shirt open, raised the knife high above his head with a naughty glimmer in his eye. He split the arm away from the shoulder with a solid and sickening hack. Tiny droplets of blood spattered on his cheek. He continued with the remaining limbs. He even severed the head clean off from the throat he slashed open. The dead man was butchered like a pig, the copper stench of blood melting into the air. He was now nothing more than a rotting heap of flesh and bones. The worms of the earth would have a sumptuous feast tonight.
The Slasher remained silent. He did not even do so much as to titter on the jolly good job. He preferred to carry out his business with sealed lips. He was far from the likes of old Jack the Ripper who wrote taunting letters to the police saying he "shant quit ripping" the whores with his knife "so nice and sharp". Nor was he like that bloody Sweeney Todd whose selfish ambitions over the string of pearls lead him to his own destruction. Rather, The Slasher kept that sweet, irresistible rapture of satisfaction in his heart. He knew he preformed an excellent feat for humanity that night. He erased another evil man from this earth. His spoils were magnificent gifts destined to reach the open palm of a beggar.
After a moment of meditation and self-gratification, The Slasher dipped his bony finger in the thick, stagnant pool of blood and scrawled something on the ground beside the corpse.
The deed was finally done. Up to his elbows and knees in blood, he wiped the blade clean and slipped it into his coat. With a floating feeling of perverse contentment, he simply left his surprise for the impoverished inhabitants of the East End, prepared as they would love it: chopped into more manageable pieces.
Just as unexpectedly he materialized, The Slasher blended into the fog and vanished into its shadowy haziness. Dorset Street remained soundless, and the glow on the cigar the broken man smoked died out and evaporated into a thin wisp of gray.