Please enjoy this excerpt from Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond.
Excerpt: Initiated to Kill
7 August, 1888
George Yard, Whitechapel
The dark suffocating smog enveloped the man as he strolled down the grimy streets. The smell from the raw sewage drifted in the night air, flowing through the gutters and into the Thames River. Dressed in a navy uniform, with a white band around his cap, a fake mustache pasted on his face, his thoughts traveling to the scene before him.
He was disgusted with this place. The onslaught of Irish and Jewish immigrants had caused this place to fall to the hands of street vendors, pick-pockets, drunks, beggars and prostitutes. Wrinkling his nose as a soft moan came from the deep recesses of a darkened street. A prostitute at her trade. He desperately wanted to be back in his studio, paint all he had seen; away from the disparity and disgust. But he was on a mission. He was not going to falter, regardless of the smell that greeted him at every corner.
A loud shuffling brought his attention to a woman staggering out of the shadows. Resting against the hard, cold building, he observed her as she tripped and righted herself before continuing on her way.
She was an ugly woman. Quite overweight, short, and her bloated face spoke of her abuse with alcohol. She continued to fiddle with her dark green skirt and black jacket, completely ignoring him as she walked past.
Clenching his jaw, that sickly smell of an unwashed body filled his nostrils, coupled with the vigorous act of sexual intercourse sickened him.
He silently stalked her steps as she turned from Whitechapel High Street, entering into the narrow, dimly lit courtyard of George Yard.
Suddenly, she spun around and glared at him.
“You’ve been a followin’ me,” she slurred.
He stopped in his tracks, surprised that she would have noticed. For a minute he didn’t say anything, just stared at this grotesque creature.
“I know what ya want. Well, ya can’t have it. I’ve had enough soldiers for one night,” she cackled, “besides, ya look like ya could use something more down there before tryin’ anythang with me.”
Letting free a belch, continuing to approach the stairs.
Narrowing his eyes, an intense rage filled him. How dare that whore speak to me like that. Instead of backing down, his anger pushed him on. Slowly he followed her as she began to climb the stairs. Cursing under her breath, tripping on the hem of her skirt, knees thudding to the hard cement steps.
He didn’t hesitate. Adrenaline poured through his veins. He relished the feel of the strong, sharp dagger, swiftly straddling her from behind. He didn’t give her a chance to protest, yanking her head up by the hair, slicing the dagger straight across her throat. Blood oozed over his fingers, fighting the urge to vomit. The thought of what that whore might have repulsed him, but he couldn’t stop now. His anger propelled him, his need for vengeance like an addict in need of a drink.
Pushing her over onto her back, the deep gash oozing crimson liquid, pale eyes staring at him, as if accusing him, mocking him. In the darkened shadows of the landing, he continued to drive the dagger into her throat, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, stomach and genitals.
Ignoring the stickiness that dripped off his clothes. The gaping wounds revealing his unique masterpiece. He continued thirty-nine times to make sure he sent a message to those that would view the events, viciously tearing her clothes as he did this.
Standing, he stared at her one last time. His anger had subsided, he regretted losing control, he must do better next time. Dropping a small piece of leather apron, he slid into the shadows, anticipating the one that was next to come.
* * * *
At 4:45, John S. Reeves headed out of the building. He frowned. A woman lay on the landing, a dark liquid surrounding her body, clothes disarrayed. The smell that emitted from the unmoving body caused him to run as fast as he could to locate P.C. Barrett.
Later, she was identified by Pearly Polly as Martha Tabram.
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