Status: Complete.

Carved in Crimson


The lightbulb makes a tinkling noise when I tap my blade against it. It pops and crackles before illuminating the room. Six sets of eyes blink and squint against the sudden brightness.

"Hello, ladies," I greet them, voice muffled behind my mask. "What a beautiful turn out we have here."

Much to my satisfaction, two are already crying. My heels click as I pace leisurely along their line up. The knife dances between my fingers. Every girl is riveted by the object. Except, for the blonde in the first chair. She's staring me down, chin raised and jaw set.

"Why don't we do a row call, hm?" I walk back to the last girl and stop in front of her. "We wouldn't want anyone to be left out, now would we?"

"Hannah?" The dark headed girl nods with wide eyes.

"Chelsea?" I ask the next girl who contains the most striking blue eyes. Another nod.

I continue calling the different names, making sure to linger beside each of them. They give the appropriate responses until I get to the first one. Their leader.

"Hallie Anderson," I state, not needing confirmation. She doesn't offer it, but her glare is unwavering. I crouch in front of her. "Hm, I'm a little disappointed by you. You seem to have so much more to say behind the screen of a computer."

"Fuck you," she spits, face twisting in an ugly snarl.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," I reprimand, waving the knife a little. A smirk plays across my mouth. "Such ugly words out of such a pretty mouth."

I stand and straighten my skirt, taking a few steps back as my eyes slide over their entirety. They're only a group of young girls, teetering on the brink of womanhood. Still figuring out who they are and what they want from life. I'm positive it wasn't this.

Tilting my head, I observe them, mindlessly tapping my palm with the weapon. They're not so scary with their hands tied behind their backs and urine stains soaking their jeans. Tears mix with snot as their bodies shake uncontrollably. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

Then, I remember what they've done. What they've taken from me. Red is all I see. I want to end it this very second, but remain in control. It isn't time for that yet.

"I'm not one to beat around the bush, so let's begin," I tell them. My face is beginning to feel sticky from the plastic covering it. "Amy Kingston."

Each face registers the name immediately. Most of their expressions are readable. There's the usual guilt, sorrow, and regret. Those are all fine emotions, proper even. I didn't expect any different. What I also know, is that though they might be genuine now, they wouldn't be under other circumstances.

"Real funny, Hallie," Chelsea squeaks, laughing nervously. "This is a prank, isn't it?"

For the first time, the girls turn their eyes towards the queen. Their sighs of relief are almost audible. There's a pathetic hopefulness in their looks.

"Why the hell would I pull some kind of lame ass prank like this?" She retorts, nose wrinkled.

They fall silent, cowering into themselves. The waterworks begin again as any hope of freedom is dashed.

"A-Amy? Is th-that you?" The girl next to her questions, voice cracking. Her dark coils bounce around as she shakes her head. "I'm so sorry. It wasn't my idea, I swear! I never meant to-"

"Shut up, Tya!" Hallie screeches. Her shrill voice echoes off the walls. The girl clamps her mouth shut, but continues whimpering. "It can't be her! She's dead, remember?"

My body stiffens at the flippant response. I turn my back, fingers curled tightly. Nostrils flaring and bile rising, it takes a couple minutes to find my center again. Emotions will not rule this.

"You're right, Hallie." I pivot on my heel. "Amy is dead, but you know all about that, don't you?" Despite my best efforts, I can't keep the venom out of my voice.

A slow smile spreads over her face, but her eyes remain narrowed. "I get it. You're her mom, aren't you?" She snorts and shakes her head. "That figures," she mutters under her breath.

"Smart girl." I peel the suffocating mask off and wipe the sweat from the bridge of my nose. I swivel my head, shaking out my hair. "That's better."

"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god," Chelsea chokes out, chin quivering. "She's going to kill us. She's going to kill us!" She screams, beginning to get hysterical.

"Be quiet!" The cries continue. "I said shut your fucking mouth!" Hallie snaps again, voice cracking the air. Surprise flickers when the sobbing girl ignores her commands.

"We've seen her face, Hallie!" The petite girl with auburn hair screams.

The others seem to catch on to the meaning. They all begin pleading as one. Their voices rise, stumbling over one another. The incessant whine fills every crease and crevice of the dank room.

"If you twats don't shut the fuck up, then I will kill you all myself!" Immediate silence fills the room. I would be lying if I said I wasn't impressed.

"It's quite all right," I assure, strolling behind them. Their panic is apparent in the way they twist and strain their bodies. I knock on the large crimson colored door. "It's all soundproof, so feel free to let whatever you need to say out."

As I walk back into their view, I grab a short stack of papers from a bookshelf. Carefully, I place a sheet of paper on each girl's lap. They cringe when they realize it contains the details of their post.

"My daughter killed herself because of you," I state, making sure to let my gaze linger on each girl. "Because of this post."

"Get real," Hallie scoffs, forehead wrinkled and lips pursed. "She killed herself, because she hated herself."

"You're right. She did hate herself." I nod, accepting Hallie's answer for the truth it was. "Who taught her to hate herself, though? Hm?" I raise my brows, but get no reply. "People are not born automatically loving or hating themselves. It's something they're taught, like walking and riding a bicycle."

I stare down at the copy in my hand. The same sick feeling washes over me. No matter how many times I've seen it, it still makes my blood boil.

"This doesn't even look like her," I mutter.

"It's photoshopped, obviously. Anyone that believed it is a moron." I ignore the girl, not being able to tear my eyes from the demise of my sweet angel. "So, what? You going to sue us for libel or something?"

An amused laugh slips out as I rip my eyes from the paper. I wad it up and toss it away. That's in the past. The kids have already moved on to something else by now.

"I don't need money, dear," I answer, crossing my arms. I'm careful to keep the sharp point of the knife away from my clothes. I don't want to pick my favorite cardigan. "That wouldn't bring my daughter back, and besides, you would learn nothing from your parents paying me."

"It was her!" The girl next to Tya blurts out. Her large, doe eyes are glossed over with tears, chest heaving. "It was Hallie's idea! She's the one that actually made it and posted it." Her shoulders shake as she cries. "We just shared it."

"You backstabbing bitches!" Hallie accuses when the others vigorously voice their agreement.

I tap my chin, listening to the exchange. After the bickering dies down, I crouch in front of Hallie once again. "The funny thing about leading with fear and beauty, is that you'll only stay on top until someone more feared or beautiful comes along."

Another unattractive snort comes from the blonde. She flips her head, chin tilted up. "Like you would know anything about being on top. I bet you were a bigger loser than your daughter."

"On the contrary, my dear, I was the alpha in high school, and I've remained there even now." I jerk my head to the wall on my left. It's lit up enough to see the various pictures and awards I've collected over the years. "Prom queen, beauty pageants, my degrees. You want to know the secret to success? To staying on top? Kindness. Loyalty. Honesty."

"This isn't about me, though. Or any of you, actually." I sweep the knife in their general direction. "This is about Amy. This is about revenge."

Their screams fill the compact space as I cut and slice, removing what once were their most prized possessions. Tya's scalp with her perfect spirals. Katy's perky and full breasts that she bragged endlessly about. Melanie's legs that stretched on for miles. Chelsea's eyes that were the most unique and dazzling blue.

Blood rushes in my ears and my breathing is strained. My wrist aches and arm has long grown weary, but it's not over. There's one left, then all of this can be laid to rest along with my beloved child.

I stand in front of Hannah. Out of all six girls, she's the only one that hasn't begged for mercy. She remained quiet and watched every slash I carved into her friends' bodies.

Hot liquid drips from the tip of the blade. The silence is fitting, since this has become a tomb. I twitch my wrist, settling my pearl bracelet back into place.

When she finally tilts her head up, so that I can see her face completely, I'm caught off guard by what I see. There's no fear or sorrow. Instead, admiration glitters in eyes so brown they're almost black.

She opens her tiny, bow mouth, and I'm equally intrigued and apprehensive of what she'll say. "You're the kind of mother I wish I had."
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