A/N: Alright, this one is not only morbid, but also very…. Obscure. Read it at your own risk, and of course, reviewers are worshipped and spared. Did I say spared? I meant --
There are one hundred forty six ways to kill someone with a fork. Judging by the body at her feet, Keira guessed she'd mastered at least three.
It's so simple, isn't it? The way the human anatomy can be summed up to all it's little parts. You have a heart, now a cold and lifeless piece of meat, lungs leaking their last bits of air. Move on to the brain; certainly the most fascinating. People underestimate the workings of a child's mind, how it solves puzzles and clicks things together in sequences we would have never thought of. It's too illogical, Nannah would have thought, to assume that any item can be used as a weapon.
Now that she was sprawled across the floor, a lunch plate set neatly on the table above her – missing one utensil, no less! – she might have changed her opinion.
"I wasn't finished with my lunch, Nannah," the girl said casually, sweet as the lemonade pitcher, sweating in the bright July sun. She made no reply, just lying instead on the old linoleum floor, leaking blood from tiny pin point wounds that looked as if they were made from birds, turning the tile cracks into irrigation ditches. Blue jays. Blame it on the blue jays. When the cops ask, tell them the blue jays did it.
Don't imagine the looks on mommy and daddy's faces. They'll just blame each other, pretend it's all a joke. 'I told you we shouldn't have hired that old woman!' Her mother would cry, near hysterics and clutching her fists to her eyes. Daddy will scream, 'Don't blame this on me, it's not my fault that our eight year old is a fucking murderer!' with a voice that could shake the nails from timber.
Come to think of it, Keira had never liked the word 'murderer'. It always sounded so harsh and deep, like the sizzling of a frying pan as you burn your hand. Murrrrrrrdererrrrrr. Tsssss!! Silly thing to see house hold items so violently.
She hopped back on her chair, black, girly shoes dangling above the trenches of gore, not bothering to watch as the lines filled with red. Time to take stock: Cheese, crackers, milk, sandwich. There were a couple of peas, but those were wedged in the tongs of the fork she'd used, making them look more like rubies on Nannah's jewelry than vegetables. When her hand collided with her face, the feeling of prickers lashing the delicate skin of a child, she remembered how cold the rings felt, how they managed to scrape her. The kid had told the teacher it was from the cat. It's a shame she didn't own one.
Her brown braids were nearly globbed with jelly as she took a bite of her sandwich, the sticky, purple mush dripping down her chest. Thumper, her loyal dog, whimpered slightly at the scent of blood and went about sniffing Nannah's hand, then jerked back suddenly. A coppery odor. Must've been dead. Cold and fat and dead, with pin pricks decorating her neck.
Guess she had interrupted lunch.
Peanut butter 'n' jelly sandwiches can be autopsied just as easily. The crust is a stiff brown, the bread white and 'wonderful' according to the package, giving under your fingers like a patty of snow. All smooth sensations. Comforting. Then beneath the sandy white of beaches lied the jelly, shifting under the surface in a colorful magma only to squirt out the edges, screaming of promises to stain your clothing. But the peanut butter! Now that was little Keira's favorite. One time, she'd accidentally put mustard on her creation instead of Skippy, barely holding back her tears as she barred her teeth in a garish, golden grin. She'd developed an appreciation for peanut butter ever since. The crunchy kind – you know, because she wouldn't mistake it for anything else. Then there was another slice of bread and crust, which Nannah never cut off for her, so she'd have to nibble her way around it. Chewing and chewing like a meticulous, starving mouse.
The rest is a bit of a blur. Do not make the mistake of thinking that she forgot. Rather, she was absorbed elsewhere, in a land of Barbie doll fantasies and formal tea parties. These memories have all been scraped off of the surface of her mind, the subconscious, lingering there like shower scum after so many years. This is that scum. This is the rest of that story.
Sirens whirring, spheres so blue and red. The fat woman hadn't moved for hours and she knew she never would again. A few peas lie scattered around the blonde ringlets of hair, peaking around the pearl earrings, wanting to shine at the cops. Still no movement. No expectation of such an act. Her short, red dress matched perfectly with her pallid tights, the spitting image of child hood innocence, Rebecca of SunnyBrooke farm. Uneaten crackers scattered on a white plate, peanut butter and jelly half eaten, cut in two separate pieces like a broken heart. Cheese, crackers, milk, sandwich.
Then a female officer stepped in. The first to arrive on the scene. "My God…" the words escaped her, two syllables, also like a broken heart, or maybe even butterfly wings by the way they rattled around so. "Child, did you see what happened? Are you here alone?"
She didn't answer. The clock ticked. Every bird was singing outside and she remembered Yes, the blue jays, that's who did it. "It was them, ma'am." Keira stated lightly, hopping down from her chair, Mary-Jane shoes splattering in the crime scene fluid. "The birdies did it."
The cop opened her mouth to speak but then she saw it – the fork – clutched in the young girl's hand instead of a crayon, dribbling hemoglobin like melting wax. Birdies indeed. More like cranky little girlies, armed with silverware and the sweetest, most pure disposition the world had ever seen, what with those sparkling, brown eyes, and pink, ripened cheeks. Now for another bout of sounds, eclipses of memory comparable to a dream half-formulated: the cop's voice frantically murmuring over the radio. Shifty glances. Sunlight spilling across the corpse like orange juice, giving the room a happier glow; washes of yellow, spot-lighting the little drawings of stick figures stuck to fridge.
"Alright, you're coming with me dear." The cop finally declared, pretending to be cool and collected; she came across this same thing ever day, this exact same situation, it was the same thing as giving a parking ticket by now. Procedure. Perfectly engrained. Right.
However Keira handed her a: "No, I don't want to…" as resistance. She yanked her palm away in a childish pout but the cop would have none of it.
"Just come with me, sweetie, everything is going to be just fine. You want to see your mommy and daddy again, don't you?"
So the cop lady was nice. Her details were remembered well, the cobalt eyeliner she wore, the strands of yellow hair poking loose from a messily done pony tail. Her shiny, pink lips curved into a smile and Keira bit her own, so shy, looking very much like a china doll. Pull the string on my back and I'll whisper all sorts of sweet goodies in your ear. I'm just a perfect, little anarchy baby.
"Are mommy and daddy at the station?"
"Yes, darling. They're at the station, and they really want to see you."
The stench of death was beginning to fill the room like a cheap hooker's fragrance, the kitchen becoming an oven for the freshly prepared cadaver. Gave a whole knew meaning to the phrase, "Stick a fork in me Charlie, I'm done." Blondie-cop kept her cool all right, though her hand lingered to her face, trying to shield out the scent of macabre and the all encompassing urge to faint, life a precious heirloom to be preserved. Ha! - Precious her ass. They both knew what quality of living lied beyond locked cell doors and boot camps. This whole 'everything will be okay' attitude was doing nothing to mask the truth, like a malnourished willow buckling under a tempest. What a sloppy liar. Everyone assumed she knew nothing at all.
Now the use of force was coming into play, her fingers gripping the child's arm, trying to drag her away from the wreckage. "Come on, now, everything's going to be just fine. You need to --" Need to what, per say? Sorry, no one caught that last part. It might have been because her voice had stopped. Jagged words. Broken. Tiny, infinitesimal pieces falling to the floor. Why?
The training manual said something about never turning your back on a suspect, it was one of those cardinal rules. Especially not little girls with sharp instruments in their hands, armed and at the ready. Yet she was so cute, really this one was. She didn't think any harm could come from her, the sprite with bouncing footsteps and sparkly, white bows for hair ties.
We all make mistakes.
One minute the police woman was standing, dragging the lamb along. Then pain had erupted in her neck and she felt herself sinking to one side, falling, and Oh dear God is this real? with the sensations of flying and sinking mixed into one horrible medley, scarlet wiping her vision cleaner than windex. The only thing left to do was bleed, bleed and listen to a sing-songy voice that belonged to that cute little doll with a fork in her hand, which only said:
"I wasn't finished with my lunch, police lady."
How could this have happened? A precious little angel, a gem, a … murderer, all rolled into one -- Did she even know what she was doing? Consciousness became a costly commodity, fleeting now, eyes waxing over with pain from the fork wound on her neck. Christ, the girl couldn't have been more than four feet tall, the law enforcer's head now level with a prepubescent chest. She could even feel her police uniform grow sticky with the cranberry hue of death, veins pulsing, and to think: a gun toting police officer, taken down. Taken down by a hungry, eight year old girl, a dress-wearing hooligan who couldn't tell the difference between smooth peanut-butter and French's mustard. Un-befucking-lievable.
As she hit the tiles with a clatter, adding to the tributaries that flooded the ground, Keira pulled herself back on to her chair, feet dangling once again over the rivers. The kitchen still looked like a giant, yellow oven, sunlight pointing at the bodies as if to say, "See? Look what you did. Bad, bad little girl. Clean that up before anyone sees," but she didn't. Only smiled. Smiled, and looked down at her lunch plate, life simplified down to it's most basic form:
Cheese, crackers, milk, sandwich.