The girl was dead.

Jack stood over the body, watching as a lifetime's supply of blood bubbled and frothed forth out of the cuts his knife painted into the poor creature's skin and muscles. He was proud of his work, and was fond of himself as he wiped the blade's guilt off with his prey's outer layer of skirt until the stainless steel could be admired once more. He prepared to walk away, but wanted to stay just a little longer, to ponder his assignment…

The baying of bloodhounds and the yelling of policemen stirred him from his thoughts. Naturally Jack turned, ran, but it felt like every time he placed a foot on the cold stone ground, it stuck there, as if melted. He turned a corner, another, until he was lost in the shadows of the alleys he knew so well. He took a moment to laugh, to congratulate himself on his job well done, but for some odd reason, did not stop running… Didn't stop running until he came to the river bank.

Into the water he splashed, into its depths he helplessly plunged. He was trapped at the bottom, a weight tying him down, and he vomited large masses of white bubbles as he fought to scream; but whenever he opened his mouth, more of the freezing water would pump into his lungs and nose… He stretched his arms out, clawing at the surface he could see so well from his fading vision, and he knew he was going to die… A face. The face of an angel? No, no… the face of that woman, smiling at him, taunting him as his death pounded upon his temples and into his ears…

Jack let out a roar as he flung himself out of bed, drenched in sweat and frantically panting. The sheets lie in twists at his waist and bare chest, all damp with sweat and panic…an intense pain splintered through his temple, and he rushed to the bathroom, leaning over the toilet just in time to wretch things from his stomach that he didn't even recollect consuming.

Soon he wrung out his stomach, and all he vomited was air and drips of burning acid when he leaned back against the polished porcelain of his bathtub. Panting, Jack attempted to recall his nightmare…his lungs ached, his throat and temples burned with the pressure of the water. He knew how to swim. He knew the London streets better than any amount of beggars or aristocrats, and he certainly wouldn't have simply dashed out into the bank. Why would he have such an abhorrent nightmare about something so unproblematic?

With a violent shudder, Jack reluctantly recalled the face he had seen before death, floating in the water before him as the life was dragged out of him… The face of that woman, ghoulishly laughing in a torrent of bubbles that danced before him. Her spirit was made angry at him…it dragged him into the water, drawing him towards it like a moth towards a flame…

An aggressive shiver coursed through his veins, and his teeth chattered painfully as he slid to the floor of the bathroom, curled into a ball. He would kill again, he knew. He couldn't help it. Another girl would die by his hand, by his knife, and their spirit would drag him further under the water, deeper and deeper until he could no longer see the light…

Drawing his knees up to his chest, he hugged them, laying his cheek on the ground and beginning to quietly sob himself back to sleep.