The Bad Thing

'Mummy I think I did a bad thing'

Angela Sinclair stares down at the dead body at her feet. Her wavering blue eyes fill with tears like a syringe fills with blood. Her blonde ringlets form a halo around her head. Blood stains the white fairy dress she is wearing and drips from her pretty porcelain skin. In one hand is a plastic wand. In the other is a knife, shiny silver and sparkling. Blood trickles from both. She smiles unsurely and looks up at her Mummy.

There is a scream, piercing and painful, that penetrates Angela Sinclair's very body; it works its way through her skull and her guts and rips at her from the inside. The tears spill over her cheeks as the blood works its way through her dress and down her legs.

'Mummy please be quiet' She whimpers, raising both the knife and the wand in defence. Her Mummy screams again. She turns. She runs. She cries. Violent red footprints stain the carpet. The room is white, bright and artificial, with the obtrusive red colour tainting the floor and the walls and the little girl. It is spreading. Fast.

Angela Sinclair begins to sob. She cries and she screams and she wails. She sits on the floor, submerging herself in blood. She calls for her Mummy. Her Mummy stands on the other side of the door. She clings to the door frame. She forces her nails deep into the wood. She stops herself from comforting her daughter. There is an overriding compulsion in parents, that whatever the reason, whatever the situation they must stop their children crying. The must comfort them. They must protect them. They must save them.

It takes every fibre of Mummy's being to not throw the door open right there and then. She can't. She mustn't. She won't. It breaks something deep inside a parent to hear their child cry. She can't. She mustn't. She won't. Angela Sinclair's Mummy is a broken wreck on the floor. She can't. She mustn't. She won't. And Angela Sinclair knows that.

'Mummy' the pleading, begging, demanding voice claws at her Mummy's very soul. Mummy's resolve is breaking. Breaking, cracking, dying. Her control is weakening. Weakening, withering, waning. She is shaking. Shaking, shuddering, shivering.

And then Angela Sinclair screams.

And her mother is through the door as fast as a bullet shot from a gun. There is a shuddering crash in the sinister silence. Door VS wall. Logic VS instinct. Mother VS daughter. The slap of two single footsteps. The squelch of blood beneath flesh. The screaming of fear.

'I did a bad thing?' Naïve and innocent and scared, the persecuted fairy princess shuffles her feet. Her Mummy nods. Her Mummy cries. Angela Sinclair swings the knife. Her Mummy dodges. Her Mummy screams. Her Mummy runs. And Angela Sinclair has done a bad thing again.

She goes for a walk. She leaves the white room with the red stains. It makes her feel funny: excited and nervous and confused. She walks down the hallway. Her fingers paint red patterns on the pictures, on the people's faces. Her dress is ruined. Or maybe it's prettier. She doesn't know. She clutches both of her wands. She dances down the hallway, leaving a trail of rose red footprints in her wake.

Angela Sinclair's brother walks out of his room. He rubs his eyes and moves slowly, like Bambi on ice. Angela smiles at him. He looks at her, takes in the knife. He sees the blood, painted across her body and the walls. He remembers the scream, terrified and ear drum-rupturingly loud. He remembers what woke him up, a crash and a cry and a scream.

Angela Sinclair's brother's eyes widen and legs tremble. He cowers. Angela Sinclair's brother's legs run, as fast as they can and far too slow. He sprints. Angela Sinclair's brother's heart judders, fast and frenetic, blood runs away from it and just as quickly ends up in the same situation. He trips. Angela Sinclair's brother's body is slashed in seven sudden slices. He is dying. A silent scream, a rip of flesh, a spurt of blood.

He is dead.

Angela Sinclair has done a bad thing again.

'Mummy, Oh Mummy.' Mummy quivers in the room next door. She does not know about her son. She shrinks behind the door. She tenses. She wants to run. Adrenaline runs rapid and rancid through her body, dances round her veins and pirouettes into her mind, cloudy and confusing and cruel. Blood croons in her ear and dread shakes her posture. There is a tense vacuum of nothingness, the gasp of the audience before the dancer hits the floor, and for a second she believes she is okay. She is wrong. A quavering breath relaxes from her lungs. And then there is no air for her to scream.

Angela Sinclair pushes open the door. Her Mummy is stuck in time. No movement, no breath, no thought. Angela Sinclair smiles. Sweet and innocent and excited.

'Look mummy' Hands clasp, small and defenceless with big and overpowering. The fingers twist together. A wand separates the palms. Silent footprints lead the way. The small hand points. It uses the wand.

'I did another bad thing Mummy' Sad and resigned and pouting, a base layer of pride and excitement. Another body. Another palette. Seven slashes. Seven sources of red. Crusting, congealing colour seeps into the carpet. Stains the air. Tepid and putrid and poisoned air forces its way down Mummy's throat. Consumes her body. She chokes on it. She rasps. She gags. She retches. She nods.

'I'm bad?' Mummy nods again. Wide eyed and hysterical. Painted fingers cover her face. The red stains that too. Angela Sinclair frowns. Mummy is not being nice. Mummy is being bad. Angela Sinclair is being nice.

'I didn't mean to.' A smile. A wand. A hand. Mummy doesn't take the hand. Mummy is being bad. Mummy stumbles back. Mummy has done a bad thing.

Angela Sinclair sees red. Red red red, everywhere must be red. She hears blood, trickling from wounds and running frantically through veins. She smells fear and sweat and death and decay. She tastes saliva, a metal tang where the red hit her lips and something sweet that has appeared in her mouth. She feels Happy. She wants more. She needs red.

Angela Sinclair can't run very fast. She stumbles and she tumbles and she trips. She is scared. She holds both her wands out in front of her. She is scared. Mummy can run very fast. She is scared. Mummy reaches the door. She is scared. Angela Sinclair sees red. She is scared. Mummy screams. She is scared. Mummy cries. She is scared. Mummy begs. She is scared.

Angela Sinclair cuts and stabs and slashes and slits and spears and gouges and gores and gashes and attacks. Red Red Red, everywhere is red. Mummy is red and Angela Sinclair is red. The white walls and the white floors and the white door is red. Roses and Christmas and hearts. Red Red Red. Everywhere is red and everyone is dead.

And Angela Sinclair has done a bad thing again.