In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers, commonly denoted Fn , form a sequence, the Fibonacci sequence, in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones. The sequence commonly starts from 0 and 1, although some authors start the sequence from 1 and 1 or sometimes (as did Fibonacci) from 1 and 2. Starting from 0 and 1, the first few values in the sequence are:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233.
Each paragraph in this story will have the number of words in this Fibonacci sequence, up to 233, and then the paragraphs will begin again at 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, …. That is, the first paragraph will contain one word (we discount the first value of zero), the next paragraph will contain one word, the next will contain two words, then three, then five, and so on.
They mean everything.
Everything, that is, to pappa.
I killed him because he was hurting mamma.
Mamma had been beaten again, by pappa, for the third time this week.
Pappa then turned to me. I was hiding in a corner under a table, holding a kitchen knife to my breast.
He pulled me out by my legs, my soft and frightened whimpers adding to his anger. He bent down to face me. I slashed wildly at his throat, and the blood immediately painted me.
He fell back heavily and grabbed his throat. A strangling cry arose, and then there was gurgling. I watched as pappa tried to speak, but nothing came out. The blood gushed with a violence like pappa’s violence. His angry eyes glazed over until they were sightless. Pappa stopped moving, but the blood continued to flow.
I cleaned up mamma as best I could and then steered her towards her bed. She sobbed and apologized for pappa’s behavior. She blamed it on drink and lack of coin, but she never blamed it on character. I had learned about character in school, and how it determined our lot in life. A man can be poor and honorable. A man can be rich and dishonorable. Pappa was poor and lacked the character needed to be honorable. I took it upon myself to make him pay for that.
I sat on our doorstep and waited for a constable to come by. They come by quite often here because there is always something that was needed from them. Last week, a man was knifed because he looked at another man the wrong way. Three weeks ago, a woman was found dead two doors down. One of those women that mamma didn’t like, the kind that she says sells pleasure for money. That didn’t sound too bad to me. I didn’t even know that pleasure could be bought. I wondered how much pleasure a shilling could buy from one of these magical ladies, and I asked one of them. She laughed at me, patted my head, and told me that she sold the kind of pleasure that only men would buy. Sally was her name. She was found on the street, bloody and silent.
Constable Pillsbury came by and stopped right in front of me. He looked at me like I had never seen mamma or pappa look at me. He sat beside me and asked me why my clothes were bloody. I told him that some of it was pappa’s and some of it was mamma’s. He looked at me again with that curious look, and I was certain that he was reading my thoughts. That’s what constables do, I think. I didn’t mind, though. Constable Pillsbury was always nice to me and my friends, often giving us a piece of hard candy and a smile. One time he saw bruises on my arms and asked me if pappa had done it. I said yes and that pappa had done even worse to mamma. He shook his head and his face turned red. He must have been running earlier for his face to be so red. Later that night, he came to the house and he and pappa spoke outside. Pappa waved his arms around and his face went red. Constable Pillsbury tapped pappa on the chest with his nightstick and pappa backed up. When pappa came back in the house, he hit me across the face and told me never to tell Constable Pillsbury anything about what happens in our house. Then he hit me again and mamma grabbed his arm. He broke her nose.
Two serious men.
They whisper, drinking amber liquid.
They’re reading my thoughts, like Constable Pillsbury did.
They wear expensive clothes and smoke cigars, so I guess they’re important men.
They ask me why I killed pappa and I told them that he always hurt us. He hurt mamma the worst.
Then they asked me if I ever feared for my life. Both of them leaned forward and stared at me like I was a holy vision. I said he choked me terribly at times.
They asked me again if I ever feared for my life. I told them that I reckoned pappa would kill me and mamma one day. They nodded and left the room. A nice constable took me home, but mamma was unhappy. She said I was a wicked child for killing the one man she loved.
Mamma sent me to live with Uncle Jack. She said no one else wanted me on account of me being a young murderer and they were afraid that I might murder them one day. I did cry some because mamma didn’t love me anymore, and I cried even more because Uncle John was severe. He fed and clothed me but he didn’t love me like mamma used to love me. He would look at me and lick his lips, then kiss me. His beard scratched my face something terrible.
One night Uncle John came into my bedroom and told me to take off my nightclothes. You owe me what I want for taking you in. I didn’t want to undress but he made me, then he undressed. Spread your legs. I’m due some pleasure from you. He undid my legs and entered me. It hurt something terrible, and I bled from betwixt my legs. But I didn’t cry. After Uncle John left, I cleaned myself up and went back to bed. I thought that was the end of it, but it wasn’t. He took his pleasure many times and would squirt his squirt and then leave. I would clean myself up. No crying. After a few months of this, I killed Uncle John. He entered me one night and I sliced his throat just like I had sliced pappa’s throat. Painted red again.
The judge sent me to a place for young offenders. I didn’t like it. The other girls were mean and had no honor. I was only ten years old, so they treated me terribly. My teachers liked me, said I was bright. This made the older girls even angrier. But I endured and I was released when I turned eighteen. I had no trade, so I became one of those women that my mamma despised. A pleasure girl. I didn’t ever understand that phrase. I reckon the men got pleasure out of rutting on me betwixt my legs, but I never enjoyed it. Most of the men were drunk when they entered me, their breath sour and their hairy bodies dripping sweat on me. I don’t know what came over me, but I started killing the men who bought my pleasure. It wasn’t long before the police caught me and sent me to prison. I have a room all to myself now, and I have some paper and ink. I spend my days writing. The matrons are nice to me but they are also afraid of me. The preacher speaks to me of my evil ways and asks me to repent of my sins. I tell him that it’s no sin to kill some people and he shakes his head. His visits have stopped, until today. Today, he smiles and he quotes Jesus.
My feet tied.
I’m being hung this morning.
I think of the ineffable silence of blood…