It is not that I hated the people of the city that I did what I did. Really, it was quite the contrary. I found them fascinating, from the inside of their intestines to their outsides. I found that the human body had it’s many limitations, but it was easy to work around them if you tried.
The blood never really left from underneath my fingernails, and the smell lingered underneath the suffocating rose scent of my soap. It was as if I had something to hide, and perhaps, perhaps I did, for the people could never accept someone as eccentric as me. If they even had an inkling that you were doing something suspicious- it was ‘off with your head’ or so to speak. My own accomplice was burned at the stake, for they thought her a witch, with her tea bags and cat. They do not know where to look, and daresay, they look into the unordinary when the real witches are painfully ordinary, at least, on the outside.
It was not either that I hated the city. I did not wish to see it fall, person by person. The population was well over its quota anyway, so I was, I am, merely doing my part in keeping the environment sustainable.
Perhaps it was my childhood that played a large role in my actions. My upbringing was not pleasant and at the age of fifteen- when I decided to run away from home- I also had decided to never bring a child into this cruel world. So perhaps I made the unconscious decision to do the very opposite.
London was never a very pleasant place to live. The rain would patter against your windows day after day, and as the horse carriages- and the few cars driven by those who could afford it- flew by on the streets, they’d splash you with the puddles that lined the streets like sprinkles. I made it a habit to wear shorter dresses, though it earned me a respective amount of stares, just to spare the wetness. My hat, and I only owned one, was much too big for my head. I did consider once, not wearing it, but I knew that though it was large and ill fitted, I would do better to try and fit in outwardly.
The women of the city were disgusted by me, the children curious, and the men intrigued. I met someone once, his name something or the other, who told me my eyes sparkled like a mad man’s. I had laughed and thanked him for the compliment. Most call my appearance to be ‘disheveled’ or, blatantly, dirty. Just because my hair goes uncombed some nights or my clothes unwashed, they don't know the efforts that had to be made for me to leave any scene cleaner than when I came.
Perhaps it was that it brought me a different kind of rush. The adrenaline was always coursing through my veins as the clicking of my heels disappeared into the night. The moon, ever so bright, watching my every move, and the crows- eight of them- watching me with their beady black eyes.
My favorite article of clothing is my blood red gown, though I seldom have a fancy enough event to wear it to. However, that does not stop me. It conceals the blood quite well, I find, and it allows me to match a rose to it behind my ear.
The blatant judgement in everyone’s faces is remarkable, as no one seems to have anything better to occupy themselves with. It’s a small world, and in their perspective, small enough to have to have all the news. The poor children in town ride around on their bicycles, in any weather, mainly rain, and pass them to the public for a penny a piece. I tend to stay away from their black and white photographs and ink stained pages. They do give me a headache.
That is not to say I do not read. I am very much literate and enjoy a good classic, but I’d rather not meddle with the news.
There are fairy tales that bounce around my head, but I’m never quick enough to capture my pen and get them on paper. I enjoy their company in my head and will speak them aloud to anyone who listens, however.
Adults seldom do, and just when I get the children engaged, their parents will pick them up sternly with gloved hands, steering them away from the crazy woman- that is, me.
I do not mind. It is not their fault that they do not believe in the divine. Or perhaps it is, and they could do to make a little effort, but it is not entirely their fault. Some people simply lack the imagination and mind. I will admit that the stern ones do become my next ‘victim’ if you’d please to call it that. A woman once slapped her child on the wrist as she took him away, and I made certain to get rid of her quickly. I gave a small black rose to the child the next day. They are rare, but I plant a few in my cellar, and give them to the best of people. He cried, fat tears rolling down his chubby cheeks, and I did my best to comfort him. Of course, he did not know when he hugged me that I was the woman responsible. He did not need know. I made good use of her heart, and her eyeballs are preserved in a jar.
The eyes were always my trophies.
I had strong urge to take those of the man who said mine sparkled, but alas, I enjoyed his company too much. We spent a bit of time together, and one could argue we loved each other, but these things are never certain. I will not lie and say I did not care for him a great deal. His lips were always rough when he kissed me, and I think perhaps I was not who he thought I was, for when I tried to tell him who I was, I never heard of him again. He wrote me a letter, just one, and I keep it in my box of special things.
Today I have a very special mission. I am to retrieve the body of the Queen. I am not scared, not really. I do fear things, but not my work. I pack my roses in my handbag- six of them- and wash my hands hard with my rose scented soap. The blood on my hands is both figurative and literal, and I welcome the scent into my nose.
Today marks the Queen’s death day, as I am the rose witch, for better, or for worse.