Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 November 2011
Thomas watched her as she stood in front of the antique mirror, admiring her own reflection, and preening herself. It was all a part of her daily ritual, and it drove him to distraction because she took so damned long. He had never known any other woman to be as vain as Helena, and he had known a lot of them.
Oblivious to his disdain for her vanity, Helena straightened her dress, as best as she could, around the whalebone corset. It cut into her skin despite the thickness of the material of her dress. In Helena’s mind, it was worth the pain to look so stunning. She smoothed the velvet material with her hands, and turned her body in order to catch sight of what the rear view looked like. She smiled at what she saw.
‘Delightful,’ she said to herself, still unaware that Thomas was standing in the doorway, irritated by her narcissism. She was startled when he spoke.
‘Would you mind hurrying up, Helena? We have a dinner party to attend, and I doubt that everyone else will enjoy tepid food because you want to look prettier than every other woman in attendance.’ He knew that his words would anger her, and indeed, he hoped that they hit hard, but Thomas also knew that she would not concede, nor would she display the obvious shock she felt at his words. She was too collected for that. Instead, Helena would make him pay during the dinner party.
She would insult, belittle, and demean him in front of the other guests, attempting to assert her authority over his standing, and her intelligence over his. She would encourage the other guests to laugh at Thomas’ faults and failures, and mock the little successes that he had achieved. She was entirely heartless, revelling in the discomfort of others.
But not tonight. Thomas had had enough, and the heartless bitch in front of him would now suffer his wrath. And how he was going to make her suffer. Rushing forward and gripping her hard around the back of her neck, Thomas slammed Helena’s head into her precious mirror, shattering it into hundreds of reflective pieces that littered the floor. Blood poured from the gashes in her head, and she screamed and wailed in pain.
‘No need to cry, my love,’ Thomas said, ‘it will all be over soon.’
He had caught Helena completely unaware, and she had been unable to fight back. Her feet flailed and kicked weakly at the floor trying to gain some traction, as he dragged her from their bedroom, out into the hall, and towards the bathroom. The pain in her head was overwhelming, and Helena fought to remain conscious, although she was beginning to wonder why, and if it wasn’t better to be unconscious when Thomas played out his game.
Helena could feel the cold tiles through the velvet of her dress, but was inclined to believe that was the least of her problems. She had never witnessed Thomas so angry before, and his face had been set with a determination that gave her pause to consider her safety. He threw he to the floor, slammed the door, and rifled around intently looking for something, all the while mumbling under his breath. When he turned back to her, Helena saw the cutthroat razor in his left hand, sunlight from the small window glinting off of the blade.
Two steps forward and Thomas was standing over her. Reaching down with his less-dominant right hand, he grabbed Helena by the neck once again, and flipped her face down. With his right foot on her neck where his hand had been, he prevented her from moving as he sliced through the dark green material of her dress, and then through the overly tightened laces of the corset, never once speaking to the sobbing woman beneath him.
Violently turning her again so that the exposed flesh of her chest was visible, Thomas spoke the last words Helena would hear him say.
‘You are heartless by nature, and now I shall make you heartless in physical form.’
The pain that Helena had felt in her head and face was nothing compared with the pain of Thomas’ razor slicing through her skin. She passed into unconsciousness before too long, the excruciating pain too much to bear. She never heard the crushing of her breastbone under his boots, nor did she feel his hacking through her veins and arteries as he ripped her almost beating heart from her body.
‘Now, my love, you really are heartless,’ he said as he threw the bloodied organ into the bathtub.
He stood in front of the hand basin where he had washed Helena’s blood away. Examining his reflection in the small wall mirror above the basin, he adjusted the clean shirt, tie, and dinner jacket he had changed in to. Combing his hair with his fingers, he smiled as he looked at the lifeless form reflected in the mirror.
‘Not so vain now, are you?’ he asked of the corpse before leaving for the dinner party.