Outside Violet’s Window

Violet is wearing the purple shirt with the sparkling stars on the night I come to kill her. I bought it for her last summer at this second-hand store downtown called Pointless Trends. Cost me six bucks, although I lied and said I paid twenty-five, and that was only after a fierce negotiation with the store owner, an aging punk with wrinkly cheeks and receding green hair, who wouldn’t part with it for anything less than fifty. Not that the cost was the big thing of course. I would have paid the fifty just because I knew she’d look good in it; I was just glad I didn’t have to.

Violet looked it over once, twice, and then told me it was too sheer, that you could see the outline of her bra, and since she already had too many people starring at her chest for all the wrong reasons, she didn’t want to dress in anything that would encourage them.

I’d never seen her wear it before tonight, standing on tiptoes outside her window, my feet trampling her mother’s shrubs, a twelve-inch kitchen knife in my hands. Violet tugged on the shirt. I couldn’t make out the slightest hint of a bra.

Something cool and wet strikes my temple and runs down my cheek. It feels like a pinprick, and I look up into the dark night sky as a thousand tiny pinpricks rain down from the heavens, ruining what is left of my makeup. As if becoming a killer isn’t enough, I’ll have to become a soggy killer too. Awesome….

Contradictions are dangerous things. They define us, make us who we are, but they also make us wild and unpredictable. Bottle them up inside the body of a teenage girl, and it’s plugging in the launch codes for a thermonuclear warhead. An explosion is inevitable, and there will be bodies.

And I saw the bodies: Justin, Tim, and poor, poor Mr. Avery. There may have been more, but I don’t know. There are so many things I don’t know.

When I hit the playback button on the past few months of my bizarre, deranged life, what drives me insane is how maddingly predictable it all was. The road to purgatory had been lined with warning signs; I just chose not to listen. I thought I could save everyone. I thought I could be the hero.

I thought wrong.

I wish I could go back and warn everyone, tell them all to run away to somewhere safe—like Alaska. I wish I could warn myself too, paid more attention to St. Michael when he told me that all ties must be severed. I wish I wasn’t standing outside my best friend’s window holding a freakin’ butcher knife about to do the unthinkable. I wish Violet and I—

And then I stop. I stop wishing—maybe for tonight, maybe for the rest of my life. Wishes are for children, and I can’t afford to be a child any more.

All girls obsess over the moments that mark her passage into womanhood. First kiss, first period, first time with a boy, each moment cutting a clear line between the young girls we were and the women we’ll become. I look down at the kitchen knife, dried blood beneath my nails, and realize this is my coming-of-age moment.

I peer back inside. Violet is staring dead at me, her eyes like tiny red embers. Something awful is trapped behind those eyes, something with terrible plans not just for Violet and me, but for everyone. Maybe the whole world.

This is it. This is my last chance to set things right. I have to. So much of this is my fault after all. I’d been a crappy hero. Now all I can do is pray I’ll make a decent killer.

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