All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
I don't know my name.
I suppose at one time, I must have, but like everything else, it's fuzzy and difficult to bring to the surface. I suppose it's a blessing, given how the nurses of this place avoid me as one would the plague. The things I do recall are meaningless and without any real purpose, but I assume there are things in everyone's lives that are hard to scrub away. I remember names, flashes of faces, but nothing beyond that. Those glimpses are useless, as there isn't any possible way for me to regain who I'd been previous to ending up in the hospital. At night, I sometimes sit in my lonely containment cell and stare across at the opposite wall, pondering what could possibly have erased an entire life from my memory.
There are times I even try to imagine what kind of person I must have been. I can't have been a sane man, at least not according to the looks the doctors and nurses slip me whenever they think I'm not paying attention. The glares they give are fierce, but also filled with a horror that I can't understand. Although, perhaps I can understand, given the state they found me in.
I was discovered the night of a murder, apparently not far from where I'd hidden myself in the shadows of an old, run-down building. By that time, my memory had already faded into a dark confusing thing, and I'd been staring down at shaking, blood covered hands. The rest of me hadn't been in much better shape – my suit had been torn down the side, splattered in blood as well, and my face had been pale, drained of any color. The police had found me and regarded me as a suspect up until the time it was established I remembered nothing – although dead set on accusing me of the crimes, they'd been forced to let me go and have me delivered at the hospital that would become my home.
It was obvious, however, that the staff agreed with the police. To make it even more clear that Iwasn't the least bit welcome, they'd referred to me as "Jack" right from the beginning. It has become so familiar to me, that name, that I respond to it quickly with very little thought. Now it feels, sometimes, as if I am that unknown killer that all of Whitechapel is desperately searching for. Sometimes, I feel less than sane and often spend my time staring into the mirror in my room, trying to see in my face the look of a murderer. It's not hard, once one looks closely enough for something they want to find.
It is one of those times when I'm leaning toward the mirror that a nurse enters after a faint knock. She is new, I can tell that immediately, having had the same two nurses for the past months. Her hair is long and blond, tied up into a tight bun that – far from making her look older – serves only to make her look that much more lost and vulnerable. My eyes roam over her flushed face, watching the way she worries at her bottom lip before speaking.
"Hello, Jack." Her heavily accented voice quivers as she stares up at my face, her hands wringing together. It is obvious she's forcing herself to remain in my presence. I don't respond for a moment, letting my gaze linger for a moment longer on her. She is pretty, but not the best that I've seen.
I look at her now and force a smile upon my lips. She draws back as if spooked, but I'm far too used to this response to care any longer. "Hello." I incline my head a brief fraction of an inch, crossing my arms restlessly, still watching her. She doesn't speak for another moment, so I take the time to gaze into the mirror, narrowing my eyes at my reflection.
No matter how deliriously happy or relaxed I am, my eyes always look angry.
A clearing of the throat draws my attention back to her, and I watch as she bobs from one foot to the other at the sudden attention. "Uhm..." She hesitates, obviously unnerved by my gaze fixed on her. I start to grow irritated, but force it back and place the smile once more upon my lips. "The doctor wants to see you soon, to check if you've made any progress."
By progress, this new nurse means that the doctor wants to check if they can convict me now. They're all delusional, thinking that if I do regain my memory and if I am this "Jack the Ripper" fellow, that I'll just openly admit to my crimes. The doctors think me a fool, but they'll soon understand that I'm far from that. I shake my head, scowling, and look at the nurse once more. She subtly shifts away from me, her hands clasping her dress in between her hands. Quickly, I fix back on a more pleasant look. "Very well."
The petite nurse gives a shaky nod, then gestures with one hand for me to follow her. I already know the way to get to the doctor, but I humor the girl and let her lead me along. We walk in silence, the only thing breaking it the tapping of our shoes on the wooden floor of the hospital. I stay slightly behind, letting my eyes roam over the now familiar walls that are brightened just slightly by the light cast by the candles mounted along the walls.
I've seen every inch of this place a thousand times over, and each time find new ways to escape in case of an emergency. It would be shockingly easy, considering the lack of security in the hospital. I always thought it rather amusing – one would think that with a possibly dangerous criminal residing in the building, the staff would demand more guards stationed around them.
Then again, the staff of the hospital never struck me as very intelligent.
I shake my head with a faint chuckle, which seems to startle the girl in front of me. She turns a bit, and her bright blue eyes stare at me for a moment, wide and unsure. Then, the nurse clears her throat again and fiddles once more with her dress. I recognize the door we're at – the head doctor's office. I don't say anything to the girl, just start toward the doors to head through. On my way, our hands accidentally brush and she gives a startled yelp. Suddenly, I'm assaulted by a memory that is no longer hidden from my grasp...
...The sky is dark, but the streets are covered in a dim shade of yellow due to the light cast from the street lamps. Not many remain on the streets of Whitechapel at this time, all having rushed back to their homes upon nightfall. Since the first girl – the one who had been the easiest to charm – the people of this filthy little community have been hiding during the dark. It makes me pleased – or, perhaps, amused is more of the word – that I've managed to cause this little panic that London is in.
I hear my self-proclaimed name whispered in the streets with a sort of dread. "Jack the Ripper" is what they call me, and the fools seem to think that such a thing could be my real name. Idiots, the lot of them. I let a chuckle roll passed my lips, a smirk flicking across my face for a moment as I think of the looks of horror that would cross the faces of those nearest to me if they knew my secret.
Caught up in my thoughts, a noise to the left startles me and I blink, turning quickly to find the source. A woman stands on the street corner, dressed in faded clothing and with a face that I'd normally easily dismiss on any other night.
It seems not everyone is wise enough to remain off the streets. Lucky for me.
She sees me and starts forward, her steps a little unsteady. I fight back a sneer, knowing that would only make her turn and look for another. They've all been like this – drunk; stupid. "Good evenin', sir." The woman's breath smells strongly of bourbon, but I smile at her and see her face flush. It's expected. I've been told I'm handsome before, and could have any woman that I wanted. She looks up at me now, a simpering look on her face that irritates me. "Can I help you?"
The expression on her face is now hopeful, and I think of the family she's probably left somewhere else. The disgust comes back instantly, but I keep the smile plastered on my face. "I think you can, ma'am." I shift more against the archway as I speak, sliding my hands into the pockets of my suit and watch as the woman leans eagerly forward. "We should retire to your place, I think." She nods, turns, and that's when I take out the knife and clasp my hand around her throat before she can make a noise.
The world needs to be rid of these scum.
I snap out of the memory when the girl calls my name – no, not my name – and suddenly remember everything. It's a joyous, exhilarating feeling that makes me feel drunk. My eyes flick to the girl, who regards me with a scared expression. I smirk, recalling every delicious detail of that perfect life that I had forgotten.
I am Jack the Ripper.
And my reign will start once more.