Do it, Coward. Do it! I feel my throat constrict with guilt, but my desire guides my every move, pushing my conscience to a low hum in the back of my mind. The air around me is so cold and musky that I feel as if the very blood in my veins is freezing, turning to a slush that moves with painful purpose. I load the gun and look down at my oppressor, locked into her spot with unwavering fear. Blonde hair runs down her back in thick tangles of wire, and her watery eyes search my face for any sign of doubt, but my earlier pity is replaced by pure amusement.
“Please don’t do this! I’ll do anything!” The woman cries out as a last resort to save her life. I only laugh knowing that her attempts are useless. I’ve made up my mind, and not even her pleas can stop me now. I reach down and press my lips to her sweaty forehead. She tastes of salt and dirt from the hours spent down here in the grimy basement. As I pull back, I see that she has stopped crying. She instead looks away from me to the dank room soon to be her grave. Shadows reach out to her, clouding her once ivory skin. I pull at her chin, forcing her face to meet the cold, unforgiving barrel. I pull the trigger, and a great relief floods through me.
It’s over. Her body falls and smacks on the floor with crimson liquid spreading across the dusty floor. Her eyes are open, gazing into the room with a blankness that is unsettling. Black mascara dries down her face making her look like a demented witch, and head rests in an unnatural position.
It isn’t long before my adrenaline begins to pump again with a new concern. Too loud! Too loud! She’ll come down her! Terror makes me alert immediately, and I go about dragging the corpse to an isolated corner away from eyesight. Eyes searching for a way to hide the stain, I take off my jacket and hastily throw it across the floor as a light emits from the doorjamb.
The door swings open, and a small, frail figure emerges from the blaze. Her golden hair is loose with flowing tendrils falling across her shoulders making her look like a younger clone of the woman in the corner, an angel with the face of a demon.
“Daddy, where’s Mommy?” The child gazes down at me from the top of stairs that are rotting beyond the point of saving. Her eyes are a map of concern beyond those of her years.
“Don't worry about it, Sweetheart. I'm here,” I say to the child with a loving smile. “I’m all that matters now. I'm all you need.”
I slowly reach for her arm with an absolute tenderness. She stiffens at first, but soon relaxes. I reach for her hair, stroking it with an absolute claim. Mine. Mine. Mine. My chest begins to rise with pride, and my throat relaxes as the tension leaves my body.
I lead her out of the room, each step coming easier than the last. When we reach the top of the stairs, I look back to the area where the corpse rests. A small chuckle escapes my lips. No longer will she taint the mind of my little darling. No longer will she scream at me to leave the baby girl alone. “You’ll hurt her! Just stop! You’re insane,” she used to say. But is it insane to simple love your child? Is it insane to want to guide her through the right path? No, it’s not insane, and the ends will justify the means. Finally, no longer will that woman stop me from making my child exactly what I want her to be.