The Attic Rose

The weather outside emitted gloom, as the fog covered the streets, making it difficult for the commuters to see clearly into the night. The street lights permeated through however, and a small ray shone on a man walking slowly along the pavement.

This very man, neither form nor height could be discernible from just one look at him; he was covered from head to foot in very heavy winter clothes, and a bowler hat lay on top of his head, with scarves wrapping his face. Save for the sound of his deep breathing against the frigid air, he made no other noise. He turned a corner, away from the crowded streets to a quiet neighbourhood. His footsteps echoed as he walked along, and this whole time, he kept his head down.

On that same street the man walked on, a large townhouse stood solemnly over all the other houses. Inside, a family of five had just finished eating dinner, having eaten a simple meal. They soon cleared the table and the family dispersed towards their separate activities.

A loud sharp rap on the door vibrated throughout the house and the father went to the front door and opened it. In came the man from the streets, hurriedly bounding up the stairs. A shrill cry was heard from the attic and the man came pounding back down, immediately running out into the cold night.

Another cry was heard from the floors above and a woman screamed out:

“She’s dead! He killed her!”

Who they meant by “he”, nobody knew, but the “she” they referred to was the nanny of the youngest mistress of the house.

Soon after, the whole house, including the servants, was in an uproar.

In the attic, a pool of blood spread out from a female body, all across the wooden floor. A very pretty young woman lay on the ground, with her face ghastly white and eyes glazed over; multiple stab wounds were inflicted on her body, from the face down. But on her face was a look of pain and disbelief, about to be overcome with horror. Next to her stood a young girl holding a bloodied knife, staring blankly down at the corpse next to her. She remained immobile even when her mother had come in, who had immediately run out soon after, screaming.

When a lone law enforcer, who appeared to be around his early thirties, arrived a while after on the landing of the attic – called forth by the patriarch of the family – he looked at the child calmly, approached her, and carefully removed the knife from her small hands; her grasp on the object was loose, so it was an easy task for him. His assistant approached him and, reaching out with his gloved hand, took the knife from his senior.

Once his assistant had bagged the evidence away, he whispered for him to take the child as well. He did as he was instructed, as he then proceeded to approach the child cautiously, as if the murder was committed by the girl. Once the assistant had the girl by the hand, he led her away, leaving the main officer in the grimy and congealing atmosphere to ponder upon the crime scene.

For a short while, he lingered near the body of the victim. Then he spied something glittering on her index finger. He bent over and examined it closer, hastily taking away what seemed to be a ring from her lifeless hands.

“There it is,” he whispered into the still room. “I overlooked that.”

He surveys the room to make sure everything is in order and leaves calmly. He takes his phone out, presumably to call police backup, but before he puts the call in, he takes one last look at the deceased young woman.

From the angle he stood, it seemed like a huge rose petal had engulfed her body, with her pale skin contrasting tastefully against the deep red that had poured out of the gashes on her delicate form. It was a hauntingly beautiful image, something the officer’s poetic soul couldn’t deny.

“What a pity – such wasted talent.”

And with that, he left the room, unshackled from the presence of the woman once and for all.

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