Author: Sassy Lil Scorpio PM
Bill ordered The Bride's execution for her betrayal. The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad carried out the death warrant, no questions asked. The Bride, once beautiful and pregnant, was severely beaten and left for dead. One question remains: what made O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, and Elle Driver commit brutal violence against a fellow woman?Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Beatrice K. & Ellle D. - Words: 7,710 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 2 - Published: 09-26-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6353518
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Kill Bill Fanfiction by Sassy Lil Scorpio
Disclaimer: Beatrix Kiddo, Elle Driver, Vernita Green, O-Ren Ishii, Bill and all other names are the property of Quentin Tarantino. The author makes no claim of ownership. No monetary gain is being made from this work
Summary: Bill ordered The Bride's execution for her betrayal. The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad carried out the death warrant, no questions asked. The Bride, once beautiful and pregnant, was severely beaten and left for dead. One question remains: what made O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, and Elle Driver commit brutal violence against a fellow woman?
Author's Notes: "Cornflake Girl" is a song by Tori Amos from her 1994 album Under the Pink. I used some of the lyrics from the song in this fanfiction. The inspiration for the song comes from Alice Walker's novel Possessing the Secret of Joy, which is about African women undergoing female circumcision. Although it is the men who perform the ritual of genital mutilation, it is the mothers who participate by bringing their own daughters to be circumcised. Amos' wrote this song, exploring betrayal between women. There are other themes in this song, depending on your interpretation(s).
This theme inspired the story, along with the women's studies' courses I took during my undergrad college years. A student asked: what about the way women oppress each other? It's a good question, considering that women's studies can be one-sided sometimes, in regards to patriarchy being studied as the main reason explanation for women's oppression. Instead of the focus always being on what men do to women, what about what women do to each other? What about how some women snub other women for their personal choices?
Based on that note, I considered Kill Bill. Although KB is the story about Bill's and Beatrix's betrayal of each other, it is also worth noting that the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad is made up mostly of women. I began to wonder why Vernita Green, O-Ren Ishii, and Elle Driver had no reservations about beating up a fellow woman, especially a pregnant woman. It is that question which brought about this story.
Dedication: I pose this question to all women: why do we betray each other?
This is not really happening
You bet your life it is
Tori Amos "Cornflake Girl"
Bill ordered the execution of Beatrix Kiddo on a cold Saturday morning long before the sun rose.
Before that day, three months had stretched on like three centuries. When he finally discovered the full extent of her betrayal—how she lied to him, pretended that she was dead, ran away to be with another man, and was even carrying this man's child—his cold heart had broke into so many pieces, that even he was surprised to find he had a heart. To phrase it more accurately, he was shocked that his heart was big enough to bleed over the loss of the one and only woman he had ever loved. He had loved her like a fool, yes, but he had loved her faithfully, and in the best way he knew how, considering the fact that he prided himself on being a murdering bastard.
Getting over on the Snake Charmer was unheard of. It meant she had weakened his control and undermined his power. He wouldn't allow her to get away with it. He wouldn't give her permission to smear his name and taint his reputation. He was sore from the piercing heartache of believing he had lost her forever, bruised from the way she had humiliated him, and beaten mentally from how she had played him for a fool. His heart bled for her for three months, but now it was time to turn the tables and make her bleed for her cruel betrayal.
She thought she had conned the Master Conniver…she was gravely mistaken…
Bill had sworn on his life that she would pay dearly for betraying him—and deserting the squad. Who did Beatrix Kiddo think she was? Did she think she was that special to him? Did she think she could play dead and then romp around and spread her long legs for another man—and that Bill would never find out? Did she think he'd actually give her away and allow her to marry this man? Did she think he'd give her his blessing? Did she think Bill wouldn't put her in her place to remind her of who she belonged to and where she belonged?
"Dead. Fucking. Wrong…" he whispered. He watched his loyal Vipers approach her cowering form in front of the chapel.
Sofie Fatale glanced in his direction. "How are you faring?" She took out her cell-phone and was about to dial a number, when she asked again: "Bill?"
"Not now, Sofie."
He didn't glance in her direction. His attention was preoccupied with what was about to take place. He watched his brother and his women surround the lady once known as The Deadliest Woman in the World.
It was she who stood in the corner of the chapel-turned-morgue.
Beatrix stood trembling with tears streaming down her cheeks. She was alone in a tomb of her own making. Dressed in a simple white bridal dress, she had asked him if she looked pretty. This was moments before the Deadly Vipers entered the building and shot round after round, killing everyone in sight. Oh yes, he had replied, smoothly. What he didn't say was that he was about to behold a more beautiful and enticing sight: the sight of his loyal women beating every ounce of life out of her. Bill's lips curled into a menacing smirk. They were going to punish the woman he loved by dragging her out into the chapel's open space, where they would shame her into submission.
Oh yes, he was going to enjoy this. He planned to savor every second of her deserved humiliation.
He met her eyes from across the chapel. Her eyes were wide blue pools, watery and focused on Bill. His unblinking stare communicated that he sensed her mounting fear. It was a cold and hard stare, a snakelike gaze. He had stared down those he had slain in the same manner so that they knew who was snatching their life away. In the same way, he stared at Beatrix now, and he reveled in her terror. For Bill, the smell of her fear was arousing in a way that a normal person wouldn't comprehend. A normal person would've been nauseated, but for Bill, it was sensual. It was sweaty and pungent, and filled the entire chapel.
Bill immersed himself in the moment and shut out everything around him, including Sofie, who was now chatting on her cell-phone. When she hung up and called out to Bill again, he heard her voice as if it were background noise and dismissed it as such. He was listening to the female voices tease Beatrix. Watching O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, and Elle Driver surround and taunt Beatrix was foreplay for him. Their voices were ferocious growls. It was intense, but it was only the beginning of what was to come. They made no effort to talk softly. There was no reason to. They were the only ones in the chapel along with several dead bodies that were already stiffening in the epilogue of their untimely deaths.
Before they were finished with Beatrix, the entire building would be filled with the stench of decay and coppery odor of blood. Beatrix's death perfume would later fill the chapel when Bill reached today's climax…by shooting a bullet in her head. He felt in his pocket for the Colt .45 he had brought with him. His finger grazed the trigger. Desire and strength overpowered him. He felt like a man ready to enter a woman's body and claim it as his own. Her deserved death would come later…he was in no rush. He wanted the tension and excitement to build up, so that when the time was right, Beatrix's last dying moment would be pure ecstasy for him.
Right now, he watched his women belittle Beatrix. Budd looked over his shoulder, assuring Bill that the women had everything under control.
Of course they did.
They were his women.
Dressed entirely in black as the anti-thesis of Beatrix, O-Ren, Elle, and Vernita surrounded their former friend like hungry sharks circling their prey. Beatrix had made little effort to leave the corner of the chapel, but now she walked slowly, constantly looking over her shoulder and in front of her.
When she looked ahead, she saw Bill leaning against the entrance, watching everything. Sofie was near him, also watching. They were the spectators, anticipating what she would soon experience at the hands of women she once considered her friends. Beatrix took another step and kept her arms folded over her belly, protecting her unborn baby. She licked her dry lips. Her eyes darted around the chapel. She shivered and held her belly tighter. The impatient tapping of a foot caught her attention.
Budd was several feet away, tapping his left foot and watching with an amused expression.
Suddenly, Beatrix was pushed roughly from behind. The ground rushed to meet her face, but not before she was able to break the fall with something—or rather, someone.
"Watch your step," O-Ren whispered coolly. "We wouldn't want you tripping over your hubby."
Beatrix looked down at the ground. Tears burned her eyes, but she refused to cry. Tommy lay on his back, his glazed eyes reflecting the ceiling's image. Blood pooled around his head. Her hands clutched his leg and she got up quickly, revolted by the fact that his corpse had prevented her from fully hitting the ground and possibly injuring her baby. Back on her feet, she turned around to face Vernita and Elle blocking her path.
"Cute wedding dress, Bea," Vernita said, reaching out to feel the material between her fingers. "Where'd you get it from? The hillbilly drift store?" She pulled at the fabric, before raising a clenched fist and slamming Beatrix in the face.
Beatrix stumbled backwards, but didn't fall to the floor. A sharp pain pulled at her head, eased up, and then shot forward again like lightning, far more painful than the first time. It felt like the skin of her scalp would be ripped away from her skull.
"Blondes have more fun, eh Beatrix? I should know, huh? I may be blonde like you, but I'm no bimbo."
Elle yanked Beatrix's hair harder, causing her neck to snap back. Staring up at Elle, Beatrix's eyes were wide with a sheer fright that was impossible to conceal. She had been on enough assignments to know that Elle relished drawing out long painful deaths. Although Beatrix didn't plan on giving up her life today for anyone—and most certainly not for Bill, the sadistic bastard behind this—she knew Elle would stop at nothing at beating her until she couldn't stand on her two feet. Elle snickered and yanked her hair again.
"Here comes the bitch." Elle spat a gob of saliva in Beatrix's eyes and then swung her—by her hair—into the pews.
Beatrix wasn't ready for that move and her body slammed against the pews. She sank to the ground as though she were spineless. She didn't have much energy, being three months pregnant and all. Most of it went to the little one growing inside her. On that thought, Beatrix immediately covered her belly, protecting her unborn child.
She heard footsteps come towards her and when she looked up, O-Ren stood over her, her eyes frosted over. Before Beatrix could open her mouth to protest, O-Ren kicked her violently in the face. A loud crunch echoed in Beatrix's ears. She knew from past experience what the crunch! and abominable pain in the middle of her face meant. Blood flowed freely from her broken nose and she tasted its metallic saltiness on her lips. She heard O-Ren's voice float back to her.
"Silly Caucasian girl…you're not as good as you used to be…not that you were ever good to begin with…"
A laughing shriek pierced the stillness of the chapel. It was Elle. "That was great, O-Ren! Do it again! Fuck that bitch's face up!"
Strong arms yanked Beatrix to her feet again just in time as O-Ren flipped through the air with ease and perfection to perform a high kick to her jaw. Blood spewed out between her lips and Beatrix collapsed to the ground, too weak to defend herself. She hit the ground face first and heard another crack. This time it wasn't her nose, but from inside her mouth. A tooth had come loose and before she could get up, Elle twisted Beatrix's arms behind her back, allowing Budd to use her as a punching bag. Before he was finished, Beatrix knew she had swallowed the tooth that had been torn loose from Budd's brutal punches. She heard his voice, the very same voice that used to call her "sister" when they'd go on assignments together.
"Get 'er on 'er feet. Let's do this."
"Let her do it herself!" Vernita shouted. "Bea's an independent woman, y'know? She ran away and fucked some another man behind Bill's back. If she can spread her legs and get knocked up like a silly hoe, then she can get on her two feet by her damn self."
Beatrix got to her feet again and steadied herself, looking in every direction. Now they surrounded her, all four of them. Vernita, O-Ren, Elle, and Budd. Once again, she rested her hands on her belly, trying to shield the one who didn't deserve this—who shouldn't be subject to this abuse. She backed up slowly, not knowing who was behind her. She knew what to expect by now, but it didn't stop her heart from hammering against her ribcage. By now, she felt as though her heart had feet and was racing up her throat, ready to vomit itself from her system.
Beatrix closed her eyes and opened them again.
All was silent in the chapel of death.
They were here.
He was here.
She was here.
Beatrix turned halfway around. Someone was tugging on her bridal veil from behind. Before she could get a good look at who was yanking her veil, Vernita slammed her in the face. Beatrix stumbled awkwardly into O-Ren, who delivered a roundhouse kick to her side. She was on the verge of collapsing when she felt a hand steady her from falling. Beatrix raised her head slowly. Her head felt stuck in a puddle of wet cement. She was trapped in a deadly vertigo. Every time she looked up, the entire chapel spun around her. Despite the constant dizziness, she could make out Budd. He smirked and smashed her in the jaw. The floor rushed to her face, but she managed to keep her balance. The walls of the chapel swept past her as she staggered towards Elle. She couldn't bring up her arms to protect herself in time. Elle got a good hit square in her face with her boot. This sent Beatrix stumbling back to Vernita again to repeat the violent cycle.
Her body felt as though nails had been hammered into every inch of her skin. Sticky sweat poured out of her skin, drenching her body. Her face revealed the painting of an angry artist. Blue and purple bruises marred her face, her left eye was swollen shut, and blood leaked from her nose and lips. Flecks of blood sprinkled her hair, and tears streamed down her face.
After awhile, she felt as if she were removed from the scene and observing, but not participating. She was standing outside of her body, watching herself get knocked around by her so-called friends. The noise of flesh battering flesh and the cries of pain mingled with choked sobs blended together so that she couldn't tell them apart. The violent cacophony could drive her mad and she was afraid that her mind had already shattered.
A single thought blinked on and off in her mind. Actually, they were more like two thoughts, both on opposing sides. One side kept calling out: This Can't Be Really Happening. This was the side of Beatrix that tried to rationalize what was going on. It wasn't really happening; it was all just a twisted nightmare, a warped dream. The other side was angry and realistic. It told her boldly with no apologies: You Bet Your Life It Is.
The more she thought about it, the angrier she became.
She was angry because they were going to kill her baby and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. Her baby had done nothing wrong and hadn't asked to be brought into this world. They could hate her and they did—but they shouldn't hate her baby. How could they? She could deal with the fact that showed her no mercy. But an unborn child? Where did they draw the line? Was there a line for any of them? Why were they doing this?
Why Ask Why? Her mind demanded to know. She knew the answers to her questions. Why Ask Why?
There were no boundaries that existed in the assassin's mind. A target was a target. That was the truth of the matter. Even if that target was a relative, a friend, or an unborn baby, it was still a target to hit off.
Of all the people in that chapel, she should know that. But something changed when she found out she was pregnant while on an assignment for Bill. Something changed forever. The strip turned blue and that's where she found her boundary, never knowing she had one. It was one thing to hit off a target—especially when most targets were wealthy drug lords, high profile criminals, screwy politicians, and underworld bosses. It was a totally different thing to murder a pregnant woman in cold blood and kill the baby in the process.
There was something else mixed up with the anger. In between getting slammed in the face and kicked in the throat, Beatrix knew what it was: she was confused…and deeply hurt…because it was women doing this to her. Women who had been birthed by women. They were women, who should've understood the value of life since they could carry another human being inside their womb. Yet, these women felt differently about it, otherwise, they wouldn't be participating in beating up a pregnant woman.
The women whom Bill chose to be apart of his squad were the opposite of what society expected them to be. Beatrix Kiddo, Vernita Green, O-Ren Ishii, and Elle Driver weren't weak or dainty, nor were they frail or brainless. These were women who killed for a living. They stabbed and gutted their targets. They thought nothing of slipping in a slow-acting poison into a target's drinks. They snapped necks, broke limbs, severed heads, and walked away serenely as if it were normal to tear another human being apart.
Their sexuality wasn't demeaned or exploited by anyone. They used it to do their targets in, especially if the targets were salivating males, falling over themselves at the sight of a beautiful woman dressed provocatively. They didn't just bleed during their menstrual cycle. They lived to make others bleed. They were women who took away life, rather than give life. They nurtured their combat skills and their ability to murder without shedding a tear or expressing regret.
They mothered death and violence.
These were the women Beatrix associated with her past life. There was a time when she was proud to be known as the Black Mamba. There was a time when she reveled in hearing bones crunch and enjoyed blood splattering across her face. She knew the excitement that came from taking away life, for she had experienced the adrenaline rush before many times. There was a strange power that came with being a female assassin. Neither Bill nor Budd understood it since their aggression was encouraged and expected of them as men. When it came to women, physical aggression was considered an anomaly, a glitch in a woman's genetic make-up; and all the more reason why it was empowering to Beatrix and the female Deadly Vipers.
Despite all this, Beatrix still warred with herself about why these women would betray her so cruelly. She could understand Budd's reasons for participating: he was Bill's brother and stood by his side as a sign of loyalty. Budd and Bill had an odd relationship. Brotherly love was absent from it since Bill tended to look down at Budd most of the time. Budd didn't seem to care; he wasn't competing or trying to outdo his brother. He went along for the ride and enjoyed being among the women. If there was one reason for participating, it was because he cared more for Bill than himself. Out of all the Vipers, he had a heart that went out to others when least expected. He might even regret what he was doing to Beatrix, but he would never admit it aloud. That was Budd though.
The women were another question altogether. What motivated them to take pleasure in abusing another woman? What did they get out of it? Suddenly, she understood why this was happening. It hit her so hard that she felt she'd collapse from the realization of it all:
Men stick together and women splinter.
This Is Not Really Happening.
You Bet Your Life It Is.
Men stick together and women splinter.
What made women splinter? What made them turn against each other? Although she couldn't think straight enough to formulate the question, Beatrix wanted to know why these women betrayed her in such a horrible way. She could think of only three reasons. It was amazing that her mind worked while she endured the beating of her life. Maybe it was a defense mechanism, a way of channeling her jumbled emotions, of transferring her physical and emotional pain elsewhere. Maybe it was about survival. Whatever it was, it didn't matter, because now Beatrix knew the answer to her question. Or rather, answers.
Power. Jealousy. Competition.
Each one she associated with a female Deadly Viper since it matched their personalities…and what she believed to be their motives for participating in her downfall.
For O-Ren Ishii, this was "another kill, another day". O-Ren knew only death and tragedy in her life, it painted her every action and dictated her every thought. There wasn't one day when O-Ren didn't think of her parents. Beatrix knew this for a fact, since she was closest to O-Ren on the squad.
Yet, now was a different story. The O-Ren of today had forgotten about the terrified little girl hiding under the bed during her parents' deaths. Beatrix knew it was that very tragedy that hardened O-Ren and allowed her to kill others without shedding a tear.
At the young age of nine, O-Ren witnessed Boss Matsumoto kill her father. His blood had sprayed across the room's walls and furniture. O-Ren heard the heavy thump of his body collapsing to the floor. She had been under the bed and pressed her body against the floor, hearing the squeaks of bedsprings among harsh laughter. Her mother had screamed above her. It was the most horrible sound O-Ren ever heard and everyday she was haunted by her mother's screams echoing in her mind. O-Ren was afraid her mother would be forced to endure two deaths: first, a humiliating rape at the hands of Boss Matsumoto and then horribly murdered. At the time, she had been petrified that Boss Matsumoto wanted to remind Mistress Ishii that with her husband dead on the floor, the only option she had left was to be used for the Yakuza's perverted and demented pleasure.
Instead, in an act of distorted mercy, Matsumoto had killed her immediately. O-Ren's last living memory of her mother was her scream being cut off and her blood soaking the mattress and bed so much that it leaked into O-Ren's face. Not yelling and crying aloud when her own mother's blood dripped on her was excruciatingly difficult.
O-Ren found that revenge was truly a dish best served cold, when she got to kill her parents' murderer and leave him splayed out on a bed in a pool of his own blood. Boss Matsumoto had writhed on the bed he had intended to rape O-Ren. His fear permeated the room they were in when he realized who his murderess was. Back then, fear was delicious to O-Ren, especially since it came from the man who had killed her parents for no reason.
Perhaps it was fear that made O-Ren want to become the Queen of the Tokyo Underworld, so that she could truly be a Queen of all Kings, a female matriarch amongst the male gangsters of the Yakuza. She could intimidate and kill others, just as Boss Matsumoto traumatized and murdered the little girl inside her. Instilling fear in others equated to power, O-Ren knew.
And now, Beatrix knew it too.
It was power that O-Ren craved: power that she wielded over men and power that impressed and subjugated women at the same time. Power over a band of eighty-eight body guards. Of those eighty-eight guards, a few were female, and many were male. Power over a vicious seventeen-year old named Gogo Yubari. And even power over her best friend and second lieutenant, Sofie Fatale.
And of course, power to display over the woman once known as "the Deadliest Woman of the World"…
O-Ren showcased her power and agility, performing another spinning heel kick—this time striking Beatrix right in the chest, making her crash to the ground. Beatrix coughed and blood oozed from her mouth and lips. Laying on her back and taking ragged breaths, Beatrix was surrounded by death. She used to deal out death for a living. Now she had become one of the victims. She turned her head to the side, and her cramped neck cried out in protest. Her eyes landed on three people.
Three of her new friends, Janeen, Erica, and Joleen lay still several feet away from her. Janine's mouth was half-open in a frozen scream. Erica stared off into the distance. Joleen's left leg was twisted under right leg, as though her body had betrayed her when she had tried to escape. Beatrix closed her eyes and opened them again. Was it her imagination or were they really staring at Beatrix? Were they accusing her of having done this to them? Of having kept so many secrets that ended their lives?
Unable to answer their questions, Beatrix forced herself to get to her feet. She wobbled over to a pew—only to stop short when she bumped right into Vernita. Vernita turned in her direction and Beatrix took a step back, frightened by the hatred she saw in her former friend's eyes. There was another emotion brewing inside there and Beatrix knew exactly what it was.
Vernita was simply displacing her anger and frustration. Beatrix was aware of this fact, even when Vernita delivered an uppercut so hard that her body slammed against the wooden floors and her head banged back painfully. Beatrix swore her brain jiggled in her skull from hitting the floor so hard. Blood dribbled down her nose and her body was soaked in sweat. Lying on her back, Beatrix breathed rapidly and met Vernita's proud glare. Vernita Green was actually proud of what she was doing. Proud that she was beating up a pregnant woman.
Her betrayal was the most painful for Beatrix to swallow, since Vernita had wanted to leave the squad for a long time after meeting a certain Doctor Lawrence Bell. She had met him secretly in between her assignments. Beatrix was the only one on the Squad who knew about it at the time. If O-Ren had known about it, she'd look down at Vernita for her aspirations. If Elle had found out, she'd waste no time in telling Bill—both Beatrix and Vernita had agreed that Elle would play tattle-tale if it meant Bill would look at her more favorably. Budd would've been indifferent.
It was pleasant secret, a commonality that both women shared and could talk about without fear of the other's judgment. Together they had joked about Vernita being a housewife, owning a dog, and having a baby girl. During one conversation that Beatrix remembered so well, Vernita promised she'd coach Little League. Beatrix had laughed at the time, but Vernita was serious.
"I always loved baseball, Bea. Imagine teaching little kids how to throw the ball, swing the bat, and make home runs."
"As opposed to learning how to use an edged weapon?"
"I'm for real. When I get out of the game, I'll be the best homemaker on the block. I'll be on the PTA in my baby's school, and I'll cook the most delicious mouth-watering apple pies. I'll even invite you over for Thanksgiving dinner! Vernita Green as we both know her will cease to exist. Ha! Vernita who?"
It was hard to imagine Vernita Green—whom Bill described as the best lady he had ever seen with an edged weapon—as a devoted mother and dedicated wife. It was especially difficult for Beatrix to envision Vernita in that light, since she made no effort to hide her joy at beating up a pregnant woman. In the midst of the dizzying nausea that always threatened to close down on her, Beatrix forced herself to think. Why was Vernita doing this to her?
Jealousy was Vernita's primary motive. She was jealous that Beatrix got out of the game before her, making it impossible for Vernita to share Beatrix's happiness. Vernita wouldn't allow it, not when she lived with the fear of what Bill would do to her if she ever left the squad to settle down and marry a man (most likely, Doctor Bell), have two point five kids, a dog, and a white picket fence.
She could, however, take her mind off if what might happen to her if she decided to ever leave the squad. At least for now, she could commit the most unforgivable grievance against Beatrix and make her lose the baby. She could steal her happiness, since Beatrix thought she'd get away with going over to the other side.
Beatrix had left Bill behind, left the squad behind, and mostly, she had left Vernita behind. Beatrix knew her well enough by now, to know that's how Vernita perceived the situation. No words were exchanged between them about the subject. She had left Vernita behind in the dust, and now Vernita was returning the favor.
For the first time, Beatrix believed that Vernita's last name "Green" fit her perfectly.
Vernita's swift upper-cut nearly knocked Beatrix off her feet, but she managed to stand up. She wobbled a few feet away, her gait uneasy and shaky. She had barely put her foot down again when she was blind-sided by Elle. Beatrix couldn't hear anything after Elle's clenched fist smashed against the side of her face. The temporary state of being deaf faded and then she heard everything as though someone had turned the volume up to the highest decibel. She heard cackling followed by snickering. Her legs twisted around each other and she fell against the windowpane. Beatrix threw her arms out to protect her baby and avoid falling on her stomach. She was able to pull herself together. Her balance lasted only a mere second before someone snatched her hair from behind and then shoved her hard; making her hit the ground face first.
"That's how you do it, Vern. You gotta show this cunt you mean business."
Of course, it was Elle. It was her very nature to compete with any woman who crossed her path. Beatrix figured Elle was demonstrating to Vernita the proper way to beat up a pregnant woman. And now the third reason for her former friends' betrayal illuminated itself in Beatrix's mind.
At one time, she and Beatrix had a running joke. Battle of the Blondes they used to call it. Budd used to have crude jokes about their friendly rivalry. I'd be the luckiest man alive if I ever got between you two brawlin'. He'd laugh it off while Beatrix and Elle sent him hellish glares. It was just like Budd to want to see both blondes battle it out.
Somewhere along the line, their friendly competition morphed into an ugly and very real rivalry. It got to the point where they couldn't be in the same room together without wanting to tear each other's throats out. Even now Beatrix couldn't recall the details that led to the end of their friendship. Once their dislike was out in the open, their hatred avalanched over time, and spilled over into their work for Bill.
Beatrix and Elle had constantly squared off, each one determined to show that she was the best assassin, the best Deadly Viper in Bill's eyes. Even though Beatrix didn't wish to compete against her former friend, she knew—and Elle knew too—that she was better of the two. She was the master killer between them, hence her name Black Mamba. Death Incarnate. It came as no surprise when Elle ended up living up to her codename sake: California Mountain Snake, especially that particular species had a tendency to eat their own. Elle was truly a snake-eater: she was out for herself, to hell with everyone else.
Their competition became everything and overshadowed their assignments together. Not surprisingly, the center of their animosity was none other than Bill. They competed to be Bill's favorite student, Bill's favorite assassin, and finally, Bill's favorite lover in bed. It was for that exact reason that Beatrix knew Elle would be thrilled if she suffered a miscarriage right there on the chapel floor. It killed Elle to know that Bill preferred Beatrix over her. Now that Beatrix had betrayed Bill, it meant that Elle would finally make Bill hers. Beatrix knew Elle would stop at nothing and pursue Bill. Elle didn't believe in female sisterhood or solidarity. It was all about her and no one else.
It was about all beating The Best to be The Best.
Elle slammed her fist into Beatrix's face. Beatrix was knocked off her feet and crashed flat on her back. She shivered in fright and the sweat encasing her body sent chills all over her bruised skin. This time she laid there, chest heaving up and down, and the coppery flavor of blood filling her mouth.
Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw the bloodied body of Mrs. Harmony, lying facedown. Beatrix regretted that she had mocked the older woman when she had voiced her concerns about The Bride having no family. Reverend Harmony lay near her, his hand clenching hers, as though they had met their death face on together. Instead of Death parting them, they had parted from this world on their own terms. They shouldn't have died today. It wasn't their time, but because they had the misfortune to meet Beatrix, their lives had ended prematurely. Beatrix turned away from the sight of the elderly couple, slightly envious that they had lived the "normal" life that she was on the verge of having, until Bill showed up at Two Pines.
Bill. It always came back to him.
Just then, she heard a familiar ring tone. Auld Lang Syne. It was annoyingly high-pitched and broke the eerie silence in the chapel. There was a girlish giggle and then the frantic quick-paced voice of Sofie Fatale filling in the silence with her fluent Japanese.
Functioning as O-Ren's lawyer, second lieutenant and best friend, Sofie was oblivious to Beatrix's situation. She chatted on her cell-phone excitedly, not the least bit disturbed that a pregnant woman was being severely beaten in her presence. In fact, she enjoyed the spectacle.
Sofie clicked her cell-phone off and made her way to Beatrix, smirking the entire time. She lifted up Beatrix's limp arm with her foot and let it drop to the floor. It made a loud plopping sound in the chapel. Sofie backed off in disgust and then came forward again, as though she had changed her mind, and spat a glob of saliva on Beatrix's face. Muttering obscenities in Japanese, Sofie went back to where she had been standing before, the condescending glare never leaving her eyes.
Beatrix knew what was behind that ugly glare. She had been around Sofie long enough to know that the half French and half Japanese woman thought more of herself than she should. Sofie Fatale was a lawyer, a professional woman. In her mind, any woman would be stupid to give up an independent and professional lifestyle while making millions of bucks, to settle down and have a family. She was one of those professional women who looked down at women who chose the homely life that Beatrix was close to having and that Vernita would have in the near future. In her eyes, Beatrix deserved to get beaten.
That was Sofie Fatale. Arrogant and supremely smug, she didn't give two heartbeats about Beatrix or the scattered corpses of people who were recently alive. Beatrix wondered how Sofie got off on being so stuffy. Rufus the piano player, Tommy, Reverend Harmony and his wife, Erica and her friends…they were all "normal" and "ordinary" people…they were more than just ordinary. They were beautiful people. Sofie would never know what it meant to be both ordinary and beautiful. Not when she spent so much time holding herself in high esteem simply for associating with Bill.
Still lying on her back, Beatrix turned her head slowly. Bill stood by the entrance, only he appeared sideways and far away as if he were across the universe. She gently touched her belly, thinking of her child…of their child. If he only knew… Maybe she could tell him before it was over. Maybe she could tell him now. She should tell him. He was walking towards her slowly, his shoes hitting the wooden floor, making his presence known. She heard the booming of his shoes as he approached her and her hands held her stomach firmly. Soon he'd be there, standing over her, and she'd have to tell him. Before he reached her, Beatrix searched in her mind for the answer to her final question:
What did Bill get from all this?
Some men got turned on from seeing women fight each other over men. It was the ultimate entertainment, watching women as they screeched and hollered about "my man". It was even better when they pulled each other's hair out, ripped each other's clothes off, and slapped each other around.
Other men enjoyed a good old fashioned wrestling match between women who could use their elasticity and flexibility to intertwine their limbs into all types of suggestive positions. Even if the women were wrestling a genuine match based on their abilities, there was always the hope of an outfit being ripped leading to "indecent exposure".
And then there were men, like Bill, who got off on physically aggressive women. Heartless, violent, and merciless women. Callous women. Women, who used their liberty to live as they pleased and kill as they pleased. Women who could hold their own in a man's world, and even in a man's profession: assassination for hire. Women who rebelled against the idea of being domesticated and trained.
Maybe for these women, killing was the purest freedom they had ever known. Their blood baptized their victims. They refused to cower in silence. These were the women that Bill carefully selected for his assassination squad, his lethal brothel. In Bill's case, the women were so focused on their hatred for one particular woman that it allowed him to continue to have power over all of them. Thus, Bill's reasons for ordering Beatrix Kiddo's execution and the sheer joy he received from watching the violent atrocity were a combination of power, jealousy, and competition.
To him, it was amazing to witness the power he had over his women, and also his brother, another man. His wish was their command. The control he exercised over his Deadly Vipers was a convoluted blend of intimidation and manipulation. His conniving manner was done so well, as he had mastered it over time, that not even those close to him could decipher the inner mechanics of how Bill ran his assassination squad.
Jealousy and competition were entwined. Bill prided himself as being a murdering bastard, and his jealousy was deadly. He forced himself to talk to Tommy, who he deemed as The Other Man. The entire time he had been tempted to shoot him on the spot, but he held off, knowing that it would pay off in the end. In Bill's view, nothing could justify watching his woman marry another man. He knew what had to be done. It was simple, really. Kill the competition. Any other man would consider this a drastic measure. Of course, you didn't want to see the only love of your life with another person. That was understandable, and it's been stated that a good dose of jealousy is healthy for a relationship. It meant you had intense feelings for the person you had a relationship with. If Bill was indifferent or apathetic, then it'd beg the question if he truly loved Beatrix Kiddo. But his jealousy, in this case, was extraordinary and frightening.
While a psychologist might deem Bill's view of the entire situation as extremely distorted and antisocial, for Bill it was very clear what he had to do: eliminate The Other Man so that he was no longer a problem or an obstacle. Still, it wasn't enough for the relationship between Tommy and Beatrix to end.
Tommy had to meet his end. And for her treachery, the Bride had to meet her end too.
With these thoughts in mind, Bill finally reached Beatrix, who lay flat on her back, breathing unevenly. Sofie and the Deadly Vipers stood nearby, watching everything, but saying nothing to Bill. They knew it was his turn to exact revenge against the woman he passionately loved and hated.
"Do you find me sadistic?"
He reached into his pocket for his monogrammed handkerchief and wiped the blood and sweat off Beatrix's bruised face. She would appreciate this, as she had given him the handkerchief as a birthday gift two years ago. He had to admit the open cuts, the purplish bruises, and blood smeared across her face made her quite becoming. In fact, she was more beautiful to him now than she had ever been during the entire time they had known each other. Beatrix seemed to intuitively know Bill's twisted thoughts and pulled away from his touch. She glared hatefully at him, despite the tears leaking from her eyes.
Bill continued on, calm and smooth as ever. "You know, I bet I could fry an egg on your head right now, if I wanted to."
Beatrix breathed in and out, taking uneven gasps, and swallowed noisily. She watched him as he wiped her face, her eyes shining with hatred and deep hurt.
"You know, Kiddo, I'd like to believe that you're aware enough, even now, to know that there's…nothing sadistic in my actions. Well, maybe towards those other... jokers, but not you." He caressed her face with his pointer finger, and then stood up at his full height. " No, Kiddo, at this moment, this is me at my most..."
He brought out the Colt .45 out and loaded the chamber. It was time to end it all. The thunderous sounds of Bill preparing the gun echoed in the chapel. He relished it, especially since he knew Beatrix knew what was about to follow.
He pointed the gun straight at Beatrix's face.
At that instant, Beatrix knew there would be nothing after the next minute. She heard the Deadly Vipers and Sofie in the background gather around her as they came back to witness her final moments. They had stood over her before, and then cleared the way when Bill came to her. Now they returned and instead of focusing her attention on them, or delving into why each woman betrayed her, Beatrix now honed in on Bill and the gun pointing straight at her. Despite everything that she had endured, and the rage she felt against everyone, Beatrix knew this was her last chance to speak up. Not for herself, but for the innocent life growing inside her.
"Bill…it's your baby—"
Bill pulled the trigger, never hearing Beatrix's final words.
And the man with the golden gun thinks he knows so much…