London, Whitechapel, November 10, 1888, 11:55 p.m.

She would be Jack's sixth masterpiece – to be left eviscerated in an alley, fit punishment for all such verminous filth…syphilitic handmaidens of Venus, spreading their dirt and disease to the respectable…to the righteous - beneath a warning written on the wall in her own blood to her unclean sisters that retribution was coming to take them to task for their flaunting of what was pure, what was decent, what was… dear God in Heaven, what was the slut babbling on about?

"The king is not happy," number six cooed up at Jack from where she knelt before him in the dirt of the alley, eyes the color of blued steel glittering, long white hands loosening his trouser buttons, "We all know what happens when the king is not happy, don't we dear heart? It rains blood and aardvarks, right my sweet?"

Blood?

Aardvarks?

Kings?

Jack shook his head, breaking eye contact. Mad or not, this, this, strumpet, who followed him docile as any lamb to the sacrifice into the shadows on the promise of a single ha'penny for services rendered… would do.

Her chattering abruptly ceased when Jack grabbed her by the throat while slipping his knife from its oiled sheath, holding it so that the blade caught the gleam of the feeble street lamp, making sure that she saw her reward…

"London Town is burning down, with fire spilling over from broken crosses my love." She gargled coyly. Jack tightened his grip, "I see tables turning and chosen maidens dancing past the midnight hour beneath their demon lovers!" Number six rose to face Jack despite his attempts to keep her in a penitent's position and kissed him flirtatiously upon the end of the nose.

How dare she! She, she… she should be gasping, wordlessly terrified, as the others were when they saw the punishing hand of God bearing down upon them for their sins against the decent, the respectable, the righteous… instead… she… she smiled serenely as the Virgin in any painting… all the while yammering and chattering, mocking hi…

"Jezebel!" Jack screamed to drown her out as he drew his knife across her slender throat.

London, Whitechapel, November 11, 1888, 12:00 a.m.

"What a nice man, all tasting of cinnamon and sulfur." Skirts fouled with alley muck, Drusilla stepped onto Berner Street, holding a long, thin blade in one hand. She let out a genteel belch before daintily dabbing at her dark red lips with the handkerchief she kept tucked up one sleeve exactly as her mother had taught her to do whenever something unavoidably biological happened. "He gave me this knife to remember him by, how sweet!" She added for the benefit of Big Ben who was too busy tolling twelve times at the turning of Saturday into Sunday to reply.

Softly singing of cabbages and kings and sealing wax and string, Drusilla gave the knife an uncomprehending look before dropping it with a clatter into the refuse choked gutter where it joined her bloodied handkerchief as she resumed her slow motion dance down fog shrouded Berner, looking for her Dark Star who had promised her a lovely surprise before dawn, her long, dark hair now matted with blood from a fast closing wound beneath one ear.


Author's Note: It was around this time that the Ripper murders abruptly stopped for reasons yet to be determined...