Jack is Dead

Chapter 1 – "To Whisper Goodbye"

"I am a murderer." The bloodstained boy turned towards me, dark blue eyes as stern as the day I met him. Meeting his unblinking stare, I stepped forward until our bodies were mere inches apart, tilting my head up slightly to keep my gaze trained upon his face.

His hand reached up to wipe a drop of blood from my cheek, resulting merely in smearing more across my face in the process. I pressed my hand over his, holding it against the side of my face, not breaking the silence of the tracks in between trains. Expression unchanged, voice steady, he continued, "How do you know I won't kill you next, Elizabeth?"

His hand dropped slowly down to his side as I released it from my grip and took his pale face, still damply colored in streaks of red, gently between my hands. "Because you're mine," I told him softly, hearing my voice nearly break with the quiet force of those words. Beyond anything else I knew this to be true, needed it to be true. His face retained the same blank calm, but something in his eyes seemed to... shift, as if he were studying me intently. In anyone else it would have been an imperceptible change in countenance, but for Nigel it was an almost ostentatious display of emotion.

The sound of an approaching train echoed dully in the distance.

[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Standing almost naked in the small room attached to the crawlspace beneath his parents' house, Elizabeth washed the dried blood from her face and arms in the metal sink, slightly bent over to avoid knocking her head against the low ceiling.

Jack had gone crazy. The only thing left to do had been to shoot him. Due to the connection their minds had developed, the result had been an almost unbearable pain for Nigel. She sighed, reaching for a faded blue towel folded on the counter by the industrial sink.

It was like the tearing away of a part of his brain. When Jack had come at him with the shotgun on the tracks it was all he could do to stop him. Even after he had killed Nigel's parents and that girl from St. Mary's, claiming that it had been Nigel himself who had done so... truly believing it, in fact... Jack's death had still taken its toll on him.

The sound of the water for the shower upstairs shut off, followed by soft footfalls on the ancient wooden floorboards. Elizabeth finished drying off and replaced the towel, sighing as she glanced down at her shirt and jeans, lightly crusted in dried blood, piled in a corner near the door. Walking over to the low bed that took up the entirety of the far wall, she picked up a gray t-shirt from the lightly rumpled blanket and pulled it on over her bra and panties. As she sat down upon the bed in Nigel's shirt, leaning back against the wall, the small white painted panel across the room slid open.

Shirtless, Nigel climbed through the door, sliding it closed behind him with an almost mechanical movement, and made his way over to the bed. Elizabeth slid over to give him room and he sat down beside her, taking her by surprise as he collapsed into her lap, resting his head against her chest. She sat there for a moment without moving, merely looking at his exhausted form, admiring the soft contours of his face. His pale skin, like porcelain in the dim light, strong jaw line, and graceful neck. As she brushed a lock of damp black hair from his closed eyes, a long breath escaped his slightly parted lips before his breathing slowed to a deep, even pace.

She slid down the wall a bit, settling more comfortably into the pillow behind her. Closing her eyes, she held the curled up boy gently in her arms, his smooth skin and body still warm from the shower pressed closely against her. Sleep came quickly.