Started: December 2007
Finished: October 2011
She crouched behind some crates, listening in horror as a guy screamed. Not wanting to move for fear she might be heard. She cursed her idiot friends for daring her to come here.
Growing up she heard of a Benjamin Barker. There where many different versions it all depended on who you spoke to. They were mostly all bad. Currently, a Mister Sweeney Todd resided there thought she had never gotten a good look at the man. There was talk of a horrid stink coming out of their chimney at night and a higher then usual disappearance of local people. Her friends where certain that something sinister was going on. With her insisting there was nothing to be afraid of and her friends believing otherwise, they dared her to check it out for herself.
Curiosity got the best of her. One of her eyes peeked around a crate. Only the dim light of dusk leaked through the large window. She had just witness him cut a man's throat. The chair rotated back and a trap door opened. Down went the body and with it the barber threw down his hat. It was then that she stopped watching and prayed for a chance to get out of this alive.
She saw him leave going down the inner stairs of the house and waited a few moments. She felt almost paralyzed but made a quick shot for the outdoor staircase.
She was half way down the stairs when Mr. Todd flew around the corner and bounded up the stairs. He froze when he saw her. She froze when she saw him. She also recognized his face. He had just left his barber shop when he looked into her face, he knew she had been there, that she had seen too much.
She then kept walking down and he kept walking up. He had hands on both sides of the staircase. She drew in a quick breath when he didn't get out of her way.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
She thought quickly of a lie but didn't look him in the eye. "My father just wanted me to make an appointment for him he's a very busy man."
"Well go on up, I'm here now. Maybe we can work something out," he said charmingly.
She kept her eyes down. "I can't, he's waiting for me."
"It will only be for a moment. Go on up." He practically pushed her back, forcing her backwards up the staircase.
"No. I really must go." He blocked her while she tried to push past him.
He whispered into the side of her head, "Don't, make a scene," and continued to push her up the stairs. "Keep on going." She did as she was told. As soon as she was up in that room again on a flat surface, she took a few steps in and she let him take a few steps in. She turned on her heel and reached for the door. She was quick but not quick enough, Mr. Todd slammed the door shut in front of her. He grabbed her from behind and hauled her away from the door.
She fought him, kicking at him and writhing. "Let me go," she begged.
When he had enough of her struggles he flicked open one of his blades inches in front of her face, "Be still now," he told her and she stilled immediately. He swooned. In such control. He needed such control to exact his revenge, repay all the misdeeds and nothing, would get in his way.
He turned her and pushed her against the nearest wall, facing him. With the blade frighteningly out of view, she started to cry.
"Now, why did you come here?" he asked huskily.
"It, it was a dare. My friends say that there's something supernatural, something demonic going on in this building. I told them it was all in their heads."
He stared into her face. "And who would you tell this to."
"Anyone." She stared into his eyes. "Anyone who says otherwise."
He ran his fingers down the side of her face and asked, "Are your friends waiting for you outside?"
She looked him in the eye quickly replied, "No." She heard him breathe in deep, possibly a sign of relief.
She stayed frozen. He took a couple steps away from her. He thought to himself. What if she's lying? She lied before about her father wanting an appointment and him waiting for her. What if she's lying now. What if 'someone' sent her. Someone who was suspicious of my actions and wanted to put a stop to my 'education and…..disposal.'
Seeing that he took a couple steps away from her. She moved an inch towards the door.
He saw her move and said, "Oh no, not yet. Who sent you!" he yelled. Her face twisted in confusion. Taking her by the back of the neck he pulled her down into the chair. In zero seconds flat the blade was at her throat. She squeaked and pulled back into the unyielding chair. Her hand clutched loosely atop the hand gripping the blade. "Take your hand, off my wrist." She did so slowly and started to sob.
"Who sent you?" He hissed. The more he thought about it the more it made sense. Draped around the back if the chair, he placed the blade under her neck so she'd look up at him.
She tried to talk through her crying. "No-no one, just my stupid friends. I promise."
'She wouldn't die for this person, would she?' He thought not and determined from that that she was in fact telling the truth. He slipped off in thoughts of his mission, glanced off to the side relaxing the arm around her holding the blade. She reacted with a taking a deep breath. The horror that she might yet still die sent silent tears down her cheeks.
She didn't want to speak lest interrupt his thoughts, but she wanted to persuade him that she wouldn't tell anyone.
"I understand." she said quietly.
"What?" he said into her ear.
She sniffled and continued, "I know who you are." He gaped.
"I saw your picture in the paper, years ago. My aunt keep old news papers. I was up in her attic one day looking at them." Mr. Todd swallowed hard. He slipped out from behind her to the side of her. "The article said that you were sent away for life on charges many people didn't even believe you were guilty of."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" he sneered.
"No, but I know what you want."
At that he seemed to slither up her body that sat still in the chair and stopped inches from her face. "And what do I want, little lady?"
Her voice shaking. "Vengeance." He leaned away from her and stood straight. She brought her legs up in the chair and curled up into a ball. The vision of a lever being pulled and the chair tilting backwards sending the person dropping through a hole in the floor made her look up at him urgently and say, "Can I at least get up from this chair?"
"I very much like it when people sit in my barber chair." He smiled and started circling her, watching her shake.
"Please Mr. T, I don't have any qualms about what you are doing. I won't tell anyone. I understand."
"Don't say you understand," he snapped. "You don't understand." He stood behind her.
"I'm sorry," she said. "But I also know you had a wife and daughter-" he put his hand over her mouth saying, "Not another word of it, you hear me?" She nodded.
He with drew his hand and found it wet. Her tears where on his hand. It reminded him of the suffocating sadness he felt when he returned and found out what had happened. He knelt behind her.
She watched his expression over her shoulder. He brought his free hand to his mouth and lost himself in his own sadness. Very slowly, she moved off the chair and knelt down beside him and put her arms around his shoulders.
"She was my baby," he said as tears rolled down his cheeks. "I said I didn't miss her but I lied."