Death At An Early Age Is A Courtesy

Some part of her suspected that, in the beginning, he only gravitated toward her because he was trying to convince himself that she was like his daughter. “Like” her enough, anyway, to parlay this belief into an attraction. Into an acceptable form of being able to fuck his own daughter. It wasn’t any specific similarity in physical appearance, he claimed, but in mannerisms and personality. She knew he also liked to bring this up in an attempt to get her to spend time with the little bitch. Well, he wasn’t going to get any free babysitting out of Grace, who had absolutely none when it came to making her feelings (or lack thereof) for children known. 

Taylor really ought to have believed her when she said she would waltz right out of his life if he kept trying to push “the kid thing.” It was the little bitch’s mother’s responsibility to pretend to give a fuck about her, not Grace’s. And, in all honesty, it was more offensive than endearing that Taylor should display so much obvious affection for the twat. Here he had this hot, curvaceous woman before him all the time, her snatch always at the ready, and all he could seem to worry about was his precious spawn. The little splooge, she also liked to refer to it as. She would never address it by its name. That gave it too much reality, and she wanted to deny its existence as much as possible in the hope that Taylor would forget that the little splooge existed. After all, how could he be so consumed by it if Grace was supposed to be a fuckable version of it?

One night, as Grace was slipping into one of her black lace numbers to surprise Taylor with when he showed up after work to her apartment, she instead got a call. Already irritated because he was late and she wanted to be fucked, she huffily answered, “Where the hell are you, asshole?” A pause. “Hello?” “Grace…it’s Annie.” Grace struggled to remember who that might be. As she never referred to the little splooge as anything but distancing and dehumanizing nicknames, she had to double check, “Who?” “Annie. My daughter. She’s in the hospital.” Grace resisted every urge to scream, “Finally!” in joy, restraining herself long enough to come up with, “Oh.” Taylor continued, “I won’t be able to make it tonight. She got hit by a car while she was riding her bike. I’m going to have her stay with me once she’s released. I… I don’t know what that means for us.” Grace inwardly chortled and said to herself, “It means we’re fucking done.” To Taylor instead, she assured, “We’ll figure something out. Keep me posted.” She really couldn’t offer any further emotionalism than that. In truth, she hoped the little splooge just fucking died. Everyone would be better off, including the splooge itself. It would never have to endure the pain and irritation of being with a man with a child, for example. 

Grace really shouldn’t have gotten involved when she first found out that Taylor was a Daddy trying to fulfill his own Greek fantasies in being with her. And when he realized he couldn’t keep making a viable correlation between Grace and the little splooge and all that they supposedly had in common, he started gravitating back toward his beloved progeny. Spending more time with her in a way he hadn’t felt obliged to when he first started fucking Grace. Now, all of the sudden, it was, “Annie needs this” and “Annie wants that” and “Annie, Annie, Annie.” “Who?” was all Grace would return as she proceeded to roll over and finger her own pussy with dissatisfaction. Way to take away all of a girl’s wetness: by talking about your goddamn daughter–who, you, incidentally, would rather fuck but can’t because society says it’s wrong. Just like society says it’s wrong to hate children, especially if you’re a woman, and you’re “supposed to” be inherently maternal and nurturing. Supposed to cream yourself at the prospect of having a baby, let alone being given the “privilege” of spending time with other people’s snot-nosed sperm manifestations. 

Pouring herself a glass of vodka with ice into an old-fashioned glass, Grace added a splash of mango juice to tell herself she was diluting it enough. The same way she told herself that referring to Annie as “it” and “the little splooge” would help dilute Taylor’s perception of his relationship with his daughter enough. Make him forget that he had so-called “paternal duties.” Grace’s own father certainly never seemed to get that memo, and she was stronger for it. She didn’t go around with a pathetic need to win people’s affections. She was fine on her own. Better than fine: better off. Maybe she needed this wake up call to remind her that involving oneself too immersively with any one man was ill-advised, let alone a man who was so doting upon his worthless daughter that he could only see as full of worth because that was the deluded tunnel vision of being a parent. A child could be the most patently hideous dolt on the planet and most parents would still swear up and down that they were the birthers of a beautiful genius. Pure testament to the heights that narcissism could ascend. No parent wanted to believe that their child wasn’t “special” in some way, because then they themselves would have to be reminded that they weren’t either. That the child had only been “generated” as some final stab at securing their own “specialness” by proxy. And that’s how you end up with parents like the Jacksons. 

Sloshing down another vodka/mango–a drink she had dubbed Manga–Taylor ambled over to her living room couch, sitting in the quiet stillness of her immaculately decorated apartment. The kind of apartment that one might find in an 80s movie about a successful stockbroker. The kind of apartment that a child would love to fuck up with its uncouthness and perpetually sticky fingers. Sighing heavily, she got up again to put a record on, choosing The Smiths’ “Suffer Little Children” as her drinking song. Myra Hindley had it all wrong. She should have taken over the child-killing operation from Ian Brady and they probably never would have been caught. Women have more subtlety as murderers. Particularly when they are murderers of children (The Witch in Hansel and Gretel excluded)–just look at how long it took people to catch on to what Beverley Allitt was doing. The point was, Grace was smacked with an epiphany in that instant. She herself would go on a child-killing spree. Getting the headlines going, laying the groundwork so that Taylor was on full alert that there was some mad serial killer out there with a particular thirst for child’s blood. When Grace got to killing the little splooge, he would never suspect her. It would be pinned on the “serial killer at large.” Taylor wouldn’t dream of placing the blame on the sudden loss of his beloved bitch on anyone other than the cruelty of the universe. 

She was doing it for love, she told herself. Or to get laid without vexing interruptions. However one looked at it, her mission was clear: kill about five kids, get the media frenzy going and then make the little splooge her final victim. She was meticulous, obsessive compulsive–in short, she had all the ideal qualities of an undetectable killer, choosing her victims with as much fastidiousness as she would the scene of the crime. So it was that the children had to be “latchkey kids”–though that wasn’t really a term used anymore, it was simply the nature of existing in Western society. Kids left to their own devices with screens as their caregivers. And as a screen could only care so little, it was no wonder most kids were sociopaths. So no, Grace felt no remorse for what she did. She was only sparing the Earth of more callousness, which, in effect, translated to cruelty. And again, she was securing Taylor’s dick all to herself. 

***

Finding abandoned and neglected children was the easy part. It was actually getting the news to pay attention that proved more challenging. Apparently these were not the outraged days of Hindley’s murder trial, or even Beverley Allitt’s. She was going to have to kill a lot more of them, and far more brutally if she was going to alert Taylor to the alarming phenomenon that would soon be responsible for his own child’s death. So it was that she started stringing them up in the alleyways of neighborhoods that would be horrified that such a thing could happen to their own kids. Sure, she might have plucked the discards of the estates, but she put them in full view of the rich in Knightsbridge, Kensington, Mayfair and the like. If it could happen to the invisible poor, it could soon enough happen to the progeny of the wealthy. And that’s when the news finally took an interest: when the murders bled into the affluent neighborhoods. This, of course, also helped set up the plot point of a societally prized white, well-to-do child being killed: Annie. That’s right, she could say its name in her head now that she knew its existence was going to be “neutralized.”

Annie was a dumb bitch like any child. Though adults love to say that children are the smartest of them all. They’re not. They’re trusting, daft pricks who haven’t been fucked up enough by the world yet to know better. Annie didn’t find it odd that Grace took a sudden interest in walking her home from school that day, cutting her off at a part of the route where no one was around to see her. She said her father had asked her to, and that she would take her to get an ice cream sundae at that American diner on steroids in Shoreditch. Annie was gleeful over the news, and not at all suspicious about why Grace should randomly display something like affection toward her, complete with an overly honeyed voice and veneer. Annie even took it in stride when Grace said she just needed to pick something up in an abandoned warehouse along the way…

***

It required forty-eight hours for Taylor to realize something was amiss. He assumed Annie was with her mother, and her mother likewise assumed Annie was with him. It took a phone call from the former Mrs. Bradwell asking when her daughter would be back to unearth a grim reality: Annie had been missing for two days. Even in police parlance, this translated to: that bitch is definitely dead. Still, when you’re parents of means, you put on the show of a grand search, one that makes the headlines, but one that will, inevitably, only result in a lot of quacks coming forward in the hope of finagling the reward money, or at least some portion of it for their “valuable information.” It always comes to nothing and, naturally, Annie (or rather, her body) was never found. 

Taylor still grieves now and again, but for the most part, he tries to forget he ever had a daughter. If only he had done so in the first place, Grace thought. Then maybe she wouldn’t have needed to get her hands so fucking dirty. Then again, that’s what it was to stroke a dick as well.

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