a darkness inside the light

hot tears streamed down her face as she sat patiently. this overwhelming connection to the father she never had  grabbed her by the throat. it choked her. gripped her chest and weighed heavy as she tried to breathe. she slowly looked into the framed mirror. saw someone quietly sitting there she did not want to see. saw the evil she came from. the evil she thought she could consciously hide from. but there it was. staring at her with its tear stained cheeks. she tightly squeezed her eye lids shut, trying to block out the image of her hands.

“not my hands. not mine.” she screeched inside her head. but the images kept coming. images in black and white, choppy, soundless on old celluloid film. she saw herself walking to her car. her shift had ended at 7pm but there were emergency admissions at the hospital, so she stayed four extra hours to manage the chaos. a usually bustling underground parking garage was now eerily vacant of activity and sound. except for two men changing a tire on their suv.

“turn around. turn around.” a voice whispered inside her head. she was suddenly thirsty but focused on the men. focused on how they seemed desperately busy. her fingers let go of the car keys. as she knelt to pick them up she saw perfectly placed tarp where the back seats should have been. she saw blacked out windows. she saw an undamaged tire leaning against the back bumper and two men bent over anxiously running their hands over another undamaged tire.

she processed this information in milliseconds. “turn around. turn around.” plead the voice this time. as she rose, she picked up the keys with her left hand and with her right hand she gripped the small skinner damascus blade her ex gave her as a gift. she always kept it in her purse side pocket, unsheathed. the men were on her left. her car was six spots from theirs. an eight second walk. eight seconds was a lifetime. a calm rushed over her with a clarity of purpose. in eight seconds prey became predator.

one. she jingled her keys in her left hand as a distraction. two. she removed the knife from her purse as she passed the men. three. the first man grabbed her from behind, pinned her left arm and clasped his other hand over her mouth. four. as he spun her around toward the suv, the second man reached for her ankles. five. with her right hand free she swiftly sliced into the first man’s upper thigh near his groin. she punctured his femoral artery. six. he shrieked in pain and released his grip. seven. the startled partner looked up just in time to see a short blade effortlessly glide under his chin. she severed his carotid arteries. eight. she stepped away and watched them flail like freshly hooked fish until life left them.she carefully pressed the blade against her own neck to create an impression. she dropped it by their bodies. she dialed 911.

there she sat in the florescent lit interview room of the police station. staring into the framed two-way mirror at a woman she did not know. her mother had been savagely attacked by a serial rapist and murderer. her mother lived but with his seed growing inside her. she was his daughter today. his eyes stared back at her in the mirror, reflecting the icy darkness she tried to suppress. she looked at her hands. they did not tremble. they were his hands, not hers. no. that was a lie. she did not enjoy the fatal encounter but they made their choice. she made hers. her tears were for herself. she wept for the person she no longer was. she wept because that dark passenger  was now the driver. the detective opened the door. she knew her lies would be believed. she knew the darkness inside her would soon engulf the light. she knew she was her father’s daughter.