Part 6.Mature

The knife sliced through the skin with a pleasuring crunch. It made her cry though. Her eyes burnt like twin fireplaces, yet ice-cold tears rolled down her cheeks and onto her soft neck.'Stupid onions.' she cursed out loud as she wiped her face with a dry cloth.

The sound of innocent laughter wafted in from outside. As the children played outside in the afternoon light, She thought that it looked like some happy-go-lucky music video. The orange light, kiddie pool in the background, kites wafting in the soft breeze, the works.

She had finished cutting the onions. The next step was to scoop them up and chuck them into the oiled pan, where they sizzled and popped, scalding hot liquid spouting up into the air.

John came through the front door, swearing and cursing as he threw his giant leather overcoat onto the hat stand. She offered him a kind smile. 'Sorry,' said John, smiling back at Her, 'it's just work.'

Before she could say anything else the kids became aware of their father's return and scrambled to greet him.

'Daddy! Daddy! Bobby caught a bug in the garden! Look it's so gross!' Katie giggled as her brother came down the corridor towards his dad. John smiled at his son. 'Right, let's see this disgusting little blighter then!' Bobby held out his hands, and unveiled the insect for everybody to see. 'Dad! Look!' He squealed with excitement.

She smiled at how well John acted around the kids. He was always a good father. She knew he would be as soon as she had first set eyes on him. Tough, strong-willed, yet gentle and caring, loving, sane.

Happiness filled the room. It was almost suffocating. She could feel it's smiling fingers around her neck, choking. Entwining. Jealousy was there too. Laughing at her. Cutting her. Paying it no notice, she retreated back to the onions.

-

The sheets were heavy over her body. Sleep evaded her every effort. Something was stopping her. Something was whispering nonsensical gibberish in her ear, it felt like a soft, ticklish breeze, flowing through her ears and touching the surface of her brain.

John lay there beside her, his huge bare arm wrapped around her waist. The huge lump of muscle and sinew was comforting. It made all the noises that weren't there seem quieter.

Eventually she got up to make a trip to the bathroom. John grunted deeply as his arm shifted. She leant over and kissed him softly on the forehead.

'Sleep.' The word came dribbling out of her mouth with no effort.

The bathroom tiles were cold under her bare feet. Freezing the skin, making gooseflesh writhe up her body.

From looking at the mirror, she saw the onion knife still in her hand. Funny. She threw her head back and laughed. She couldn't stop. What was so funny anyway?Then it hit her. She had to tell the children the joke. Children love jokes, right?

The carpet in the hallway was warmer than the tiles.

The carpet in the bedroom was even warmer.

Warm. Hot. Hotter. Boiling.

She was so close to them. So close to telling the Joke. She started telling the joke to Bobby, with the knife.

The knife sliced through the skin with a pleasuring crunch. But it was different. Bobby bled blood, no onion juice. He gurgled, crimson liquid spurting forth from his throat, all over her face, her nightgown, her hair.

Surely he was laughing. But Bobby sounded different from when he was laughing in the backyard.Maybe...

Just to be sure, she'd try it on Katie.

Tell the joke. Jealousy made her.

Slowly turning towards her sleeping daughter, she raised the silver onion knife, showing it to the world, how great the joke was. Everybody, laughing.

A door opened. Footsteps. Down hallway.

Get on with it. The audience is restless.

The air around her unsettled as the knife was plunged deep into Katie's chest, smashing through her ribcage and cutting through her heart. Katie's eyes widened for a second, a mixture of realization and pain written across her small, delicate face.

'ROSEANNE!'

John came thundering through the door, just as a second red fountain came forth, making it rain.

Finish the joke.

Deliver the punchline.

Make us proud.

She'd heard her name. What a cliche she was. What a comedian. The audience thought so. She'd show them.

'John...'

Time wasn't important. By the time He'd ran two steps across the room she'd dragged the knife across her throat. Roseanne was gone. She turned slightly, the air escaping her lungs, smile across her beautiful, pale face. She then fell forever into John's arms, Rose-coloured liquid gushing all over the place.

Funny.

Roseanne always wanted to paint the kid's room red.

The End

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