We left Danny just after he committed a terrible crime: let's see what happens next...
The Snow Killer: Part Four
Danny rushed around the corner, and started to head home. After a few moments of frantic walking, he stopped in his tracks.
What if someone saw me?
Danny looked around him, but calmed down somewhat when he realised he was the only one in the street. It made sense: it was the middle of the night. In the snow. Alone. Freezing.
She was blue. She turned blue so quickly. And her eyes...
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
As Danny started walking again, tugging his jacket closer in a failed attempt to take the chill off the skin. But he knew the chill had nothing to do with the white snow that surrounded him.
All that blood...
Danny walked faster as he thought about what he should do. His feet near-running, carrying him home - faithful to him when his mind wasn't.
I should turn myself in. I can't just leave her there to be buried in the snow: they might not find her for days. She has a family...
The snow whispered to Danny as he trod:
Killer. Left the girl in the snow. Snow killer. You hate the snow. Emily loved the snow. She danced in the snow. Killer. You killed Emily. You killed the girl. You killed your mother.
"No!" Danny panted. "I'm running away from snow! Snow can't talk. What's wrong with me?" He grabbed fistfuls of his hair underneath his hood, and crouched to the floor. The words echoed around his head. They burned like a cold star: impossible anywhere but his mind. He had always known it was his fault, but it was an accident. This was different. This was by his own hand, his own physical hands had taken the life of a sixteen year old girl. She looked just like Emily. But prettier. The girl had rejected him immediately.
Why? What is so wrong with me? Emily had always been the best of both of us, but I never had any trouble before she died...
Danny remembered his father's words just seconds after they buried Emily and Sara side-by-side. "You let them smother you. You're a man now; you need to rid yourself of all these ideas of a happy, care-free life and focus on getting a job, making a businessman out of yourself."
"It's just not logical to have your head in the clouds. Sara always let you get away with it. All the writing and painting and what-not. Girl's stuff."
"I should have sent you to boarding school, but Sara always molly-coddled you. She said it would upset you too much. That you were fragile. You're not right in the head, boy. She made sure of that. Ruining my only son. Sometimes I feel like I have two daughters instead of one."
"You couldn't just be normal, like Emily, could you? Such a pretty girl. Always did what she was told. But you, well, I'm glad I will be seeing the back of this ridiculous behaviour. You are not your sister. You are a man. That I'll make sure of. Oh, stop crying. They are gone and there's nothing you can do about it."
The words kept going in Danny's head, even though he tried so hard to banish them, pressing his hands into his eyes and seeing the burning colours of his skin against the fragile lids that protected him from the pain. But they didn't. His eyes may have closed to the world, but his brain wouldn't let go. All he could see was the girl, blue skin against fragile white snow. Her long blonde hair darkened by the blood. The blood was everywhere.
Danny stopped again: The blood was everywhere: All over his hands; in his hair; on his skin; dried into his clothes; across his lips; buried into the ridges of his fingerprints. He pulled his jacket off and searched for a lighter.
I gave it to Diane.
"Fuck!" Danny ripped the jacket in to pieces and put different pieces in different bins on his way home. The last bin was Mrs. Roberts, the old woman that lived next door. He lived on the top floor of a maisonette in Winston Close. A dark building, cornered by other houses: being bullied. Upon taking the rooms, the landlady had commented on the pale of his skin: "Well you'll fit in here Mr. Fores, no light in this house. You'll always have the lights on. Unless you like the dark..."
He unlocked the door and pushed hard on the frame. Always sticking. The money I pay... Danny caught himself: thinking about such trivial things when I am covered in blood. He ran up the stairs to his apartment, opened the door and locked it behind him. He padded to the bathroom and turned the shower on. The steam rose, taking that first layer of ice from his heart. He went back into the bedroom/living room/study and took off his clothes. Everything was dark with blood. He turned the bedside lamp on to look at the mess.
He could see the handprints of the girl on his jeans, she had struggled. He had panicked and pushed back. He shook himself, don't think about it, and put the clothes in the bin.
"Oh, Daniel, you stupid boy: falling over. Now that's your best shirt ruined, look at this, there’s blood everywhere. Oh, and you tore straight through the elbows. What an earth were you doing in that tree anyway?"
"I was watching a bird, Mummy. It was so beautiful, and it was signing. I drew it, Mummy, look". The young Danny attempted in vain to show his mother his sketches.
"Not now Danny, Emily needs her lunch. Go and wash up, no more climbing trees, now, y'hear?"
"Yes, Mummy." Danny looked to his feet, but was filled with glee moments later when his father walked through the door.
"Daddy, look, I drew a -"
"Not now, Daniel. What's wrong, Sara?" Marcus kissed his wife's cheek and took the shirt from her hands.
"Your son was out in the woods today." Sara shot her husband a scornful look.
"Really, well boy, what happened here?" He held up the shirt.
"i was in a tree, Daddy. I was-"
"Climbing trees, finally. Just be more careful next time, kiddo. OK?"
"Well, yes Daddy but-"
"Sara, where's my dinner?"
"How should I know, I've been watching the damned kids all day. Daniel, go play with your sister."
"Sara, I've been at work all day! all I want is a goddamn fucking meal when I get home from work. Is that so much to ask?" Marcus stood up from the armchair he had just occupied and approached his wife. "Is it, Sara? Just a bit of dinner. Not difficult is it? All you do is sit around and drink. Maybe next time you could make my-"
Sara slapped her husband across the face, and stood trembling in front of him. Marcus shoved her against the wall, making her drop the plate she had been holding.
"Now look what you've done, you stupid cow. Made a mess. You're going to clean that up, aren't you, Sara?" Tears ran down her face as her husband’s breath hit her lips.
"Is that Chanel I smell, Marcus. My , my, you have gone up in taste." The fear in her eyes diminished her thinly veiled threat.
"That's enough! Clean this mess up." He released his grip on her shoulders and sat back down.
Sara cleaned up the broken shards of china, and threw them away. She had stopped crying by the time she brought Marcus a beer. She smiled sweetly at him and kissed him on the cheek.
"Danny was a smart boy today, climbing up that tree. Shame he did it to draw. Kid needs to learn to man up a little bit. It was only a shirt, Sara. Just buy him another one and shut up about it, OK?"
"OK." She smiled again.
Danny remembered that day so well: the first time he had ever seen his parents fight. It was only years later he had found out it had been happening since he was born. They had wanted a girl, not a boy. Sara never wanted a boy.
"He'll end up like you, you know. I don't want any son of mine being violent to women. He's not a coward."
"He is a coward, Marcus. He's your son."
Danny climbed into the shower and let the water burn him.
That's part Four finished: missed the first three? Go to the "The Snow Killer" tab at the top of the page for the full story.