A Determined Heart
“It’s my fault,” Victoria thought as she watched the water, running from red to pink spiral down the kitchen sink. “Frankie was always a spoiled a child. I coddled her and gave into her demands, even when I knew I was doing her no good by spoiling her.”
Victoria finished washing the blood from the hack saw and went to return it to the garage, or “fun room” as Frankie called it. She needed to be done with clean up before Frankie got home with her date. She knew that she should not help Frankie with her projects, but what could stop a determined heart? Some months it was quiet, Frankie was content to go to work and date guys casually but not bring them home. And then, there were the dark times like now. This would be Frankie’s third date of the night, a new record. Robert and Walley were resting now in black bags in the corner of the fun room. There were always men willing to go home with a pretty young woman like Frankie; slim build, long dark hair, creamy brown eyes, olive skin, and a penchant for flirting.
Victoria walked to the small room that was added to the back corner of the garage. It was sound proofed for when things were particularly intense. In the middle of the room was a vinyl covered cot, the kind in doctor’s offices. Its vinyl was tan and cracked with pieces of red stained stuffing sticking out in places. There was no need to sanitize the surface or roll the crinkly paper over the top of the table; the subjects that would lie on top of it needn’t worry about infections. Next to the table was a work bench with different tools laid upon it. Victoria sat the hack saw next to an ice pick. There was a drain in the floor underneath it that made clean up easier. The bleach would flow right out, no buckets needed. Victoria hadn’t had time to finish the clean up from Frankie’s earlier dates, but there was no time for that now. She heard a car pulling into the drive and knew that Frankie and her date were home.
She remembered when it was animals, outside in their secluded back yard. Victoria had been washing laundry and when she put her hand into the pocket of a pair of Frankie’s shorts, something like jelly, only with more solids slipped through her fingers. She pulled her hand out to see a small, deflated looking eye ball. The iris was blue surrounded by busted red blood vessels. Thinking it was surely some kind of squishy gag toy that had exploded in Frankie’s pocket, she set out to find her daughter to lecture her on cleaning out her pockets so that the gel in the toy would not damage the other clothing. She found her sweet, 6 year old daughter in the corner of the yard, behind a storage shed, with blood on her hands. She took stock of the rabbit lying on the ground, limp with a broken neck, its arms and legs detached and its life’s blood running into the ground. She saw, all around the shed, little patches of freshly dug earth and knew that this was not the first time her daughter had done this. Suddenly she realized what she holding in her hand and flung it to the ground. She had yelled at Frankie then and they buried the most recent animal casualty together.
She tried to discourage Frankie from her experiments and explain to her why they were wrong. But Frankie would scream and cry and become moody and despondent if she went too long without her “fun time.” She continued to escalate to bigger animals and Victoria continued to help her cover up what she was doing. Eventually, they built the fun room and instead of burying corpses, they burned bodies and grinded bones.
She left the sound proof fun room and quietly shut herself away in her dark bed room. The hinges on the front door squeaked and Frankie giggled at something her date was saying. Victoria couldn’t make out what he was saying; the man’s voice was low and raspy, thick with desire for what the girl he had just met promised.
“Oh Shell, you’re so funny! Did I tell you that you were funny?” Frankie laughed again at something the man was saying. From her room, Victoria cracked the door and peeked at her daughter and her date. The man was tall, probably around 6 feet, which would be considerably taller than her 5 foot 2 inch daughter. That would not be a problem for Frankie, she was small but she was surprisingly strong for her size. She had gotten herself into a few binds in the past, but had since modified her strategy and began giving her dates stronger sedatives. Victoria thought the man was very good looking (of course they all were), dark hair and eyes, with just a little stubble on his face. Tall dark and handsome came to Victoria’s mind.
“Sit down and get comfortable. Let me get you a drink,” Frankie cooed as the man called Shell sat on their ancient couch. Victoria had bought it when Frankie was about 7 years old. It was the only new piece of furniture she had ever purchased. Fifteen years later it had seen many different men come and go, but never the same man twice. Now, as frightful as it may have been, it was Shell’s turn.
Frankie went into the kitchen and poured some cheap gin into a tall glass (the same glass, in fact, that two other men had taken their last drinks from earlier that same night). She added some ground up benzos and a splash of Sprite. Victoria watched through the small crack in the open door as her daughter sat down next Shell and insisted he drink. Victoria could just make out Shell saying he had had enough to drink and that there were other things on his mind now that he and Frankie were alone.
“Oh, but I made this drink special for you, drink it up and then we can have a fun time,” Frankie murmured into Shell’s ear. She sat in his lap and pressed the glass to his lips. As he drank Frankie trailed kisses along his neck and jaw line.
Victoria closed her eyes and chanted to herself “She’s alive, she’s alive…” When Frankie was 16, Victoria had come home from work to find her daughter unconscious in the bath tub covered in her own blood. Pink water over flowed from the bath and drenched the floor. Frankie could see, with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, the dark red slashes on her daughter’s arms. She had lost a lot of blood, but the cold water covering her body slowed her blood loss and doctors were able to revive her. It was the worst day of Victoria’s life, and she swore she would never try changing her daughter again; she could not stand to lose her.
“Mom! Mom! Help me!” Frankie was pinned under a sleeping Shell on the couch. Victoria grabbed the dolly from behind her door and rushed to the living room. She laid the dolly down flat and rolled the passed out Shell onto it. He fell with thud as Frankie sat up and buttoned her coral colored shirt.
“It’s a beautiful night! My heart is glowing with enthusiasm!” Frankie proclaimed as she helped strap Shell to the dolly. They wheeled him out of the house and into the fun room. Victoria helped Frankie lift Shell onto the vinyl cot, still stained with the blood of Robert and Wally. She watched Frankie strap him down with a bitter sting of remorse that would never cease.
“Behold the wretch, the miserable monster whom I created,” Victoria thought as she left her daughter to do the one thing she truly enjoyed. “I created a monster, but she’s alive. She’s alive.”