They say summer nights in the country are beautiful; the sky is densely populated with constellations and falling stars; the air has a characteristic flowery-hay-like aroma with fireflies floating in the air over the tall corn fields making it look like a gorgeous display of the native country lights. The highway traffic, farm animals, barking dogs and insects, create a cacophony which is categorical to country nights.
June 4th, 1982, was a similar night. Athena finished her shift earlier than usual. She took a bus from Ashbourne to reach home in Brookhaven. It was an hour long bus ride, enough for her to take a good nap. Being a part-time librarian in her mid-twenties at the Ashbourne Library of History isn’t as easy as it sounds. What’s daunting about the job is the number of killings that have occurred in the city of Ashbourne. As recent as May 5th, 1982, a serial killer went on a rampage by murdering 8 citizens. How could one person, kill 8 people in one night? No one knew. Which is what made the killings more horrifying than the others. The local papers called him – Jack, the Ripper. Jack earned himself the title of ‘The Ripper’ mainly because of his style of murder. All his victims would have a dagger forced into their right jugular vein and the emblem of a falcon branded to their forehead. This was his signature. People said he was a psychopath who would only target women under the age of 28. But Athena never feared him. Being the only daughter in a family of sons who serve for the Royal Army, she was tougher than most women her age. She chose to live alone in a tiny village, just to prove to the world that women were capable of living independently.
The bus took a slow deviation to finally stop at the highway bus stop for Brookhaven. Brookhaven, unlike Ashbourne, was a much smaller town, with roughly 35 to 40 families living in moderately big houses, and so did not have its own bus stop. It just had a small stop sign of sorts on the Highway. Athena got down and started walking towards her bungalow. It was a peaceful 10 minute walk through the half-done stone streets of the humble village. The stars were shinning brighter than usual as the moon slowly crept into the spotted sky. For some odd reason, Brookhaven did not believe in the electric street lamps and continued to use the old oil lamps. Athena had promised her neighbors that once she became the first Lady Governess of the village, she would make sure the oil lamps were replaced by the electric lamps. She reached her Bungalow, and took a good look at her bedroom windows, and thought that the windows needed to be cleaned. She opened the door and went straight to the living room. In Brookhaven, after 8pm, no one was supposed to switch on the lights, as they were afraid the Russian War planes would spot their tiny abode. So Athena patiently waited for the moonlight to flood her living room. She walked over to her kitchen cabinet to remove a fresh bottle of red wine and poured herself a generous amount. She took the glass in her hand and gave it a solid twirl and took a good sniff of the rich fragrance of a posh bottle of Chateau Margaux. She went and sat by the window, watching the fireflies dance. She was so mesmerized by them, that she was oblivious to the other human in her house, staring at her.
She finished her glass of wine, and started feeling droopy. So she slowly opened her eyes, got up and attempted to climb up the stairs, one at a time. Jack followed her like a shadow, quiet yet agile. The alcohol had started working its charm. She was slowly losing control of her senses. She successfully got till the first floor and walked straight to her cupboard. She fumbled while searching for clothes to change into, trying really hard not to fall on the cold marble floor. Jack was standing at the bedroom door, still, just staring at her. She slowly took off her dress and caressed her shoulders slightly. She removed her hairband and threw it into her cupboard. Jacks eyes widened at this beautiful sight. Her body was glowing in the moonlight like a diamond which was freshly cut. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, for the both of them. One was intoxicated by the divine works of an expensive bottle of red wine, while the other, by love.