The door bell rings: A delivery man stands outside with a small bouquet of yellow and white carnations wrapped in white plastic with red hearts, Jessica Riley sees the man distorted thru the peep hole in the front door to view strangers prior to opening. He is unassuming in his late teens with signs of acne on his scared face.
“Delivery for a Mrs Jessica Riley” a voice said as is echoed thru the timber door.
Jessica studied the delivery van and the driver but saw nothing out of place and wondered who would be sending her flowers. She hoped it was her husband, surprising her for some reason just because he could. She took the bunch from the young man’s hands and signed for the delivery noting it was Interflora and could have come from anyone anywhere. She turned toward the door lifting the sweet smelling floral present to her nose and let the scent drift thru her olfactory system and take her to another place in time. There was a small card placed in a plastic holder central to the bunch, Jessica removed the card, opened it seeing only a single phrase. “All I have is yours”.
She gave her new gift the hope of a longer life with a nourishing vase full of refreshing water and placed them in the centre of the dining table for all to see. As Jessica pondered the flowers and the note she jabbed at the buttons on her phone and dialled her husband.
“Flowers what flowers?” Jake Riley replied to a now bemused Jessica.
He laughed a little and teased her saying “ooooo you’ve got a secret admirer”
She hung up the phone after some more jibes and chat and settled into her routine for the rest of the day without a care.
The next morning the same delivery man arrived again with a carton containing 12 beautiful red roses. “Your one lucky lady, if you don’t mind me saying” the young man said with a smile, as Jessica signed the electronic delivery machine for the second time.
The note attached had a small poem inscribed inside:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You don’t know me
But I love You!
Jessica pondered for hours as she stared into the roses looking for inspiration as to who might have sent the blood red offering as a token of his love. The day moved forward and she had pushed the dilemma out of her mind when the door bell rang for the second time for the day.
As Jessica looked out the spy hole she saw yet another delivery man, this time from DHL with a parcel in his hand and an electronic note pad in the other to sign for delivery.
With the deed done she brought the parcel inside and placed in on the table next to the two bunches of flowers already received. The front door opened in a flurry and her husband bound in the door “Honey I’m Home” he shouted at a pitch that could wake the dead, excited from a day at work that had seen him close a major deal and enforce his dominance as the top sales exec at his company. Jessica was still pondering the parcel on the table as he strode in and grabbed her around the waist and spun her kissing her non responsive lips. “What’s wrong?” he said softly as he kissed her neck and placed her down again. Jessica didn’t respond just looked at the table and there jake saw not only carnations from yesterday but a dozen beautiful red roses and now an unopened box sitting on the table.
“Well we have been busy haven’t we” he said with a smile. “This is getting a tad out of hand babe, do you know who‘s sending all these things to you yet” he asked in an inquisitive manner.
“No but I received the roses this morning with a note and now this” she said as she pointed to the cardboard box. Jake read the note and his demeanour changed slightly as he pondered who would be doing this! Sending lavish gifts to his wife.
They opened the box together and it was full of chocolate and champagne with another note:
Roses are Red
Violets are blue
I sent these gifts
To share with you
“Do you think we should call the police” Jake commented as Jessica lifted the bottle of Moet from the container letting liqueur chocolates fall as she did. She was still trying to figure out who could be doing this, no-one had taken her eye in years and she could not recall anyone who could have reason to. :no darling I have no idea who this could be and so far its harmless so I dint think we have to worry at this stage” she offered with a small chill darting up her spine causing her to intake a fast breath and shiver out aloud.
The two spent the early evening as couples do making dinner, talking settling in for a cosy night when at about eight pm their night was interrupted by someone incessantly ringing of the doorbell.
Jake moved slowly and deliberately to the large wooden structure and peeped out the spy hole as he switched on the front light illuminating an area around the entry. He saw nothing and opened the door slightly to reveal a small foam ice box with a note attached to it. “FOR JESSICA”.
There seemed to be something red on the container but Jake did not take too much notice, Jessica joined him at the door and pushed passed him looking into the balmy night air for clues as to who had left it behind for her. Jessica bent to pick up the container and before Jake could stop her she had it in her hands and was making her way back into the house. Jake quickly surveyed the area one last time and stepped back inside the house ensuring he locked the dead bolt twice for good measure.
“Babe don’t open that it looks like there is blood on it” Jake insisted but Jessica was so intrigued she had blocked the sound of his voice out and all she could hear was the sound of her own heart beat in her ears and the rushing whistle of her breath as it was drawn in and forced back out. She lifted the lid and inside was a pair of perfectly placed lips cut raggedly from a mouth with a poem attached which read.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
These lips of mine
Are now for you
Jessica screamed and Jake held her tight as he dialled 999 into his phone.
Days went by and the police were no closer to finding who the mystery sender was all transactions were paid cash and the perpetrator never caught on film.
Jessica was on sedatives and Jake her husband was home looking after her when a knock at the front door boomed thru the house. It seemed to make its way into Jessica’s bones and she felt each hit on the timber deep within her soul. A feeling of foreboding overwhelmed her as she and Jake made their way to the door and a quick look found no-one their again. The light reviled yet another foam box and this time Jake did nothing and called detective Makepeace and shut the door.
The detective arrived with a forensic team and once the outside area and parcel had been dealt with they moved inside and opened the lid revealing an eye looking straight out at the crowd staring as if taking in all the faces as they stood admiring the perfect orb. The blue eye full of love and terror stared mocking them as the police detective removed the note containing another poem that was covered in blood and mucus from the sightless gift.
Roses are red
Green is the tree
Now and forever
I can look at thee
The days passed and all the forensic tests in the world came up empty handed, they had Jessica try and remember anything that could have triggered this level of tribute and twisted love but, there was nothing, except for a young man who was sitting in the road in front of her car outside her local gym some weeks before. He told her that he was waiting to die, suffering depression and hate for a life spent loving a woman who had betrayed him. Jessica remembered doing what she always did, she helped the young man, told him it would be ok and even offered to give him a lift somewhere that would help. The police traced the young man from descriptions and canvassing people in the area around the gym to a house not two blocks away from Jessica’s house. The young man James Dennis was well known in the area as a troubled young man, at twenty one he lived alone and often spent time in the Telford hospital as a patient for schizophrenia and depression he would place himself in care for months at a time, he suffered a fixation on individuals to the point where he would build up a fantasy world around the individual as his true love and once rejected the cycle would stop and he would be back in care again.
.Detective Makepeace informed Jessica and Jake that they had a solid lead on their stalker and to stay in the house until he dropped by with information in a few hours. The officer made his way to the residence of the young deluded man and found the front door open. With care he moved inside the house holding his issued weapon in front at ready just in case. There was no reason to expect violence but then in situations of delusional individuals not all is normal. He moved thru the house with speed and agility to find the kitchen with light on and blood on the table with a small serrated carving knife and a tea spoon on a paper towel that had remnants of blood and tissue the revolted detective could only think was the fibrous trails of the eye ball as it was cut from the socket after being popped out with the spoon. He called for backup and made his way to his vehicle after he declared the house as all clear. I cold icy feeling fell over his mind as he started his vehicle and plunged it into drive and made for the Riley house not two blocks away. Where is he?
Jessica was in the shower trying to get herself into some sort of mind set that would allow her to feel normal again as she waited for the call from detective Makepeace. Jake was downstairs preparing dinner for them a salad mixed with grilled chicken pieces tossed in a garlic and herb dressing that Jake made himself by infusing the olive oil with garlic, pepper corns, thyme, coriander and basil with a hint of chilli. As she stepped out of the shower she heard a shallow thud from downstairs and thought Jake had dropped the heavy cast iron grill again. Wrapped in only her robe and pink bunny slippers Jessica made her way downstairs and the sound of “The Price is Right” drifted from the TV as she made her way toward the kitchen and her man.
“Is the salad ready................” Jessica stopped mid sentence as she tried to take in the horror of the scene that was unfolding in front of her.
A hooded figure standing at the head of the small distressed wooden kitchen table holding her now dead husband by the hair, a gash that ran from ear to ear and a bib of blood that covered his chest and the table in front of him. It was like he had two mouths that were open in a dead smile at the same time. Jakes eyes dead and lifeless as she looked up trembling stuck to the spot with horror as her eyes lifted to the figure, he let Jake go his now lifeless body slumped and hit the table and slid forward. The figure unzipped the hoddie and let it fall showing a permanent morose grin that repulsed her to the core of her being, an eye that was bright blue stared at her with love and longing and the dark empty socket that was next to it bled and wept puss from infection and neglect.
Jessica was frozen fear and hysteria taking over her mind and body as she fought with her mind to regain and hold onto the last ounce of her sanity.
“Why” she whispered thru her trembling tear soaked lips.
The figures face muscles moved and she thought it must have been him trying to smile with mo lips to move the scab encrusted skin flaps opened and poured fresh blood into his orifice and down his chin. The eye looked at her with sorrow and sadness as his mind fought with what he was and had done. The knife he used the almost dislodge Jakes head from his shoulders lifted to his chest and he cut thru the skin pulling back the flesh that covered the rib cage over his heart. The pounding orb beating furiously was just visible as he tore at the skin and fat, opening it further for Jessica to see.
“My heart belongs to you Jessica” he slurred thru his lipless mouth spitting blood and saliva as he did so.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Now and forever
My heart belongs to you
The words slipped out of his ruined cavity as he held the knife against his opened chest trying to remove his beating heart from his chest.
The bullet went thru the damaged and ruined eye socket and exited the size of a small grapefruit from the back of James Denise’s head brain matter and viscera exploded behind him against the back door as the life exited his longing blue eye. The knife fell from his grip and Jessica noticed it was still beating for her.