It was night, Jaqueline decided tomake a video call on the computer with her friend Barbara to get awayfrom the thoughts that haunted her. When she was alone, that houseseemed much bigger than it really was and every noise outside madeher jump. She had been trying to stay sober for the last few days,but the tension she was in because of the messages made everythingmore difficult. At least now she could laugh a little and distracther mind while she chatted with Barbara.
– He offered me a lot of money. Canyou believe it?
– And you didn’t accept?
– Of course not, he can pay to see myvideos on OnlyFans if he wants, but I don’t do that kind of thing.
– Not by money, right friend, but forfree you’ve already done it with the entire city! – Barbara laughedwhile Jaqueline protested.
– I’m changing. This time it’sserious. No more Jackie Tequila. Now I’m going to become a seriousgirl. I haven’t had a drink in… three days.
– I’m with you, babe – replied theother with a wink – I’m going to spend a few days on Mr Moacir’syacht, ops, Big-Moe (he gets furious when he’s called Mr Moacir)and when I come back, I’ll stop drinking too! But… we’ll keepshowing our asses on the internet for money, right?
– Of course! Let’s shoot anothervideo together before you go. The Halloween one is doing great.
– I’m in. Now… changing thesubject a bit… what about the crazy guy on the messages? Did hestop bothering you?
Jaqueline gave a deep sigh, her facechanged completely at the memory of the messages.
– I wish. He just sent a new directone today. I’ve already blocked him twice, but he keeps creatingnew accounts. Look at what he sent me earlier, you won’t believeit:
I am down on whores like you and Ishant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work my jobwill be. I’ll give you no time to squeal.
– Oh my goodness, – exclaimedBarbara – this time he’s taken it hard!
– I’m scared, Barbie. I even thought of deletingmy account from OnlyFans, but he also sent me messages on my personale-mail. I don’t even know how he got the address and…
– What’s wrong?
– I heard my mobile phone vibrating. It’s in mybedroom. I’ll get it and be right back.
Jackie got up and climbed the two flights ofstairs that led to her room. The computer camera showed her friend abeautiful room with modern and refined decoration. In the background,she could see the corridor leading to the kitchen, passing throughthe doors of the pantry and the bathroom. Bárbara observed theenvironment, which had been the stage for so many videos of the twoof them, and wondered if it had been a good idea to leave her friendliving in that house alone.
Then Barbara saw something that sent shiversthrough every hair on her body: a shadow was slowly approaching thehallway, coming towards the living room. The girl instinctively puther hand to her mouth and squeezed her eyes shut to understand whatit was. Closer, she could make out a short man wearing a dark coatand a strange tall hat. Barbara shouted as loud as she could, hopingto alert her friend, but soon noticed that the shadow had gone still.The screen was frozen.
“She needs me, he’s going to kill her” – shethought desperately, so she grabbed her car keys and left in a hurry.
In the bedroom, Jaqueline picked up her mobilephone on the bed and saw a new message, “From Jack to Jackie”with a picture attached. She clicked on the arrow design to downloadthe photo, but quickly switched apps, as if trying to escape thegreen bar that was filling up. “I will not see that now. He’strying to terrify me.” Shee scrolled down the Instagram screen fora few moments, looking at various images without really payingattention to any of them, until the scrolling stopped. The internetwas no longer working.
“No, please, not today.”
She stuffed her mobile phone into her pocket andwalked back down the stairs, already worried about her friend who waswaiting for her. The computer screen was on, but the call haddropped.
She looked for the router, forcing her memory toremember where it was. “In the pantry, that’s it. It amazes methat the internet works in this house with the router stocked there.”She hurried down the hall and found the pantry door ajar. She put herarm through the opening, groping the wall for the switch, but thelight didn’t come on. After a snort of indignation, she switched onthe lantern on his mobile phone and entered the dark pantry, going tothe back wall where the router was. No little light was flashing. Sheran her fingers along the back of the device, searching for the powerbutton, but soon noticed something missing.
– Where’s the power cord? This makes no sense.
As she waved the phone to focus the lantern, herhand absentmindedly made the open applications scroll on the smallscreen until the photo Jack had sent her appeared before her.Jaqueline’s eyes widened when she saw the photo was of herself, onher back, sitting at her computer during the video call with Barbara.
The girl ran out in a panic, but barely passedthrough the pantry door and two arms passed in front of her face frombehind. The cable removed from the router squeezed her neck and shefelt a mixture of pain and despair as her attacker tried to strangleher. But Jackie didn’t give in. She propped her feet on thecorridor wall and pushed back with all the weight of her body,causing the man to lose his balance and fall backwards, then ran backinside the pantry and closed the door. She felt two violent kickscoming from the other side, but she pulled one of the large shelves,which was crossed diagonally, blocking the door completely. Now allshe could hear was Jack’s thumps and howls of hatred.
She heard her mobile phone vibrating. Sheinstinctively fumbled in her pockets, but knew it wasn’t there. Thenoise was coming from the corridor. Without it, she couldn’t callfor help and would have to stay there, trapped until someone came. Itdidn’t take long to find an emergency lantern, and she felt alittle more relieved to no longer be completely in the dark. On theother side, she could hear footsteps coming and going. Now and then,the man forced the handle, trying to open it, but soon stopped again.
After along time, Jackie did not know exactly how long, she heard Barbara’svoice calling at the front door of the house.
– ‘Jackie, are you okay? Please answer me! -Barbara shouted as she knocked on the door from outside, – if there’sanyone else there, just know that I’ve called the police andthey’ll be here any minute!
“As soon as they stop laughing and believe mystory about Jack the Ripper,” she thought sadly to herself.
With no answer, she looked apprehensively out thewindows. The lights were on, but there was no sign of life.
Suddenly she heard Jaqueline’s voice. It soundedmuffled and distant. She couldn’t understand it.
– Jackie, where are you?
That was the last thing Barbara said before Jack’sshadow loomed over her. She felt a sharp tap on the back of her headand everything went black.
From inside the pantry, Jaqueline was stillbellowing, trying to alert her friend.
Jackie heard something heavy being dragged downthe hallway towards the kitchen. Just the thought that it could beher friend made her shiver. The girl shouted a few swear words atJack through the door, but got no response of any kind. The fear wasturning into anger.
She looked around for something she could use todefend herself. She found in a toolbox a small pocketknife, which shekept in her pocket, and a very long spanner.
It took a lot of effort to movethe huge shelf back into place, but finally the door was clear. Thefear of what might happen now filled Jackie with adrenaline. She heldthe heavy spanner and stepped out into the hallway. It was then thatshe came across a very bizarre scene.
Jackie heard a squeak, and a smell of food invadedthe hallway. There was blood and the trail followed to the kitchen.There was Jack, on his back, frying something on the cooker.Barbara’s body was on the floor, her stomach had been cut open andher viscera was visible. There was blood everywhere. Jaquelinecovered her mouth to contain the vomit.
– It’s a family recipe – the man had a chokedbut calm voice – my great grandfather brought it from England.
Jack had a round face and a thick, pointedmoustache, and his brown eyes were shaded by the brim of his hat. Hewore a leather apron, all battered and bloodstained. He placed thefrying pan on the table and picked up a huge knife that was alsobloody.
– We might call it an eco-friendly recipe thesedays, because I clean up by killing something rotten in society (likeyou Internet whores) and in return I make a snack out of a piece ofyour kidney.
For a moment, Jackie was detached from reality.She seemed to be in a distant dream, a nightmare that would soon endwith her waking up peacefully in her bed. This couldn’t really behappening.
But the survival instinct was stronger than fear:when Jack attacked her with the knife, the girl reacted and jumpedsideways, dodging the blow. She brandished the spanner in response,but missed too, and at that moment the man made a second strike frombelow that hit her in the ribs, making a deep cut. Jaqueline leanedover the table, bent over in pain.
– It won’t be long now, my dear. I’ll clipyour ears off and send them to the police officers, along with a notewritten with your blood. You’ll be very famous in the end.
Jaqueline felt something hot near her. It was thefrying pan with her friend’s fried kidney, which Jack had justtaken from the fire. She tightened her hand around the frying panhandle and struck with all the strength she had left, hitting Jackright in the face. The man fell to his knees screaming, his handsover his burned face. The girl acted quickly, pulled the pocketknifefrom her pocket and stabbed him in the neck. Blood gushed out,hitting the window over the sink.
It was Halloween. A few teenagers were strollingthrough the streets dressed up as all sorts of horror moviecreatures. The few who noticed a stunned girl walking with herclothes soaked in blood and a pocket knife in her hand, thought itwas just one more person coming from a costume party after drinking alot.
Jaqueline was found by the police three blocksaway from her house, in a state of shock, with an open wound on theside of her thorax and was rushed to hospital. She was only able totalk about what happened two days later.
The bodies of Barbara and Jack were taken away byforensics. The mysterious man was not identified and nobody came toclaim his body, which was cremated as an indigent, along with hisclothes and the knife he used in the crime.