Satanicus Part One
By: Matt Wall

My name is Anne.

I have been gone from Miss Kat's House of Haute Couture for awhile, but once they released me, I had no where else to go. I had to come back here. I don't trust Miss Kat, but, there is no one else to trust. I am completely and utterly alone.

Miss Kat's mansion is very beautiful. I think that's why I fell in love with the place initially. It has that whole mid–century modern vibe going on. I open the door and walk through. I can see what happened before. My memories flash vividly in my minds eye. Everything flashes. My old, crappy, brown leather suitcase. The look in my eyes. The dryness of my mouth. My throat closing. My arm feeling heavy, so heavy. It feels like it coming out of the socket…

That's the rug. There. In the foyer. That's where the murder happened. That's where he died.

I can feel my eyes burning. I need to blink. I need to shut them. Why won't they shut? Please?

Someone cleared their throat behind me and I wanted to scream.

It's Miss Kat. Her eyes are so bright and intense. The blue of them can pierce through me. Her brows… Her brows are so perfect. The arch… they are so neatly manicured it adds so much menace and frustration to me. To my soul. Her hands shot out at me! I wanted to get away, but she is much too fast. She grabs my hands and pulls them towards her and couches them under her breasts.

"I am so glad that you have returned, my darling. The others will be so happy to see you. We were all so worried."

Her über posh, British accent makes her sound as hateful as it it does full of class and sophistication. She towers over me as she leads me down the hall. I look down and see her black spiked high heels that are echoing her footsteps. That may be why she is towering over me, but I feel like even if she was barefoot she would be the same height. Her posture is so perfect. Like she has a broom shoved all the way up…

"Hurry, Anne. Put your things in your room. We haven't changed a thing in it."

I stare blankly at Miss Kat. She somehow vanishes around the corner without moving. There is a ghostly scent in the air. It is so familiar. It dawns on me. It is the perfume I wore that night…

I can hear something… something creeping. It is slowly getting louder. It's a scream. It's mine. It's my scream. I can hear it, but my mouth is shut. I am not making any noise. It's from that night. It's the memory of my screams. I hear a crack and feel pain, pain in my mouth. I didn't realize it, but I have been clenching my jaw so tightly that I think I just chipped one of my teeth. Miss Kat must not find out. My legs are so weak. I can't hold myself up. I fall backwards, but the wall catches me. I didn't think that it was going to be this hard coming back.

There I am! I'm standing right over there. Oh, that's my favorite dress. The long violet dress. I look so happy, my eyes are so bright. Gene! I haven't seen Gene since…

He looks so good. So handsome. That is our first kiss. It is so soft and gentle, but the longer it goes, the more passion is being built up. The kiss is so intense. I can feel the burn on my chin from his light stubble as it grounds into my soft flesh.

No. We can't make it to the bedroom. It has to be here. It has to be now. We don't care, just fall onto the floor, onto the Persian rug. My violet dress is pushed up around my hips and we become one. Our eyes are locked onto each other. Our bodies move with such ferocity…

I'm biting my lip.

Gene stops. Face frozen. Mouth hanging open, eyes so wide. I can feel my the corners of my mouth curl up. I know his pleasure. But… somethings wrong.

I look deep into Gene's eyes and the whites are suddenly exploding with little pink veins. The white turns to red. Dark red. He's gasping. Choking. Drool falls out of his mouth on my face, but I don't turn away. The light that was behind his pupils is fading. It's not there anymore! The center of his eyes are just dots! Black dots! Nothing more.

I can feel Gene getting off of me. But, he's not doing it. His purple face his getting farther away from mine. Scarf… Bright red scarf. It looks so tight. It's around his neck! His skin, the discolored skin, it's like it's swallowing the scarf. It's enveloping it. My eyes follow the scarf to the ends. Black gloves! Black leather gloves. I want to scream just as I see the face of the one behind Gene. That horrible face. It's red and black. Its eyes are a bright, disgusting yellow. Glowing. They are piercing me, my soul! I want to scream so badly but there is no air in my lungs. I search for some. Anywhere. Nothing.

I see the black leather clad hands open.

Gene falls on me, the lifeless corpse that was Gene, and as it does, it finally pushes the air out of me. I scream. So loud. Blood–curling scream…

"Please, Anne!"

The voice brought me back.

"Anne. Now."

It was Miss Kat. I was only me again.

"Hurry, Anne. Put your things in your room. We haven't changed a thing in it."


She was right. My room looks exactly like it did. Nothing has changed. It's not a very a big room, but it's the biggest room that I have ever had. It's so simple. There is just my small, twin bed in the center, a short dresser against the wall and the closet. The closet is my favorite part. The doors are giant mirrors and they slide from side to side. I have spent so many hours in front of that mirror, trying different things on and spinning around, watching the fall of dresses…

"I'll leave you to it," Miss Kat says. "Dinner will be soon. Come if you're up to it." And with a smile, she closes the door.

I lay on my bed. I never realized how much I missed it until now. I slowly sink into it and it feels like huge soft arms cradling me. I can feel my lips smile and my eyes close. My smile begins to go away, though. I can feel my brow crinkle. Something isn't right. I can't put my finger on it. I turn my head to my right and feel warm air against my skin. I feel someone's breath.

My eyes open and my heart stops for only a split second, but it's enough to make me short of breath. Mahogany is inches from my face. "What's your problem?" She asks with a forceful tone. "Just relax, please, or else this stay is going to be awful… for all of us!"

I gasp and jump from the bed. I turn to look back at her, and she isn't there.

I dart into the hallway and pull my door shut behind me. I make sure that I don't slam it, the last thing I want is the other girls to come and find me. I can't decide if I want a drink or if I want to go to the bathroom. I hate making decisions. That was the one good thing about the hospital; they decided everything for me. There was a weird freedom in not having any freedom.

My throat is still dry. Water it is. I only take a couple steps before I can hear voices. I know the voices. They aren't friends of mine, but I have heard them before. One of the voices is Miss Kat. One sounds very flamboyant. The last one sounds mean and older. I know where the voices are coming from. Miss Kat's sitting room. I need to pass it to get to the kitchen…

I hug the wall with my back and inch my way closer. Their voices are getting louder and more obnoxious. I peak in. Miss Kat is sitting with her two friends, Jake and Dawna. I remember them now. I hate them. I never had to talk to them, but I remember many nights I would lie awake in bed and hear the roar of their laughter echo through this empty place.

Jake is young, gay man. His hair is a frizzy mess and he has a huge nose. He has gotten where he is just based on being louder than anyone else in any given room. Dawna, on the other hand is a beautiful, yet aging blonde who has skated by her whole life on her looks and her families fortune. They are ‘perfect friends' for Miss Kat.

Suddenly, everything is quiet. There is no noise at all. Where did they go? Have they gone? I wrench my neck around the corner to see, but to my horror, the three of them sit quietly, staring at me.

"Is everything all right, dear?" Miss Kat asks.

I come out from my hiding place and nod.

Miss Kat turns to her friends and whispers. I take the opportunity and walk quickly away, but am stopped.

"Wait, darling," Miss Kat demands. "Come over here. Old friends want to look at you."

I stop my escape, but stand still. I start to look over my shoulder, back at them, but, decide against it.

Miss Kat's tone changes to a deeper, darker, order. "Come." She snaps her fingers repeatedly. "Please."

Slowly I turn and walk across the large room, stopping just a few feet from them. Dawna and Jake quickly rise to their feet and look me up and down like I am some sort of attraction at a freak show. They walk around me, lift my arms up over my head. Jake even gets down on his hands and knees to examine my calves and ankles.

Jake sits back on the floor looking up at me. "I don't know…"

Dawna though, places her hands on her hips and says, "I'll have to change a lot of it to make this work."

Jake shakes his head. "I don't know…"

Miss Kat stomped her foot and says, "I just need you two to make this happen."

Dawna squints her eyes at me and takes a step closer. She points at me and shakes her finger inches from my face. "You better not tell me that you have ever had any rice! If you do…"

Miss Kat interrupts, jumping to her feet. "She is fine. There is nothing to worry about." She looks at me strangely and gently pushes my hair behind my ear, then runs her fingertips down my spine and rests her hand on the small of my back. "Not with this one."

Jake jumps up from the floor clapping his hands together loudly. "Look at me! Look at my eyes. Now, look at my finger, follow it."

I do all the things he asks.

"I do like your eyeballs! A great deal, really," Jake says.

"You better not tell that you have ever had rice! If you do…"

"That will be all," Miss Kat says, kindly. "Leave now."


Once I was back in my room, I thought for sure that Mahogany would jump out at me. She didn't. She wasn't there. I sit down on my bed and sigh with relief. I blink my eyes and in that second, the whole complexity of my room changed from quiet serenity to madness. Dawna stands before me. She holds a tape measure and looks very unhappy.

"Down to your skivvy's! I have to take new measurements!"

Confusion floods my face. I don't understand.

"Do you realize what I have to do today? Obviously not, otherwise you wouldn't be moving like a like dead skunk on the side of a sideways highway!"

I don't understand what that meant, but I stand up and disrobe for her anyway. I stretch my arms out to the sides and with my best posture, I stand up straight and hold chin high. Dawna measures my inseam, waist, hips, bust and arms. She wraps the tape measure around my neck and pulls it tightly across my throat.

"If you move too much I might slip and strangle you until your pretty little head falls off and spill all sort of nasty red juice over the damn carpet."

I can feel my lower lip quivering.

"That means don't move!"

Dawna takes the last measurement and laughs. "Like breaking a comb." She laughs again, louder this time and leaves the room, shutting the door behind her.

I need a shower. I need to wash the weirdness off of me. I can't think straight. My head is foggy. In the bathroom, I look in the mirror and see something else that troubles me. There are two letter written in red lipstick. G and R…

I turn on the water and wait for it to get really hot. I want the water to boil my thoughts away. I want my skin to turn bright red. I want to feel like I can't take it anymore, then stay under the water a little longer.

The steam makes it to where I can barely see the other side of the bathroom. That's perfect. The water screeches my skin as I get in. My muscles finally loosen. Have I been this tense ever since I got back? I close my eye and tilt my head back. The water scolds my skin as I stand beneath it. I begin to lather my body, but I feel like there are many hands running across my flesh in an attempt to clean me. So many…

I open my eyes and I'm alone. My muscles tighten up once more. I turn off the water, step out and pull the curtain closed. In front of the mirror, I stand once again, staring at those two letters, G and R…

The curtain flies open and Grier, the shortest girl in the mansion, stops out and passed me. She yells, "Ears! Ears! Get the hell out of here! Are you deaf?"

I don't understand what just happened.

To Be Continued…


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