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The gaslight flickered across the room, a ragged sort of light that echoed the ragged breathing of the man at the desk.

He dipped his pen in the ink and began to write. After a few words he dropped the pen, cursed, and ran his hands nervously through his hair.

He stood up and paced around the room.

“Dear Boss,” he muttered to himself. “I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they won’t fix me just yet.”

He stopped beside a broken mirror that stood propped against the wall and grinned at himself, a wide, manic and toothy grin.

“No, they won’t fix me just yet,” he muttered.

He paced, muttering and giggling to himself, gesturing and grimacing in the mirror,  until he caught control of his nerves and sat down to write once more. This time, his hand was steady as he wrote out the missive he had planned.

“My knife’s so nice and sharp,” he whispered, “I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good luck.”

He laughed as he signed a name to the letter.

“Jack,” he said to himself. “Jack!”

He left the letter on his desk for the ink to dry and reached for his coat, hat and bag. It was a dark night in London, and a perfect time to prowl.

© Kari Fay

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