How many had they killed?
I had rested in the room of the madman. I’d even found a bit of food tucked away and some tepid tea. Neither had been particularly appetizing, but it’d done the trick. I’ve eaten worse, and I suspect I’ll do so again.
When I left the madman’s room, I passed through one nearly as large as a football field and found a flight of stairs that led down. The stairs were wider, and the stairwell itself was well-lit.
At the landing, I paused and listened, knife in hand. There was a bit of talk, and a quick glance around the corner showed a trio of soldiers walking away from me, chuckling and passing a small, brown paper bag back and forth. A door to the right clicked shut. On the center of the door was a single word.
That sure as hell didn’t sound like barracks.
Once the soldiers turned a corner, I crossed the hall and let myself in.
I found myself in a brightly lit room with shelves lining the walls. Some of the shelves were occupied by large jars, others by much smaller containers. A counter, much like one might find in a candy shop, stood across the room and was manned by a gentleman with a white uniform. He wore a neatly trimmed mustache, and sweat broke out upon his forehead when he caught sight of me.
There was a lock on the door, so I made good use of it.
He remained still and silent as I walked to him.
I went to speak, but my eyes caught the lettering on some of the larger containers.
H. Daily, 10/1/1889.
L. Bartleby, 9/3/1856.
My gaze went to the smaller jars.
Carried three months, uterine explosion.
Carried six months and two days, collapse of both lungs.
“Take one down,” I whispered.
The man nodded, took hold of a container marked A. Boone, 2/27/1901, and removed the lid.
He winced and did as I commanded.
White hard candy with black swirls tumbled and clattered across the counter.
“You should try one,” he said, voice shaking. “They’re quite good.”
I stared at him, the hatred rising.
“Every girl tastes different,” he continued. “No two are alike. I make sure of that.”
I broke every bone in my hands, beating him to death.
It was worth it.