Chapter 2, Echoes

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I walk with unsure steps to the front door, feeling the heavy weight of the razor in my pocket. I’m not sure where I’m going. I just know I need to get away from here. I hope that Johanna will not worry much when she wakes and I am not there. I did leave a note.

                Need some air, be back shortly –Toby

                It must be about six now, so I potentially have about an hour to walk. I walk down a dark street, thinking about what I have just discovered. Johanna’s father is Sweeney Todd.  Sweeney Todd is Johanna’s father. No. No, it’s all wrong. Those words just don’t go together. Johanna is the definition of loving and selflessness. Sweeney is a heartless killer.

                My hand moves down to the pocket of my trousers, dipping inside and coming out with the gleaming silver of the haunted weapon. With a flick of my wrist, the blade swings out and shines in the faint glow from the moon. I look around quickly, looking to see if anyone is watching me. No one is here.

                I slide my first finger across the blade in one slick motion- testing how sharp it is. When I bring my hand away from it, I see a line full across my finger dotted with red bubbles. I gasp quietly at the sight. It had swept below my skin so easily. The little bubbles of red grow and connect. I close the blade and put in back in my pocket, then stick my bleeding finger in my mouth to staunch the flow.   

                I have walked very far. I hope that I can find my way back to the house without getting too terribly lost. A tear falls from my eye. Not because of the pain of the cut- I have been beaten many times by Mr. Pirelli, and this by comparison is nothing- but because of a different pain, in my heart. I feel betrayed. “The man killed Mr. Turpin.” She said. “The man”. Her father.

                It feels as though someone has sliced my heart with the razor. That lying witch. She knew that she was connected to the murderer this way and she kept it from me.  

                I drop to my knees on the cold stone road and tears flow from my eyes just as easily as the blood flows from my finger. I look up at the dark sky and sob.

                I look at the blank brick buildings surrounding me- some are hollow and gaping, some have signs promising beautiful dresses or quality meat. I shudder as I remember that Mr. Todd put the bodies of his victims in the meat pies. I still hold on to the hope that Mrs. Lovett didn’t know that. It would be too terrible a thought to know she allowed that to happen. I even ate the pies. I ate the bodies of innocent humans.

                I fall forward and gag as I remember. Sweat beads on my forehead and on the back of my neck.

                Finally the gagging ceases, although the horrible nausea refuses to subside. I stand up and walk farther down the street, trying to focus on slowing my heart-beat. But it is futile, as the second I look up street sign, my heart takes off again. I am about to cross onto Fleet Street.

                I step wearily onto the street. I look across and see the shell that was Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop. I can still see the ghost of her dancing inside, singing and cooking and being beautiful. Tears sting in my eyes. For a painful moment I consider going inside. To get the taste of the loving mother Mrs. Lovett was to me, one last time. But chances are the bodies of Mr. Todd’s victims are still in there, moldering away in the basement. An echo of Mrs. Lovett’s screams ring through my mind.

                I breathe in a lungful of the musty street air and walk up to the haunted building. I hesitantly grasp the cold knob and turn- half expecting it to be locked. Of course, it is not, and the door swings open with a squeal. A putrid smell of decomposing hits me like a punch to the gut. I look over my shoulder, feeling an immediate instinct to turn right around and run back into the loving arms of Johanna and Anthony.                                                                                                            

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