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Violette and Sam – Part 4: The Dead, By Bryony Anne

Violette is a quiet, creative girl obsessed with death and the idea of preserving beauty; and secretly the mastermind behind a series of murders which has baffled the local police force. Sam, her only friend, wants no more than to make her happy, though to do this he has become her accomplice. Violette and Sam is a psychological thriller following the lives of these two serial killers. A story of characters and of people affected by, and involved in, murder. Each part of the story focuses on one character, among them the killers themselves, the reaper and the dead.

The Dead

There was, of course, a first kill. Not just a first kill, but the first time these minds came together in perfect harmony and laid their own arguments for destructive creativity.

The Reaper thought about her, that first girl, after he left Violette to her sewing. It had been pure good luck that he had found Violette in the retirement home. He had kept an eye on her. He knew that she was at least interesting. Then, when he had caught the scent of that first victim, he knew she was part of something bigger. Something good. And so he took that first girl and waited for the next.

Violette had first seen her outside the town library and had found herself inspired by the way the girl’s hair fell, in ginger waves down her back. She cancelled the rest of her plans for the day and returned straight to her basement to begin sewing. That first dress wasn’t lace like the many to follow. It was black with a layered skirt of both lace and soft tulle in black and amber. She added tiny orange glass beads to the bodice for detail. The dress took her three days to make. During those three days Violette found herself creating the life, and death, of the girl to whom the dress belonged. That girl was August.

August had grown up by the sea in a barely populated village. Her only sibling was a brother who was so much younger than her that they had never even spoken. She had moved to the town where she now lived straight out of school. Catching the first train out, she left to start a new life. She had not spoken to any of her family since.

August was a writer, working on her first novel. It was about a teenage model whose mother had been a beauty queen and died when she was very young. It was about mental instability and the darkness of the truly beautiful. She had been working on it for about a year and it was the closest she had ever got to finishing anything. The novel was vaguely autobiographical, in the way that first novels often are. This was why Violette felt it inappropriate that August should ever actually finish the novel; instead she should drown led by the voices of her own characters. She sewed this character, and this fate, into the dress for those three days before shutting it away in a cupboard.

It was a chance encounter that meant the dress wasn’t shut away forever. Violette had met with Sam in the park so that she could sketch the brand new crocuses before the late frost came to kill them. They sat on the bench in complete silence until Sam was surprised by a slight intake of breath from Violette. The girl to whom the black and amber dress rightfully belonged was passing by. But, alive, Violette didn’t see her as worthy of the dress. As always, she could count on Sam to carry out her every whim and so poor August was seeing her last few days.

Sam began to follow August around. He found that she was actually called Jenny. Jenny had never written anything special in her life and she worked in the big New Look in town. She was not in any way well-spoken or eloquent. Sam had watched her long enough to know, from what he had seen, that she just didn’t have the makings of a writer and didn’t even want to be one. She had probably never even considered it. Jenny had lived in that small town all her life. She had internalised its ignorant and borderline racist ideologies and she could never see herself living anywhere else. All of her family lived within walking distance from her, they always had. In fact her cousin had gone to the same school as Sam and Violette, although neither of them knew that. She had an older brother, an older sister, two younger sisters, three nieces and one nephew. Her father had been left unemployed after the closure of the local factory and her mother worked in a supermarket. They were a close family. She had fond memories of her childhood; she was loved.

But none of this mattered to Violette. She didn’t want to know the reality of the girls’ lives. They were simply her fiction; her stories made manifest.

Even back then Violette applied songs to the girls. As Sam had watched the girl, he had fitted Violette’s song choice to her. Jenny had been tethered to the life she lived by the kite strings of a lack of education and near poverty. August, of course, had floated in the clouds of her own imagination, high above reality.

Either way, that kite ended up floating in the river, dressed in black and amber.

Look out for part 5 of Bryony Anne’s story