• It had been too much for her.

    It had all been too much.

    Waking up. Seeing the look in her mother's eyes, the glance she would take at the photo of her deceased husband, then the forced smile as she handed the daughter she'd never wanted breakfast and said good morning. The way people would look down when she got on the bus, quieting their conversations and stilling their movements. The way school administration greeted her only with glares and whispers that, despite being too low in volume for her ears to eavesdrop on, told her exactly what everyone thought. Grades that kept dropping lower, conversations she was never privy to, invitations she never received. It all built up, albeit slowly.

    You can knock a person off of a cliff eventually, if you only push them a tiny bit occasionally.

    She decided she had no use for people who only thought ill of her, whose only intentions towards her were of harm and deceit. She decided that she would get rid of everyone who didn't love her. She decided to get rid of everyone who feared her, hated her. She decided to get rid of them all.

    Her slow descent into madness was at the same tempo that she took her victims' lives. The beating of a heart, inhales and exhales, the blinking of an eye. Slow, but consistent.

    A knife against a neck to drag one back an alleyway. Powder in their drinks to make them go home with her. Persuasion and blackmail to torment them and wrong them, the same way they tormented and wronged her.

    She hurt them so badly.

    She strung them up, set nails into their palms, shot at their knees, filled their wounds with salt, let them starve for days before feeding.

    Their bodies hung from the ceiling, tethered by ropes worn thin by rats and mold and time. Battered and scarred and bruised, once beautiful faces were forever maimed. Teeth were scattered across the concrete floor, and heavy fans swung round and round, creating a steady rythum that repeated and repeated.

    RIng-around the rosie. . .

    She sat shaking next to her rake and her hammer.

    Pocket full of posies. . .

    She'd made a mistake. A mistake. She'd ruined her revenge, she'd ruined everything.

    Ashes, ashes. . .

    She closed her eyes and scrunched into a little ball. She thought that maybe they wouldn't see her.

    She quaked uncontrollably at the sound of doors swinging open.

    She shook her head at the feeling of the officer's hand on her shoulder.

    She reached for the axe, for her final chance.

    We all fall down.