Thursday, 5 April 2007
03:00:38 AM (GMT)
There was no business that evening. Tatiana had gone at sunset as usual, wearing the
dress she had purchased especially for her activities in the cover of darkness.
Strolling the lamplit streets always inspired a feeling of mystery. She only knew her
clients by the first names they provided, and they by her short name, Tianna. It had
always seemed to add to the aura of herself, the shroud she kept over her identity.
But her attempts had been ruined tonight. She had seen a man around alleyways, but he
was always accompanied. She could make out the faces of the women, the first was
Elizabeth, and the second was Catharine. This seemed odd, as the man was dressed the
same, but was with different ladies as the night progressed. Usually a man came and
went as quickly as possible, either because of cost or shame. Maybe there were two
identically dressed men, but in this district it seemed unlikely. He looked quite
wealthy and respectable for an average client. But when she saw him again, he seemed
to be leaving the district. So as not to seem like she was spying, she ducked into an
alleyway at his approach. He paused under the glow of a lamp, and she saw he was
drenched in a substance that had darkened his clothing considerably. He clutched
something in his hand, and upon her scrutiny, she saw what it was. The man tucked the
knife somewhere within the folds of his cloak. Tatiana's heart thudded in her throat
so loudly it seemed the whole of London could hear it. And maybe the man did, because
his glittering eyes rested on her for what seemed like years before he moved on.
Tatiana may have fainted then, because the next thing she knew, she was still in the
alley she had been in earlier. She rubbed her eyes before getting to her feet and
heading home. In the middle of her street, she was halted by Pruny.
"Out on a stroll already, pet? You must have heard the news, then."
Curious, Tatiana played along.
"No, I haven't. But what could be so interesting for you to find?"
She said this with a hint of sarcasm, because there was nothing that got past Pruny.
"'Lizbeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes went missin'. You know anything 'bout it?"
Tatiana took a faltering breath, recalling the man drenched in blood.
"Why'd I know anything 'bout them, widow Prunell? T'ain't my concern to associate
with those two."
But she decided she wouldn't leave that evening.