She still couldn’t shake the previous night’s dream. She held out her hands, spreading her fingers wide, still expecting to see remnants of blood hiding in the spotless creases. In her dream the blood had covered her hands like a pair of macabre gloves, thick drips rolling onto the sensitive skin of her wrist. So real, the metallic smell of the blood was still stuck vividly in her mind, a smell she some how knew intimately. With a shudder she forced herself to concentrate on the fabric samples in front of her.
Pushing her heavy amber colored hair back off her face she glanced around the tasteful décor of her private office. Cool elegant blues and creamy brocades set off by splashes of color created a peaceful, beautiful foil for the calm sophisticated image she had cultivated during her almost fairytale rise at D’être Fashions where she had started out as a fresh faced eighteen year old receptionist and now, ten years later was a senior Fashion Merchandiser with a private office on the fifteenth floor, her own assistant and personal secretary.
She tried to turn her attention back to work but as she picked up a swatch of deep red silk and let it slither seductively over her long fingers she was thrown back into the nightmare of the night before. Her breath came almost as labored as it had in the dream, running, running -not the pursued but the pursuer. The thrill of the chase lingered even in this benign, soft setting, teasing her brain with tantalizing, sordid pleasure not quite snuffed by the conscious thoughts of guilt and horror. Never in her life would she behave like the wild creature she’d felt looking out of her eyes in the dream! Rose Bloomington was pleasant and friendly with a sweet sophistication to guide her gently through life to her goals.
“It’s just stress,” she told herself firmly, jumping slightly at the sound of her own voice in the otherwise empty office. Trying to self analyze as the therapist had taught her years before, she told herself it was too many hours, too many out of town trips and meetings of forced pleasantness while wanting nothing more than to sleep. She knew the human mind would often give people methods to self heal through sleep and dreams. She’d read books on this. Maybe she did have an aggressive side and it only came out in dreams. A quiet weekend at the lake house she’d inherited from her father would be a perfect cure for bad dreams and frazzled nerves. She would call Matt and tell him she needed to take some time alone. He would understand if she cancelled their plans. Matt Stout, a young upcoming banker on Wall Street had proven to be the most attentive, considerate lover she’d had. He was so perfect she’d been afraid at first. Loving was not easy. But then she relaxed and learned to enjoy his company. Besides, none of her boyfriends had ever left her -except Johnny.
“No more sad thoughts!” She told herself firmly. With the promise of a peaceful weekend Rose forced herself back to work and the rest of the day actually sailed by. “I will be unavailable this weekend for anything Dee,” she told her plump blonde secretary as she closed her office door. Dee had a phone glued to her ear and just nodded her head.
On the subway fatigue caught up and she lay her head back, closing her eyes. The sounds overwhelmed her and she forced her mind blank to block the noise. Suddenly a pain shot through her head and the dream came back. She could feel her heart pound as she ran, not with exertion but with an animal excitement. The chase was the best. She could hear him sobbing as he ran, stumbling every few feet. Of course he was stumbling, the fool! Not that she cared but why would he try to run when he had already been stabbed at least seven times? Her hand was slippery on the knife handle and as she licked a drop of sweat off her lip she caught the scent of blood. The next scene in her mind she stood over his still body. She dropped the knife on the ground and slowly held her hands up, staring at the blood as it oozed between her fingers. The excitement was gone and now, a deep sadness filled her. Why? Why did it have to be this way…is the last dream thought she remembered before she woke up covered in sweat.
Now, the pain was so intense she grabbed her head in her hands. “No, oh god no, no, no!” she heard someone screaming. She wanted to scream at them to shut up, her head hurt. But the yelling continued. She shook her head from side to side and suddenly she felt someone grab her by the shoulders, slamming her back. Her eyes opened in horror. Anything could happen on the subway! Two strangers were holding her down and she realized it was her own voice screaming. What was happening? What were they doing to her? She kicked and screamed but couldn’t move.
“Rose! Rose! You have to hold still!” Someone said in her ear. And then she felt it. The prick of a needle made her scream even more. Not from pain but from the knowledge someone was controlling her.
“Oh God, no, no more….” She heard her own voice starting to fade. In a daze she listened to the conversation over her head.
“Yep Rose is something. Did you ever hear her story? We got her after the Matt Stout murder. Chased him down and stabbed him over fifty times they said. Wasn’t much left of him when they found her standing over him either.” Another person mumbled something Rose couldn’t understand.
“What?” Rose tried to speak but it came out a mutter. What were they talking about? Rose Bloomington wouldn’t hurt anyone. She felt herself slipping further away, the voices fading but still audible.
“She told the police, “My boyfriends don’t leave me!” That was it. Turns out her first boyfriend died in a boating accident out on her daddy’s lake when she was sixteen. Had three boyfriends after who went missing but no one ever could pin anything on her until a couple years later. Matt Stout was her mistake. He was too well known, too important. When he went missing people went searching. That’s when they finely went out to her daddy’s lake property and found the bodies. Drug that lake and there they were. Including her father.”
The two orderlies looked back at the bed where Rose lay securely buckled down so she couldn’t hurt herself or anyone else. “Sad,” the plump blonde nurse shook her head. ” Such a pretty little thing. Who would have thought Rose Bloomington would be one of the worst female serial killers of our time?”
“So how long has she been here?” The younger male orderly hung the chart on the door then carefully locked the door behind them.
“Oh we’ve had her about ten years. She never even made it through the trial. She was eighteen, right after the Matt Stout killing.”
Rose felt herself sliding under. What was Dee saying? How could she tell such lies about her boss? Rose thought it was time to get a new secretary.