The heavy, grey clouds look as if they're about start pouring rain at any moment. It's such a dreary day, although the pigs don't seem to mind. They're as lively as ever, especially the little ones, which are trotting around my feet. The adults swirl in the mud contentedly. In a way, I envy them. I don't think I've ever been satisfied in my life.

That's going to change though, isn't it, yes?

'Yes.' I say aloud, breaking into a grin.

I go back inside my house to find the entrails I got from yesterday. Although playing with them won't be as thrilling as it used to be, at least I'll have a bit of fun while I decide how I'm going to carry out my plan.

'There it is.'

When I open the rags they're held in, I can't stop myself from being disappointed. They have already begun to fester, and maggots are writhing within. Now what am I going to do to pass the time?

I toss the spoiled innards outside for the pigs, which snort in delight as they eat them up.

'Lucky bastards.'

Spotting the knife on the table, I decide to try something out. I pick it up and observe its shiny blade. My mother insists that it be kept clean. I take in a big breath as I press the blade down on the tender skin of my forearm and then slowly drag it across, splitting the skin and spilling blood on the floor. When I'm done, I take a good look at my work. There's a red gash on my forearm that looks like a bloody mouth. I jam a finger as deep as I can inside the wound to see if I enjoy the sensation. Tears spring to my eyes. As expected, self inflicted pain isn't something I get a kick out of. No, it has to be someone else doing the deed.

'Ingrith!'

Shocked, I jump. 'M-mother. You're home.'

'What happened to your arm? Oh, Ingrith, I told you to be careful when handling knives. What were you using it for anyway?'

I shake my head. 'Nothing... I-I was just looking at it.'

Mother sighs. 'You really are so careless Ingrith. You better wash off the blood and wrap it up.'

'Yes, mother. I'll do that.'

'You know, I'm happy to see you haven't been to the butcher's today. Offal isn't good for you.'

I smirk. 'Do you really think I eat it?'

The smile on my mother's face vanishes. 'W-what do you mean? What else would you do with it?'

I can't tell her the truth, so I lie smoothly. 'I feed it to the pigs, mother.'

'Oh!' her smile returns. 'So that's what you do. Well, isn't that good of you.'

The sun has finally set so I leave the house with the knife hidden safely within my cloak. The time has come for me to carry out my plan. It's very simple. All I have to do is kill someone. Now I just have to figure out who that person will be.

Although it's dark, it isn't curfew yet so there are still a scarce number of people milling about and a few of the shops are still open. Ah, I see the barber all alone in his shop. Perhaps I should kill him, or maybe the drunkard sleeping in front of the tavern. If I kill him in his sleep then he won't feel any pain, right?

Neither of these men have done anything bad to me, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to get what you want. I've made up my mind; the drunkard it shall be.

My red hair swirls in the cold wind of the night as I approach his slumbering form. He's snoring very loudly and the stench of alcohol on his breath and clothes is so strong that I may become intoxicated myself. I retrieve the knife from its sheath on my belt and kneel before the sleeping man. One arm is thrown over his face and his legs are sprawled out freely. All of a sudden, a feeling of excitement washes over me like a wave.

This is it. The key to your dreams, Ingrith.

'I hope I'm not dreaming.'

I tear open his throat with one swift motion of the knife. Blood spurts in my face and I open my mouth to let it in, giggling as I do so. It's so warm, so warm.

Your fantasy awaits.

Gulp. I can feel the warm liquid flowing down my throat. Does it make me obscene that I enjoyed this? My whole body begins to tremble and I begin to weep, but I don't know whether my tears are due to sadness or joy for I am both happy and sad.

Stop crying. He felt nothing.

I wipe away my tears and peck him on the lips. 'Thank you. Your death was not for nothing. I shall be punished for it severely. Thank you. Thank you.' I'm raining kisses all over his face. He deserves them all. Because of him, I will be able to meet my prince in red once again.

It's going to be like a fairytale. You, him and the whole town watching as he destroys you.

I laugh. Some men stumble out of the tavern. It takes them a while but they eventually spot me and the dead man resting on my lap. I expect them to start shouting, but they are quiet. Are they in disbelief?

'Do arrest me, or call the constable if you will. I must be punished for my crime.'

One of them bursts into hysterical laughter. One of them is sick. The rest look at me with horror in their eyes.

Oh, yes, I'm definitely going to pay for this.

...

My eyes are red from crying. Today is the day. I'm going to die and yet I feel alive for the first time in a long time, maybe in my entire life. Never before have I felt so happy. I'm going to be reunited with him, the executioner, at last. I've been in the gaols for three days now, stuck in the squalor and hopelessness of criminals like myself. It's so dark in here. I want so badly to see the sun on his fair hair.

When I am led out of prison and into the centre of town, I see that all the townsfolk have gathered to witness my death.

Like witnesses at a wedding.

'Yes, like witnesses at a wedding.' I say to myself dreamily.

They're jeering at me, saying hurtful things, but their words don't touch my heart or soul. No words can hurt me now. I catch sight of my mother in the crowd. She's standing next to Wren. Both of them are crying. I look away, unable to bare seeing them so sad.

When I finally reach the stage where my death is to be carried out, I notice that something isn't right - no, that's an understatement - something is terribly wrong. Not only is the executioner not up there waiting for me, but it appears that I'm not going to be decapitated at all.

I freeze on the spot as fear snakes through me. No... this can't be.

'Move it!' orders the guard escorting me. He drags me up the steps to the gallows.

What is happening? This isn't how I planned it! No! No! I don't want to be hanged. There's no pleasure in that for me. I was supposed to be torn apart, dismembered, mangled by the executioner, not hung. There's nothing sensual about being asphyxiated.

I break down in tears as a noose is fixed to my neck. Damn it! It's not even coarse enough to make the skin of my neck raw! Oh, this is the end. Before a hood is pulled over my head to cover my face, I get a glimpse of a familiar face in the crowd. It's no other than my beloved executioner. His hair is reflecting the sunlight as it did the first time I saw him.

You'll never see him again.

I'm crying so hard that I may just die by choking on my own tears. At any second, I'll fall and either my neck will break or I'll suffocate.

Brace yourself.

The crowd cheers as I fall through.

'Aaaack!'

My neck didn't break, oh I can't breathe, oh the pain it's like my head will pop off, my neck, take off this rope, I'm ... I can't... at least let me go to hell when this is over.