“Oh God! Cried Bobby, panic running through him as he watched his best friend being butchered by a mad man.
“No, no, no,” Wyatt kept repeating, unable to comprehend the horror of what he was witnessing.
Mildred said nothing as Donnie’s blood spattered over her, soaking her skin and staining it red. She merely wept, knowing the same fate almost certainly awaited her.
Finally, Carlo stood. He was panting from exhaustion, his shoulders heaving. He was covered almost entirely in the dead boy’s blood. But his temper had not yet abated and he turned his attention on Mildred who stood cowering just feet away. Carlo raised the bloodied shard above his head and prepared to thrust it deeply into his wife’s treacherous heart, when suddenly she screamed out. “Carlo, please – Ava!”
“How dare you speak that angel’s name you filthy goddamn whore!” He snarled, mere seconds from striking her down with his makeshift dagger.
“No! I mean, Ava— she’s watching,” Mildred pointed shakily to the study door, “Please don’t let her see you kill me,” she pleaded. She had momentarily forgotten about the child when her husband burst into the room, thinking only of herself, but as she stood awaiting her imminent death, she suddenly remembered – desperately hoping that somehow, the daughter she cared so little for, would turn out to be her last hope of salvation.
Carlo was stunned, the rage vanishing from his eyes as he span towards the door.
And there she stood. Little Ava.
The door was now open and she was standing on the threshold of the library with her dark hair in glossy ringlets and tied with powder blue ribbons. She was wearing a pure white party dress with frilly lace petticoats underneath. The dress was speckled with tiny red droplets; fresh and wet from the bloody shower that had sprayed down upon her from the gash in Donnie’s neck.
Her face was blank, completely without expression, but as her ‘Daddy Carlo’ glared at her, the whites of his eyes shining evilly in a face smothered with blood, he could have been the devil himself. The terrifying vision before her was the final horror. She could not bear any more after all she had witnessed, and all of a sudden she was light-headed. The room began to spin wildly before she passed out, slumping unconsciously to the ground.
Carlo threw the shard aside and ran over to her. He very nearly picked her up but was suddenly aware of the blood that soaked him from head to foot.
“Frankie!” He barked. “Quickly! Pick her up and take her somewhere safe – not up the stairs, there’s too many people. To the kitchen – that’ll be the closest. Stay with her until she wakes – I’ll be there as soon as I can. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Boss.” Frankie said with certainty. Quickly he crossed to where the little girl lay and scooped her up in his arms. Carlo turned away, he could not look at her, not like this, not whilst he was covered in blood and not when there was still more to be spilled. He would not set eyes on her again, would not allow her to see him again, until he was clean and washed and finished with all the murderous work he had yet to carry out that night.
Vito cracked open the door to check that it was safe and nodded to Frankie who carried the little girl across the room and out of the door, which was immediately shut again behind them.
Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here