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He'd told her his name was Jack, and smiled in seeming humility as she tittered and fanned herself in mock terror; stunned, she'd claimed, by his audacity. He assured her he meant no harm, his mother had named him long before the name fell out of favour, and really why should his name concern her? Surely a woman of her obvious breeding and class had nothing to worry about. She had fluttered her eyelashes in a fair approximation of innocence, and whispered softly that all of her favourite men were named John. It wasn't a good joke by any means, but he'd laughed with something approaching humour, and assured her that he would answer to John if she preferred.

She'd told him her name was Marie Jeanette, but the thick Irish burr underneath her obviously affected high class accent gave the lie to her story. At some point in her life she might have seen the shores of France, but she was no French lady down on her luck. Jack had gone along with her, muttering consolations for the unfortunate fates of the downfallen, and it had taken little more than a few sweet words and a flash of loose coin to earn him an invitation back to her room.

His heart was beating much too quickly in his throat, and his palms had begun to sweat by the time they'd made it to Miller's Court where she made her home. She'd reached her arm through a broken pane of glass in the window beside the door and slid the bolt to unlatch the lock, beckoning him to follow her into the dimly lit single room with a flutter of fingertips and a coy smile over her shoulder. She'd turned to watch him in the dim light of the oil lamp she had lit, wasting no more pretty words on mock innocence as she began slowly unfastening her dress with practiced ease. She folded her garments carefully one by one as she removed them, placing them neatly on a chair until she stood before him fully naked, and unashamed. Jack found himself having to bite the inside of his lip to keep from laughing at this needless attempt at cleanliness. Godliness from a whore.

He studied her body in the lamp light and knew that other men would have called her beautiful. Her bright blue eyes shone with a light that was more cunning than intelligent, but still arresting. Her hair was brushed back into soft curls that fell in golden brown ringlets to frame her open face. At only 25, she was just beginning to show the first signs of hard living, a few fine wrinkles on an otherwise smooth pale skin. The playful smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose served more to accent her almost innocent beauty than to detract from it, and her ample breasts rose round and firm from her chest, as yet untouched by gravity's relentless pull. Other men would have called her beautiful, but Jack knew that was a lie. She had potential, she could be beautiful. But not as she was.

She laid back on her bed, legs spread wide at just the right angle to draw the eye to the thick dark curls crowning her mound. She smiled, placed one finger in her mouth and sucked on it lightly before pulling it out and slowly tracing her bottom lip. She trailed her hand down her throat, pausing to trace one dark brown nipple, cupping her breast and pinching lightly to tease it to alertness. She eyed him up and down with a raised eyebrow, noting his still fully-clothed state with the first hint of dawning confusion. She wasn't used to a man following her home only to play hard to get.

Jack stood over her, studying her, heedless of the growing concern in her eyes. In his mind's eye he saw her as she could be, saw the real woman, the secret woman buried deep inside, and he smiled and moved forward as he finally felt the first stirrings of interest in his cock. He reached into his jacket pocket, gripped the gleaming blade he kept hidden within. He could feel it warming against his palm, until it seemed almost like a living being, an extension of himself that was more than just a simple tool. He kept his grip tight on the blade as he carefully slipped off his jacket and tossed it to the side. The blade swung open with a practiced flick of his wrist, and glittered momentarily in the light, hanging almost frozen in the air before he lunged forward, swinging the blade down before the woman had a chance to fully realise what was about to happen.

The blade was fresh and sharp, and it slid through the thin flesh of her throat with deceptive ease. Air sputtered from the woman's severed vocal chords in a hot rush, an almost audible groan as she stared up at him, mouth opening and closing in disbelief even as she watched her own arterial spray spatter across the wall. The man grinned down at her, spun the blade in his hand and swiped it a second time across her throat, his arm jarring as he struck bone. He wrenched the blade free, hands shaking almost imperceptibly as blood shot across the room, landing hot and thick with a soft sizzle on the glass cover of the lamp. The room was now bathed in a crimson glow, and Jack bit his lip to fight back his own breathless groan. Red spattered on the walls, on the bed, on his face and the face of the woman he worked on. A thick drop ran down her forehead and pooled at the corner of her unseeing eye, and Jack shivered with excitement.

He paused for a moment, holding his breath and straining into the pseudo-silence of the city around him. Something dark and wild inside him screamed at him to keep going, to move forward, to continue his work, but he held himself still and listened. The last thing he needed was to be interrupted at this moment in time. Finally, after what felt like hours but could only have been a moment, Jack was content that no one had heard anything suspicious, and he allowed himself to return to his task of releasing the hidden beauty only he had seen.

He began as he always did, slicing down the chest and through the stomach. He peeled a large chunk of flesh away, opening the cavity to the air for the first time. He gripped thick ropes of warm intestines in his hand and pulled them out, coiling them neatly to the side of her body as he opened the space within her. Carefully he reached past the intestines until he found her uterus, that most sacred of organs. He cupped it in one hand, holding it lightly as he slid the bloodied blade around the organ, severing its connection to her body until he was able to pull it free. He cradled the organ in his hand before he gently, lovingly, placed it to the side of her head. He took up the blade again, laying the sharp edge against her chest as he carefully pressed the blade into her flesh. Blood pooled around the blade, running sluggishly down her side as he carefully twisted the blade in a slow circle around the base of her left breast, cutting and pulling until the heavy mound of blue-black muscle and gleaming white fat was pulled free. He raised the breast to his lips, kissed it gently, traced his tongue against the marbled flesh of the aureola. His lips tasted coppery sweet as he pulled the breast away from his mouth and placed it reverently beside the uterus. The second breast was removed with equal care, and once again he suckled at the cooling flesh before laying it down between her feet.

His hands had stopped shaking, and he moved with quiet ease, slowly thrusting his blade into her unyielding body. Blood soaked into the thin mattress beneath him, and pooled lazily around the foot of the bed as he continued his work. One by one each organ was removed from its prison and placed in a more appropriate location. Again and again he shoved himself into her as he worked his art. Finally, after hours of creation, he stopped. He was panting quickly, sticky with a thin film of blood and sweat that coated his face and ran down the back of his neck. Below him, where once an ordinary woman had been, was a glorious work of art. His hands traced her clammy skin one final time, rubbing over limitless tiny nicks and cuts and deep craters, assuring himself that his creation was as glorious as he could make it. Finally, for the first time since he had begun his fevered quest, he felt calm. He smiled to himself as he bent forward to place a chaste kiss on the forehead of what had once been Mary Jane Kelly. Satisfied, he shrugged into his jacket, and pulled it closed over the mess of his clothes. With a soft tuneless whistle he let himself out of 13 Millers Court, and into the uncaring darkness of the Whitechapel night.