"I want you to show me," she repeats, anger rising in her voice at my delay. I've been silent for a long time, unable to process the situation.
Looking at the man, I remove the cloth from his mouth and smile at his painful groans. Part of me hopes he'll contradict her version of events to buy me time. What if he admits the crime?
"What is your name?" I ask. My mind whirls while I wait for him to answer. I try to anticipate my next move, but my pulse beats heavy in my brain and I can't concentrate on anything except the thought of seeing his blood spill.
"Harry," he manages to respond.
My eyes turn to Mary and I can see her smiling, an odd calm falling over her features. I'm missing something here.
"I'm going to ask you a simple question. I want you to answer yes or no. Don't give me explanations or excuses. Do you understand me?" I ask.
He nods and I see that fear again in his eyes. I know before I ask the question what his answer will be and it causes me to delay once more. The guilt oozes from his pores, but will he admit it? The men almost never do so there is a small hope he will maintain innocence. Before I ask, I take the knife from her hand. I realize my own hand is shaking and fear creeps up my leg.
"Did you rape this girl?" I ask. I made the question strong to give him room for a lie. Men love to claim the girl wanted it, that she initiated it. Everything other than the truth. I close my eyes and wait. I can't breathe and my head swims.
I can't believe it. My pulse thumps louder and louder and I feel a scream building inside my veins and it's difficult to not give in to the rage and kill him. Opening my eyes, my hands moves and the knife touches his bare skin, sending a thin spray of blood into the air.
"An admission of guilt is a death sentence," I say, closing my eyes again. Taking several deep breaths to calm myself, I put the knife on the bed and meditate for a few moments, trying to find a solution to this problem.
"Do it," Mary says.
"No, I can't kill him and certainly not with this knife." I turn to her and take her face into my hands. "Don't do anything until I get back."
Running from the room, I retrace the path to my bedroom and retrieve my knife and return to the scene in less than two minutes. Mary sits with her legs crossed and I smile that she didn't kill him. Quite the self-control. More than I had at her age. Perhaps more than I have now. I hold the knife out to her and she takes it into her small hands.
"Why this knife?" she asks.
"You wanted me to show you. This is the knife I plunged into my father's neck."
Understanding fills her eyes and without further delay she turns and places the knife against the man's throat.
"Goodbye," she says and drags the blade into his skin, bathing the bed in blood. I feel a tear running down my cheek as the man's life ebbs from him and I can't help feeling proud of her. A rapist gets justice.
Taking the knife from her and putting it on the nightstand, I envelop her in my arms. She begins to sob and I crush her against my chest, trying to take all the hate into me.
"He'll never touch a girl again," I say. I smile and suppress a laugh. What did I just do? I think I gave birth to a vampire and I am so happy right now it almost scares me. Almost.