Violet, Violet, Violet – I think of her still and my heart pounds, blood surges through my veins, and I restrain myself for fear of sexual release. Ahh, she was the definition of beauty, mystery, strength, elegance, and danger. Her energy flows through me still, thoughts of her trumping all others.
Oh Violet, to hold you again, to feel you wrap yourself around me, and squeeze me ever so gently. This is the thought that possesses me; consumes me. But what about Michael? Oh sweet, innocent Michael, a babe born unto this world through no wish of his own, but sent to me through the impulsive passion of an evening spent with a stranger. I remember the first time I held him. His blue eyes and infant coo cut through me like a razor, melting the rigid ice that had encased my heart for so many years. The emotional scars I’d carried healed. The apathy I’d felt toward love vanished. I fed him, rocked him, and sang him the sweetest lullabies.
I loved my son as much as I loved Violet. I say loved because he is no longer with us. Violet took him. She knew I loved him and she wouldn’t compete for my love, so she took him. It happened while I was asleep. Michael was in a deep in slumber in his nursery. Violet was downstairs, but somehow crept in silence during the night and took him without a sound. I wonder what I was dreaming about when it happened? Was I in a far away land somewhere with Violet? Was I reading or singing to Michael? Or was I dreaming about this day – the day I’d be writing to you from a prison cell? This day before I would take my own life and be reunited with my son. They say it was my fault; my carelessness, and perhaps it was, but I know Violet could have stopped herself if she wanted. I know she could have simply fallen back to sleep and not slinked upstairs in the darkness. I don’t believe she hated Michael. She just wanted all my love for herself. I forgive you Violet. I still love you.
They call me a monster. They say I have no remorse. I say I have love. I have love for Michael and I have love for Violet. How could they ever expect me to turn on her? I needed to protect her, so that’s exactly what I did.
The morning Nancy came to collect our son was like any other. It was sunny, coffee brewed, birds sang, but Michael didn’t cry. I peered through the crack of the nursery door and expected to see him deep in his infant slumber. He was gone. Time stopped for me in that moment. I was a slave to panic. Sweat poured, my body shivered, and my heart thumped so loud and so fast I thought it might leap through my torso or explode inside of it. The empty crib held my gaze for an eternity. It was all just a bad dream, wasn’t it?
I searched everywhere. He was only six months old. He couldn’t have gotten out on his own. I raced downstairs and checked the doors. They were still securely locked. I spun around, searching for any sign of him. I yelled. I screamed. I begged God to let me find him. Had I been Lindbergh reincarnated? I took a deep breath and held it. Cracking my eyelid, it smacked me like brick across the face. Violet lay sleeping. She hadn’t even been roused in my panic. She was in the same spot I’d left her the night before. I found myself staring at her like I did every morning, enchanted by her beauty. Her energy surged through me as it often did. Her graceful calm provided some comfort in my time of angst. Then I saw it. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I blinked several times as I worked my gaze slowly down the length of her body inch by inch. She was so beautiful, with her golden head surrounded by the loveliest shades of lavender, a perfectly patterned tail, speckled with dark purple spots. The scientists call it python reticulatus, but to me she was more than just a genus, name, or species. She was the most heavenly reticulated python on the planet.
I peered over the top of the tank and discovered what I dreaded, eight inches of screen folded back from the corner where it had been secure the night before. I gently roused my girl and lifted her gingerly from her coiled comfort, caressing her smooth, soft scales.
Laying her down on the floor next to me, I uncoiled every inch of her eighteen feet. She’d eaten a decent sized pig only three days earlier, so she couldn’t have been hungry, yet there it was, right at foot seven, the telltale bulge of a very recently ingested meal. The lump this morning was too large to be the pig. I was certain it was Michael.
The pace of my heart quickened once more, forcing me to act hastily. I plotted an ingenious scheme and worked feverishly to see that I’d covered all of my bases. I placed Violet back in her tank and performed a quick screen repair. Then, I used a crowbar and pipe wrench to break the locked front door. I thought better than to disturb any item that might indicate it was a robbery. A kidnapping is how I’d position it to the police.
My frantic phone call to 911 was followed by one to Nancy. Pretending Michael had been kidnapped made it easier to play the part. I was distraught. My boy was gone. Those blue eyes would never gaze upon me again. It wasn’t hard to cry.
The officers moved quickly and asked questions I hadn’t considered like: Was there a ransom note? Who were my enemies? Who would have something to gain by taking our baby? Why wasn’t I awoken by the intrusion? I manufactured answers to all of their questions. It seemed to satisfy them, momentarily at least. Nancy wasn’t so kind.
“How could you let this happen?’ she screamed. “How could you let our baby be stolen while you slept in the next room?”
I didn’t respond. I simply sat and wept. It was a very believable cover, and throughout the entire ordeal, not once had they even asked about Violet. She slithered into her hide and curled up, almost knowing she needed to remain out of sight. It was tragic, but I couldn’t risk losing them both. I needed Violet. She was my anchor – my joy. She loved me. I could feel it emanating from her, sometimes more than I’d ever felt from any person I’d ever known.
Nancy came by unannounced the next day. She hadn’t slept, she hadn’t eaten, and I could tell she wasn’t in her right mind. She buried her head in my shoulder and as I rubbed her hair, I was reminded of the way it used to be. We hadn’t always hated each other. There was a time, before Violet, that Nancy held my heart. She, like everyone else I’d ever known, eventually grew weary of my moods and my critical ways and walked out. I held her like I’d done a hundred times during her pregnancy but hadn’t in long time. Michael was bringing us back together. The scent of her hair and her breath reminded me of the way we’d made love, our bodies so utterly intertwined. The intensity was almost too much and carried with it an eerie foreboding. I was becoming aroused and Violet sensed it. She emerged from her hide and began rubbing her head against the screen, making a terrible racket.
“My God, What does she eat?” Nancy asked.
“Rabbits and small pigs”
My adrenalin pumped. I motioned to Violet to go back into her hide. I needed her to know that things with Nancy weren’t as they appeared.
“Where’s our baby, Dan?” She wept and trembled in my arms.
Violet pushed hard against the screen I’d taped before the police arrived. I saw it start to give way. Pushing Nancy aside, I rushed to the tank and placed my hand over it. Violet struck at me. Nancy jumped.
She breathed a sigh of relief. “Maybe it’s time to sell her?”
“Sell her?” She couldn’t be serious. “Never!”
I screamed without realizing and could sense Nancy’s fear.
Violet thrashed and hissed, tightening eighteen feet of angry muscle.
“What is she doing, Dan?’
I watched in disbelief as Violet wriggled and gagged. I saw the lump at foot seven ascend to foot five, then three, then two. Nancy shrieked and threw up when Violet expelled her partially digested meal.
Now I sit in my cell and wait to die. Tomorrow will be the day I’ve been waiting for. I’ll steal a rope from the laundry and hang myself from the rusty pipe in the boiler room. In less than twenty-four hours, I’ll go home to Michael and Violet. I wonder what I’ll dream about tonight? Will I be in a field somewhere with Violet, or will I be holding and singing to Michael? I forgive you, Violet, for your jealousy. I forgive you for not wanting to share my love. Tomorrow we shall all reunite.