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When she was very young, back eighteen years ago, Shanna's life had been a sad one. As an infant, and later a child, she had been raised in a small orphanage, living alongside dozens of other children who came from various backgrounds. A few of them were fully viable for life with their own families, but most others carried physical or psychological scars from previous abuse. It was an unsociable, crowded environment, and Shanna found it difficult to maintain bonds with the children. This was partly because so many of them were withdrawn, aggressive, or belligerent beyond likability, and further due to Shanna's own declining interest in becoming a friend to anyone. Once she learned that her mother had conceived her at sixteen, and had only refused aborting her because Shanna had already become viable to survive outside the womb. Gaining that knowledge caused the pink-haired girl's self-esteem to plummet further.
But for Shanna, hope came eventually. Meeting Mira and, later, Cassandra, had been her realization that good people still existed in the world. Shanna was surprised at first to find that she felt sympathetic towards Cassandra, who carried traces of depression and rarely associated with her peers due to the suicide of her older brother. Shanna could relate to her in some ways, but at least Cassandra had known her parents. And despite the comfort and love she finally achieved, something much more sinister began to build up in Shanna's dulled nerves.
Throughout her years, Shanna would keep much information to herself. She rarely trusted anyone to turn to in order to exert her frustrations and worries, fears and stresses. Therefore, they began to bleed from Shanna once she advanced in age. A desire that few would truly expect from a teenage girl- even if she came from a troubled background- had become incarnated within her.
The weather was frightful by all but the worst of standards. Three feet of half-frozen snow sat on unplowed fields and deserted areas, while brisk wind chilled the temperature to an arctic tempest. Most who had to travel outside drove, but even that was not easy- the ice made traction unreliable. Fewer than usual attended school that day, so I was surprised to find Shanna originally intended to go that day.
She had estimated that she would be able to withstand the elements on her way both to and from the school. Wrapped in thick winter garments, she pushed her way out of the front door with a sort of defiant confidence. The wind found her and sent a chill down all the exposed bits of her skin, blowing around her hair in random directions. Quickly abandoning the pretense of walking, Shanna turned to running instead. This was a bad idea, as the sidewalks and patches of the road were treacherous with ice. Already Shanna's fingers were numbing in their gloves, and some of her loose hair was coated in snowflakes.
Roughly five minutes after she left the warmth of her home, Shanna slid on a pile of clear ice and collapsed into a drift of snow. Pain seared up her hip and arm on which she had fallen. Frustrated and shivering, Shanna found herself incapable of surfacing once the wind picked up again. Abandoning her mission, Shanna groped in her pockets to locate her phone, hopeful that Cassandra hadn't left for work yet and could still retrieve her. The device slipped in her gloved fingers and landed on the ice, sliding a few feet away. With a seeming finality to its strength, the wind once more tore at Shanna. She drew herself into a ball for protection, stifling swear words in frustration, covering as much as skin as possible. The snow tumbled relentlessly into her refuge.
"Hey! You okay?!"
A worried voice cut through the noise of the wind. Shanna jerked her face up to catch sight of an unfamiliar young man, his hand held out to retrieve her. "That leg doesn't look good, think you can get up?"
"Probably..." Shanna answered, staggering to her feet. She was immensely relieved that she had caught a lucky break, and became even more so once he inquired where she lived.
"Too far to walk, I think my ankle's bruised and it hurts to walk." Shanna replied, speaking the truth.
"Well, lean on me a little. I can look at it inside, I'm just across the street. Unless you'd rather go to the hospital?" the boy offered.
"No, thanks." Shanna replied over the gusting wind, grasping her rescuer's hand tightly to escape the depth of the snow. The stranger seemed to smile, apparently pleased with his rescue.
"I'm Carlos, by the way. Carlos Minarsky."
The last name was familiar to Shanna- this must be the older bother of Cordelia. She thought about that as she relied on Carlos to transport her across the icy road. An idea was slowly forming in her head, blotting out the cold from her focus somewhat. She barely noticed that they had already arrived at Carlos' home, but gratefully staggered into the warmth of the hallway once the door was opened. The two were almost certainly alone, given the tranquility of the dwelling.
"Come lie down on the couch here." Carlos offered, helping his guest to the sofa a few feet away. She complied promptly, sighing in relief at the warmth of the room. Once she smiled at Carlos, he asked her if she needed to let anyone know she was at his house, and Shanna considered that for a moment.
"I don't believe so, unless you want me to stay here a while."
"As long as you feel the need to, miss." Carlos answered. "You haven't told me your name yet?"
"Shanna." The girl arranged herself into a comfortable position on the cushions, greatly welcoming the weight off her ankle. She was having a hard time removing her eyes from Carlos- he truly took after his sister, she thought. He certainly had Cordelia's good looks, particularly her red hair and tall stature.
"You need anything right now, Shanna?" Carlos asked kindly, looking closely at Shanna's feet. "I'm glad to see that you haven't injured anything, but I'm sure it hurts..."
"Nothing a good rest won't solve." Shanna replied quietly, closing her eyes in contentment. "Although... Carlos, I suppose there is one thing you could do for me."
"Well..." Shanna paused, a smile appearing on her lips. "...Promise... you won't laugh at me or anything?"
"Of course not." Carlos assured her, sounding only somewhat perplexed by her change in tone.
"Heh, well then, let me ask you a question." Shanna giggled. Slyly, she narrowed her dark eyes, though they were fixed immovably on Carlos. "Have you ever... felt a girl before, Carlos?"
Carlos' face blushed bright in an instant, needing no explanation to clarify what Shanna was suggesting. "N-no... I didn't mean..."
"Why not? I'm not asking that much, just a little rubbing. I won't have to show you anything you wouldn't want to see?" his guest explained, in calm tones.
"S-Shanna... I can't simply... I barely even know you, and you're already asking for something sexual?" Carlos protested, a little weakly. He wanted to move the conversation away immediately, though no distractions were coming to mind.
"Not really, Carlos. Come on, you don't have to even touch any of my skin." Shanna persisted, trying to sound placid but shivering in anticipation.
"...What if you just get really aroused?" Carlos questioned, the tinge in his cheeks beginning to fade. It was true that he had never done anything intimate with a girl before, and had indeed felt vague curiosity about how such an experience might go. He was simply more frightened of how far she might take such an event to.
"Oh, you can actually finish me just be touching, you know. There'll be no need to go any farther." Shanna informed lightly. "A girl's body is quite sensitive."
"...You really want this? Because... "
"Yes. I do."
"There's... there's no one else here..." Carlos said, half to himself, climbing onto the couch slowly. His hands were trembling in uncertainty, but he could not quite stifle the spark of anticipation in him.
"Good, then we've nothing to worry about."
"Give me... Give me the directions again?"
"Just put your hands here, and rub me. If you don't like it, you can stop." Shanna instructed.
Tentatively, Carlos placed his fingers over the selected area, reluctance burning within them. Shanna used one of her own hands to guide his movements, during which time Carlos decided to look at her face rather than what he was doing. Shanna was clearly enjoying the effect his timidly rubbing fingers were giving her. After a few seconds she allowed her eyelids to close, quivering a little once Carlos became a bit more vigorous.
"A-are you... feeling anything?" Carlos ventured, his voice hardly audible. Shanna nodded, opening her eyes in response.
"Keep going, please.. Try to be a little harder."
Carlos complied without further pause. He could feel something odd stirring within him, yet the emotion was impossible to shrug off. Shanna's breathing became louder and faster, evidently getting close to her desired climax. Encouraged, Carlos drew in closer to her. He was not regretting his decision to aid Shanna now.
Only seconds later, Shanna's body abruptly seized up like a reflex. Carlos jerked away, his entire body close to vibrating by now. He was utterly bowled over by how his simple act had felt so... satisfying, was that the word? His face flushing red, he looked back at Shanna, who was catching her breath and staring at him with a fresh blush on her own cheeks.
"Yeah... You got it." Shanna rasped. She reached out a hand to steady Carlos, a glimmer shining within her narrow brown eyes. "Th-thank you... Carlos, that felt fucking good..."
Unsteadily, Carlos suddenly leaned over, letting his body touch Shanna's. An inexorable desire for more was budding inside, and it was irresistible- he had never been so close to a girl before and wanted desperately to know what a kiss would feel like. Underneath him Shanna froze in shock, startled that she had to act now. Quietly she used her left hand to loosen the scarf around her neck, feeling Carlos tremble above her, his lips now gently touching her own. He did not need to speak to express his desire. Slowly, while making a slight response for Carlos to touch her, Shanna lightly placed the scarf around his neck.
Shanna wanted her victim's last few moments to be enjoyable. She allowed Carlos to kiss her as he wanted, feeling all of the tension leave his body. Before he could suspect what was truly going on, Shanna gave him a powerful shove, upsetting his balance and he fell onto the carpet. Dragged with him by his neck, Shanna swiftly tied a quick knot within the fabric and pulled with all of her strength.
"Gaaaa-!" Carlos let out a choked cry. Shanna allowed more force to be integrated into her endeavor, using her full weight to keep Carlos unable to escape. He was taller yet considerably lighter than her- and with the breath being choked out of him, had little strength to fend off the attacker. His eyes were squinted shut, but from the lack of give in Shanna's posture, he could tell that she really intended to kill him. All he could do now was hope that he would not suffer. And over around thirty seconds, Carlos lost hold of his consciousness, the scarf shutting off his breath. It was a painful affair for him, and he fought throughout, causing Shanna to have to use much of her strength to keep him still.
A full five minutes later, Shanna finally loosened the scarf around her victim's neck. He collapsed lifelessly onto the floor like a rag doll, his blue eyes shut permanently. His killer was breathing heavily herself, still exhilarated by her sexual thrill. She shakily turned Carlos onto his back and placed his arms straight along his sides in a sleeping-like posture, then spied the silent living room for a sheet. Finding none, she knew she would have to resort to the bathtub in order to bleed him- and if he had no such device, she would just have to use something else. Grasping Carlos' now-dead body by his shoulders, Shanna carried him laboriously to the narrow staircase.
Taking the unmoving body of someone slightly taller than herself was challenging, yet Shanna struggled her way through the awful mission. She felt no immediate regret over killing an innocent young man with her own hands, unconcerned with the many friends and family who must eventually find out such news. In fact, the very prospect of emotional and ethical consequences wasn't even current within Shanna's mind yet. All that seemed to matter now was rendering Carlos fit for her intended purpose.
With the aid of a knife stolen from the kitchen, Shanna sliced open Carlos' throat inside the empty white tub and tilted his face to the cold porcelain. Though his heart had stopped, the blood nevertheless seemed to fill up the entire capacity of the vessel, causing Shanna to frequently clean off her hands in the sink. She had disrobed Carlos beforehand, and was too accustomed to the sight of undressed males to be bothered by his bare body. And again with the aid of the blade, she removed several pieces of skin and attached flesh from several parts of Carlos- around his thighs, abdomen, cheeks, and parts of his arms. These where what she truly desired; the rest of Carlos' body was destined to be deeply buried close to the nearby cemetery.
Once Carlos' mutilated body had been hefted out of his bathtub and onto the floor, Shanna sliced off his head and limbs to make them easier to pack into the garbage bag. This was a difficult job to do, and Shanna's despite her trying to stay clean, her fingers and arms were still splattered with blood well before she finished. Her only motivation to finish it was the desire to remain undiscovered. Saving the chosen pieces of flesh in a smaller bag, Shanna knew that now was time to make sure her tracks were completely covered. The scarf- the instrument of death- she would later burn at home to hide any evidence. Turning the shower on, she then washed the bathtub thoroughly, as well as the knives she had used in the task before dropping them too inside the bag.
Hefting the heavy bags of human remains over her shoulders, Shanna cautiously dismounted the stairs and headed back to the basement. She deposited the evidence within a remote closet. Now, she was to walk back home, retrieve her car, and take Carlos' remains via the trunk to the hole which she had covered the day before. As Carlos had graduated from school, and had been a quiet man in general, it would take several days minimum for anyone to assume that he was dead. Nobody, she figured, would find out that Shanna was his murderer; an eighteen-year-old female student would never be a probable suspect. And although Shanna's killing of Carlos had been a spur-of-the-moment decision, her intellect enabled her to cover her tracks well enough.
Shanna, reluctantly, left the house and reentered the arctic coldness. Fighting her way back home was easier, as the wind had died down somewhat. The front door was locked- Cassandra had already left for work, leaving Shanna free of suspicion- to Cassandra's mind, Shanna must currently be at school. Smiling in relief, the murderess headed through the garage and into her worn-down motor. She was still almost completely doubtless that anyone would find out, especially given what she planned to do with the severed flesh she had cut off Carlos' cadaver.
In a week, she planned to have several members of the Rainbow over to share a meal. Included in the meat would be ground-up portions of Carlos' flesh- disguised with spices and other proteins to eliminate suspicion, though. And she cooked for her friends all the time to begin with. Robin would know that she had done as he asked the moment she served him, however. Additionally, Shanna herself greatly enjoyed the taste of any meat, and had been willing but unable to consume any of the human species yet. Now, she had enough to last for some time.
Well, take that, Mira. Shanna thought to herself during the short trip back to where Carlos had lived. Maybe you're always thinking about doing things like this, but now I've gone ahead and actually done it. And I just can't wait to see the look on Cordelia's face when she's eating bits of her older brother.
Sure, maybe the police know Robin ain't such a gentleman now. But I'm going straight, aren't I? Aren't I just a lonely, bored little high school girl who got into a bit of trouble a while back?
As Shanna drove leisurely towards the cemetery, she thought about how this act of revenge towards Cordelia pleased her. Despite how Cordelia had not even done wrong beyond reporting what was, essentially, a crime towards her, she still- in Shanna's and Robin's minds- deserved punishment. And should the police even try to prosecute either of them, the damage was still done. Carlos Minarsky was now dead, and dead he would remain for the remainder of eternity, regardless of how well Shanna might understand that. But if she could enter her own mind just a few weeks into the future, she would wish that Carlos' fate could have been her own instead. No matter how comfortable she felt there, on the serene road in a beautiful winter morning, it would somehow never be long before she would once more be crying alone in the darkness of her bedroom.
Written by Grizzly Bear