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FROM THE JOURNAL OF BLOODY MARY JANE:
(Introductory Remarks by Mary Jane Gallows)
I was not born in blood. The blood came later.
My birth was dry and silent, and it gave off a black light that could be seen by those few among you who have the right kind of eyes.
I had a mother, just like you. A father, too. They never actually met, my mother and father. The whole arrangement, in fact, was rather backward. My seed came from my mother and grew in my father. I gestated within him, and I learned much while I was there.
This is very difficult for me to explain. As they say, you had to be there. To understand it at all, you’d have to be like me. And you aren’t. You are not like me, and you may count that as a blessing, if you’re the sort that counts blessings.
I was a blessing to my father and a great and ultimately fatal vexation to my mother. I killed her in 1927, and she has not been back since. My father has died more than once, and I have always done my best to help him get back.
In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena sprang from the brow of Zeus, fully grown and ready for bloodshed. Exactly the same as me. I am not, obviously, the daughter of Zeus. My father was someone—something—else entirely. He has, however, attained the status of myth. I daresay there are very few people in the world who have never heard of him.
You certainly know his “trade name.” He was called Jack the Ripper.
In 1888 he was a human being, and then he made himself into Something Else. Four years after his Ascension, he traveled from London to the United States in search of a blot of darkness in the ethereal fabric of the human world. He had sensed it from across the ocean. He could sense people and things that had in them some of what he had in himself.
He came to Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1892 and found my mother. Her name, too, might be familiar to you: Lizzie Andrew Borden. Her darkness and hatred and desire to kill drew him close to her. She had something nasty inside her, thrashing around, craving attention and expression. My father touched it and coaxed it out, showed it what to do. My mother had been trying to give birth all by herself, conducting endless rituals, obsessing, seething, hating.
She might have succeeded with this method, eventually, but she didn’t have to. My father took the seed into himself, and together—though they never met face-to-face—they brought me into the world. Lizzie never knew I had a father at all.
My mother believed me to be a tulpa, and that may well be the case. I prefer to think of myself as sui generis, a thing without precedent. There isn’t a word for me. I am all there is of my kind.
I am Bloody Mary Jane.
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