Sat, 12 Feb 2000
Red Hands [TCP, PG15]

Disclaimer: This's a TCP story, and I forget who the concept belongs to but it's not me. The universe belongs to Marvel. The story contains some fairly disturbing ideas and images, so don't read it if you're easily upset, 'kay? Good.

Red Hands



I know about mutants.

They can do things.

Things that're different.

There's a lady who lived on my street. She had flowers bigger and more beautiful than anyone else's, every single year. Roses and chrysanthemums and violets and sweet-peas and snapdragons and all kinds. Her garden was the prettiest on the whole street, but no kids ever got let inside. There was a big gate and a high wire fence to keep us out, and my Mom said it was because she was too old to cope with children, but I knew that wasn't it.

She hated kids.

She scared me. She had red hands.

I tried to tell people she was bad, but they wouldn't listen. They thought she was just a harmless old lady, but she wasn't. She was like The Old Woman, the Wicked Witch, the Baba Yaga in the stories Grandpa used to tell me. I always called her the Baba Yaga.

One day I saw the Baba Yaga giving my little sister Christy a flower from her garden. It was a purple flower shaped like little hoods all up and down a stem. I told her not to keep it, that she should throw it away, but Christy wouldn't listen. She took it home and put it in a vase in her room. She thought it was real pretty.

Then Christy got sick.

I knew the Baba Yaga was doing it, but nobody believed me. They got mad at me for saying bad things.

Christy got sicker and sicker, and then she died. She was three. Mommy and Daddy cried, and wondered why she'd died. I knew, but I didn't tell them again. I cried too. A few days later, we buried Christy in the graveyard. The Baba Yaga wasn't there, but there were some of her flowers lying on Christy's coffin. I wanted to take them off, but Mommy wouldn't let me.

I took flowers to Christy every day on my way home from school. The fifth day I went there, Christy wasn't there anymore. You couldn't see from looking at the grass on the top, but I knew she was gone. I knew the Baba Yaga must have taken her. She dug Christy up with her red hands and took her away.

That night I waited until it got dark, and I went to the Baba Yaga's house.

I stood outside the fence and looked at the flowers in the light from the street-lamp. They looked bigger and stronger than ever. There was a new bed of baby flowers. They were only little sprouts, but I could tell they were going to grow big. Christy was asleep under the baby flowers.

I rattled a stick up and down the fence until the Baba Yaga came out to see what was making the noise. She thought a dog was trying to get into her garden. When she came out in the garden, I went into her head and showed her the red on her hands from killing people. She didn't like that. She tried to scream, but I wouldn't let her. Then she tried to wipe the red off, but it wouldn't wipe. It never does, no matter what you do. She tried for a long time, though.. After a while, she went and got the edger out of the shed and turned it on, and stuck her hands in the blades. I guess she bled to death after that, but I didn't stay to watch. I went home.

The next morning the police came. They told Mommy and Daddy that the Baba Yaga had committed suicide in the night, and when they dug up her garden they found what was left of the bodies of eleven kids who'd died the same way Christy did. The newest one was Christy. They said that they'd put her back in her grave, and that we didn't need to worry about her anymore.

I still visit Christy every day, and I talk to her about stuff. I told her that no more kids were gonna die so the Baba Yaga would have pretty flowers, and she liked that. She's still only three, even though I'm older now, but I can still see her when she comes out to talk to me. I explained to her that I'm a mutant, and I can see the red on people's hands from when they killed people. Christy thinks I should be a superhero one day and catch all the people with red on their hands. I told her maybe. That or a detective.

I know about mutants.

They can do things.

Things that're different.