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July 9, 2013
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          I remember the first day I met you. Third graders have a tendency to label everybody; I was the twin who wore blue, Iris was the twin who wore pink, and you were the boy with the light red casts on his left leg and right arm.
      Third grade was the year we met. Fourth grade was when I fell in love with you. Fifth grade was when you stole Iris’s heart, and if there’s a god, I’m sure it would know when she stole yours.
      In sixth grade, Iris confessed her love to you, as did you yours to her. By the seventh, you were bound to each other.
      You, Ray, never knew how much I loved you, and you never would know. But Iris—the bitch—knew everything. Close though we were, I never spoke a word, but I’m certain that she knew.
      I’m sorry, Iris, I would say, I know you didn’t mean to hurt me. The way I killed her would change each time in this hopeless and recurring fantasy.
      No, I would always stop myself, I can’t put mine and Ray’s happy ending at risk, too. I must find a way to take her happiness for myself.
      The night after the incident, I called you myself, and told you to meet me in a quiet little park that had either been forgotten or yet to be discovered by the locals.
      “Iris,” you said, taking the seat beside me, “what’s wrong?”
      I burst into tears and grabbed you by the waist. “Ray,” I said, and was interrupted by a fit of real crying, “Ira is gone.”
      On Friday nights, Iris and I would often stay up late together. Our parents would go to bed at the same moderate time they always did—ten or ten-thirty.  That gave us time to talk, and to do things that we wouldn’t normally do.
      “Ira,” she said, “why is there a fire in the fireplace? It’s almost June.”
      I smiled. “No matter how warm it is outside, I’m sure that you can’t roast marshmallows on the air.” God dammit. I had run this through my head forty different times, and even now it came out saccharine. Iris didn’t seem to notice.
      “O-Okay,” she said. “Where are the marshmallows?”
      “I’ll go get them,” and I did.
      A bag of marshmallows, two pairs of metal prongs, and a single pair of gloves.
      “Why do we need gloves?” said Iris. “The prongs don’t have a metal handle.”
      I nodded. “Yes, but if you were to accidentally touch the metal, you could get burnt. I figure it’s just safer.”
      I let her enjoy just one marshmallow before it happened. I myself enjoyed none at all, as the very first I handled caught fire. “Ah!” As I recoiled, I nearly threw the prongs into the air--at least, that’s how it would have looked--along with the burnt and burning marshmallow.
      Iris Michaels died of a throat puncture. Two, actually. As she fixated on the ball of fire flew over our heads—frightened for the wrong reason—I looked only for an opportunity..
      I once read that an effective way to kill someone sans screaming is to cut the throat skin in front of the throat, as it makes shouting difficult. As risky as it is to try such things for the first time in a final performance, I did, and it worked beautifully. I dragged her to the tiled kitchen—where the now cooling marshmallow had landed safely—before she could make any mess on the carpet. In just a few minutes, she was dead. I wrapped her in some newspapers and carried her to the still breathing fire.
      Cremation usually occurs at a temperature of eleven to eighteen hundred degrees Fahrenheit. That’s what the book said, anyway. The common hearth generally reaches ten hundred. She burned for a good while, and when the burning was done I broke up her bones and what was left of the logs with my mother’s mallet, which she had used for years and would use for years to come. I placed the remains into a Walmart bag  walked calmly to the lake a few hundred feet behind our house.
      I’m sorry, Iris, I thought as I sprinkled the ashes over the water, taking care not to get any on my clothes, but this the closest thing you’ll get to a proper funeral for a little while now. I scattered the bone fragments around the lake, and they sank to the dark bottom easily.
      Back at the house, I cleaned up the blood. Luminol would detect it without a problem, but for that to work someone would have to decide to use Luminol, and if everything worked according to plan that would never happen.
      I had managed to avoid getting any blood on my own clothing, so I simply took it off and put it in the hamper. I took a shower and fell asleep in the room which once belonged to both of us.
      “Iris? Iris, wake up!”
      I stretched. “What?”
      “Do you know where Ira is?”
      Ira was the blue twin, Iris was the pink.
      In the night, I had put on a pair of Iris’s pink pajamas, and slept in her pink-sheeted bed. I always liked pink better anyway.
      “N-No… she went to bed before I did, right in her bed.”
      You held me close as I wept for my “missing” sister, Ira.
The search wore on. In the first week was panic; in the second, mourning; and finally, in the third, a funeral.
“Oh, Ray,” I wept into your shoulders, “what do I have now?”
You held me to your chest and kissed me on the head.
And that was the first time that you said you loved me.
     
      We were happy without “Ira”. Our first time was at seventeen. At nineteen, I asked you to marry me, and at twenty, we finally were.
      We are thirty-five now, a couple bound by the purest love imaginable. I am pregnant with our fourth child.
      Lying in the dark on a bed that we made together, I say “Ray… I couldn’t be happier.”      
You turn to the side and kiss lightly on the cheek. “I couldn’t either.”
      I let the silence be for a moment, then say “I love you.” You kiss me again. “This happiness that we have... that we’ve shared with each other, and with our children... it’s something I never want to jeopardize, something I never want to ruin for anything.”
“Of course not,” you say.
      “Ray... I love you so much.” In one swift motion, I roll myself onto your body so that I can look into your eyes. “So much love ends unhappily; divorce, impurity... isn’t that a shame, Ray?”
You are silent, but still smiling.
“I’ve been happy with you for twenty-three years, and as of this very moment, everything is perfect... It would be unfair of me to ask for another blissful second.” I put my hand undo the top button of my nightgown.
“Iris,” you say, “we already--” You cut yourself short when you see the long and thin scissors I had been concealing between my breasts.
“Ray,” I say, “I know it seems wrong, but if I didn’t do this, who knows what might happen? If it ends now, our love can go on forever and ever. Isn’t it wonderful?”
I wrap you in the sheets to keep the blood from reaching the mattress. The kids are fast asleep, and there are logs in the fireplace.
I can’t say that I planned for it to end this way, but I can’t say I’m surprised, either. Most of the houses we looked at didn’t have a nice, traditional fireplace like this one, or a drainage lake nearby. I unwrap you in front of the hearth and take a final look at your bloodied face.
That face. I remember, just last week... discussing poor, deceased Iris with you. Does he know? The slight falter of your voice, the sparkle in your eyes. Yes, I thought, you know.
No matter how it happened, I think to myself as the lighter flickers, this is where we are now, Ray.
I can't believe this is a Daily Deviation! Thank you, all of you. Especially OhINeedTea and GrimFace242.
This is the rewrite, Finding Ira jackdenim17.deviantart.com/art…. It needs some work but I kinda like it better, personally.
Thanks to all the people who faved and commented!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-01-12
Iris's Runaways by JackDenim17 ( Suggested by OHiNeedTea and Featured by GrimFace242 )
:iconmorning-star-42:
Morning-Star-42 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This shows insanity and serial-murder through the rose-tinted windows of her broken mind. I like the decisions you made with this piece.
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:iconxxstolen-soulsxx:
xxStolen-soulsxx Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
creepy.

This would make a fantastic scary movie plot.
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:iconradiantgloom:
RadiantGloom Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh wow. Shit hit the fan pretty quick if you ask me. I understand that she wanted to kill Iris and take her place (I don't really understand the concept of killing anyone but it makes sense with the character) and I guess in some twisted way it was logical of her to kill Ray as well. But wow. That was... really well written actually. I'm impressed. Slightly disturbed, but still thoroughly impressed.
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:iconfudge-royale:
fudge-royale Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
I read both versions and I have to say I preferred this one much more. This was fast-paced, unexpected, abrupt and clinical in the murder scenes, plus an attention to detail- all of which added to the off-kilter personality of the narrator. I think the limited dialogue strengthens the narrative; the other version felt a little superfluous in places and ramble-y. 

The only thing I'd change is the third-last line; "...discussing poor deceased Iris with you-" to Ira. Since, technically, Ray wouldn't know.  

I really liked this piece. Kudos on the well-deserved DD!
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:iconjackdenim17:
JackDenim17 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, even just a few hours later I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with "Finding Ira"... I'm still trying to master the art of the twist ending. I've never really pulled one off, but I really want to. I might fix this one up, or I might fix up the other one, or I might come up with a third angle (this one, I guess, would be clinical detail; the other version's would be character).
I love reading romance, but it's hard for me to write because I don't have enough experience. I keep asking my friends who do have experience for advice, so that helps. Weirdly writing romance has gotta be my third biggest reason for wanting a boyfriend NOW DAMMIT
I'd like to hit a balance with the lack of dialogue; I think you're right, that FI has too much. While I wouldn't necessarily say that this one has too little, I would like the dialogueless portions to have a stronger voice; I'd like the voice itself to be pretty disturbing.
Actually, the use of "Iris" instead of "Ira" there is intentional; if I showed the dialogue, they would say Ira. But I didn't, and it's Ira's perspective, and she knows it's Iris, so it's perfectly accurate.
Thank you for your comment ^^
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:iconcreamcheesecheckers:
creamcheesecheckers Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what a great story! it was such an interesting read!!
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:iconshermansquiggly:
ShermanSquiggly Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014   General Artist
Ooh, this is excellent! Congrats on the DD!
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:iconguineveretogwen:
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Student Writer
Great story! Very suspenseful. :) Also, congrats on the DD.
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:iconfan-tan-chan:
Fan-Tan-Chan Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Student Writer
Congrats on the DD! :)
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:iconsaltwaterlungs:
saltwaterlungs Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Frickin' terrifying.
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