The Sad Case of Cassandra
By Joel M. Andre
Cassandra Demarco looked at herself in the mirror. Deep, black bags intertwined with her baby-blue eyes. Her
raven hair shifted to the left side of her head. It clung to her in a matted mess. Her pale cheeks were stained
with old tears. Emotions she had long since worked past.     
She met a man a while back and thought they were in love. It was a mix of pleasure and passion that would
last for only a few moments in time, but in her short life, it seemed like a considerable chunk.
During their time of love and bliss, he told her that she was his only. He loved her with all his heart and one
day everything would be better. She believed his words; the young man had a way with those. He could draw
you in and lead you to believe death was a fairytale and only good things happened in life.  
He was a sugar-coated optimist; at the very least, a damn good sociopath. Eventually he had taken her for all
she had. She was there, before the mirror, broken not only in spirit, but her trust fund drained by a man she
thought loved her in return.
Of course he left her with one thing; although honestly, it wasn’t something for her to be very proud of either.
If she had known he was sick, if he hadn’t lied to her, all of this would have ended differently. Not with death
handing her an eviction notice.
“Damn you Cass. You are such an idiot.” She moaned at herself, the barrier holding in her tears burst and
warm, salty pain rolled down her face.                         In a rage she slammed her fist hard against the glass
causing a new web of pain to form, blood dripping from her hands.
A moment later the shards of glass fell to the ground. She watched them slam to the floor and shatter. The
loud crashing the glass made only inspired her to turn her head away. It wasn’t anything of any interest to
her.  In fact, it appeared to be more of a dream. Something that tomorrow would fade away.
The smell of blood filled the room, she looked at her hand again and it was badly cut. The logical side of her
mind told her she needed to wrap it up and head for the hospital. The part of her that had chosen death just
shook her head.
Her heart knew the blood loss would eventually give way to the pain. Darkness would shelter her and pull her
out of the world she was in now. She embraced this. It was all turning out much simpler than she could have
Somewhere inside of her, she felt a mild concern for her family. What would her parents think when they found
out of her demise? It would help her avoid having to let her parents know her secret illness. Although in her
autopsy it would certainly show up. Would they even bother mentioning it since it wouldn’t be what killed her?
Cassandra felt confused, and alone. She knew people were infected all the time, but the darkness in her heart
made her feel she was wronged. As a mature adult she knew her decisions were those of her own, but she still
blamed him—and his lies. He was the one who should be here making this journey.
While he was in pain, she should be having a wedding with a man who loved her. She deserved to have the
little boy she always wanted. The white fence outside, surrounding and protecting the little house they would
own in a suburban neighborhood. The dream every small girl has. If that wasn’t something she deserved, then
why did so many people in her life tell her these fairytale dreams? They had been sold to her all of her life
through movies and books. Why couldn’t she at least have a moment to relish in them?
Why was she bloody and broken in a bathroom? Why was she here facing demons that no one prepared her
for? The internal madness covering her in a canopy of despair and darkness, that is what she couldn’t
For the first time since she hit the mirror she could tell there was a throbbing pain in her hand. Could be the
adrenaline was wearing off in her body and it was finally giving in to the pain. Her tolerance for it was high, it
just set her into a different place than she imagined.
This was however, the first time she realized her death would hurt. Although no part of her was aware how
long the pain would last. She wasn’t religious so she didn’t fear the brimstone and fire of Hell. That was
somewhere deeper in her past. True, she was raised Catholic and it installed a sense of beliefs in her, mostly
because they all took place during her formable years.                                                         Outside she
heard a knock on her front door. If she went to answer it, all the courage she worked up would be lost. She
knew that the only answer was to continue the process she had begun.
Shifting carefully through the glass from the mirror, she made her way to the soft, cream-colored bathtub. It
was cool, and inviting. She placed a soft hand on the chrome faucet and began to pour herself a warm bath.
She then proceeded to open a yellowish colored bottle and spilled some scented oils into the tub.
Jasmine and Lavender began to invade her nostrils. The stress in her back tensed and slowly started to melt
away with the odors floating through her nose. The peaceful nature of everything made her welcome her
demise even more. This is how everyone should die—relaxed and in peace.
A nervous giggle escaped her mouth. It wasn’t really something she had thought about until the last few days.
Her own mortality seemed to be an odd topic for her to focus on. But here she was, driven to it and embracing
it with her soul.
Above the sound of the running water she heard another hard knocking on the door.  Someone called her name
in a panic; someone she didn't know. Sure this was odd, but then again it could be someone she knew and the
water was distorting their voice. It appeared to be a woman. Her friends were all at work, so it was very
unlikely it would be one of them. This person would eventually give up and move on their way. In the same
sense that is what she is getting ready to do.    
With the tub filled, she shed her nightgown and settled into the tub of warm water.  The water stung her skin,
it was a bit hotter than she expected and her soft skin turned a shade of red from the water. She shuffled
around a few moments then sank deeper into the water.
Her injured hand hit the water and it sent a shocking wave of pain through her body. Shooting deeper than it
had before. She backed it out quickly. With a disgusted look she let the hand hang over the side of the tub. It
felt good to have the cold tub pressed against the hand and the warm water covering the rest of her body.
This was heightening her senses and gave her a new form of connection with the scenario she was in.  Her
internal turmoil was like the wounded fist clutched outside the tub. Her life was controlled by it, and she
wanted to embrace it with force.  
She nodded slightly to herself. It was time she knew, the longer she would drag this out, the more she would
back away from actually doing it.  Her eyes glanced over at the leg razor sitting on the side of the tub. Its
mellow green color called to her with a seductive whisper.
Tilting her head slightly she thought of an easier less painful way of doing this; she could swallow pills and drift
off to sleep. But the body tended to try and violently expel the contents of the stomach and she didn't want
to leave too much of a mess; with her in the tub, it was minimal effort for cleanup. Sure, the mirror was
broken, but even that was an easy fix.
As her mind continued to come to terms with what she was about to do, she wondered if she should make
peace with God. After all, if there was something outside of the realm she knew, being at peace with Him
should aid her in the journey.     
Perhaps the whole idea of death was completely over the top. As she sat there for a moment, she wondered
why she was going to end it all now. With medication and pills she could easily survive another decade. Why
end it today?
But there was long lasting pain she had to go through, a pain that would echo through the rest of her life; one
where people would look down on her in disgust and pity. Her family would be broken by this and there would
only be a negative ending anyway.
Again she looked at the little green demon as it flashed a silvery smile at her. Her hands wrapped around the
plastic holder in a soft, passionate love for it. Her fingers burned almost as if she was embracing a lover. In her
mind she knew the feeling. It was warm and full of depth.
The feeling in her felt spiritual. It was the first time since the bitter news that she felt alive. Softly she
brought the razor to her lips. She kissed the tip softly and pulled it in close to her chest. A smile crossed her
face. It was cold and full of darkness.           
Slowly she dipped her head under water. The rush of the warm water covering her hair and face brought the
new experience to a deeper level. She wanted to embrace the new found thrill a bit more; the razor enticed
her. A lover with a sharp kiss, giving her the ultimate release in life; this was the something she had been
From the world behind the one she was in, another sound of hard knocks were hitting against the door. The
woman was calling her name some more, but it wasn’t even taking away from her passion for her razor.
Deeply she sighed as she broke open the razor. The tiny sliver blade fell hitting the water and twirled as it
made its way to the bottom of the tub. Carefully Cassandra picked it up between two of her fingers and
admired it again. A devilish smile, like that of a gnome crossed her face.                
With caution, she raised the metallic fragment and pressed it against her skin. Her body shivered as the steel
and flesh embraced in a devious kiss. She had dreamt of this moment and was in a sense of disbelief it would
actually happen.                
The blade spoke to her silently in her mind, urging her to move forward in the sin of the flesh. Her mind flashed
back to her psych nurse days; horizontal for attention…vertical for results.             
Slowly she began to pierce the flesh on her already damaged left arm. The skin popped open and blood slowly
began to seep out. With diligence and accuracy, she grimaced in pain and expanded the tear in her soft flesh
from the wrist down the forearm.         
Her body tensed and relaxed as the blood poured much more freely. Her breath deepened, she tried to
embrace the pain as a lover who had never left her. The flow of energy escaping the wound and her eyes
darted open quickly.               
What had she done? Fear covered her, the pain in her arm felt like fire through her body; the heat burning her
and her soul pushing its way out of her arm. Her eyes glanced widely at the metallic blade. Her once secret
lover mocked her with stains of blood on its bitter teeth, a vicious carnivore that lured and brutally killed its
This was nothing like she anticipated it to be. She hit her head hard against the wall behind her. She wanted
to stop the pain; she wanted to get away from its deadly grip. What had she been thinking about to make her
do this?                
After a few moments, she felt light and weightless. She struggled to stay awake, but the darkness was
starting to enclose her. Her own mortality scared her for a brief moment, but the road she was traveling was
one where she kicked on the cruise control and she knew it would end soon enough.        
The soft jingle of the phone caught her final moments of being coherent. Her ears embraced the answering
machine and the voice speaking into it.              
“Cassandra, this is Dr. Gevin's office, you need to contact us immediately. One of our nurses switched the
charts with yourself and another female patient of ours. You are HIV negative, not positive. Please call us as
soon as you get this message,” the frantic nurse spoke into the phone.
There appeared to be genuine concern in her voice. How lovely, she wondered how their office would react to
the news of her demise.  
“Fuck,” was the final word her human body spoke.
The room was now cold and stale. The only sound was a dripping from the faucet. The tub of water was full of
Cassandra's blood. Her corpse propped up slightly with a saddened look frozen on her face.
From a distance, the spirit of darkness laughed in a deep and hoarse laugh. Another human soul wasted
through suicide. It was a madness he had created.                 
The red water accentuated the pale flesh and gave it an eerie new glow.
There would be more of them in the future. She certainly was not the first. The spirit would continue to prey
on the weakness of humans. It was a game to him, dark and sinister. Emotionally bound outside of normal
rational thinking, their fragile and frail souls were just so damn easy to sway! The spirit roared in laughter as he
moved on to his next victim.