Jack the Ripper in Tel-Aviv
By David Hartley Mark
Two young girls left a club on Ha-Yarkon Street, giggling and chatting. They leaned against a wall covered with colorful, half-torn Rock Star posters, breathing deeply of the salt sea air, trying to clear their heads of the dirty martinis and the “other stuff” they had enjoyed within. They bent their heads, shielding their cheap, flickering lighter from the strong breezes coming off the Mediterranean.
Suddenly, HE was upon them: all shiny boots, long cape, and wideawake hat—a wraith from Victorian Times:
Are you Mary Clarke? I must find Mary Clarke….
Three strokes from his shiny, sharp blade, and the girls were down; the Ripper slipt off into the shadows. Their blood dripped into the gutter. The halflit cigarettes dropt from their hands; their fingernail polish shone in the halflight of the streetlamps.
Soon after, their boyfriends Avi and Udi came outside, looking for them:
“Girls! Where are you? Did you run away? The night has just begun. Come in: they’re playing your favorite song….”
They saw the bodies in the street, and began to scream:
“Police! Police! Terrorists! Find them!”
as lights snapt on all around, and men and women began to emerge from the clubs and coffee shops and restaurants up-and-down the boulevard….
The Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station:
The Ripper waited in the Shadows. He saw a fat, mustached bus-driver walking back and forth, calling:
“Hallo! Bus to Hadera-Afula! Hallo! Hadera-Afula!”
A cloud moved in front of the moon. The Ripper made his move. As the driver looked up at the sky, and then checked his watch, the Ripper plunged his long knife into the man’s protruding belly.
The driver fell, sighing quietly, and died.
Again, the Ripper fled into the shadows.
Jerusalem: the Old Shuk, the Arab Market.
Near the Wall, near the Dome of the Rock. Nothing but empty streets and shadows. People huddled behind locked doors. Fear alone walked the streets. Soldiers and Police.
The Ripper leaned against the wall of a shop with its burglar gates pulled down, smoked his thin brown Russian cigarette, watched and waited for a victim.
He finally saw two young boys.
As they approached, he hunched his shoulders, felt his long blade in the scabbard beneath his armpit, hanging next to his pepperbox pistol—the one his aunt, the Queen herself, Victoria, had gifted him with—patted downwards toward the shorter knife he kept in his tall boot, and pulled himself back into the shadows.
They were joking and laughing as they came closer.
As the boys drew abreast, the Ripper sprang outwards, prepared to slash the closer one first, and stab the second in the heart, while whirling around after killing the first victim. His eyes widened; the blood beat in his veins; he inhaled deeply of the Shuk’s foetid air—a mixture of fresh leather, rotten meat, and old cheese—they were getting closer!
Closer! Closer! Clo--!
He sprang, drawing his knife as he leapt—
Allahu Akhbar! Die, Jew! Cried the first boy in Arabic, as the Ripper landed before him, and the second boy, just thirteen, drew a kitchen-knife, and stabbed the tall English killer in the back.
Staggering, the Ripper fell to his knees in the gutter. The two boys held their kitchen knives high, lifting-and-stabbing in a monstrous carnival of death. He dropt his blades; his blood dripped among the cobblestones….
Die Jew Die Jew Die….
The Ripper lay in the gutter, a fictitious killer only, and died an imaginary death.
His body vanished. He never existed.
The Real Boys, real killers, walked on.
Who taught them to kill?
Where and when did they learn?
Who is responsible?
How will it all end?
Can there ever be peace?
The Moon watched, vapidly….