From the commencement of her murder she remained fully sentient. And so she was heartbreakingly aware that it was premeditated and carried out with a cold and callous calculation.
First he poisoned the nightcap that he brought her in bed. Then, as she convulsed and foamed at the mouth, he had the audacity to hold her hand and stroke her brow, while whispering in soothing tones.
"Don't fight it, darling. Just let go. Just let go."
She felt her heart judder to a final halt and experienced the dreadful silence that was left in its wake. But in death she was still somehow, inexplicably conscious of what was happening to her corpse.
Days may have passed before he returned.
A blue fly came and wallowed in her stench.
Then she felt his big hands wrap around her cold ankles and haul her from the bed. She felt the room vibrate as her cold cadaver flopped limply to the floor. She felt the bump-bump-bump of her slack head as it thump-thump-thumped down the stairs.
He dragged her to the basement.
There he removed her nightdress and laid her naked on his workbench. She felt the accurately placed incisions of the blade of his modelling knife as it sliced through her marbled flesh. She felt the raw drag and pull of his hacksaw as its steel teeth ground at her bones.
He separated her into parts. Head and limbs removed from the torso. Then separated the parts into even smaller parts. Hands removed from wrists, lower arms from upper arms, feet from ankles, legs divided at the knees, torso carved into quarters.
No butcher could have done a finer job.
Yet still she was aware - in strange and kaleidoscopic multiple layers of consciousness.
Slowly and diligently he wrapped the sum of her parts in cellophane and placed them one by one into the chest freezer. She lay collectively in the frosty darkness like a jumbled jigsaw in its box.
First he came for her head. She felt the searing stripping of her flesh as he lowered it into the vat of acid. She felt her auburn hair fizz and shrivel to nothing. She felt the dissolving of her skull and the melting of her brain.
Because her head was what she associated with her consciousness she thought that this would be the end. But it was not. All of the parts of her remained communally aware. And as each part was taken to the vat it was like a bereavement. They mourned their losses in sympathetic unison. She could almost hear her chorused wailing.
Finally, all that remained was her left hand. She became a single entity once more. She felt like the solitary survivor of a holocaust. He removed the wedding ring he'd once placed on her finger and lowered the last of her to the ravenous vat.
She thought that finally this would be the end.
But it was not.
Something still stubbornly possessed her consciousness.
At first she wasn't sure what she had become, or where exactly she was. But by and by she came to realise that what remained of her was a miniscule fleck of blood that clung stubbornly to a crack in the skirting board, defying his industrious efforts to scrub every last trace of her from existence.
She saw his comings and goings.
One day in her endless boredom she found that she could exert an ability to manipulate the substance of the fleck. Using this faculty, she caused it to sprout arachnid legs and undergo a metamorphosis into a tiny spidery thing that gleamed with a crimson hue.
If only she'd known the power of her will much earlier.
The cat came slinking into the basement, scouring the dark corners for mice. She made her little spider-self scuttle across the floor and leap like a flea into the fur on its paw.
The cat was the master of the house. He could go wherever he chose. She nestled on his paw till he decided to nudge the half open door of the bedroom and mooch around in there awhile. No sooner had he entered than she jumped down and scurried into the shadowy pile of the carpet.
The murderer came into the room. He towered gigantically over her, like a pale colossus. She waited till the light went out. Then, in eight-legged gait, traversed the fibre forest of the carpet. And climbed the oaken cliff face of the bedside cabinet. And crossed the gleaming flat tundra of its surface. And leaped recklessly across the wide chasm to the mattress.
His snores were like thunder. They shook the sheets beneath her like an earthquake. Steadfastly she crawled up his arm, weaving amongst his wiry black hairs. Hurrying and scurrying, she crossed his collarbone and ascended the neck she'd once smothered in passionate kisses. Then carefully she picked her way amongst the bristles on his chin and entered the hollow and tremulous cavern of his nostril.
Down, down and down went her descent, deep into the abyss of pulsing darkness. There she insinuated herself into his bloodstream and began converting his corpuscles to her vengeful cause.
Soon she had an army at her command. She sent them on a rampage - renegade cells mercilessly slaughtering loyally cowering cells. No quarter was to be shown to the enemy. She would settle for nothing less than total genocide.
She could be cold. She could be callous. She could be calculating.
She could premeditate his downfall.
The murderer rose from the bed with a raging fever.
And fell back in a faint.
He was already a corpse.
He just didn't quite know it yet.