Every raindrop was a memory of her, the dripping of fresh blood on the tiles. As the clouds poured forth their anger and dismay, I mused, looking beyond the window glass, beyond the yard, fence, fields to somewhere less distinct. She awaited me there. Somewhere in a distant reality displaced from my own, she lingered. I heard her fingernails scratching the storm clouds, her sneers in the gusting wind, her rage in the thunderclaps. Beyond the beyond she grew tempestuous, and I struggled to make her wait.
I placed the knife back in the kitchen draw, folded down my sleeves and left. I’d be back. I always came back. And she’d be waiting.
She came as a ghost in the depths of the night, her nightgown billowing like a windblown shroud of intangible white. Her feet glided over the hall carpet without ever touching the pile, her bare toes pointed down like a spectral ballerina.
I thought myself dreaming and rubbed hard at my eyes, too hard. As the water ran over my cheeks to plop onto the duvet, I imagined she thought me crying. Perhaps, she even thought me repentant?
She parted long, lank hair from her face like drawn curtains and tilted her head to one side. The angle was acute and uncomfortable, but she was beyond pain. There she appraised me as my non-tears fell. A bulbous tongue clacked against her small, impressive teeth. Her fingers twiddled as though restless. I watched on disbelieving.
She came closer then, ever closer like an onrushing tide. There was no time to even hide beneath the sheets, so swift was her passage. She didn’t stop. Like the net curtains she resembled blown by my open window, she disappeared out into the night. I sniffed.
I thought I’d got away with it then, imagining all I’d have to do was mop the carpet where the seawater had run off her transparent form. In death, she was powerless, or so I presumed.
When I patted the duvet and lay back down, my head turning towards what for months had been her empty pillow, she was waiting.
I admired them in my own way, content with their lot in life, swimming in circles, never getting lost, intimating feeding time with those circular mouths. They seemed happy. Until I didn't feed them, that was. That's why they shot me. My fault, really. I forgot they had a tank.
Author's Note: In matters of life and death experience always trumps youth. Just another ditched scene, but as my knees are aching it seemed apt.
He sat at his desk oblivious, tap-tapping away on the typewriter, the words flowing from his fingertips. A lukewarm cup of coffee stood still steaming in the cold study, the old man too tired to set a fire when there was work to be done. He shivered, but not because the door had clicked open.
The assassin smiled. An easy job made easier. His target, the once much vaunted Sam 'the man' Witty, creaked even louder than the leather seat he sat in. A sneer escaped his lips as he raised his gun and levelled it at the back of the old man's head.
The shot came. A body fell to the floor.
A final tap of the keyboard and Sam stretched, his right arm still holding his trusted revolver as though it belonged there. He cracked his stiff neck, the sound louder than the silenced gunshot, and cast a second look to his reading glasses; the assassin was as dead in the left lens as he'd been alive in the right. Another dead body in a life full of them, Sam thought. Sixty years old he might have been, but experience counted in the game of death.
Beloved Be Loved
A Murder in Three Acts
I loved her with a passion that burnt through my body to singe the earth beneath my feet. Every thought of every day belonged to her, every moonbeam bore her features, every sunburst was her eyes. I lived for her, breathed for her, would’ve died for her, and then done so again. She was my beloved.
She eyed me with a mysterious mix of revulsion and curiosity. I might have been something she’d stood in, or an old blouse given to charity then spied on another woman who’d accessorised it with patches in the image of my face. She turned away because she couldn’t bear to look, not for her sake, but my own. Pity, I think? She pitied me. I was pitiful.
I trailed her with eyes upturned; her perfumed perfection provided a trail. Life wouldn’t allow me to part from her. Life, that’s a joke, I had no life without my beloved. To turn away was to fall into hell with a boulder strapped to my back and lead-lined shoes. Torture some might have called it, and they would’ve been right. Having a beloved who wouldn’t be loved. Could you imagine anything worse? I couldn’t. That’s why I ended it in one foul sweep of an over-sharpened blade. Ended it for us both.
They deemed it unnecessary, whilst I deemed it essential.
“Containment is the watchword, gentlemen,” I forewarned.
“Containment is the last thing on our mind. She…”
“It,” I intervened.
“She!” they bellowed as one.
“She is impeccable,” Charlesworth continued. “Come in, dear,” he said.
She entered the room dressed in the finest fabrics the orient possessed. Her clip-clopping feet were in perfect time to the batting of her overly long eyelashes. She paused, took in our little enclave and bowed with a creaking and clacking of unoiled cogs, then stood motionless.
“Perfect,” oozed Charlesworth.
“Divine,” grinned Robshaw like Mister Carroll’s Cheshire cat.
She’d beguiled them all.
I left them to their lecherous desires slamming the front door in my wake. I’d barely made it out of the gravel drive when the screaming began.
As I’d stated, it was all very unnecessary. After all, who should understand her faults better than the man who’d made her? And more pertinent, why he’d made her?
I took out the silver cigarette lighter that was far more, flicked the cap and shivered at the ensuing explosion. My movable mannequin had done her job well.
Again, only I knew why I’d made her and her purpose was to kill.
Good riddance, I detested each of them. They were the most unnecessary of all.
Murder? No. The guillotine just slipped.