murder/ thiller/female lead.
Juliet Reynolds bent down and kissed the tops of her three children’s heads as they all stood in the small hallway of their ex-council house.
Juliet, her husband Robert and their children Jack, Thomas and Lisa had lived here for twelve years. They had bought the house back eight years ago when house prices had started to rise rapidly, so with a discount from their local council they went ahead and purchased their very first home. Juliet and Robert were proud to own their own home. Both having been raised on a council estate, they felt it was a big step to take a chance and buy. It meant money was tight but they felt it was worth the belt tightening needed.
Robert was taking the children to watch a Saturday morning kids’ club film at the multiplex on the outskirts of the city. As money was tight Juliet would stay at home to save a couple of pounds towards the weekly family shopping whilst Robert walked them to the cinema.
‘Have a lovely time you lot. Behave for your dad now’
‘We wish you could come too. Love you mummy’ the children chorused to her.
‘Love you all too, do your coat up Jack. There’s a good boy.’
She gave her husband a kiss and a cuddle and then they were gone, leaving her to wash their primary uniforms ready for school Monday morning. The washing machine had past its best before date. Still it was better than carrying the whole lot the half a mile to the launderette or even washing it in the bathtub; which she’d done many times before they could afford to get this machine. It had to be second-hand, new was just too much money, and the noise level, when it was on a spin cycle it sounded like a plane about to take off, not that Juliet really knew what that was like, she’d never been on a plane, never even been out of Britain in fact. Never mind, she thought, maybe one day soon.
The man was sat in his parked car at the end of Juliet’s street, just waiting.
Looking again at his watch he saw it had just turned a quarter to ten. He had only been parked here for twenty minutes and already the neighbourhood was a hive of activity. Young children were running around chasing each other or speeding up and down the pavement on bikes.
A man aged around sixty was busy cutting his grass with a cylinder mower. At his age, he thought, he should at least think about trading up for a hover mower. All that pushing and pulling was no good for the old man’s heart.
A movement up the street caught his eye, cursing himself because he nearly missed them leaving the house, whilst he had sat mindlessly watching the blades cutting and tearing the grass.
The husband and all three kids were on their way. The youngest two sat in the double buggy, the oldest child holding tightly on the handle as the father pushed. Yesterday he’d waited here for over an hour just to watch her take the children to school. Nobody had taken a blind bit of notice of him whilst he’d sat there.
Last week he’d gone to an office supplier and picked up a load of files and papers along with a smart black briefcase, he kept them spread out on the front seat beside him. If anyone looked at him as they walked past, taking in the jacket hanging up in the back of the car and the serious look on his face as he was sorting through and completing paperwork, they dismissed him as an agent or collector for one of the widely used high interest loan companies going around. They were always lurking, waiting for their customer to come home.
He watched the little group walk off down the road. The daddy was speaking and the children laughed in response as they walked past the man in his car.
He knew they were off for their fortnightly visit to the cinema. The man had been watching the coming and goings of the family for the last six weeks. Ever since he noticed her, Juliet, one Monday afternoon she had been shopping at the supermarket. It had been fairly easy to follow her home.
They didn’t have a car so he estimated a good three or four hours of quality time before the group would be back.
Picking up a clip board and after checking himself in the rear view mirror he smiled knowing that mummy would be just about ready for him now.
Having loaded and started up the old machine, Juliet made herself a cuppa. She’d just sat down at her kitchen table when the doorbell rang out. Checking who it was through the front door’s spy hole, Juliet registered a fairly good-looking tall man standing outside, she registered that he wore a light blue shirt with a tie, and was carrying a clip board.
Juliet, normally careful of whom she let into her home was extremely aware of the dangers to women, even in their own homes. But this time her mind over-rode any doubts because he looked fine, it was a Saturday morning and plenty of her neighbours were out front working on their gardens. Who in their right mind would be simple enough to try something!
‘Mrs. Reynolds?’ The Man asked. ‘Your gas meter’
‘Oh right’ Juliet replied. She opened the door wide for him to enter.
‘It’s inside, I’ll show you where, it’s just in here under the stairs. It’s very dark under there, but I suppose you’re used to that in your job?’ She didn’t ask to see his id.
Juliet closed the front door behind him and motioned for him to follow her down the hallway to the cupboard under the stairs. She noticed he didn’t have a torch with him. Thinking this to herself she opened the cupboard door and stood back for him to get past her. He stooped down inside the cupboard as if to read the metre.
‘It’s the one on the left, right in the corner’ Juliet explained.
‘Ah, yes I can see it. Can’t quite make out the numbers, though’ He seemed nice enough. She noticed he had a lovely smile.
‘I’ll have to pop back out to my car to fetch my torch, Mrs. Reynolds’ The man stood and brushed the dirt from the inside of the cupboard from his trousers. ‘Unless, you don’t happen to have one handy do you? Save me the trip, I’m parked all the way up the street.’
Juliet didn’t have a clue where Robert kept the thing. Perhaps it could be under the sink?
‘Let me see if I can find one for you. Won’t be a sec.’ She’d turned her back on him to go through into the kitchen when she felt her head being pushed forward with force. Juliet’s face smacked into the kitchen door frame and for a second she was stunned and confused. Thinking she had simply misjudged the distance when she’d turned towards the kitchen? The pain kicked in but before she had a chance to recover she was grabbed by her hair and spun around, he grabbed at her throat with both hands and began to apply pressure, being careful not to squeeze her throat too hard. He wanted her alive. Juliet was struggling, fighting for her life.
Juliet started clawing at his arms trying to push him from her; but it was a useless effort, he was just too strong. The hallway started to spin around her; she could feel darkness engulfing her. Her last bit of air in her lungs was disappearing, as she closed her eyes she saw the man was smiling at her, his smile would be the last thing she would see.
He slowly released his hands from her neck. The bitch was out cold. Making sure he hadn’t gone too far and killed her, he checked her pulse, she was still alive. He gave himself a mental pat on the back for holding back. He’d nearly come watching the slut’s face turning several glorious shades of red and purple as she feebly tried to fight him.
Lifting her over his shoulder as a fireman would he took her upstairs to her bedroom, dumping her limp body on the unmade bed he looked around him he felt a wash of disappointment, this room didn’t look like he’d imagined it would for the last six weeks whilst he’d been watching the family. It was a pit, there were clothes strewn all around the room, he could see a dirty pair of used men’s boxer shorts on the floor. Her husband had obviously stepped out of them and left them there.
She really was a dirty slut! He thought. She deserved everything he was about to give her. Taking off his black leather gloves and putting on the latex pair he’d brought with him he set to work.
It really was a pity about her eyes, the wrong colour, but never mind… he’d come prepared. Removing a small tube from his pocket he unscrewed the cap and carefully prised open each of Juliet’s eye lids and applied a thin line of fluid inside…now the problem was solved, it really was a shame her eyes weren’t green; then she could have watched him as he worked on her.
‘You really should be more careful who you let in, Mrs. Reynolds. You know your husband won’t be best pleased with you when he sees you have invited a man into his home. Oh no, not pleased at all.’
Juliet came around a few minutes later and she could hear him hum the tune for happy birthday. Juliet’s throat was extremely sore. She tried to open her eyes, but couldn’t. Something was wrong because she couldn’t even move her eyeballs.
Her attacker was on the bed with her; his movements on the bed were causing her body to rock. He must have noticed she was conscious.
‘Mrs Reynolds, I’m glad you’re awake. You’ll have noticed that I have covered your mouth, just a preference of mine, I’m sure you understand. The list of things to punish you for has got longer Mrs Reynolds, or can I call you Juliet as we are about to get to know each other better, Yes? Perhaps later I can call you mummy, would you like that? But firstly Juliet you will have to please me, and this stinking hovel you call your bedroom does not do that!’ And so he began to tell her what he was going to do to her, how slowly he would make it and if he enjoyed her how he would repeat her punishment, over and over, until he became bored.
‘When I have finished with you Juliet you will be tainted, no one will ever want you again. So you must have realized by now that I will kill you! But how you wonder? It depends entirely on you Juliet! If you please me I will be merciful, you will marvel at my knowledge with your last breaths. However if I despair at your efforts I will show you no mercy as our Lord shows no mercy to the sinners in his flock, you will be dammed and will die a terrible death.’
Juliet was a brave woman; her only thoughts at this the most frightening time of her life were for her husband and her three precious children. When they came home would he then kill them? Not knowing how long she had been unconscious for she prayed silently to God that this man would have finished with her and have left before they came back.
Shifting his body so he was now straddling her he began to undo the buttons of her blouse. Her breasts, along with the way she clearly loved her children were part of the reason to why he had chosen her.
Opening her blouse he wasn’t disappointed. A sensible bra covered them, but only just. He ripped the bra apart to let her flesh spill out for him; he felt he was releasing them. They were now his, she was now his. Nobody else would have her again.
Juliet was trying to speak, but a gag around her mouth was stopping her. He’d moved down the bed and started to undo whatever was tying her legs together. She knew what was about to happen so she was trying to tell him to go fuck himself, repeating it over and over again against the gag, he didn’t take any notice because he was too busy cutting off her jeans to worry about her mumbling.