The violent shade of purple on my flawlessly manicured nails glints in the neon light as I stroke the teller’s cheek. It’s late in the evening and we’re driving through the city, searching for somewhere to eat. But I’m not feeling very hungry. Not for anything off the menu of a swish upscale bistro, anyway. Goosebumps rise on his arms where the cuffs of his sleeves have been rolled up. They were rolled up when I met him in the bank this afternoon. It was awfully stuffy in there. But I know it was me making him sweat when I placed my number, written in calligraphy, on top of my deposit and gave him my most devious smile.
His name was Lyle. The name didn’t fit him. Poor Lyle. I never removed my gaze as I asked questions about his job and whether he liked being a teller.
“No,” he replied nervously, I was making him uncomfortable, “I just… I just, uh… it pays the bills.”
“You’re a funny one,” I laugh, playfully hitting his shoulder and then sighing, “Do you want to just pull into a parking lot somewhere?”
“W-w-why?” Lyle stutters. I chuckle placidly and unfasten my seatbelt.
“There,” I say, pointing to a pub snuggled in between two larger buildings.
I’ve always found that I have some quality that compels people to do what I want. And just as I suggest, Lyle pulls into a parking spot and cuts the engine. His breathing is audible. It puts me in the mood. I lean over kiss him gently. Lyle’s eyes have grown wide with what he thinks he understands.
“Shhh. I’ve got a dark alley and a bad idea that says you should shut your mouth,” I cut him off in a whisper. His attention is centered on me now as I open the car door and slip outside into the frigid air. I wait for his footsteps close behind me before I turn to look at him and take his hand. I’ve never seen a man so edgy. Perhaps my little Lyle has a sixth sense.
Glancing over my shoulder, I pull him into the alleyway and press him to the hard brick of the building. Lyle’s dark brown eyes reflect my own blue ones in the sliver of moonlight I’ve positioned us under.
“Lyle,” I sigh into his ear, “Do you know why we’re here?”
Lyle’s chest rises and falls rapidly between his words, “I think. Um, yes?”
God, it’s killing me to see him like this. Oh, the irony.
“Lyle,” I breathe again as I leave tiny kisses along his jaw and finally reach his mouth. Little by little, I pull back from Lyle’s lips and like any man, he pushes from the wall to get close to me again. And when we’re in total darkness against the opposite wall, I’ve got him right where I want him. My fingers, tangled in his hair, move down his chest and leap lightly to my own jacket, ever edging closer to the initiator of Lyle’s ill fate.
I reach down and ease the switchblade from the pocket of my coat. It comes out, the blade bursting forth eagerly. My arm wraps around Lyle’s waist. The knife strikes like a viper. The sudden rigidity of Lyle’s muscles so close to me is quite a turn on. For an instant, I regret stabbing him. But my hand flexes again and penetrates the flesh of his back once more.
“Poor Lyle,” I coo to him as his dulling eyes stare into me. I think the previous confusion about our relationship is clearing up.
“It’s just your unlucky night, isn’t it?” I ask sympathetically. Lyle says nothing, but he grabs one of my wrists as he falls to the ground and pulls me down. One of my nails snaps painfully as it connects with the pavement. My temper flares up.
“Do you know how much a manicure costs?” I hiss as I stand and brush myself off. I lift the hem of my dress and remove the pistol that is strapped to my thigh. I study the broken nail, pouting. With a twitch of my finger the bullet is burried in Lyle’s skull. I don’t even have to look.
“What a jerk,” I mumble, wiping my knife on Lyle’s coat and shoving the gun into my pocket with it. Content once more, I grab Lyle’s keys and wallet from his pants pocket. My brisk stride carries me back to his car.
With a sigh of pleasure at the instant gratification of my job, I slide into the driver’s seat of Lyle’s jeep. He was just another victim in a city that read the newspapers every morning with bleary eyes that hadn’t yet felt the effects of the coffee as perused the obituaries as casually as the personal ads. They didn’t really care. He wasn’t my problem. He wasn’t anyone’s problem. He was just one less teller to try and embezzle money from the bank.
Sweeney Todd, he wasn’t all that bad a guy. I mean, he had the right idea. I have to wonder if I’ll meat my end like him some day though.
I love puns about death.
But for now, I’m the ultimate killer. No one likes to suspect the beautiful woman. And the beautiful woman doesn’t like to be suspect. The system is flawless. Because everyone is just as guilty as they are naïve.
Early in my career I had a few mishaps, a couple of close calls. But luckily Mom and Dad knew all the tricks. The evidence disappeared, someone else was framed then proven innocent and the case went unsolved. That’s how it went down and that’s how it stayed. Six feet down. Just like I like it.
My first murder was glorious. I was three weeks from turning 21. Dad told me he had a previous engagement so I would have to take care of a little something for him. He handed me a revolver and a scrap of paper with identification scribbled on it. Then he walked out the front door of my apartment. That was how it all began.