I decided to open a dictionary at a random page, and create something from the first word I saw. The word was Punctilious.
This is a short story.
I had actually sat and contemplated ways of killing somebody without people finding out. It would be perfect, precise, clean. I had always pictured it, that it would be exactly the way I wanted it to be. I got it wrong.
It started the way I had it planned. She didn’t know that I was there, couldn’t see me. The most perfect target there could be, innocent, so flawless. She would never know until it was too late, that I had been two steps behind her all day. Waiting.
I finally made my move at dusk. She was alone, walking somewhere; it doesn’t matter where. Chloroform, my charming partner, felling her into my arms. She is still beautiful this close, the perfect canvas for my art. She weighs so little, just like I expected. Nobody turns to question me as I carry her away; it’s as if she’s sleeping. She is sleeping; she will always be sleeping.
The scene was faultless, just as I’d always wanted it to be. I had placed everything meticulously; if one single thing were to be out of place, it would have smothered the beauty of my work. That’s what it was, beauty. She was so perfect and pure, she alone mirrored my art; it had to be her. It could only have been her.
It was just a room when I began, with a bed and a chair, a small fridge in the corner. I prepared it the day before I collected her. The walls I painted dark red, and I hung long velvet curtains in the same colour. The bed, (it was only the best for my art) black satin sheets and rose petals. I had to show her that she had been chosen through love, love of perfection and supreme beauty. She would be remembered forever, revered as the Mona Lisa, looked upon in awe by all.
I laid her out in that masterpiece of a room. Though she could not see it, I’m sure that she loved it as much as I. I had changed her, stripped her of the clothes she was wearing. Cotton and denim were not materials fit for one such as her, she who is the music to my song. There she lay, her delicate form wrapped in satin, her luscious golden hair spread over her shoulders. She was perfect, but not free. If I had not saved her, she would have been spoiled by the world, grown old and been forgotten. I have saved this singular beauty; she will be mine forever.
Then came my mistake. A thing so small that I never imagined it could ruin my plans. I couldn’t help myself - it was not in my plan, I shouldn’t have done it, but I had to. She was everything I had imagined, laid before me; I wanted to preserve her in my mind forever. I leaned over her and kissed her and this one kiss betrayed me. Even as she slept I know she felt it, I know it is what she had been waiting for. It has to have been what she was waiting for. It was that one kiss that made me fall. But I did not know it then.
Everything was ready, so I began to create my masterpiece. I wore gloves, so that there would be no fingerprints, and I had bleach so that there would be no other DNA present but hers once I left. I had my case at my side, filled with the instruments of my art. The first, a small syringe with my own special formula. It would wake her from her sleep, but make her still. A canvas does not move. I could not have her spoiling the art, but she must watch me work, watch me bring out her true beauty.
She looked afraid, but I knew that would pass. Once she saw that I was going to make her something magnificent, something better. Second, the scalpel. I started with her hands, those soft, pale, beautiful hands. Small cuts. Tiny red lines appeared, starting at her hands, moving up and up her arms. She eventually stopped trying to scream; she just looked at me with those beautiful blue pools.
I reached her neck, that thin beautiful neck. Her hair flowing as gently around as silk. Radiant gold mixed with her ruby blood. Next I moved to her legs, such long slim elegance. The perfect legs on the perfect body. I continued my masterpiece, one tiny slice after another. Her eyes were no longer full of pain; they were simply gazing somewhere unseen. It was almost the end for her, but not the end of the artistry. She will be remembered.
Her face was last. That delicate, perfect, face. I feared that she had gone, left her body for someplace she believed would be better. I was tempted to end my work for that moment, wait for her to return. But it was too late for me to stop; she was so close to completion. The first touch to her face brought her eyes straight back to me, though it did not look like she would be back for long. I could hardly feel her breath and that glorious skin was getting colder.
By the time I had made my last cut she was gone. It was as I had expected, she was not supposed to stay forever. When my work was done I took some final photographs of her; she looked so magnificent. I washed my tools then the room, looking back only once as I left. Someone would soon find her and my art would be known throughout the world.
I was certain that they would never know me, never find me. I had done everything right, paid for the room in cash, with a name not my own. I had washed everything, left no trace of myself. Except for that kiss. The men who came for me did not appreciate my art; they believed me to be a monster. They treated me like a monster.
It is true that no mans art can be appreciated while he still lives. However, I am not to be living much longer. My last hour is drawing to a close, then I will be gone. But my art, my magnificent art, will last forever.
Inspired by Michael.