Another short story, unfortunately I have never written in the first person before, so this time I decided that I was going to have a shot at it. Trying to keep the over flamboyant prose I am accustomed to vomiting out to a minimum, I am proud of this work, albeit unperfected, as it is a challenge. But don't let that stop you from ripping it to pieces constructively.
“I’ll never believe in love anymore after this.”
This statement was accompanied by a solitary acidic tear. My acrid juddering was ceaseless, the photo in my hand wavering uncontrollably, no longer could I focus on the subject or characters depicted in the post card from my past. It had been two long days, listening to soft ballads, shuffling tissues from one hand to the other. By now I should be all cried out. I blew softly on the candle in front of me and stood the photograph upright against it. The girl in the photograph gazed drunkenly from the shiny paper her tongue stuck out in permanent audacious revelry. She could always look this way, I would never see her any different. Red-eyed from the
cheap camera, blazing psychedelic lights in the backdrop, her arm draped around
some random middle aged woman with cheaply dyed scarlet hair and thick glutinous black lipstick.
A text came through on my mobile phone, the message I had been dreading. I had
hope my new client had suddenly nurtured a change of heart, somewhere
underneath the frigid pallid monsters shell, I had hoped a sense of mercy would
resonate, but as expected the phone flashed “££”. Let a heavy sigh escape me, like a deflating balloon, my chest shrunk and my heart almost popped. Blowing the last candle out I picked up my coat, making sure my equipment was in there, ready for use, and easy to conceal.
The wind outside swept through me, like an icy ghost, wrapping tendrils of mournful disinterest around my insides. I shuddered as I planted each deliberate
step, facing the gentle icy blast, plodding my way through the dimly lit concrete world around me. The streets were silent, the spasmodic crowds had left the estates and into the town, where the neon gods offered their impiety and profligacy to pulsing, writhing masses, this is the weekend with all the glory it proffers to the weaker mind, and the sycophantic hedonist. But the glittering streets are a mile away from me right now in the dark of my journey. I wish them be a million miles away, for soon I will be upon them, but for now the one comfort I have is in the solace of black.
I picture the photograph one more time, wax dripping over the ingenuous pose, the pretty beatific sylph with her robust maturing new friend, and the light still gleaming in her eyes. How my heart ached to turn back time, how I wish I could there and then spirit her away from the clutches of the sweaty meat faced woman and escape to a distant climate, our own island, or a villa set squarely in paradise, beneath palm trees and monkey puzzles. I could have spent some of my hard earned money to hit the white sands of some faraway place, soaking up the yellow heat, with her. Always with her, by my side, me by hers, her with me, and together, and always, never separate and…
My phone vibrates in my pocket as my yearning and pained daydream fades beyond the fractious reach of memory. Her face appears on my phone as it vibrates in my hand telling me that she is trying to call. I don’t want to answer, for it cancels her
face and I hear only her voice. There has been many a time I haven’t answered on the first ring, just because I am lost within her beautiful eyes. Tonight I answer first time, and explain that it will be fifteen minutes before I reach her, I am nearly there, and I love her, I won’t be long. Taking a large swallowing breath, I step up my tempo and head into the tawdry light.
You could feel the club shake the ground, and smell the odour of its feverish frequenters before the neon atrocity was in view, on the street saturated with kebab grease, sweat, and saliva soaked dog ends. I head to the late night cigarette vendors three doors down from her favourite wine bar, this will be the easiest transaction of the night. Twenty little death sticks please, because if I don’t get stabbed by some jumped up little teenager on these streets, at least I can have foul tasting lung cancer. As I leave the shop I send the text that I know she is waiting for, I remember to tell her I love her before turning the phone off and entering the trendy wine bar.
Unlike the nightclub we will be attending later, the bar is well lit, yellows and green wash the wall, bathed in a warm orange light. Littered with tall tables and thin stools, like a breakfast bar found often in these modern kitchens splashed over the pages of an Ikea catalogue, the bar welcomes a sparse crowd with soft music and expensive alcohol. I hail the Barman. It has long struck me how pretty his almond eyes are, and how sweet his respectful voice is, tonight is no different as he flashes me a wide smile of recognition.
“Good evening, a pinot grigot with soda water?”
“As always, and with ice.”
“Coming right up.” The Barman subtly winked a pretty eye as I turned to face the teeming streets outside the serendipitous haven. The cattle pushed and stumbled past the window, admiring themselves in the windows, straightening Ben Sherman shirts, pulling up Levi jeans and playing with cheap jewellery. The odd couple, arms draped over each other’s shoulders, or hands clasped together, tripped past the window, braying and bleating jovially. The door opens and in she walks.
I smile, the first genuine one of the night, as I stand up and gesture to ‘Pretty Eyes’ to pour another pinot grigot spritzer. She walks dignified to me, with a light in her eyes that will be too painful to ever dim, her teeth whiter than sugar and thrice as sweet illuminate her smile from within, the only part of her that betrays her cool. She loves me, she tells me so, and she smiles when she sees me. But she won’t kiss me here, not in front of ‘Pretty Eyes’. I will have all the kisses in the world later, if I so wish.
“I missed you.” She was sincere.
“Sorry I was so late getting out babe, work issues you know.”
“You’re here now,” her syrupy voice was quiet.
"Are you having a good night?”
"I am now.” She smiled.
"Where are your friends?”
“Samantha pulled, Jeanine is working hard on some Goth chick, and Abigail is waiting outside having a fag.” It amazed me how when talking about her friends, her voice no longer sounded full of love. I hate her friends; they like me, but don’t understand my princess and her choices. They do try to include me in their meaningless trivial conversations though, that at least shows they try to accept who we are, and what we do. Our drinks finished I wave to ‘Pretty Eyes,’ and we leave for the club.
I find myself standing in the dark, watching her from a comfortable couch as intermittent flutters of gaudy colour flash over her writhing body; I smile as she dismisses the advances of denim clad girls, leaning in to her with glistening lips and damp foreheads. I know that they are not her type; she only has eyes for me. She points me out to all the interested girls, all look over at me with disapproving, disappointed looks before moving onto search for their next conquest. I hate lesbians like those girls, with their short hair, pierced eyebrows and swagger; they give the rest of the human race a bad name. At least I am natural with my long brown hair, and porcelain skin, and that is what my girl loves about me.
“I see the job isn’t finished.” I hadn’t even seen him sit down, the sweaty man in the leather jacket and black eyes. “Are you playing with your food?” His sardonic smile creased his orange face into a flustered hateful ball of skin.
“Nice, you employ me, and then against all advice, you approach me. If we are seen
together, and this goes down badly, you’re going to be just as culpable.” I hate him, but as a true professional I keep my voice steady and even. I don’t even look at him, just watching my girl float and tumble amongst the heaving cattle.
“Just showing an interest in my investment, twenty thousand is a lot of money my love. It’s fun to watch though, you are very good. Take her to a gay club, have a few
weeks play time, lull her into a false sense of security, I bet she really trusts you now doesn’t she?”
I refuse to answer, fighting back angry tears I will my hands to be still, though I really want them to reach over the table and grab him by the throat and throw his head through the mirror on the wall behind us.
“That is really sweet, the fly is in love with the praying mantis. So when is the job going to be finished? The court case is tomorrow and I would hate to have her walk in there, it would only mean that I would have to hire another assassin to take you and your girlfriend out.” The smile was no longer on his face, just scorn and hatred.
“In about ten minutes, I am going to walk to her and tell her I am not feeling very well and that I want to leave. We’ll go together whilst the club is in full swing, there will be no people on the streets, I will have opportunity when we head down the side street away from the CCTV cameras.” The plan just fell from my mouth; my hand
involuntary went to my concealed equipment.
“I’ll meet you there. I am not entirely sure you have it in you to go through with it. You seem just a little attached my darling. Though you have good taste I will give you that. Such a waste the two of you if you ask me.” Sweaty black eyes stood up and left.
I did everything I told him I would do. Her concern for me as I held my head weakly hurt me so badly, I could see she really loved me, and her concern was genuine. Her warm arm slithered around my waste and on to my rear round peach as we exited the club and took a left to the side street that led to our taxi rank.
The once swarming streets, as I predicted, were ghostly with absent voices. The buildings shook as the weekend rolled inside their black walls, but the street was whispering with vacant breeze. Three steps into the alley, an ominous silhouette blocked the waning light from the other side. My princess had no chance, she didn’t even realize what was happening. A moment of fear illuminated in her expression when she saw the black eyes with his hands on his hips. As she turned mouth ready to shout some alarm, she found her jaw unmoving. I couldn’t watch as she clutched at the long filed screwdriver that I had thrust up through her throat and into her brain.
A claret river began to run down her throat, and over her pretty dress. As my angel thrashed in horror steeped in fear, gurgling and squirming against her inevitable doom. It is like watching a rose die. Beauty fighting for life, against the most damning of elements, pushing hard against the reapers scythe yet being stripped of the very soul that it has nurtured its entire life; it’s very soul destroying to witness. My only ever love ebbed away as the claret river slowed to a trickle, bright eyes dimmed to staring glass.
Black eyes may have escaped my attention if he hadn’t chuckled. Was it my white hot tears spilling over my face, or the graying complexion a cadaver displays when drained of blood that he found funny? Maybe it was the act itself, witnessing one woman kill another, or watching Romeo slaughter Juliet that is so amusing to Black eyes. Ruminating on this I knelt by the dead princess and curled my hand around the handle of the screwdriver still sticking out from under her chin, gripping it tightly I ready my arm to pull.
“Worth every penny, job well d…” He never had the chance to finish that