The first thing I wanted this morning was just to know that you didn’t hate me for doing this to you. For killing you so horribly, but you see, it had to fit…
It began, as it always does (with us, anyway) with conversation – an argument in this instance, over a fellow poet, and my determination that her latest offering was prize-worthy, versus your stubborn will and desire to tease.
You succeeded, and the banter grew more and more intense as I insisted upon knowing. In the end I delivered an ultimatum – ridiculous, given the geography, but there you have it – if she didn’t win, I would GET you.
You laughed sweetly, mockingly, and asked me HOW?!
The only way I know, my dear – to eviscerate you in fiction.
But you grinned and told me no-one had ever done that before, and to bring it on.
I never could resist a dare.
I had you sat at your computer, on the vidchat we so often indulge in, so that I could see you when it happened. Everything was primed, and because I’m a sweetheart really, I arranged ahead that your kids would be out somewhere, taken care of by friends. I also waited until your husband was at work, and the house was quiet.
There was a knock at the door and you looked up, annoyed, told me you’d be right back – there was a knock at the door. I smiled slyly as you swept the headphones from your ears. I already knew.
Voices were raised and I heard you swearing. A man’s voice, overpowering yours, chased you back into view. You ran to the kitchen, ransacking the drawers for something to use as a weapon. Found nothing, because I don’t play fair, you see – if I’m going to step out of my nature and do this, I want it made easy for me. But then…no, it is about power after all. Have a knife. Try!
You grasped the blade and turned to face your attacker. A lean, muscly nonentity with stringy hair and wild eyes. Who is he to you? A friend of an ex? A random nutter? Someone who bore you a deep and abiding grudge? He scared you, I could see, because you were pale, darling, and your freckles were showing dark against your lily skin, your eyes like black holes, drawing me into your panic as you yelled at him to get the fuck out of your house or you’d call the police.
My dear, the phone had to go. I wanted you to fight.
You did well. You swept a cup off the counter and threw it square at his head, where it exploded to smithereens across his temple, littering the floor with broken china. He bellowed and ran for you. You hesitated for a second – you were so close to running towards him – to countering his charge, but at the last minute all of the fears of your past welled up and engulfed you, and you turned tail and ran.
That was mean of me. I wanted you to fight, so he dragged you back into view by your hair, once he’d caught you. You squirmed and lashed out. He had your arm held out – the one with the knife still clutched in your hand – and you were desperately trying to break the iron grip on your wrist. You kicked him in the shins, clouting backwards with your feet – a plethora of useless blows and one moment of satisfying contact with his kneecap, making him stagger and wince.
You twisted, in spite of the ripping of your hair, and you bit him, sinking the venom of every one of your teeth into his flesh. But you dropped the knife in your eagerness to hold and subdue him, and he used your forward rush against you – he flung himself backward into a roll, and you flew over him, landed in a jumbled heap of limbs and grazed knees on the broken china, your mouth red with his blood.
You started to rise but he was up already, boots stamped down on your ankle, grinding it into the porcelain points, pinning you to the floor, and I watched the tears spurt down your face from pain, and I nearly stopped, darling, I really did.
But you had challenged me, and my honour was at stake.
I let him bend towards you, to tell you – to hiss you a message with his harsh voice and unearthly eyes, and you looked towards the screen in disbelief, to see me smile at you, encouragingly.
“Not like this!” you cried “I wanted glamour – I wanted tragedy – I wanted a STORY, you bitch!”
He punched you in the mouth for that. I think I saw you lose a tooth in the gouts of blood which flew down your top and decorated the china with a new, spotty pattern. I hope you bit your tongue. YOU ASKED FOR IT!
He dropped into you, knees pointed towards your gut, knocking the wind out. I heard you wheezing and saw your pathetic flails, as though reaching for his throat were more important than the air you so desperately needed. He did it again for good measure and then stayed on top of you, using his weight to subdue.
You cried then, great, gulping sobs, as you realised that it was over, or about to be.
He scooped the knife up from the floor and held your head back. You kicked and bucked and gave him a flavour of the rodeo I knew you could be, if pushed. My heart quickening, I let him hesitate – how much fight was in you? He started to enjoy it, pinning one part of you, then another, taking your feeble blows and hearing your shrieks of outrage as his delay encouraged you.
He took your hand and kissed it – a courteous touch, which surprised you enough that you didn’t expect him to suddenly plunge the knife home – right between his legs as he straddled you. He pulled it out, slick with your bright life-blood, and twice in again, in rapid succession, like punches, for more force than you realise is required to get a carving knife into a human.
He levered himself off you, and you curled into a ball, embryonic with pain, keening and bleeding and starting to shake.
Again, I almost relented, for you then uncurled and crawled, judderingly across the floor, back towards the screen where I still watched, transfixed – equal parts fascinated and horrified – and you spoke to me with a voice containing the sorrow of the entire world: “I thought you loved me? This isn’t what I wanted…how could you?”
We rarely get what we want in life, lovely, even with your face a mask of tears and the pain so great it was almost tangible through the screen. Enough was enough. He came up behind you then, snapped your head back one last time, and made quick work of finding your jugular – a few swift jabs and he opened you up, still writhing, and stood grimacing as the red pumped out of you and down his jeans, soaking his jacket and flooding his shoes.
You hung on, dear one, so bravely. You held my gaze for as long as you could, before your sweet eyes rolled back in a faint as the pain and blood-loss became too much. I watched as he let go of your hair, and your dead weight slumped to the ground. He bent for several moments of vigorous activity and stood again, fingers once more entwined in your hair – your face now serene (though bloody), but with the rest of you sickeningly…gone.
The dare was over. The challenge was won.
I killed you in fiction, but perhaps the joke was on me all along, because all I wanted to do was rescue you – to make him too clumsy to do the job properly; to give you a weapon sufficient enough to fight him off; to not, not, not let you die.
A hollow victory, my dear, and when I killed you I thought (being fiction) it would be easy to write and enjoy. But it wasn’t.
So…like I said – the first thing I wanted to know when I woke up was whether or not you hate me for this. And I’d appreciate a response; to let me know you’re still alive…