I just sat there for a moment looking down at it, turning it in my hand, getting a feel for the weight. The weight of his words swishing around in my head. I didn’t have to ask if they were true, it just made some sort of insane sense, a puzzle piece falling into place, this was what I waiting for.
“What do I do?”
“Whatever you want.” He smiled.
A lapping feeling of dark waves pouring over me, covering me, feet first. It was like a dream, like a wish. A whole dark world opened up before me, welcoming me in like some returning hero from long exile. I was home, whatever that meant. I went from a sad emo only child with a serial killer blog to Dark Diana mistress of the damned with not one but two siblings of the night at her side, more or less.
“Oh yeah” He said suddenly raising to a mid-crouch, the ceiling being far too low for his stature. He leaned over Wendy and opened each eye and then gave her a few little love taps to bring her just to the brink of consciousness. “I gave them just a little more than you to keep them under. I didn’t know whether you wanted them to talk, sometimes I like them to talk, confess, scream, spit.” He paused and looked down at her like she was Christmas ham and then looked back up at me and smiled that plastic smile. “It seems necessary sometimes but it’s up to you. I think she’s passed a confession at this point.”
“I know all I need to.” I said stonily.
“I figured as much.” He smirked.
Wendy’s head rolled back and forth and her eyes fluttered open and she looked around confused. Unable to move her head as it was pinned with plastic wrap across her forehead. She saw me and her eyes got hot and spicy, I could almost see blood squirting out of them.
I could feel it then, my heart pounding, the dark dancer gripping the knife, moving my hand, my feet moving on their own, letting go, letting it take me as it purred incessantly in my ears. I stood like someone yanked my strings and glided over by her side and looked down at her. She was beautiful, a perfect specimen really, it was a shame. A beautiful tragedy.
She was my friend, kind of. That’s what made it special I guess, the setting, the night, the company. She looked up at me with wide terrified eyes now, she saw the knife, she could feel the squashing pressure of it now. The helplessness, the hopelessness. The cornered animal anger leaving and being replaced with a dreadful solipsism. She could feel it now, see it in my empty eyes, she knew she was about to be swallowed, there was no other way. Not a muscle she could move, not a penny she could spend, not an eyelid she could flutter. Nothing would spare her this, this was fate, this was the end, her end and it was as beautiful and poetic one as I could ever hope to see.
Only one question savaged me; Where to start?
I thought about it, I looked down at her put my hands through her hair making a soothing cooing noise. Watching as tears leaked from her face and she made a pitiful mewling noise, a white frothy spittle gathering under the tape. I felt the boney fingers curling on top of mine, squeezing the knife, lifting my hand like Abraham, but no one would call out, no loving god would stop this.
It came down like a guillotine falling, such beautiful effortless purpose, a key in a lock, a thread through the head of a needle. The knife entered her torso just under her ribs and she gasped as the cool steel touched her. An almost ecstatic sound of breath escaping and holding, resisting and then relenting. Her body tensing and then becoming limp and empty only her eyes holding onto some tiny spark of something.
I stood there for a moment feeling it- it- life, death, power, powerless, emptiness. A tingling sensation travelling down my back and down to my legs as I continued to cut. She breathed raspily over spurts of disgusting sticky blood. Her fingers dancing and spasming under the plastic.
I was somewhere about two inches into her chest cavity when she finally died, near her heart. I could feel it stop beating, listlessly clinging to life just for the sake of routine.
She slowly wound down like a clock, just slipping away, her skin pallid and white, flecks of blood on her face. I’d managed to keep most of it contained the plastic did the rest. There was something in that, a tremendous feeling of relief, something I’d been holding onto released. Like I’d discovered a phantom limb left to atrophied. A balled fist finally unclenched, a third eye, a set of wings stretched for the first time. A complete unwinding of a tension I didn’t even know I had stored up over a lifetime. Released all at once and all at once I knew I’d have to do it again, and soon.
I stood for a moment in complete silence, the blood cooling on my hands, a sweet smell filling my lungs as I looked down at her still body. It was quiet, only a calm purring from the dark depths, a steady still beat slowly drifting into nothing. It was like I’d silenced a sea of screaming seagulls all at once. A chorus of vicious hungry angels all satiated and in their beds with full tummies.
I felt free and happy and loose like a warm towel on an airplane. Just perfectly comfortably- numb.
It was like I imagined and so much more. It was beautiful and I was grateful to her. I felt no hate or anger, just a warm feeling like the warm stinging glow of a torn muscle, the happy pain of a job well done. I felt closer to her maybe than I felt to anyone. In that moment we were truly connected. She saw me like no one else could and no one else would.
The dark back seat driver crept back below deck to wait and sleep until next time. And there would be a next time, a lot of next times.
I stood there, glowing, buzzing, radiant, a conductor of my own thoughts, calming the bees in my head, getting them all to lay down and get in a straight line. I was lost and found all in the same day.
“Ahem” A voice said behind me.
“Oh” I said dreamily.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Brody asked smiling that happy fake smile. A smile like he was going for a villain but came off as a creepy Saturday morning cartoon host, so sterile and wooden.
“Huh” I asked dimly, waking from my divine stupor.
He cleared his throat again and signalled with his head beyond Wendy’s slowly cooling corpse. I turned to look, I saw Paul’s terrified eyes staring at me over the tape. My pulse quickened, blood that was warm and piping suddenly got cold and soupy, how long had he been awake, how much had he seen?
“I’m afraid, he’ll have to go too.” Brody said it like he was asking me to take a dog for a walk, throw away thanksgiving leftovers. And there was that, the expression Paul had was that of a sad dog about to put down. A morose tacit acceptance, a solemn dignified pitifulness.
I looked at the knife and the mess I had made of Wonderful Wendy. She was flat and still and looked peaceful with most of her organs on the outside. I’d really made quite a mess, first times and all that.
“I can’t, I mean, he’s not like her.” I said weakly. Almost expecting it not to work, another stirring, a rise of the choppy dark water and the dark watcher rolling in his deep castle, was he ready for round two? He’d waited this long, I was sure he could go all night. I could feel his smile on the back of my head, a lizard tongue and wicked teeth on lidded eyes. Leather appendages whipping and slithering with a sibilant hum.
“Well” He stopped and looked Paul up and down as if he saw something he recognised. “There is a matter of witnesses” He said. “But if you’re sure.”
Looking at him I felt a twinge of something, naked guilt. I felt empty and open, his silent eyes wide and moist. As if he was begging me to do it, a cool hiss inside like a punctured tire and I felt it coming again. The puppeted movements, the swelling tide, the hungry maw opening again to admit just one more.
A sound, a sliding metallic noise and a rush of warm tropical air piercing the cool mobile strip club stopped me.
I turned to see my Au-sister, Mary Anne standing in the sliding doorway of the stretch Humvee. She must have followed me in the detective’s car.
“You can’t” She wailed.
“She already did” Brody chimed in peeling out of the darkness plastic grin first.
A gun she had hanging at her side suddenly raised its ugly angular head, I recognised it, the German android gun Cartwell had, I believe they called it a ‘Glock’.
“I won’t let you ruin her, you already fucked up your own life, I won’t let you fuck her up too!” She shrieked.
He smiled and raised his hands slowly sliding towards her like he was a chime on a cuckoo clock.
“Look at her” He said quietly. And she did.
The blood cooling and caking covering my pretty pink dress. A real princess.
“No” She said like she was reading a script. Her voice toneless and dull.
He was on her like he never stopped moving, the split second it took her to see the blood he moved faster than I thought possible, like an animal. The speed of a leopard moving without thought or drag, a sleek body cutting through the air. Pure ambivalent instinct like a Venus fly trap closing. A knife appeared in his hand. She fired hitting him high but off centre. He buried his knife deep in her side and they both fell silent and still, a curtain on a stage falling and I was alone again. Holding the knife in the spotlight.
A moment of still silence fell as the dust settled and I could hear breathing and the crickets and the frogs and the warm wind whistling.
“Diana don’t” I heard a meek voice say in the back of my head.
I looked back down, my legs felt jelly like. I was floating, dreaming. Paul had chewed through his tape and was saying things to me but I couldn’t hear any of it. His lips were moving, his soft dull face chewing like a cow in a field and all I could feel was the cool hard handle of the knife. And the blood dripping down it, and the sea of voices rising again. The sea screaming out and wanting more and more and more. It would never be satisfied.
I lifted the knife and swallowed.
“No” It said again. I looked down at his face and the voice didn’t fit, it didn’t make sense. “It doesn’t fit” The voice said. “Not in his code”
‘Code’ I thought to myself, what code? Who’s saying that? And again it came the thrashing dark waves and the leathery wings beating faster and faster urging me on beyond reason.
“It’s not right”
“Who is that?” I screamed, putting my hands to my ears, my heart was pounding, I knew I was crazy but this was getting ridiculous. I was sure I was sharing space with one entity, did a second really seem that much of stretch? One that wants me to kill and one that wants me to kill within a set of strict rules like some murderous hedge fund manager. Not exactly a devil angel on the shoulder dichotomy but pretty close.
There was something that seemed familiar about it, something I couldn’t put my finger on. Even now as I could feel the blood cooling on my skin I knew killing Paul wouldn’t feel as good. A slippery slope of diminishing returns. But then there it was again, that dark thing that I now affectionately referred to as ‘D’ stirring up the dark water. Filling me with that black moonlight, whispering things that only I could understand. Taking my hand, shouldering my burden, making me feel light and sharp and deadly and making me not care about the consequences.
The knife feeling like a fingertip as I slid it slowly down Pauls face.