(if you missed parts 1 and 2, look here and here)
The Ninth Victim part 3
There it was- on the table, all for her viewing and dissecting pleasure. She let go of my hand and shot back up from being crouched on the floor. I felt her presence standing behind me as my chest heaved strongly from all the tension being released. Yet, a new sort of tension set in, one that made me uneasy and my guts twist inside. She slowly walked around from behind me until she was standing directly in front of me again, her eyes focused on mine and her lips slightly parted. There was a piercing silence in the room as I sensed she finally truly understood why I was there. It was all making sense to her now. She took it all in, analyzing it in her own way as she stood over me like a statuesque Greek goddess. She was a goddess to me. I suddenly felt as though I had finally found who could be the one, the woman for me. I never do get what I really want.
“You just wanted to what?” She asked quietly. “Kill me?” But, then she answered her own question. “You just wanted to kill me.”
I just stared up at her and let my gaze do the talking. A strange calmness came over me as my stomach stopped churning and my heartbeat slowed down again.
She suddenly let out a sound, “Humph.” She turned to look to the side, her tongue in her cheek and hands on her hips. Betty glinted at her side. Then she shook her head the way people do when they can’t believe what they’re hearing, even though they know it’s true. Strands of blond hair slipped from her ponytail as she did so. “So, what are you then?” she asked as she lifted her head to look at me. “Some kind of serial killer psychopath?”
I inhaled deeply and nodded, almost proudly. I was accepting who I was to another person for the first time. It felt good to admit it, like a release. I was a serial killer. Psychopath, though? Maybe, but not in my mind. This was all completely natural, everything up until this point anyway. Now things were a cross between a dream and a nightmare.
“Wow,” she announced as she smirked at me and nodded again. “I have a fucking serial killer psycho…in my living room.” She clapped her hands together, still gripping the knife. “Now I think I’ve really seen it all.”
“You’re the first person I’ve ever told,” I said to her.
“Well, just paint me tickled pink- did I win the lotto or something?” She quipped sarcastically. Then she laughed an evil sort of laugh. “This is too much…you just made this even easier on me now…”
“What?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer.
“Why, getting rid of you, of course!” she exclaimed, actually jubilant. “No one’s going to come looking for your sorry John Wayne Gacy-looking ass!”
I was offended by the John Wayne Gacy comment, and sheepishly I looked down at my stomach. Had I really gained weight? “I fancy myself more for a Ted Bundy, I’d say,” I muttered loud enough for her to hear.
This made Christine laugh. “Your sense of humor’s better than I thought! Hysterical! Too bad Bundy didn’t have a mustache. By the way, it makes you look like a washed-up porn star from the ‘70s,” she said, as she gestured toward my face with my blade.
I shifted in the chair. I was starting to get really uncomfortable, not so much emotionally, but physically; the ropes were really starting to take their toll on my muscles. I twisted my arms about as best as I could and swiveled my hips a bit. Christine noticed and tsked. “Oh, poor baby. Are you uncomfortable? Good.”
She stepped towards me then straddled me, climbing into my lap. Her ass cheeks were on my knees and her breath was in my face. She got really close again, peering right into my eyes, her hands on my shoulders, Betty’s blade just centimeters from my right ear. “How many women have you killed already?” she asked me in a hushed voice. She sounded sensual.
I paused before responding, wondering if I should answer honestly. I realized I didn’t have anything to lose as this point, so I did. “Eight.”
“So, I was supposed to be your ninth victim?” she asked in the tone of a statement.
“That’s right,” I replied quietly.
“Huh.” She seemed to ponder over this as her eyes looked to the side. “And what made you come after me?”
I sighed. “Everything, I guess.”
“Yeah, the way you look, the way you move, the way you…just are. I can’t really describe it. I was just drawn to you.”
“In a way that makes you want…to kill me?”
I shrugged as best as I could with my arms tied behind my back. “It’s what I do.”
She stuck her tongue out a bit and curled it over her top front teeth, and narrowed her eyes at me, mulling it all over. “You. Sick. Fuck.” Then she got off of me and sat back down on her sofa and crossed her arms over her chest. I felt like a boyfriend of hers who had just said something offensive right before he was about to get laid.
“Well, what about you?” I asked. “What’s your deal? You’re clearly no school teacher,” I said. Then, reconsidered. “Or are you?”
“Ha!” She said. “You’d like that wouldn’t you?”
“Seeing as it’s summer and you’re not going to a job, it’s entirely possible.” Again I attempted to shrug.
She gave me a derisive look. “Well, sorry to disappoint you.”
“So, what are you? Some kind of professional assassin or something?” I snorted.
She looked at me with her eyebrows raised, her eyes serious, a small smile on her lips.
She was an assassin. I had wanted to kill an assassin.
“Wow, really?” was all I could say.
“Well, something like that,” she replied as she uncrossed her arms and started playing around with my knife, lightly twisting the tip of the blade into her index finger. “Too bad you’ll never really know, because no one does who isn’t supposed to. And I don’t feel like explaining it all to you just because you just poured your heart and soul out to me- or should I say heartless and soulless?”
“What? You think you’re better than me just because you get paid to kill people?” She looked surprised at my comment, so I knew I’d hit something. “So, it is true? That’s what pays for this house, huh? And all your damn dry-cleaning! And the cheesy art on the walls.” I shook my head a bit. “And you think you’re better than me? Lady, we’re in the same rank it seems, okay?”
She leaped up at that and again brought the knife to my throat, pressing her forehead against mine so our eyes were less than an inch apart. “Look, Tubby, I’m the one holding the knife right now, so I think you should can it on the slick talk, okay? I’m nothing like you and you’re nothing like me, so don’t talk to me about ranks. You came here to satisfy some sick, sadistic urge inside you that probably stems from your alcoholic daddy or your mommy beating you when she caught you jerking off. You don’t get to talk to me about you being anything near to what I am! The only rank you’re in is the one that caters to the slimebags the unlucky souls in Hell walk on!”
I stared back at her, wild-eyed and unsure of how to respond. All I could muster was, “Okay!” It’s funny, I knew I was going to die at her hands- I had to at this time –yet, when death came as close as it just had, I still reacted fearfully and wanting to keep a hold of my life. Survival was still in my instincts. It made me feel human for a moment.
She slowly loosened her grip again and pulled the knife away from me as she stepped back closer to the couch. Then she began to speak again. “I’ve done the things I’ve done because it’s what I was meant to do. Because those were the skills God gave me- to kill people quietly. To do it in a way that makes the world a better place, trust me. I didn’t take away anyone’s darling daughters or loving mothers. That’s what you did though, no doubt. I’ve killed your kind before. The ones who abuse women just for fun. Just for kicks. Just because they feel bad about themselves but are too sick and deranged to even know what to do about it, so they find pleasure in torturing and killing others. I’ve killed the men who give men the bad names they have among women. The corruptors, the greedy, the violent evil ones who think they can stop anyone who gets in their way with a gun or a knife. I do that because it’s what I was meant to do. Not to satisfy any animalistic urge as I’m sure you do.”
I regarded her for a moment, admiring her intensity. She was quite a woman. It really was a shame it had to end like this, without me getting to know her in the ways I was longing to now. Sure, I was getting to know a side of her a select few actually knew. Everyone else who saw this woman day-to-day, like the dry cleaner, the grocer, her neighbors- they had no clue who this woman really was. I didn’t know her either, but I knew more than they did, and that made me feel almost as god-like as she was. I wondered if I was beaming. I still felt I should speak my mind. “But, we are the same, you and I,” I said. “You do take pleasure…I can tell by the way you’ve handled me tonight. You enjoy it just as much as I do. You get off on it just as much as I do. The only thing that separates us is a superiority complex and a paycheck- you have both and I have neither.”
Her intensity increased as I seemed to have a struck a nerve, but it was a nerve that rang true. She knew it was true, she had to. She had been in denial for so long, and I had released her from it, as she was about to release me from mine. We were killers, and we enjoyed it.
“I won’t get paid for my last kill, though,” she said. “This last one is just for me.”
“I’m guessing it’s not Valerie or Randall,” I said.
She smiled lightly and shook her head.
I closed my eyes and bowed my head. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I was just glad it would be done with my own knife, it was fitting. I had been through so much with Betty, and surely you’d want your lover to pull the plug if you were in a coma living off life-support for years and years. I was ready to wake up, to see what was next for me, to move on. I lifted my head again and opened my eyes to look at her. She looked like a shining beacon of light as she stood over me, her golden hair glowing like the sun. Then I closed my eyes for the last time and let the quick darkness wash over me.
Jessica Pherson is one of the Founders of The Veillee and author of her own blog, Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby. She works from home part time for an eco-friendly jewelry company/retailer and is also a stay-at-home mom to Lily. This is her first completed short story to be published online.
Learn more about Jessica by checking out The Matchbox section of this blog!
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