Friday, January 27, 2012

The Ninth Victim Part 2

We hope you enjoyed this week's offerings; we also equally hope you were left as intrigued as you were unsettled. This dreary Friday in New York brings you the second part of titillating short story, The Ninth Victim. When we last left off, our killer had just entered the home of his targeted victim, where the tables have suddenly been turned and he finds himself tied to a chair with his unlikely attacker.To catch up on or read the first part, click here.

Otherwise, enjoy, and please comment and let us know what you think! Keep in kind, we are still looking for submissions for February! Send in your poems, stories, scripts, soliquies, whatever you got! Send them to veilleesubmissions@gmail.com and see them posted here on The Veillee!


The Ninth Victim part 2
Jessica Pherson 


I felt beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead. Something about her tone made me think that perhaps she hadn’t called the police. But, then what was she planning to do with me? Did she have a husband or lover after all and she wanted him to do away with me instead as revenge for my invading their home with murder on the mind?

Christine shifted in her seat so that she was leaning in closer with her elbows on her knees and hands outstretched in front of her, holding the red mug. She narrowed her eyes at me, trying to figure me out. “Well, let’s not beat around the bush- who sent you?” Her tone went from casual and friendly to sharp and demanding in that single sentence.

I was taken aback by the question and I just stared at her, more confused than ever. What did she think? That someone sent me? Why would she think that? My mind was reeling. I felt  like a mouse trapped in a maze searching for the escape.

“Well?” she said, loudly. “Who sent you?” The volume of her voice was surprising.
I started to open my mouth to say something, but I couldn’t. I can’t explain why, I just had no words and was unsure of how to respond on top of that. Perhaps if she thought someone sent me she had something to hide as well. I was intrigued. I decided to play dumb for a while. I clamped my hanging jaw back shut and exhaled heavily.

“What? Cat got your tongue?” She asked smugly as she chucked her chin in jest at her cat sitting on the arm of the sofa, as if they were partners in on this joke together. I still said nothing, and even went so far as to look away. Her eyes narrowed like little arrowheads in her eye sockets.  “Fine,” she said. She stood up sharply and stood over me, still holding her mug. She regarded me for a moment as I looked up at her, breathing heavily again in fear of what she might do, then she tossed her steaming hot drink into my face. I cried out in pain and clamped my eyes shut from the burning. It had been tea apparently. Green tea. I groaned and clenched my teeth. 


“Who sent you?!” She demanded again, getting louder and firmer, less playful now. I just groaned and grimaced and struggled with the ropes. It did nothing. I was in there tighter than a boa’s prey. I tried to kick my feet and they moved less than an inch.


“You’re not going anywhere until you tell me who fucking sent you!” She nearly screamed. Then she kicked my shin, hard. I cried out again, unable to do anything about the throbbing pain shooting up my leg or the stinging of my eyes. I figured I had better say something. 

“No one sent me!” I snapped.


She said nothing for a moment, and just stood over me quietly. Then she said, “I have more hot water, you know. And your knife.”


I shuddered inside at the coldness of her tone, yet I also felt strangely aroused. Who was this woman? “No one sent me,” I repeated, slowly, trying to sound as truthful and serious as possible. 


“Liar!” She yelled.

Then she was on top of me with Betty at my throat. I felt the cool blade against the delicate skin of my neck as she held it firmly against my neck. I could not get away from it. All I could do was declare my innocence about who she seemed to think I was, although innocent I was anything but. “No one sent me, nobody!”


“Who was it?” She went on. “Was it the Agency? Did Randall send you?”


“No!”


“Was it Valerie? It was Valerie, that bitch…” She gritted her teeth and snarled like a tigress turning the tables on the hunter.


“No, no.”


She looked down at me in disgust without moving the knife or loosening her grip. “Well, you don’t look like the type the government would send after me, so tell me, dammit! Who sent you?”


“No one sent me!” I yelled as loud as I could, which wasn’t very loud. But, it seemed to be effective since she stopped asking me and just stared into my eyes, trying to gauge whether or not I was telling the truth. She pressed the knife roughly against my neck and I felt it slide into my flesh a little. Then she was off of me and back to standing over me. I could feel a trickle of blood drip down my neck, but she hadn’t cut me deep. I exhaled like my breath was being sucked out of me. My heart beat in my chest like a drum and the blood rushed back to my head as if it had only evacuated temporarily to escape this crazed woman. I breathed heavily, like a fat man on a treadmill, and again began to struggle with the ropes out of instinct, although I knew it was futile.


She stood over me, silently for a moment, holding the handle of the knife loosely, showing me she saw me as no threat. “If no one sent you,” she then began, “then why are you here?” 


I stared up at her, not sure of what to say. Betty’s blade flashed me in my eyes as Christine turned her wrist gently. The neckline of the over-sized T-shirt she was wearing had slipped down, revealing her bare lightly bronzed left shoulder.


“I…I…came to rob you,” I muttered.


To rob me?” she replied. She didn’t sound like she believed me.



“Yes, ma’am,” I said. “But, I’m very sorry, and, if you let me go, I will leave and never come back.”


“Well, how nice of you,” she said, smirking.


I looked at her hopefully, but what a false hope it was. Clearly I had chosen the wrong woman to slice up that night.



“I-I shouldn’t have broken into your house, ma’am, and I am very sorry, and I have learned my lesson. I never did this before, but I’m down on my luck as so many of us are right now…and you have such a nice home. But, but that doesn’t mean I should rob you, so I’ll just be on my way…”


“What makes you think I haven’t called the police?” Christine asked, crossing her arms over her chest like a precocious little girl.


“Well, I don’t know that, ma’am, but I think that if you had, they would’ve been here by now, seeing as I must have been tied up for quite some time now.”


“And how do you know that?”


“How do I know what?”


“That you’ve been tied up for ‘quite some time’. What makes you say that?”


“Well, it just feels that way, judging by how bad I feel and how you were asking me if…” My voice trailed off, as I suddenly realized what she was actually asking me.


“Asking you if what?” She said.


“If I was…sent by someone.”


“And you say you weren’t, right?”


“Right.”


“You came here to rob me, as you said.”


“Th-that’s right.” The beads started pouring down my cheeks again.


“But, then I asked you who sent you, which means, maybe I’m not just some random woman you’ve been staking out for weeks- ten weeks and five days to be exact –maybe I’m more than that, hmm?”


I felt the color drain from my face. She had known I’d been stalking her? How?


She smiled again, reading my face like an open book. “That’s right, buddy-boy. I knew you were coming. I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve got a memory for faces like a hooker has for her johns.  I first saw you at the book store on highway 97 and you followed me home with the carefulness of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but you didn’t consider this one thing- the only one who can detect a wolf in sheep’s clothing is a wolf herself.”


She started to pace a bit, not taking her eyes off of me. “Now, the thing is, I wonder,” she said, pausing to lightly touch the tip of my knife’s blade to her lower lip and roll her eyes up toward the ceiling. “Would someone who simply wanted to ‘rob’ me stake me out for so long? It seems a bit ridiculous to me. I mean, I’m not rich, now am I? Judging by my home, I clearly have money, but I’m not rich enough for you to take such a long time to come after me, right? What do you think?”


I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing.


“I mean, I’m not in the burglar biz or anything, so maybe you all have some type of protocol that I may not be aware of, but I do know a thing or two about stalking people, and normally if I want to make sure I get someone, I stalk them for a fairly long time- a few weeks or a month at least. And then I would prep up with certain items, like things to pick a lock with and some rope in case the person I was robbing happened to wake up and a knife is a good idea to defend myself with in case I should need to do that…” Her voice trailed off as she fiddled with Betty for a moment, drawing attention to the fact that I fit the bill for the type of person she was describing. Then she continued, “But, a plastic sheet? Chloroform? Hmm…that’s a bit more professional I think, and for some reason, you don’t strike me as a professional robber. No, no. Something about you is…a tad bit more sinister than that.”


She leaned in closely to my face. I could feel her breath on me; it was warm and had the faint aroma of honey on it. Her eyes were even deeper and more beautiful up close and I was truly regretting everything I was now missing out on because of my carelessness in choosing a victim that did not fit my normal MO. What was there left for me to do now? Christine was no ordinary woman- if Christine was even her real name. I felt she was going to kill me no matter what I did or said, so I decided to take this as a sign from God that my number was up, and I could confess my sins to this demonic angel or deny it until my death that would likely be much slower if I continued to evade her questions. Either way I was going to die, and this did seem like the fitting way for me to go- at the hands of a woman, a woman who could’ve been my trophy, rather than the other way around.


I gulped a big gulp of air and saliva, taking it all in as if it would be my last time doing so. Then I looked her right in the eyes and said, “Christine, I came here to kill you, because that’s what I do.”



She just stared at me for a moment, then rolled her eyes. “Okay, we’ve already established that, so now tell me who you’re working for!” She grasped my throat with one hand while holding my legs down with the other and stared straight into my eyes with the look of some type of wild and demonic creature. She had a strong grip. I gasped for air and she let me go, but not before socking me across the face.



“Tell me, now! Who are you? Who sent you? And how do you want to die? Because tonight is certainly going to be your last…”



I coughed and heaved and felt an erection throbbing in my pants. I never knew I could get so turned on by someone torturing me, as I have always been the torturer. Christine must’ve noticed, because she started to laugh.



“Ha! You like being beaten by a woman, do you? Well, we could do this all night…” She said smirking and cracking her knuckles. I was starting to think I might be dreaming; I had been so careful. How could she have known I was following her? Who was this woman? This woman who I was so desperate to have under my knife’s blade, to have her bound and gagged and ready for me to do with as I pleased…I found myself admiring her, how she stood over me with such confidence, the way she spoke was so carefree, so uncaring that a man had come her to kill her, probably rape her too depending on how things went. Here she stood, in her over-sized T-shirt and cut-off cotton shorts and little pink slippers. She knew she had me and that there was no way I was going to escape. What choice did I have but to simply tell her the truth? Or better yet, make up a complete and total lie? Which action was more likely to establish my freedom, if either would? I thought quickly…



“You’re right,” I mumbled, hanging my head in shame. “Someone did send me.”



Christine leaned in close to me, putting her hands on my knees. “Who?”



“Someone who wants you dead…because you’ve wronged them.”



Christine looked at me peculiarly. “Could you be a little more informative? Like, by giving me a goddamn name!”



I gulped. A name…a name? Shit. “I-I can’t tell you.”



“Why? Because they’ll kill you? I’ll be doing that anyway, so you may as well fess up.”



“Worse than that,” I went on, just saying whatever words came to mind. “They…have my family.”



“Funny,” she said, eyeballing me. “You don’t seem like the family type.”



“Well I have a wife and two kids!” I exclaimed. The truth was, I did. But, they weren’t being held hostage anywhere. “And he said he’d kill ‘em if I told you who sent me. So, you may as well do me in or…”



Or?”



“Or, we could work something out. Like…a type of deal. I could tell him I killed you and he’d stop coming after you, and then we’d both be free.”



“You mean to say,” she said after considering my words carefully. “If I let you go, you’ll go to whoever it is who hired you to kill me, and tell them you went ahead and did it- even thought you didn’t, and you won’t– in exchange for my letting you go?”



“That’s right!” I said as seriously and coolly as I could.



“Hmmm,” she said looking up with her eyes and puckering her lips. God, she was sexy. “Sounds like it just might work…only, what if he wants to see a body?”



My heart sank. Duh, I thought. “Uh, well, he just trusts me so much I know he won’t ask, and you can relocate if you have to, that way we’ll never find you.”



She looked at me, her eyes narrowing again, obviously thinking about all this. Then she said, “It was Bill who sent you, wasn’t it?”



Bill? Should I go along with it? Why not? Unless it was a trap. I considered it for a moment, but she appeared to be genuinely asking. Bill was a common name after all, I could work with it somehow. I decided to pretend like I didn’t want her to know she had guessed right, then to play it from there. I tried to look equally surprised and confused, then replied, “Bill? Who? No, it wasn’t Bill, I really can’t tell you, ma’am.”



“C’mon,” she said digging her grip into my kneecap. It really hurt. “It was Bill, wasn’t it? Only he’s foolish enough to send such a sad sack of an assassin to get me. He really underestimates me all the time, which is why I don’t work with him anymore. He’s also jealous about me not wanting to be with him.” She rolled her eyes. “He’s just not my type, you see. Too cocky, in all the wrong ways, if you know what I mean.” She smiled.



“Ma’am, I’m sorry I really don’t- OW!” She dug some very sharp fingernails into the tendons behind my knees. “Okay!” I cried, as if giving up. “It was Bill, it was Bill! But, I’ll handle it and he’ll leave you alone, I promise!”



She released her grip on my poor knee after one final squeeze then stepped back from me. “I knew it,” she said proudly. “He never could get over losing what he could never have anyway.” Then she said, “Okay, let’s do it.”



My eyes popped out of my head, I couldn’t believe my relief. “Really? I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? This way, we both win and he’ll just leave you alone.”



“Yes, it really does, I mean…Bill’s an idiot anyway, and he’ll probably just take your word for it, like you said.”



“Yes!” I couldn’t believe my luck, even though a little voice inside my head was sounding a very small alarm that my feeling of relief just couldn’t focus on at the moment.



“Yes, as long as you promise to leave and never return and tell Bill I’m a goner and he doesn’t have to worry about me anymore.” She pointed a long slender finger in my face.



“Yes, of course! That’s the deal.” I tried to calm down so I didn’t sound like such a goon and more like a professional, since that’s what she seemed to think I was.



“Okay, let me untie you.” She got behind me and started working the ropes on my wrists. I started to breathe normally again, although my heart still raced. Was I really getting out of here alive? Furthermore, was I still going to try and kill her anyway? Because I was greatly considering it. Even though I was all amped up from terror, it is a fine line between horrified fear and ecstatic arousal. I tried to think quickly as she started to free my hands. Should I kick her in the face while she untied my feet? Or should I go straight for the throat once my hands were free? She would probably be expecting something like that, so a swift kick to the-



All of a sudden I was feeling shooting pains in my right hand. I screamed in agony seemingly out of nowhere and tried to kick legs in the chair. She had broken my middle finger.



“What kind of idiot do you take me for?” She demanded.



“Wha-what?” I panted.



“There is no Bill!” She said. “I made it up, and you took it hook, line, and sinker. You are clearly too dumb to be a pro! Who the fuck are you, why are you in my house, why have you been following me, and why are you here to kill me?”



“Because I just want to, okay?” I yelped.

End of Part2

(Check back Monday for Part 3!)



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.

Learn more about Jessica by checking out The Matchbox section of this blog! 

 

6 comments:

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