Mon | Dec 5, 2022

Short story - Cheque please!

Published:Sunday | May 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM

MARCLAW, Contributor

He saw the thick drop of blood on the cold floor, then crouched on his knees, and in one swift swoop of his index finger placed the red substance in his mouth, and smiled. He moved like a panther, lithe and almost invisible. The claws in his mind reclined, for now.

Brenda's left hand clutched her side, as the wound she suffered thumped with pain. She watched from inside the vent as the psycho looked for her. She silently berated herself for listening to Linda when she suggested blind dating. She shivered with fear as the last 40 minutes replayed in her mind ...

"Well, this was some date," said the gentleman seated across from Brenda. "You're the first beautiful girl I've ever been out with, and I hope you're the last," he said too comfortably.

Nervously, Brenda replied, "Kevin, we've only just met, so let's take this thing as slowly as possible."

Kevin nodded in agreement, and swiftly reached for Brenda's hand across the table. "So, how about we get outta here? It's getting hot, and I kinda feel like walking, you know, get some fresh air." Brenda could feel the heat of his touch, and as she withdrew and placed both hands in her lap, Kevin's smile faded. She should have never conceded to meeting a total stranger she exchanged a few emails with.

"You know, I ... how about next time around?" she replied.

"Yeah. Sure. You, uh, want a drive home?"

"No. No bother. I like taking the bus," she lied. She rose from her seat, and awkwardly shook hands with Kevin, whose eyes went form mellow to steel iron. She exited the café and began walking down the boulevard. She checked her watch. It was only 7:30 in the evening, but Brenda swore it looked darker and even more eerie than other nights. It was no use turning back now, she thought, as she suddenly felt silence closing in on her. She was only a few blocks from the bus stop. Her steps became heavier, her pace faster, and her eyes searched every dark corner she came upon.

Suddenly, she heard whistling behind and spun around.

"Hey Brenda. I didn't think you should be walking alone. Want some company?" It was Kevin! He seemed calm, too calm, and the alarms screamed in Brenda's head. She broke off in a solid run, and screamed, "Help!" until her throat was sore and eyes burnt with tears.

No one came to her rescue, so she never stopped. She saw a mechanic warehouse with a dim light inside and dived through the slightly opened door.

"Please, somebody help me!" Brenda screamed.

She heard Kevin from a distance singing her name, and frantically searched for a hiding spot. She brushed past a few old cars, and winced with pain as a rusty piece of metal caught her dress and tore at her skin. Immediately, the wound bled, and Brenda swallowed the cry that formed in her dry throat. It was then that she saw the half-open vent, and quickly made her way up and nestled in its cold darkness.

Bloody murder

Kevin never ran, but walked briskly and confidently. He pushed open the door. It made a screech loud enough to wake the dead. "I hate bitches like you - all polite and sht," Kevin snarled. "You know our date isn't quite finished, and when I find you," he laughed, "I'm going to make you beg." It was that moment he saw the drop of blood, but then he heard a rattling sound coming from a room in the left corner.

A stout man came out, rubbing his eyes, still groggy from sleep. He flipped a switch and immediately an overhead light revealed Kevin's annoyed face.

"Hey, who are you? Don't you know we're closed?" the stout man drawled.

Kevin walked up to him and, without warning, stabbed the man in the neck. The man's eyes came alive with pain, and, just as quickly, closed with death.

Brenda saw the man's body slam to the ground and unconsciously released a gasp of sheer terror. Immediately, Kevin's eyes sought the sound and steadied on the vent, made even more visible by the light. His smile was low, but sharp, and his eyes danced with humour.

"Brenda, Brenda, Brenda," Kevin chirped, walking slowly towards the vent.

"Brenda's lips trembled wildly while tears bulked and spilled down her face. This was the end. Kevin would kill her as easily as he did that poor man, and her corpse, dismantled and broken, would make the news ... if they ever found it. He tore the vent open and grabbed at Brenda's soft hands.

Triumphantly, Kevin said, "You're mine."

"Noooooo!" Brenda screamed.

"Cut!" the director yelled.

"Excellent work June, I love that scream, damn, it shook my cochlear," The director laughed.

White lights revealed the setting of the artificial mechanic warehouse. The dead man got up and walked over to the water cooler. June, cast as Brenda, came out of the vent, slapped Tom, cast as Kevin, on the shoulders and teased, "You villain."

"Ok, let's wrap it up," the director shouted, "tomorrow we're on to the next scene."

Lights out.