To Kill For, To Die For
I sat at my usual table, a booth in the corner close enough to the bar to call for another drink, but hidden from the rest of the room. I sipped slowly from a small glass filled half way with whiskey, the strong tang keeping my eyes open and my mind awake. Unfortunately, alcohol seems to do nothing for depression other than make it disappear temporarily, but that was all I needed. When a police officer is suspended it’s painful, it’s like stripping him of his purpose. The very essence of his existence is deleted. I downed the rest of the glass, the burning felt good as it screamed down my throat. Slamming the glass down on the table, I attracted the attention of the barman and so called out for another. He didn’t like my method, but then again nobody does. It was at this moment I noticed her sitting alone at the bar shaking with the cold, her eyes like a scared deer in the headlights of a car. I knew this girl was in trouble, this girl needed help, but I was the wrong man. She caught me staring at her so I smiled trying not to look like a pervert. It seemed to have worked, she slipped off the stool and straightened herself out. As she approached me, she smiled running her fingers through her thick brunette hair.
‘May I?’ she asked.
‘Of course,’ I replied. She sat down opposite, leaning in close. I looked into her eyes. They glistened like stars in the black night sky, hypnotising me.
‘I caught you staring,’ she said playfully.
‘Oh, don’t apologise. I like the attention of a handsome man.’ She smiled again, her red luscious lips so smooth. I could have lunged forward and kissed her then, but I didn’t. I smiled back at her and she leaned in close to speak. ‘I’m surprised to see someone so handsome alone in such a place.’
‘Well, maybe there’s a reason I’m alone.’
‘Is there?’ she asked, desperate to know the answer.
‘You’ll have to find out,’ I replied, clearly flirting. I’m not the type of man who likes flirting, but I’d had six whiskeys and I was interested to see how it would play out.
‘Is that an invitation?’ she asked. She knew it was and I knew it too.
Feeling her body close to mine, I kissed her soft delicate lips, I could taste the strawberry Chap Stick. I ran my hands over her glossy locks, it felt like silk between my fingers. It had been so long since I had been with a woman and had forgotten how good it could feel, so good it made me totally forget my dire situation. As we lay quietly in bed, the blankets draped loosely over us, I could feel her heart beating rapidly, her skin so warm close to mine.
‘Protect me,’ she whispered.
‘From what?’ I asked curiously.
‘The big bad wolf,’ she replied, fear in her voice. I had no idea what she was talking about. Was she delirious?
‘My life is in danger,’ she continued desperately.
‘Why?’ I asked, unsure if I wanted to know the answer.
‘I’m due to testify against these men, they murdered my husband. They’ve hired people to kill me.’
I rolled her over to look into her eyes. I could almost see the fear running through them. Like I said, I could tell she needed help from the moment I saw her and that I wasn’t the right man, but after our moment of intimacy, I felt like I had to oblige.
‘I’ll protect you,’ I told her confidently.
‘What if they try to kill me?’
‘I’ll kill them first.’
I climbed from the bed putting on my pants. I walked over to a dresser and pulled open the drawer. I reached in and took out my trusty old revolver, already loaded and ready to fire. I returned to the bed, she watched me as I did. I sat down on the edge and showed her the gun, its shiny silver reflected her sad eyes.
‘You’d kill for me?’ she asked nervously.
‘If necessary,’ I answered confidently.
She smiled as though she had already been saved and once again I felt I had a purpose in life. I stood and walked over to the window to look out at the lamp lit street. It had started raining, the heavy drops splashing in the puddles on the road. As I put on my vest, I watched as a man in a coat and trilby ran hastily across the street from his car. Maybe he should have parked a little closer.
I felt two arms reach around my waste and squeeze me tight. I turned in her arms to find she had the thin bed sheets wrapped around her like a makeshift dress. I moved my head closer to hers and kissed her lips. I could feel her heartbeat had slowed down. This girl trusted me, she had faith in my abilities.
I picked up the gun again and placed it against her back so she could feel the cold metal against her skin, the only thing that stood between her and death. Suddenly, there was a bang on the door. She looked up at me worried. I raised the gun aiming at the door, I held her close to me.
‘It’s open!’ I called. The door creaked opened and the same man from the street stood at the threshold staring daggers across the room. I saw the gun in his hand by his side. Before he could raise it, I squeezed the trigger of mine. The gunshot echoed throughout the room, the man stumbled back slamming his body against the wall behind him. As I lowered the gun, his body slid down the wall leaving a bloody streak. She pulled from my embrace and moved slowly toward the door to get a better view of the downed killer. She turned to look at me and then smiled with relief. She ran toward me and wrapped her arms around me again.
‘You saved my life,’ she cried with relief.
Once again, her heart was beating rapidly close to mine.
I’m not a professional at disposing of corpses, but I’ve seen enough homicide cases to know the best way is to wrap it in black bin bags and strap it with duct tape. As I moved the body to pull on a bag at each end, I could feel the rigor mortis slowly coming. She sat there on the edge of the bed wearing my best nylon shirt, way too big for her. I wondered what she really thought of me, saviour or murderer? I knew this guy was going to kill her, the gun in his hand, the look in his eye. I did what needed to be done, no need to feel guilt or remorse, it was either him or her. I stood up tall and stared into her eyes as she sat looking at the body in front of her.
‘Stay here,’ I told her.
‘Where are you going?’ she asked me nervously.
‘I have to get rid of the body.’
‘Don’t be long,’ she pleaded.
I grabbed one end of the body and started dragging it along the floor, this guy was surprisingly light. I opened the door and got the body halfway out the door when I heard a voice behind me.
I turned, stunned to see a man in a long black coat and slicked back hair standing on the stairs looking at me. He reached into his inside coat pocket, but I was faster drawing the gun from the top of my pants. I fired without hesitation. The red dot suddenly appeared on his forehead, the exaggerated look of shock on his face. He fell to his knees and slumped forward on his face cracking his chin on the step.
‘What happened?’ she called from inside the room.
‘Nothing,’ I replied, although after the noises she must have heard, clearly something did happen. All my neighbours must have heard too, but they know enough not to enquire when they hear gunshots. I dropped the bagged body, the thump echoed throughout the hallway. I jogged down the steps and checked he was dead. I picked up the wallet that fell from his coat and slipped it in my pants pocket. I grabbed underneath his arms and started to drag him up the stairs, this guy was heavy.
Outside in the alleyway the car was parked, I like to keep it here as the chances of it getting stolen reduce when not on show. The trunk of a 1940 Plymouth was a reasonable size, but I questioned whether I could fit two bodies inside. One was already in, pushed as far back as I could. As I forced him in, I swear I could hear a couple of bones crack, good job he’s dead. I picked up the second and hung him over the edge of the trunk, then lifted his legs throwing them in the other side. I pushed firmly down squeezing him in, he fit, thank God. I shut the trunk and walked around to the drivers’ side door and climbed in. I started the car and made my journey to the burial ground.
The docks were the perfect place to hide a body. As far as I know, nobody had ever been discovered here, so if anything is buried, it’s buried for good. I grabbed the shovel from the back seat and picked my spot. I stabbed the ground and began the long backbreaking work. After about three feet, I took a breather and watched a tug boat as it drove by. It dawned on me I would either have to make it double the width or double the depth to fit two bodies in. I checked the time, two fifteen, and four hours till day break. I reckoned I could get it done in two. Two hours later and I had a hole I was happy with, deep enough and wide enough. I threw the shovel to the side and walked over to the trunk. I opened it and reached in. Grabbing the first guy, I pulled him out and dumped him on the soft mud. I dragged him over the hole and rolled him in. There’s no sound like that of a lifeless body hitting the ground. I grabbed the second guy and threw him in after. The sound of a corpse hitting another was new to me. I picked up the shovel and started filling in the grave. Half an hour later, I was done. It was quicker filling in the hole than creating it. I threw the shovel in the trunk and closed it. I felt the wallet in my pocket and took it out. I flipped it open to check for cash and it was then I noticed the horrifying truth. The shine from the moonlight reflected in my eyes. Its sharp craftsmanship and quality detail. The letters ‘FBI’ printed clearly. He was a cop, they were both cops. I put the wallet back in my pocket and ran back to the car door and jumped in. I started the engine without hesitation and span the wheels kicking up dirt.
As I burst the door open she was standing there fully dressed leaning up against the dresser, a gun in her hand. She held my detective badge in the other.
‘I didn’t realise you were a cop. I guess I’m lucky, I thought you would have recognised a wanted fugitive,’ she said coldly. I didn’t know what to say, what could I say? This girl had played me, she had played me good.
She cocked the gun and rose to aim. I had time to move, but I didn’t want to. A part of me wanted to feel that lead piercing my body, and the blood gushing. The gunshot echoed, it was like I’d been stabbed, my breathing started to speed up. I felt my shirt become soaked, a circle of red expanding on my chest. My vision became blurred, but I could see her walk toward me laughing. I fell to my knees, then onto my face. She stepped past my body and headed for the door. As I exhaled for the last time, the final thing I heard was the door shut.