“I killed a woman once, many years ago.”
Oliver struggled with himself, rehashing scenes over and over. Did he really want to have sex with that woman? She wasn’t particularly attractive though her body, what he could discern beneath her clothing, seemed curvaceous in all the right places. He eyed her breasts, which jutted like twin hills. He desired to knead them, tweak the firm nipples between his fingers, and bring her to such an orgasm that she’d desire him forever.
Her face, framed by coal-black hair, looked haggard and hard, as rugged as craggy cliffs, yet blue eyes twinkled like dark stars peeping from behind storm clouds. He pictured raindrops, tears actually, to accompany the tempest, sliding down her cheeks. A man must have hurt her a long time ago for her to be in that state.
Of course, all that was a product of his imagination. The stranger wasn’t crying nor were her eyes shining like sinister stars, but her face was truly hard, harder than nails. Those nails would never bend; the steel was too thick.
Oliver rubbed his eyes trying to rid himself of imaginary images. Darkness was falling. If he didn’t soon make a move, she’d disappear and he might never find her.
He glanced down the busy street. The throngs reminded him of people rushing to gain entry to Disneyland. Since California was too far away, was there a circus in town he wasn’t aware of?
Growing up, Oliver had loved circuses. The magical mystique of performers and exotic animals had never failed to fascinate him. He should have been a performer himself rather than an accountant. What a boring, mundane existence working with figures all day. He much preferred figures of another sort, those with eager, pliable flesh.
Oh, so much better to see you with, Grandma. He seemed destined to rehash fairy tales. Little red riding hood and the three bears came to mind, along with Humpty Dumpy on the great wall. Bang, boom, splat. One less egghead.
One less grandmother, too, if the wicked witch had her way. He slapped the side of his head. Get out, wicked witch. That should have been wicked fox, the sly fox that enjoyed eating human flesh, especially that of the elderly. Who’d miss the old people, or care? Not when they were aged and close to death anyway.
He shook his head to rid himself of stupid thoughts and looked back to the building.
The woman was still there. The individual beside her had left.
He should make his move before some other horny bastard appeared. But did he want to? Who knew with certainty what lay disguised beneath that skirt and blouse. Other nursery rhymes and fairy tales flashed before him. He took a few steps closer to her, surprised to see how tall she was. From a distance, she hadn’t appeared taller than him.
Just before Oliver glanced way, the woman turned. Her once-blue eyes morphed to piercing steel grey. They bore into his, and he felt powerless to avert his face. The pain hit him, entered his retinas, and strayed behind his eyes. A sensation like hot molten fluid swirled and pushed against the back of his eyeballs, almost as if the heavy liquid would fling out his eyes. He screeched before realizing he’d opened his mouth, but the scream lessened the hurt. In fact, once his mouth clamped shut in embarrassment, the pain magically disappeared.
She looked away then. Oliver withered a little. She gave the impression, due to his outburst, that he wasn’t worthy of being alive.
Oliver hadn’t thought of the woman in the street for several days, not until he ran into her at Kempster’s Restaurant, where she sat at a table in the centre of the room. She didn’t seem upset being alone, not like some women who cower in a corner with a magazine or hide behind a column. He watched while she sipped red wine and read. The book, dressed as if a poodle, wore one of those fake book covers, so who knew what she was reading. A murder mystery? An X-rated novel? A book to tax her intelligence?
He was alone, too, but males have an easier time without a companion. At least that was Oliver’s perception, as sexist as it sounded. The strange woman never saw him, but even if she had, she wouldn’t remember their prior run-in.
Oliver had just ordered his second drink when she snatched her handbag and exited. He hadn’t noticed she had paid the bill and chastised himself he hadn’t been more on guard. He flung several bills on the table and hoped she wouldn’t have disappeared before he got outside. He was in luck. She sauntered down the street toward Nottingham Road. Stealthily, he followed.
She turned right on Robertson Street, left on Maple, and then left on Quarry Avenue. The streets became slummier the longer he tailed her. When she reached an older duplex, she sauntered up the walkway. The three-storey building had seen better days but would still be worth a fair amount of money in the current housing market. Oblivious to her tail, she rooted through her handbag for her keys and entered the building.
Oliver watched for a bit, not really knowing why. Soon, the front room lit up and drapes were pulled across the window. Not seeing the point of further spying, he turned to go until a whistle made him pause. It wasn’t a whistle like one thrown to the opposite sex, more of a bird chirp. Despite that, it contained a sexual component.
He scanned the area but, from what he could see, determined he was alone. In the darkness, someone or something could have been there, but if so, whatever it was blended into the blackness so as to be indiscernible. When silence prevailed again, he moved. The commotion began and increased in intensity. Covering his ears was futile; the noise entered his eardrums until he thought they’d burst.
Oliver raced as fast as he could but still felt shadowed. An object landed on his back. Sharp talons dug into his skin. He heard the rip of his shirt. The weight was heavy, but he managed to arch backward and fall to the ground. His back hit the pavement and whatever it was dislodged itself. He was free. Oliver dashed away for his life.