Inspired by Ben

A paper thin cut. That’s what this situation needs. Right from the very last of the hairs on the nape of her neck. Carefully down, down, so perfectly all the way down along every little ripple of her spine, down until my slit reaches hers. I’ll be precise and perfect, just like Uncle Nevil taught me in the back of the shop. Not to make a mess. Just like he drilled it into me until I showed them all how well I really could do it.

I met her on a Tuesday. I remember because the managers were having their monthly meeting and the factory was shut for the day. I needed something for the heartburn. Something I ate was making me wish I hadn’t eaten it. The sour came up at me like it was clawing its way out of a cage. So the point is, I got off my couch and the milk didn’t help and so I put my shoes on and went to the 24/7. I always go there. How was I supposed to know the lady behind the till quit? Because she did and Petra was there all of a sudden. I mean, I didn’t know that was her name. Why would I? She was wearing a name badge. They always wear name badges, don’t they? Like you care what their name is. Like you’re going to say: “Hey there, Petra! Well, how the hell are you today? How are the kids? Did little Danny pass his Maths test?” Who the fuck really cares about anyone?

I had the Rennies and I was still looking for money in my pockets and I asked her for a pack of Marlboros and when I looked up she was looking at me. But like she knew me. Like she was waiting for me to recognise her. But why would I? She doesn’t fucking know me. Nobody knows me. And it wasn’t like she was happy to see me. Like I was some long-lost relative or someone who she’d be happy to see. No, she was just staring at me, right at me, waiting, and we just stood there like assholes and then someone walked through the door and the bells nearly gave me a fucking heart attack. Fuck, I put my money down and bailed. Who the fuck does she think she is?

By Thursday night I was waiting for her to finish her shift. It was 3am when she walked out and I followed her in the shadows. She didn’t even look around once. She just held herself against the cold and acted like I wasn’t there. Obviously I was there. I mean, obviously I knew I was there. She was playing with me for sure.

I watched her go into this disgusting building. Four storeys of filth, it seemed like the cracks in the walls were dripping with sewerage. I almost puked when I got close. I couldn’t go in. What kind of person lives like that? You can’t live like that and call yourself a human being. You have to have standards. A clean home is a respectable home.

So for the next week I go to the 24/7 and just look at her from between the canned vegetables. Her thin limbs would just hang on her, like she doesn’t know I’m there. She would just sit there paging through magazines most of the time and ignore me. I knew what she was doing. She was trying to piss me off. But I didn’t let it get to me

Tonight I’m ready at 2:45am. I hear her say good-bye to whoever’s taken over from her. She comes out and I have to focus to stay calm. My mouth is dry and I swallow quietly behind her.

She stops at a traffic light to wait for a car to drive past. I take a step closer to her and the smell of pig’s blood suddenly rushes up my nose. It’s thick and sweet and it clings to my nostrils and I wipe my nose expecting to see blood on my hand, but there’s nothing there. She must’ve heard me, because she turns around and we’re looking at each other. She’s looking right at me. Fuck. And we’re just standing there on the pavement and I’m still holding the knife in my pocket.

“You’re Mike Farrel, aren’t you? You used to live in Goodwill.” My heart’s pounding so violently I don’t understand what she’s saying. All I know is I’m flooded with the smell of blood and fear and my palms are so wet and the knife’s getting so fucking hot in my grip. She’s tricking me. She doesn’t know what I’ve been through. She doesn’t know about all the other animals. “Listen, do you want to go somewhere and…”

I ran. I fucking ran. I’m such a stupid piece of shit I couldn’t go through with it. Just like Uncle Nevil always said. But they’re not supposed to know you by name. I mean, for fuck sakes, that’s like the lamb between your legs in the abattoir looking up at you and going: “Thanks, Bob.”

I’ll pack my things in the morning.

The End

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