A Life Sentence

life sentence
noun
  1. A punishment of life imprisonment or of imprisonment for a specified long period.
    2.
    Seemingly the thing at the top of Isabel Clark’s bucket list.

 

“Alright.. When I let you in don’t freak out or nothing, alright?”.

I stopped banging at the door to my own apartment, her strange words resonating for a moment. It was never going to be good news coming home to find that Isabel, my ever obnoxious roommate, had deadlocked and bolted shut the door to stop me getting in.

“What!? Let me in.” I hissed, “Let me in right NOW!”.

After a moment of muted cursing, she pulled open the door and gave me a less than convincing smile.

We stood face to face, me seething with anger (I’d had a one-sided argument with the chip and pin machine at the supermarket and left a bag of shopping on the train.) and her flashing me a darling little grin in a weak attempt to stop me going ape shit.

I pushed past her and froze as my boots made a sickening squelching sound against the carpet. Preparing myself for a brief moment, I looked down.

Blood. Lots of blood. All smeared in a trail leading from the door, round the sofa, puddling on the kitchen tiles and curling off into Isabel’s room.

Everything that had happened that day, my latest murder being called ‘lazy’ and ‘messy’ by the local newspaper, the cat pissing on my bloody bed sheets, the bloody chip and pin machine not accepting my bloody card and now this, Isabel letting her victim bleed on my beautiful, fluffy white carpet, all piled up to create the worst day ever.

“I’ll clean it-” she started, but I’d had enough. Silently plotting to brutally murder her dumb ass and wrap the body up in my now ruined, once perfect carpet, I stormed off down the hallway and turned into her room.

He lay there on the floor, face down and moaning incoherent words. It was the man who had wolf whistled at us in the coffee shop on Tuesday, weedy and not at all a worthy kill for the high-profile killer my roommate had become.

“Never have I once bought a victim home.” I muttered with exasperation, watching the blood seep from a deep wound in his neck.
Suddenly, he reached out and grabbed at my leg, gasping for air, “Help me, please.”.

“No! Stop bleeding on my carpet.” I retaliated, crossing my arms in a strop. This really had crossed a line. This was the second time she’d brought a victim home (Although she said the first time didn’t count because she’d only bought his arms and legs, pffft.) and it was breaking the first and most important rule on our roommate agreement stuck to the fridge.

Rule #1; Murders must be kept discreet, separate to our personal lives and out of the apartment.

At the bottom of the agreement, under another nine rules I’d set when she’d asked to move in, clear as day, she had scrawled out her signature. She had promised.

I should have listened to Ezra, my bartender who’s side job as an assassin had got him five stars on OffYourEx.com.

“Don’t live with another killer.” He’d said, “You’re killing methods are going to clash and it’ll only end badly.”.

Oh how I wished I’d listened back then.

Isabel peeked her head round the door frame, eyes wide and apologetic as I glared at her.

“Do you know the Daily Echo called my latest kill messy and disorganised this morning!?” I nearly cried, feeling defeated as I realised I’d left crimson footprints through the hall, “And you go and break the roommate agreement and drag blood through the house, making a god awful mess and they still call your murders ‘intelligent’ and ‘pure evil’.” .

“Oh, come on, I-I’ll let you slit his throat!?” she tried, rushing over to her bedside cabinet and picking up her knife with a small smile.

“You crazy cow, you’re not killing him on my carpet!”.

I turned on my heels and headed straight for my own room. It was quite the opposite Isabel’s pink little princess fort, the walls a dark purple colour and the four-poster bed swallowed in heavy black curtains and a huge, thick duvet. I swallowed up as much of the calm air as I could, breathing in and out and directing my mind away from the blood stains and the murder and my awful fucking excuse for a flat-mate. Satisfied I wouldn’t end up losing my temper and killing her, I dropped to my knees and dragged a worn shoe box out from the under the bed, quickly pouring the contents onto the floor. My revolver lay amongst a few covered knives and golden ammunition. It was a beautiful thing, well-kept and shiny enough that I could see my brown eyes blinking back at me in the reflection of the barrel. I pushed a single bullet into the cylinder and clicked the hammer.
My jaw locked, I walked back down the hall, swinging my weapon of choice between my fingers. When I turned back into Isabel’s room, I found the dying man turned onto his side with a cloth pressed to his neck, obviously Isabel’s futile attempt to stop anymore blood getting on the floor.

“Oh please don’t!” She whined at the sight of the gun, “It took me ages to get him here without anyone seeing, at least let me have a little fun!”.

Blah blah blah. Smirking, I pushed the miserable runt of a man onto his front with a sharp kick to the shoulder. His eyes went wide as he stared at the muzzle of my gun and he began muttering in a panic, begging for forgiveness and offering me everything from his chihuahua to his car and one bedroom flat.

I pouted at him, “I’m sure your chihuahua will find a very loving home.”.

With that, I pulled the trigger. A satisfying bang resonated around the room as his body relaxed and his eyes rolled upwards in his what was left of his bloodied skull; dead. Easy peasy pumpkin pie.

Isabel slumped back against her bed, which was fittingly adorned with a baby pink duvet to fit her princess attitude. Her bottom lip jutted out as she wiped her blonde hair from her eyes and pulled a cigarette from the Louis Vuitton bag on her bed. (Which she definitely stole from a victim, she could never afford one herself.) I pulled my boots off and set them in the corner, grimacing at the blood that dripped from them.

“Come on then, clean this up.” I sighed, realising Isabel was still sat there. She rolled her eyes, a fag hanging lazily from her plump lips, “Alright Your Majesty.”.
I laughed bitterly, “Your majesty wouldn’t be so forgiving, now I’d hurry up before it stains. I’m going out now, so don’t wait up”.

The next morning, heavy with the ugly effects of straight vodka, I woke up to a rolled newspaper being thrown at my temple.

“Wake up Moron, the press are absolutely loving us!”.
Isabel had pulled the bed curtain aside and light from the window burnt bright against my tired morning eyesight. She thrust the newspaper into my hands and I groaned, trying to make sense of the blurry headline.

“The Shadow Killer and Angel Maker become partners.”

I blinked repeatedly and read it again to make sure.

Me and Isabel? Partners?

“The Angel Maker, a notorious killer known for leaving the bodies of their victims outside police stations and tourist locations, has left yet another victim outside West End Central Police Station late last night. The 26-year-old man was seen less than 12 hours earlier at the fast food joint he worked at a mere twenty minutes from his home. Upon closer inspection, police at the scene found the man was killed with a single bullet to the head, leading them to believe this was the work of the Shadow Killer. Reports suggest the two high-profile killers are working together. Full story on page 5.”

“Wow.”.

I looked up, stunned.

“This is brilliant.” She grinned, “We just went up in the world, the police are going to be going bloody daffy trying to track us down now! That’s gotta be like… a life sentence and a half each!”.

She flopped onto my bed with a content sigh. She was right – we had just become Most Wanted.

After a moment of overwhelmed silence, we burst into happy giggles.

I affectionately thought back to how it had all began, when we were struggling, fresh-faced students just escaping the education system. Five short years prior, she’d come into my room in the dead of night, covered in blood and wielding the butter knife from our kitchen, utterly out of breath.
“How many men do you think I’d have to kill before they give someone as adorable as me a life sentence?”.

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