Second place in June no dialogue contest. Theme: flirting.
Word Count: 700
A tiny heart was drawn onto the headboard. Drawn in blood by fingertip. Noah smiled warmly as he sprayed Pine-Sol over it and wiped it away. Little trinkets like that never failed to amuse him. That was the nature of their relationship. Like school children passing love letters between desks. He grinned, affectionately, and hummed a snatch of song.
Noah looked like an astronaut in the white hazmat suit that covered him from neck to ankle. On his head he wore a zipped hood and a respirator mask. On his feet were two white cloth shoe covers.
The mattress below was stained crimson. Blood seeped through the box spring and onto the hardwood below. It was all dry now. The walls too had been sprayed with a thick coat. Noah had read about it in the paper. The Preying Mantis, the headline read, claims another victim. He could tell just from the description of the killing that he was going to have his work cut out for him. Garden sheers, he read. That’s what she had used to remove the man’s head from his body. That was her modus homicidii. The Preying Mantis. He didn’t mind. The longer the scene took to clean meant the longer that he could spend idolizing her work. It revealed, he found, a great deal about her.
This made five. Five victims so far. Each done the same way. Deep scuff marks were worn into each of the four bedposts where handcuffs had been lassoed around. She liked it rough. Well, rough for them, that is. She also liked to be on top for the climax. Noah could almost feel the tumultuous desire, the burning contempt, the sadistic glee, all mixed together as she straddled above her next prey. The wanton passion, the thrill of danger, the garden sheers tucked away underneath the bed like a snake waiting to uncoil.
His breathing had grown short. The inside of his respirator mask fogged with exhilaration. He removed the putty knife from his waist belt and cut the bloody fabric from the frame of the mattress, which he then discarded into large red bags that had printed on the front, Danger: Biohazard Waste. He then set to work mopping up the hardwood. He had been following her work since victim number one. He had cleaned up that job himself and he had made it a point to personally oversee her scenes ever since. Being the head supervisor of the only crime scene clean-up company in the county didn’t hurt. It was the scene of victim number three when he found her first curio. A handwritten note folded and tucked away inside the bloodied mattress. Sorry for the mess, it read, and was punctuated by ;)
He had found more acknowledgments of her flirting in the scenes after. Polaroid pictures, hidden mementos, a cassette tape in which a lovely female voice sang the chorus of Hey Jude. It didn’t even matter if she knew how strongly – how passionately – he felt about her. Those little totems left behind, just for him, were enough. He badly wished that he could leave behind something of his own; some sign of acknowledgment, something that would just let her know how he really felt about her. That her feelings towards him were mutual. However, this was the nature of their relationship.
Noah took the three large hazard bags out to the white van parked in parallel in front of the apartment block. Perfection Bio-hazard Clean-Up, the words on the side of the van read. He loaded them in the back, ready to be dumped in the incinerator. Suddenly, his eye caught something from the right side-view mirror. It was a piece of plain lined paper, scotch-taped to the right side of the van. Curiously, he walked over and unfolded it. The text was written in pink ink and it read: My heart burns in the same fire as yours. The urge to end my career is extinguished when I think about the lost time that we will no longer intangibly share together ;)
Noah held the note to his beating heart. Till next time, my love, he allowed himself to think, and smiled.