Scarlet Suffering

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Meticulously, she applied scarlet lipstick to every curve of her pouted lips. Her complexion was lit by an arch of neon light bulbs sweeping over a sizable mirror; it was in front of this that she now stood, peering intently into the glass. The bathroom in which she now so elegantly posed also accommodated an enormous Jacuzzi bath and stylish glass basin. Outside of the door, there was a grand hotel room, with a huge richly draped four poster bed piled high with plush cushions and silky throws. She reached for her crocodile purse and slipped in a sleek, glinting new revolver with hands as steady as if she were simply sliding away her lipstick. He had to die. He’d taken everything from her. He deserved to leave this world...

The detective had his high-collared trench coat buttoned right up, even as the sun’s rays bounced off his bald patch, shining like a 50p piece on his scalp. He was walking with the chief of police, a typically red-faced plump man who was, of course, too fond of doughnuts. He had had many late nights recently seeing as his messy, chaotic desk was piled high with dangerously tilting skyscrapers of case files and paperwork. They rounded the corner and the scene unfolded in front of them, the chief sniffed wetly and fished out a grubby faded handkerchief. The detective gazed ahead, eyes glazing over, thinking of the many only too similar cases.
“Looks like it’s gonna be a long day chief, never know what it might lead to, need a light?” He asked, his bristling moustache twitching jerkily as he talked. He flicked his lighter to the end of the cigarette now protruding from his companion’s mouth.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of evidence to analyse today and there ain’t any obvious motive apparently. But then we’re still doing a background check on the poor sucker.”

Sliding her silk blood red gloves over her newly-manicured nails, she walked on through the wide lush emerald green park, though some may say too sparsely planted, she thought that no flower beds or hidden alcoves were just what this cramped, over-crowded city needed. Her heels sank into the damp water-logged grass as she attempted to dodge the ever-flowing, ever-gyrating sprinklers. The younger chocolate-smeared children clung to their mothers perambulators as the more adventurous siblings ran carelessly through the replica rain.

From the front the place seemed perfectly normal, if a little deserted, just like any other late-night diner. The only telltale signs were the harsh mustard-hued police tape keeping the forensics team in and the overly curious bystanders out. The odd wisp of smoke drunkenly wandered from behind the three teetering chimneys. However, the inside couldn’t be more of a contrast to the glistening gum on the pavement outside and the scrappy video store across the street.
“Smoke stains on outside and ceilings; obvious point of origin in backroom; glass from shattered light and a discarded gun left as a false glimmer of hope for any verifiable fingerprints.” The detective reeled off their current findings, “there’s no doubt that this was a premeditated murder that unfortunately for us had no flaws. I highly doubt we’ll get any evidence from the gun seeing as they discarded it, and there doesn’t seem to be any void in the blood spatter where any witnesses might have been standing.”
“Well, we’ll do our best detective, but I guess there’s only so much we can do without any foolproof data.” Said the white suited agent, as they carefully picked their way across the scene.

It was quiet, too quiet. It was Monday morning so all the chaos of rush hour had flown past leaving only a few battered leaves and unsettled dust on the roads; grey suits and uniforms had already blared their horns and crawled painfully slowly through the traffic lights. He was behind the counter counting change; the coppers in one pile, then silver coins and pounds in another. There hadn’t been much business lately, since a late-night diner doesn’t really appeal to the cramped families and old couples around these parts. The brass bell hanging precariously above the door jingled false optimism: he looked up, ready to grin with all too many teeth at a hopefully generous customer. What met his eyes instead, however, was an entirely different situation.

An overturned stool and a table on its side blocked a now black splintered door hanging off an ash stained door frame. The fluorescent menus above an empty till, still flashing up deals, 3 for 2 and buy this get a free soda refill.

“WHY? Why did you leave me? Why did you take everything I ever owned or loved? I have NOTHING! Nothing left all. What did I ever do to you to deserve this? How could you do this to me?!” Her hand flew to her handbag and before the accused could answer the gun was in the air, shaking ever so slightly with the very impact of the action, pointed exactly between his eyes. It was then that he realised there was no saving himself now. His fate had caught up with him.

Sitting back in his worn creaking swivel chair, the detective was going through the facts in his mind, drumming his fingers on the dark mahogany of his obsessively organized desk. It couldn’t have been a random killing, the shooting was too well planned for that and it was unlikely that they would set fire to the joint afterwards. Other than that there were very few suspects, the most likely being the ex-wife whom he’d gone through a messy divorce with, he’d gotten everything whilst she’ been left out in the cold. Well, he thought, they’d bring her in tomorrow and she’d be questioned then...

Her red-gloved hand dropped the gun as she staggered over to the till, no use wasting money, she thought, after all he had taken everything from her, she deserved at least some compensation. Then her crimson stilettos carried her to the back room, still full of cans and bottles of cheap fizzy drink. She drew out some matches and lit them all, one by one, dropping them as she backed out the door, where she turned and walked out of the shop, now perfectly calm.

Satisfied, a smile slowly spread across her pouted lips.





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