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A Lovely Day for Murder
It was raining.
Christian blew a wet piece of hair away from his eyes and stared out into the blanket of rain that surrounded him.
It was cold.
The brim of his hat was quickly filling, and so, he tipped his head to the side and let it slosh onto the sleeve of his coat.
It was a very, very good day for murder.
He stood slowly from the bench he occupied, and rain ran down the sharp line of his nose. Around him, the campus was deserted; no student was crazy enough to risk a fever when midterms were only a week away.
Well, no student except him.
Christian began walking, shoes squeaking and slacks splattered with mud. He fingered the knife in his pocket, and slowly, a smile spread across his face.
Nobody made a fool of Christian Witt.
From his other pocket, he withdrew a cigarette, balanced it between his lips, and lit up a match. Off in the distance, the sirens of an ambulance blistered the silence.
The blue of his eyes sharpened until they burned like silver embers.
“Oh Jana,” he said aloud, and then puckered his lips so a ring of smoke danced into the air. He pulled out the knife and tested it against the skin of his palm.
Crimson seeped out.
He slanted his hand, watched with a satisfied grin as blood splattered to the concrete.
“Your secret is safe with me,” he mocked lowly, glancing at his reflection in the blade. “My lips are sealed.”
His mouth twisted with humor, his fingers curled into fists. He slid the knife back into his pocket and continued walking.
“Ready or not, Jana,” Christian turned and headed for the dormitories. The wind picked up, and the lapels of his trench coat danced with it. “Here I come.”
She sighed, mutely frustrated, and pushed a mass of dark hair over one shoulder. On her computer monitor, the cursor blinked patiently, waiting for her to being her paper.
She chewed on the inside of her cheek, for just a moment, before she let her gaze slide over to her cell phone.
The digital numbers read eleven-eleven. Her mouth quirked, and, as if she were a child, she squeezed her eyelids shut and wished.
Another minute passed by, and as her eyes remained closed, her grin slowly dropped. With a heavy sigh, she refocused herself on her blank document. Outside, the rain made a gentle rhythm against the windowpane.
Jana, with her fingers poised, licked her lips and carefully typed out her name.
Her phone began to ring.
She jumped, nerves frayed, and grabbled for it across scattered papers and unsharpened pencils.
After a few clumsy bobbles and fumbles, she finally managed to flip it open and press it to her ear. “H... Hello?”
Static and steady breathing teased her hearing.
“Christian? Is that you?” She held it tightly against the shell of her ear. “Look, I’m so sorry. I never meant for things to get out of hand like this.”
There was a pause, an inaudible recess in inhalation, and then the breathing continued.
“Where are you, Christian? Maybe... Maybe I can meet you somewhere, you know, so we can talk.” She pushed away from her computer desk and walked to the window to lean her forehead against the cool glass. “I really want to talk to you, Christian.”
Slow, calm, maddening breathing.
Her heart jolted at the sound of his voice. “Where are you? Are you somewhere close?”
“I’m outside, Jana.”
Butterflies tickled her insides as she squinted through the darkness. “I don’t see you.”
He continued to breathe, endlessly patient. “Keep looking.”
Jana played with a piece of black hair. “Look, Christian, when I told Lisa about your secret, I never would have expected her to go around telling your friends. I mean, that’s so catty, and we’re not in high school anymore.”
Somewhere in the back of her mind, she realized that she was rambling. “And, you trusted me, and I just sliced through it with my big mouth, and I want to know what I can do to make it up to you.” She began to tremble as her throat slowly closed. “Christian, gosh, I’m so sorry. Please, tell me what I can do.” She searched the yard desperately, chin quivering. “Please.”
“Do you see me yet, Jana?”
She squinted her eyes, but the darkness did not relent. “No.”
Christian’s smile was wicked as it curled across his mouth. “Look behind you.”
Jana whirled around.
Dial tone filled the air.
Christian’s knuckles were white as he stared down at her. Stared at her dead eyes, her pale lips, her limp body.
A puddle of blood washed out around his feet. He did not bother to acknowledge it.
“I know what you can do,” he said to her. But her eyes could do nothing but stare, lifelessly, up at the ceiling. He turned away and headed toward the door, flicking the bend of his hat with a finger.
“Never speak again.”