Challenge: Write a crime thriller using the prompt.
This fucking rain again. New York in October was just downright ugly. The gutters foul stench stung her nose while the water pouring out of the sky smashed against her glasses. She should have stayed inside. But no, she had to decide to go get that Merlot and some Ben & Jerry’s. Stupid, nasty, unfaithful Tom! Should he go sleep with the whole city, she wouldn’t care anymore. Oh well… who was she fooling. At least her tears were not visible right now.
The woman was jittering from the cold, hugging something under her raincoat. Some designer piece. He had seen it a lot in this area, so it must be a kind of status symbol. He halted his step as she was slowing down. This was atypical. She never took the short route. He knew her. She always stayed on the main streets. Always careful, always on guard. His heart made a jump. If he believed in God, he would have thanked him right now.
He had to be quick now. Diagon Alley was long and narrow, but he could hear her steps speeding up, even in the heavy rain. His first love, the one that got away. Not this time.
Damn, why did she make this decision? What seemed like a good idea just seconds ago now felt like the biggest mistake of her life. Get yourself together! You are just paranoid. She kept repeating the words in her head, hoping they would sound reasonable sooner or later. Shit, shit, shit! She wanted out of this alley right now. Her heart was pumping against her throat, and she would have sworn footsteps were approaching from behind. Just to make sure, wanting to show her brain there was no need to worry, she turned around. All blood drained from her face, she couldn’t breathe anymore, and her ears were ringing. The man was only a few steps away from her. She would never reach the alley’s exit on time.
Her face was as beautiful as always. Puffed up by tears, but wonderfully whitened by her reaction to his appearance. And her eyes. Big as the moon when it was at its fullest. Her open mouth so inviting, now releasing quick and shallow blows of air. Only a few seconds in his presence, life was already flowing back into her. Damn this idiot who had left her—who had left her empty. He couldn’t take this any longer. She was his first love, which everybody knows is the deepest. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the chance to go out with her. Yet.
He had a strict rule of not going out with women in a relationship. And rules were there to be kept. What a pity he had fallen in love with her just before she met this hideous man. Not that he had been lonely. He had had plenty of other dates in the past two years. But he could never let go of this one. The one that got away. Finally, she would get the rendezvous she deserved. She would be happy again, together with him. Forever.
He had caught up to her. Stupid, stupid fright. She didn’t even think about screaming or running. And now his hand was covering her mouth, while the other was gliding under her coat. When she tried to stop him from reaching her breasts, the wine and ice dropped—inaudible due to the rain. Her fight against him was fruitless. He was too strong. And she could feel him pressing hard against her back. Maybe if she just gave in it would be over soon.
As soon as she stopped struggling, his hand retreated. She did not dare to move, not even breath. Slowly, like he was testing her, he removed his hand from her mouth. She passed the test. It wouldn’t make much sense to scream in this goddamn rain anyway. Petrified, she only turned her head, away from the tall figure that was now stepping in front of her.
A soft touch to her chin. The gentile but stern force made her look at his face. It was hard to say if his dark, shoulder-long hair was stringy from the rain or day-old fat. His brown eyes were too kind for this occasion. Their benevolent stare was nothing short from loving. This discrepancy sent another shiver down her spine. What in God’s name is this? The crooked nose, the thin lips, curled in anticipation… Did she recognize him?
His finger to his lips, signalling her to be quiet, also shut up her thoughts. Just go with it. Take control. You are stronger than you think. When he took the hatchet out of his coat, she nearly laughed. This was no rapist. Her ungrounded fear of axe-murderers would not be so irrational after all.
After his first chop, it took a while for her brain to realise it should feel pain. Blank-mindedly, she stared at her arm. The cut was deep but neat. She could make out blood vessels and even her bone. She was brought back from her trance with his second swing. Her right leg gave way when her muscle tore. Now, the pain was excruciating, tearing at every inch of nerves. Her eyes threatened to pop, and her ears were ringing. She wanted nothing but to scream it out, but he did not let her. His next movement was for her throat.
She was still so beautiful. He loved the contrast of the dark red blood on her white skin. Making a mental image of the marvellous bare body lying in the rainy alley, covered with blood that perfectly mixed with the Merlot on the ground, he chopped one last time. He went home blissfully, finally having been able to take her hand.
Prompt: hatchet, New York