Audio provided by Abra Staffin-Wiebe. (More fine podcasting at her Circus of Brass and Bone)
The man rising from his haunches shook his hands clean with an elegant, deadly grace, sending splatters of congealed blood to strike the wall and slowly ooze down. He wore leather gloves with shadows of old stains still obvious on them. He peeled the gloves off, set them on a convenient shelf, and bent down to rinse his knives in a chipped and cracked porcelain bowl. The water in the bowl turned a delicate, mock-innocent pink.
The girl lay abandoned on a chair in the corner. He eyed her with distaste. Her purpose was served, and where before she had been intensely exciting, now she was old, worn, a discard. One of her blue eyes stared upwards at the ceiling. The other glared a horrid red.
Chips of broken teeth, blanched white, lay like scattered stars across the dark blouse she wore. Her beautiful golden hair was carefully braided into a noose that lay loosely around her neck, almost hiding the purple finger marks.
The man looked dispassionately at her. He would dispose of her later. For now … he stepped out of the hidden room, gloves and all other traces left safely behind. A woman, well-dressed and pretty in a faded way, hurried up, her face distressed.
He smiled down at his wife.
“Dear,” she said, “our maid is missing!”
He frowned, watching her face.
“She probably ran off with that boyfriend of hers.”
“I guess so.” She sighed.
“It’s most inconvenient. Good help is hard to find.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. His wife looked bewildered, but he quickly added, “I know how busy things are for you right now.” He kissed her forehead.
“I’ll talk to the agency and arrange for a new maid…one who’ll stay when you need her.” He studied her eyes.
“Better?” “Thank you, darling. You’re so considerate.” His wife smiled up at him. “I do try to be,” he said softly.
* * *
Abra Staffin-Wiebe is a writer of the “a few published short stories, a few unpublished novels” variety. She maintains Aswiebe’s Market List, a resource for science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. Her website is http://www.aswiebe.com and she blogs at http://cloudscudding.livejournal.com. Also check out Abra’s Circus of Brass and Bone.
GOOD HELP IS HARD TO FIND by Abra Staffin-Wiebe,