Todd Downey thought a woman who would steal your love, when your love is really all you had, wasn't much of a woman; he therefore decided to kill her. He would do it in the deep corner form where the house and the barn came together at an extreme angle, where his wife kept her garden. The garden she loved more then she loved him. It never occurred to her that by giving up 'their' house – though she resent it from the beginning anyway, as it's too far from city for her liking – she efficiently gave up that small, but sweet vegetable patch she spend most of her time tending to.
Todd Downey sat alone on one of the plush leather sofas that his not so ex-wife has insist on buying when he bought the house. "This is perfect." She had said, but after the first week, her initial excitement has gone and she never sat on it again. Downey sighed, willing to exhale the venom of anger infecting his heart and poisoning his blood. He glare around the small room, was their room, now only his room, hoping to see something that could give him any idea. With no luck he relaxed his crutched fist and attempt to think.
"Well?" A silky voice asked. A man emerged from the shadows behind Downey, from a corner only inhabited by a tiny and dusty window (the secret window, she once said, but that's another story.) He appeared so absurdly it seem like he entered the room by the tiny window, if only it's possible. He walked quickly and confidently towards the small area where he sat. The man slapped a hand on the back of the sofa when he reached him and allowed it to scrape across the smooth surface as he walked around the sofa to stand before Downey, a lazy grin on his face.
"Mmm, you again." Downey frowned slightly, however, with his eyebrows already drawn together in confused thoughts, the frown only succeed to tighten the looser skin at the corner of his lips and the softly lined muscle of his cheeks flex and twitched almost invisibly. "Heh." The man laughed dryly, without amusement. As much as Downey hates to admit, this man has a striking resemblance to him, one might say that they are identical, if in fact anyone other then Downey can see him, however, if one observed more closely, the difference will surface like a grain of sand under a magnifying glass. This man seems to radiate an air of energy and restlessness, the type of air Downey lacked, much to his dismay. Downey cursed to himself slightly, this man is a walking reminder of the amount of time and energy he have spent and wasted with his wife. All that, she threw away as she toss the ring back to him in rage.
"Well?" The man repeated, slightly impatient. "How ya gonna get 'er here?" Downey wrinkled his nose at the use of slang in his sentence.
"Silence. I'm trying to think." He replied coldly, unable to mask his annoyance towards his doppelganger. The man didn't reply to that, instead, he lean against the back of a wall and crossed his arm, feet tapping on the wooden floor in an irregular rhyme. "Shut it!" Downey exploded and threw the closest thing to him – a water glass – at the obnoxious man. He caught the glass with one hand and laid it on the small coffee table beside him with one fluent motion.
"Whoa, no need to throw shit at me, don't vend your anger at me just because ya too stupid to think!" He snapped snidely, before falling silent again. Downey twitched awkwardly at the silence, attempting not to peek but failing miserably, he allow himself a quick look up and discovered with disappointment that the man was not there anymore. The water glass lay, shattered, as it were, on the floor. Downey sighed disheartenly. Downey is going to regret thinking this at all, but this house is so damn quiet when he's the only one there.
"Mmm, hey Lea. I just want to see, you know, if you want to come over." Pause. "I just want to… to… alright, about the paper. I'll…I'll sign it." Another pause. "Great, of course. Absolutely great, I guess I'll see you in a bit, then." Downey dropped the phone back onto its holder, a smile forming on his face.
"Todd? Todd, are you there?" The woman pounded on the door as she tired to peek at the curtained window to see whether Downey was there. Not bothering to readjust her pose to hide her exposed chest as she bend forward to peek at the uncovered area from where the curtain ends to the window still. Her white pearl necklace dangling from her slender neck and crack noisily against the wooden frame of the door. "Hellooo?" Her voice slipped through the gap of the door where the hinges are and effortlessly reach Downey's ears. The guest has arrived.
"Yes, dear. I'm here." Downey put up an artificial grin as he turned the door knob and pulled it towards him, revealing a strikingly attractive woman in her mid thirties. Downey had a clear view of her chest and he refrain from backing away repulsively. Downey thought hatefully that Lea seems to grow younger and younger as he grew older, as if she's leeching his youth. The faint line on his face stretched across his face seems to be physically pulling his face and his joint seems to chunk over each other painfully. Damn, I'm not that old. He thought silently to himself, trying to give himself assurance.
"Oh Todd, you didn't know how glad I am to get your call. I thought…I thought you'll never sign it! I don't know how I am going to express my gratitude…" Lea beamed, reaching out to offer Downey a hug. A hug Downey accepted with a stiffened posture. "Oh darling, you look so much…" She released him and paused awkwardly as she studied his appearance. Downey breathed a sigh of relief. She held her fingers to her lips thoughtfully, but Downey knew that she's trying to stop herself mentioning the fact that he looked so much older, he cannot deny the fact that since the day she asked for a divorce, he seems to age five years a day. His hair turned from its rich black to sizzling grey in merely a month. "Different." She finished, dropping her hand so that it lingered at her neckline, blocking a love bite, which Downey has noticed even before she began speaking. Downey can't help to flinch obviously at her too-sweet tone. "
"Thanks, and you look as beautiful as always." Downey replied stiffly as he led her to the sitting area. "Oh, that's so sweet of you." She gave him a wink as she followed him towards one of the big sofas. He noticed how she held herself up delicately and her posture deliberately hiding certain areas. Had a good night last night, then. He thought bitterly as he recalled the long night he had the day before that includes 5 sleepless hours rolling and turning at the uncomfortable mess that was his couch. He rubbed his eyes self consciously.
Downey settled at the end of the four seat sofa and Lea hesitated for a moment, then sat right beside him, at the center. Looking slightly uncomfortable. He was able to speak when the woman reach towards her handbag – Downey instantly tensed, but she only pulled out her glasses and put them on. Handling the frames with elegant motions. Downey knew that she never wore her glasses because she think it looked unattractive, but he thought he gave her a bookish appeal because the frames flatters her high cheekbones so well. Downey also vaguely remembered that she didn't used to wear it in front of him, but that was only until a week before he found out about her affair.
"So, Lea. How have you been?" Downey tried to start a conversation, fearing that his throat will dry up instantly when he wasn't speaking, or worst, she make her leave. He nervously peeked at the side of her cheeks, his fingers tapping on the table in a nervous gesture. He didn't miss the thick layer of makeup covering her morning flushed checks. Downey has always loved watching her prepare in the morning when her skin is soft and clear, almost baby like, and when they discovered an extra window in their room, it always seems to light up under the bright light. But that was long time ago; the window is now covered up roughly with curtain and thick layer of dust.
"I'm good, Todd, I'm good." She replied, smile fading ever so slightly. Downey notice with disdain how she deliberately avoided asking him the same question. "I'm great, too." Downey spoken loudly regardless. Lea shivered; perhaps he allowed his voice to drop a degree too low. But in the next second, Lea reached into her bag and pulled out the document of divorce paper. Downey resisted the temptation to reach over and torn it into shreds. He chewed the inside of his mouth, feeling the flesh tearing slightly under the strain.
"Well. Todd, actually I'm on a pretty tight schedule here, so…" she stopped midway, pointedly pushing the small pile of paper closer to him. The sheets slide across the table top and stopped directly before Downey. He stood up rapidly, unable to hide his irritation. "The garden, your garden. It's so beautiful, don't you think so." He allowed his glance to fall onto the small patch of green visible from the glass door leading to the back garden. He felt his lens readjust at the blotches of green sharpen into clear focus. His pupil contract painfully in the bright light as a cloud shifted and a beam of light shined through brilliantly.
"Todd…" Lea whispered, trying to steer the conversation to the thin sheets of paper in front of her, but she couldn't help herself to follow his glance. That patch of garden she have worked on so much. A place she can go to when he wasn't there. The leaves already looked slightly brown in the scotching sunlight. She did, however, spend a lot of time in his house after she met him weeks before she decided to leave Downey. For a moment they just stayed where they are, one sat down and one stood up, both in complete silence, drowning in memory.
Lea was the first to recover from their trance, he shook her head, trying to throw off the cloud of memory fogging her mind. "Um…Todd. There, see this. I think you want to read this information before you–" "Lea." Downey cut in, not bothering to stick to his usual mannerism. Lea looked up from the document, surprised at the abrupt interruption. His fingers stopped tracing the tiny words on the paper.
"Did you know that human body is one of the best fertilisers, because it decomposes into the main vital nutrient a plant need for growth?" Downey spoke slowly, completely random as he allow his mouth to say whatever he can think of , as long as he can delay the time, ignoring how quirky that remark came out as. Running out of things to say, Downey didn't speak and the sentence lingered in the tense air before Lea broke the silence with a nervous laughter.
"Todd, are you drunk?" Lea inquired, attempting to sound causal but failing to do so as her voice seems to tremble feebly in the stiff air. She looked up at the stiff form of the man before her, noticing how his back is held up straight and rigidly.
"Lea, I'm drinking water." Downey replied, allowing exasperated sighs enter between his words. For once, he would allow emotion creep through the cracks of his perfect mask, if only once. For it's the last time she'll ever see it. Downey thought to himself. He observed her as she pulled at her pearl necklace, making sure the small white pearl don't get stuck under the complex knitting of her sweater. "Of…of course. What a beautif – it's beautiful." She spluttered, realising his intense glance on her, waiting for her to reply.
"Indeed." Downey whispered to himself, beginning to take unhurried steps towards the glass door, and on his way, he discreetly picked up the granite book stopper on his self – the vital weapon that he decided to use, it is a gift from her, a long time ago. It seem clear to both of them that granite is made of the same element as diamond, so it seem to be a good gift she can give him when he gave her the beautiful diamond ring that she wanted to have so much.
The medium size stone – which Downey decided was best to conceal but not too small so it can do sufficient damage to kill – is rough and of course, incredibly hard. She had obtained it when she went to a trip to rock climbing on a mountain. The heavy piece of rock came loose when she held on to it and she almost slipped, she was safe, of course, after the incident she took the rock as a souvenir and later she gave it to him, he used to always wonder why she decide that it's a suitable gift to give him, a rock that almost killed her. But now he knows that it was perfect, it is under his ownership that the rock will finally finish its job. To finish her life.
He waited for her to come over, but when he didn't hear any movement behind him, he stalked back towards her, slightly impatient. Stuffing the stone block deep into his jacket pocket, under the camouflage of his crutched fist and soft fur lining of the jacket – which is also not coincidence, Downey has planned his action thoroughly. He stood not far from her, she pat on the seat beside her, indicating for him to sit down, and he blatantly ignored it, instead, he focused his sight to a point in the distance. Reluctantly, she stood up and walk toward him. Clearly intended to lead him back so she can persuade him.
"Uhm, hey, Todd dear. I've been here for a bit…" She paused, his voice fainted out to a mere whisper. Her hands swing backward to hold her back, as if supporting herself to stand up against him. What you mean is you want me to sign the fucking document so you can get the fuck away from here. Downey translated her silence inside his head, temper rising rapidly. She hummed under her breath, trying to dissolve the tense air building up between them.
"Do you remember the secret window?" He asked, ignoring her again, and traced an outline of a small circular window in the air with the index finger of his left hand, the hand that is not in his pocket; in both of their minds that fingertip seems to trace a fiery image in the air which lingers before them. Lea fell completely silent and still. "The one that overlooks the garden. Remember?" He explained, pausing only to inhale a long breath. "And I'm going to grow corn there, so I can watch it grow through the window." He kept on, while Lea remind deathly silent at his sudden change from cold to talkative. And when he stopped, staring at her, expression suddenly changed, looking almost curious.
"Are you going to marry him?" He asked, unable to stop himself. His eyes narrowed to a slit as he observes her reaction. Tell me he's not going to. He thought to himself, almost praying, and white hot jealousy snake into his brain as he looked down at her trim figure. He didn't know why he asked, perhaps there is a small fragment of his heart still needs her, probably more of a physical need, but Downey refused to believe it.
"No!" She answered with a giggle and a finger shot up to her lips. Downey knew she does this when she's nervous. "I met a new guy." She continued, forcing her face to relax when she realised the fact she been tensing her face, freezing a polite smile onto her cheeks. She had forgotten he had this effect on her.
"I thought he is great to you." And that's your explanation for leaving me. Downey finished silently, his cool façade unwavering. "He's not. He's a snot-rag, but he had been good." She paused with a blood curling smile. "Very good to me…at the time." Then as if remembering herself, she smiled warmly again at him. The transformation was so drastic it chilled Downey to the bone.
Noticing Downey's silence, Lea turned away from him, and began to talk in that slow, hypnotising tone of hers. The tone she had perfected over the years of being with him. "Todd dear, I'm not saying you haven't been good to me…" she kept talking, as if attempting to recover the hole she punched through in their 'new born friendship', which really, became meaningless rumbling to his ears as he glared coldly at the back of her head. The sleek blonde hair covering it is finely brushed, like the immaculate woman that she is. He imaged that fine silk like hair stained with crimson, the smoothness messed up and twirled around the fatal wound. Suddenly he wonders if he could actually do it.
"And you really should sign this, and start a new life," She continued, not realising that she already lost his attention. Downey swallowed difficultly, suddenly noticing how sweaty his hand is. He flexed his fingers against the rough surface of the rock in his pocket; it's warming up against his touch. Don't do it. A small voice said, so fragile that it's lost in the maze of his mind.
"No." He cut in on her speech. Finally coming to a decision. "I won't sign it." He deadpanned, his tone cold and final. Unexpecting, her head turned towards him in surprise.
That's when he swung the granite block.
She stared in shock as the block slide through the air and came flying towards her. She dodged, only evaded the attack narrowly. She shivered visibly as the block crack against the wall where her head had been with a loud 'chunk'.
"What the fuck do you think you are doing?" She screamed, moving against the wall just in time to escape his out stretched hand, she saw those hands almost demon like, clawing in thin air. It would have been my head. She thought, an ear splitting scream escaped her and she immediately feel the burning sensation in her lungs. The palm smack down on her neck, but only managing to gasp onto her necklace, she fell lower, the pearls stretching, hanging above her, and finally, the string gave away and snapped, the little pearls showering over her and landed the floor in broken clatters.
The noise seems to echo in her skull as she fell back, smacking her head on the wall. She lean against the wall, dazed for a couple of second, under the impact of the strong collision. But that's all she could afford before he closed on her, stone block in hand, already swinging back to put power behind his strike. She yelled for him to stop, her usually soft and sweet voice turned into croak noises, but he seems crazed as the block took dead aim to her forehead. She felt around for something in desperation, her lips moving in a silent prayer.
Then as if hearing her prayer, her finger scrapped across a rough surface – the small bust of a famous writer – whose name she never bothered to ask him, though she wishes she knew now so she can do something to thank him. If she survives – stand silently on its wooden stand. Her heart leaped with momentary relief as she grabbed it, wasting no time, and smashed it against his head.
The loud sound echoed around the house as everything became silent. It seems like everything was in slow motion as Downey's eye bulged, as if threatening to pop out of its sockets. Then time recovered back o normal, he fell, knees buckled first, the granite block dropped to the floor and cracked in half, the two halves bounced off the surface, leaving a deep imprint and rolled under the shelf, finally silent again. Downey stumbled a few steps forward, before coming to a halt as he strains to regain his balance. Without success, he finally dropped to the floor and remained motionless.
She stared at his crumbled form on the floor as she dropped the bust, now stained with blood. She back into a corner, where she slide down against a wall. She wanted to cry but the tears didn't come. She stared at the body, then at the small bust. She fought a sudden desire to laugh.
"Ha...haha..." She let out a tiny giggle as she struggles to breathe, then the desire has pass and tiredness settle in. She finally sat, unable to move.
His head has definitely cracked open, and he is dead, he is certain of it. But he doesn't understand why the pain won't fade. Fire burned the inside of his skull as he tried, with vain, to reach his head with his hands to hold it, attempting to cease the agonizing pain. He's throwing in mid air, suspended by some unknown threads of something. He tried to clear his head, but his world refuses to brighten up, not that he expects it ever will. The irony, he was the one who planned to give this pain to another person. He screamed, but nothing came out. Shit shit SHIT! He repeated, over and over again, but it did nothing to stop the feeling of white hot daggers being shoved through his head. I can't open my eyes…I don't…I don't want to die… He murmured, trying to open his eyes, but it seems to be glued together.
"Get her.' The silky voice whispered beside his ears, it felt like razor sharp blades slicing his brain.
"She's getting away…" The pain he received was more like a mental torture then a physical one. His body start to seize under the pain and he felt as if he lost control of his body, not that he got much of it before, anyway. Then a shot of brightness fill him. Then darkness.
A sudden shivered shook the corpse like body. He's not dead. Her heart flew up to her throat, all of a sudden she felt out of breath, and proceedingly more so as the body shivered once more. Her head shot upwards to grab hold of something, but her body was faster and she's on her feet again. She stopped at the milst of her rapid movements to risked a peek at the body, sensing no movement, she swallowed her heart down difficultly, and slowly, she slide against the cool wall, feeling the sweat clinging to her back, sticking to the fabric of her t-shirt. She crept against the wall, making sure no sound was made, at the meantime, keeping the longest distance between her and the body.
She cringed inwardly as she nudged a book from the book shelf, she almost screamed when it landed loudly on the wooden floor board. Damn, should have insisted to get carpets. She was so sure that woke Downey, so when she looked up, she fully expected him to be running towards her, but when she did, the body was still there, unmoving. She kept on until she reach the end of the wall, where she paused, and twisted her head awkwardly to look at the body, her fear escalated when the man began to regain consciousness, small moans are heard.
Abandoning the tactic to be as quiet as possible, she broke into a run and she burst through the front door. Then all of a sudden, it was sunny and warm, but apparently not enough to chase the chill from her. Every bump on the floor felt like hands attempting to grab her and pull her down to hell. Her heart pound loudly and she was sure that it will be the last thing she'll ever hear.
She ran towards her car across the lawn, adenine driven muscle sending her flying through the air. Wind cut her ears like knives, but she disregards this when she heard the front door burst open not far behind her. She sprinted as fast as she can while trying to pull her keys out of the pocket of her over tight jeans.
"Shit!" She cursed loudly when it came loose when she gave is a particularly hard yank and send it flying in front of her, slipping pass her desperate fingers attempting to grab in while it's still in the air. It landed on the drying glass not far before her, she kept running, losing speed slightly as she bend down t grab it, her heart literately throws itself wildly against her rib cage. But she didn't even have time to scream as hands closed on er from behind, tightly embracing her, clamping a rough hand against her mouth. She screamed against the rough palm, body wiggling madly, trying to escape.
"Shh…sweet heart, hush." His tone was silky and snide, one that she never heard him use.
"Nod, dear, promise that ya stay quiet." He grabbed her hair and pushed her head down forcefully. "Now then." His breath brushed the back of her neck; the tiny hair pickled and stood on end. She nodded, desperate for breath. He then finally released her mouth and she choked on precious air, sucking in the needed oxygen.
"You…you fucking bastard." She managed, before gasping painfully when the iron grip tightened around her. "Now dear, have a breather before you start bitching, 'kay?' He whispered, almost gently, but that didn't cease the feeling of his blinding grip on her.
"How did…how did you…" She struggled more against him, but he plainly wrapped his hand a little bit tighter, and efficiently eliminating the last of her futile struggle. "How did I wake so fast?" He finished for her, a gleeful smile filling his face. "Ya knock him out man, out cold! So I came out." He continued his tone growing smug.
"You're out of your fucking mind." She spluttered, mustering all her bitterness and hate into one simple sentence.
"Yep." He replied happily, before grabbing her hair tighter and attempt to twist her head so that she could face him.
"Let me go!" She screamed in pain as she felt hair tearing from her scalp from the root. After a few painful moments she finally quietens down when she caught sight of the man who captured her. This is not Todd Downey, was her first reaction. She can't deny that his cheek bone, his brow, are the same, even the faint lines are at its usual place. But now he held himself up like a different man. He's slumped, his lips curved up to a playful smirk, his eyes only half open and she notice how he seems completely unfazed, as if half of his face wasn't covered with blood. But just as quickly she dismissed the mad idea that formed in her mind, she allowed herself to blame the difference on his apparently poor mental state – well, he did try to kill her and is still trying – and a statue to the head probably doesn't help, neither.
"Like what ya seeing?" The man whispered again, only then she realised she was staring at his face. She looked away, quickly, only a faint murmur of one word was heard. "Todd."
"No honey, he's pretty faint with tha' stunt ya pulled on him." He replied, suddenly sounded like a stern father scolding his little girl. Lea just stared into his eyes, and muttered the same word, only a little more forceful.
"No dear, not Todd." Her captor insisted, a grin materialised on his face. One that twisted his features. One she didn't recognise. The grin of a maniac, that was anything but Downey. Lea cannot deny to herself anymore. Only one sentence formed in her mind, and that sentence filled up her brain and she finally lose control.
"You're not Todd Downey!" She yelled. "Let me go!" She screamed again, tears rolling down her cheeks; she mustered all her strength not to break down.
"I think…"He started, but was interrupted. "FUCK YOU! I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK! LET. ME. GO." She screamed louder and louder, trying to pull herself away from the man.
"No. Am doing what he left over. And I have no intentions to stop," The grin faded. "I'm doing it for him, What he was too afra'd to do himself." He finished, with a serious tone. That chilled her; it froze her so that she couldn't move. It was the uncanny likeness of his tone to Downey's, yet she knew they were different. Her captor has a rougher edge to his personality, an edge that Downey lacked, the reason she left him. And the reminder of Downey angered her, infuriated her beyond reason. So she screamed, and kicked, and scratched. Then she stopped.
All motion came to a sudden halt. After his palm planted securely to the back of her neck, and squeezed. She only have time to hear a faint mutter before pain shoot up the back of her neck and her world darkened into nothingness.
"This ending. It's going to be perfect."
When her world finally brighten up, she was greeted with a cold glare from her captor and an even colder glint from a shovel with the tip of its blade buried in the soil directly beside her head, it stood up and seems to be swinging ominously in the wind, as if in any second it would stop fighting against gravity and slice down on her head.
"Todd." She blinked against the evening light from the sunset, croaking out words that she failed to string together. She recognised the familiar seriousness and coldness of Todd Downey. At least that part wass more comforting.
"We are in friendly terms now, are we?" He spoke slowly and clearly, effectively radiating coldness to her. She realised he seems to hold himself up oddly still, and then she remembered. Downey's head is now clean of blood and carefully bandaged, but the fact remains that he's still badly injured nonetheless by the blow. On that thought Lea gave herself a silent cheer.
"As much as I miss you, Lea." Todd suddenly said in mock cheeriness. "My fucking head is telling me to kill you." His tone turned deathly icy towards that end.
"Fuck you." She yelled back, pushing a palm against the grass and dragging herself away from the shovel, the other hand shot up to shield her face from the sunlight that was stabbing her eyes. She glanced around her, noticing the familiar layout and the fresh smell of newly ploughed soil. Even when it's covered with dead flower, she recognised her location as the garden she loved so much, probably more so then she loved him. Before her thoughts can drift away she sense his scene closing on her, the familiar warmth that sent her crawling backwards. He walked directly before her, casting an intimindating shadow over her. She felt her hand drop down to her side limply, but the trembling refuse to subside. He placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed painfully.
"Get off me, you fucking lunatic!" She gasped loudly and struggled but Downey ignored it.
"Hear. I want you to understand, this is my house, not ours. I don't know what happened when I was unconscious but you are clearly under the impression that you are in control." He squat down so that his eye is level with her's and he lean towards her so that his breath brushes her face. She can almost see herself, pale with fear, reflecting from those cold eyes. "But I woke up now. And let's get this clear, I don't give a shit. And you must learn your place. You belong to me now." He kept on. A dangerous glint in his eye. "You are mine." Was there any emotion behind those murky orbs? She couldn't tell anymore.
"Bullshit." She managed, her throat squeezing close and she struggles to breathe. The next second her entire body was flattened onto the floor, held still by Downey's restraining hands.
"Bye dear." He whispered.
She tried hard not to look weak, tried to fight for a last chance. But she can't help letting out a scream that twisted her face and distort her figure when she lift the shovel and thrust it towards her neck. She then watch in fear as he transformed into the monster that killed her.
"I know I can do it." Todd Downey said, helping himself to another ear of corn from the steaming bowl.
"I'm sure that in time, every bit of her will be gone and her death with become a mystery."
"Even to me."
Mort Rainey sat down with his newly printed script.
"Perfect." He breathed, tense muscle finally relaxing as the door opened and slammed shut, announcing the exit of the Sherlock.
"What's most important is the ending, and this one is good." He repeated to himself, half crazed with satisfaction. "This one is perfect." He told himself, tapping an irregular tune with his toe against the wooden floorboard.
With a cold smile, he sunk his teeth into the juicy flesh of an ear of corn.