When I was a kid a social worker made me talk to a therapist once. She told me that because my mom died I have issues relating to women. That doesn’t make sense because my dad died in the same wreck so by that logic I should have issues both with men and women right? Not to mention I love my grandma the most ever so I rolling forward out I should only have issues with men. I didn’t say any of those things to her though because I learned quickly that the worst thing you can when you’re forced to talk to a therapist is try to express your thoughts. Keep it hid.
It is true that I don’t have many female friends. Really just the one, Martialla is about it. I don’t love her as much as my grandma but still I love her a lot. If she and my grandma were hanging off a cliff and I could only save one of them it would be Martialla but not because I love her more, just because my grandma is eight-four and she’s lived a good life already.
I met Martilla in high school. We didn’t go to the same school or anything; I met her because I was in a convenience store when she robbed the place at gunpoint. Based on things I’ve read there aren’t many female armed robbers so I think she was doing was feminism.
The police wanted me to identify her in a line-up or testify against her or something to do with a grand jury maybe but I didn’t because she came up to me one day and offered me three thousand dollars. I mean I wasn’t going to anyway, but the money was nice. When I asked her why a convenience store had thousands of dollars to steal she told me that there was “some other stuff” going on there and either I wanted the money or I didn’t.
Turns out that I did want the money, which I used to buy a Sabel Collection 14K White Gold Sapphire and Diamond Three Row Ring and Mikimoto 7.5mm Akoya Pearl and Diamond Dangle Earrings. I got a great deal because the jewelry store guy was banging a girl in my school and I told him I wasn’t afraid to tell the police about that. Is that extortion or blackmail?
Either way Martialla and I have been close ever since. I would say we’re like sisters but Martialla hates her sister so . . . yeah. When I went to Washington University (the one in St. Louis not in Washington) Martialla moved to Saint Louis too so we could still hang out all the time. She was a navy brat growing up so moving on a whim means like nothing to her. That’s crazy to me.
Martialla was the one in the bed. She was the one I stabbed. I murdered my best friend.
I was in the bathroom hunched over the side of tub not sobbing so much as projectile launching tears into the bottom of the shower. I can’t explain the physiology of it but pressing my stomach into the side of the tub as hard as I could kept me from puking and shitting myself.
There was so much blood. An obscene amount of blood. So much blood that if I saw that much blood in a show where someone was stabbed I would laugh at how stupid it looked. That’s not what it looks like when you stab someone in the chest I would have said confidently. I couldn’t get the taste of Martialla’s blood out of my mouth no matter how much I spit. I couldn’t get the taste out of my nose.
I don’t know how long he was stroking my hair before I realized it was happening. I assumed it was Xlade until I heard Duke’s voice.
“Are you sure you’re a slayer? I had heard they were immune to vampiric hypnotism but it worked like a charm on you.”
At the sound of his voice my legs reflexively kicked out and I accomplished the helpful feat of smashing my head into the opposite side of the tub so hard that I almost knocked myself out. I awkwardly flop-rolled around in the tub to see Duke sitting on the toilet watching me, amused. It was so stupid, a vampire sitting on a toilet, that I started to laugh hysterically. But like slowly, because I was only halfway conscious.
Duke nodded his head “I suppose that is funny when you think about it.”
I tried to say that I was going to kill him but my head was so dull and my tongue so thick I think all that came out was “mukilloo”.
He stood up and turned on the water to wash his hand “It’s too bad about your friend, she seemed like a tight piece of ass. I could still have a go at her I suppose, the body will still be warm for a while. Who was that other guy? The one with the bag of toys? I like that jacket he was wearing, do you know where he got it?”
“Why?” I managed to force out of my numb lips.
He turned off the water and started drying his hands as he looked down at me “Why what? Why did I make you kill your friend? I thought it would be funny. And it was. You should have seen the look on your face. I killed the other guy because he came into my home without asking, not cool. The legends say that a vampire can’t enter your home without being invited, it’s actually the reverse, if you come into a vampire’s house without permission you’re the one that dies. The only question before us now is which would be more amusing, should I call the cops and have them arrest you for murder, and then kill you in jail or just kill you now? It would be entertaining to see you taken away by the cops, and then kill you while you sit in a holding cell. I can do that you know, I can walk through shadows and appear just about anywhere. I used to watch you and your ex fuck sometimes. What was his name? Langston? It was boring to be honest, that was a real disappointment Ela. I doubt anyone has ever told you this but you’re a boring fuck from what I saw. I bet most pretty girls are, they don’t get good at anything because they never have to work for anything.”
“Why are you doing this to me?”
He set the towel aside and raised an eyebrow in mock surprise “Oh, I’m the bad guy, have you not figured that out yet? I know you’re dumb but you’re not that dumb are you?”