Plastic Sheets

It was Daniel’s smile that sealed the deal. No one, neither man nor woman, could hold up under his chocolate-brown smoulder. He tilted his lips to one side — a well-practised crooked smirk. He’d rehearsed for many hours in front of the mirror, to get it right. Enough arrogance to add a level of sexy danger to his persona, but not enough to be a turn-off.

“Daniel Mine.” He extended his hand. “But tonight, I’m yours.” That got a laugh out of her. It always did. It didn’t matter whether it was a genuine chuckle or not. Sometimes it was in response to how bad the joke was. Other times, it was as a result of his audacity. It was all the same — as long as they laughed, they were his.

She took his hand. “Erin.” Her eyes twinkled. “Erin Descoudres.”

“It’s lovely to meet you Miss Descoudres.”

Erin didn’t correct him, which either meant he was bang on the money, or she didn’t care about her marriage. Either way, the conclusion would be the same.

She blushed and looked down. “Please,” she flashed her baby blues up for a second, “call me Erin.”

Daniel’s heart tripped over its own feet. They always excited him — which was why he did it — but there was something about this one. He had to play this smart. He’d kick himself if he allowed her to escape.

He bought them both a drink — a stealthy double for her. His eyes followed the glass as it rose to her blood-red lips. “Say, Erin,” his tongue darted to the corner of his mouth, “it’s kinda loud in here, isn’t it?”

She grinned and looked off to the side. Her cheeks flushed red. She knew, all right. She knew and she liked it. “Yeah…”

“What do you say to going to someplace quieter?”

Erin locked her gaze with his. A cold ripple washed through Daniel’s core. It was as if her crystal eyes looked right through him — into his soul. Into his thoughts, his intentions. Could she read him?

“Like your apartment?” she asked. Her eyebrows rose, but not in a manner that indicated disapproval.

That hadn’t been his intention. At least, not straight away. It wasn’t something he rushed — Daniel took his time with his prey. Romanced them. Charmed them.

But Miss Descoudres had expedited the process.

Daniel grinned. This time, it was genuine.

“Yeah, something like that, Erin.”


Daniel’s apartment was on the richer side of town. Erin insisted on walking, even though a taxi would have gotten them there sooner. The pair strolled away from the neon glare and the bass thump of the drinking districts. Clubs, pubs and bars left behind. They spoke about nothing and everything. Veiled metaphors and flirtations dotted the conversation.

Along the way, the alcohol began to kick in for Erin. As did the quarter of a Rohypnol tablet he’d slipped her. Not enough to knock her out and arouse suspicion, but enough to lower her inhibitions.

Her words started to slur, and once or twice she stumbled on the pavement. She kicked off her heels and walked barefoot. Daniel had to all but carry her up the steps to his place. It was 11 p.m. on a Saturday, so there was nobody around to watch. Erin giggled all the while.

Daniel shut the door with his foot and took her over to the sofa. Erin had her eyes closed. A drunken smile curled her lips. She either didn’t notice the plastic sheets over the floor and furniture, or she was too plastered to care.

With a boyish grin, Daniel locked the door. His heart hammered like it did when he was a kid and it was Christmas morning. He peered out at the night city before he lowered the blinds. He popped a CD on. The singer’s dulcet tones filled the apartment. “Fancy another drink, Erin?” he asked, even though it was overkill.

“Mmf.” Her arm flopped over the back of the sofa.

Daniel’s smile widened.

He hastened to the closet. He wriggled out of his jacket and discarded it onto the floor. From a shelf, he slid out a packet for a disposable rain poncho and tore it open with his teeth. The smell of the plastic sent a shiver of anticipation through him. Daniel put it on. It was extra large — it went down to his loafers.

Before he shut the door, he grabbed one last thing from the cupboard.

The axe.

He’d polished it that morning. The brilliant metal reflected the room. Daniel grinned at his mirror image, head covered in the pink hood. “Showtime.”

From the lounge, the CD wound down its first song and moved on to the next track. Clad in his poncho, weapon in hand, Daniel stalked towards the sofa.

Erin’s hand still dangled over the back.

He twisted the handle around in his fingers — the wood smooth to the touch. The reflection of the room spun around in the axehead’s gleam. His face. Mad grin. Pink poncho. Lounge. Shut blinds. Sofa.

“Do you like Phil Col—”

Daniel didn’t get to finish the rest of his sentence. He froze, a rabbit in headlights. His throat clamped itself shut. A winded wheeze escaped his lips.

He rotated the axe again, eyes fixed to the reflection in the metal. His face. Stony skin. Thin lips pressed tight. Pink poncho. Lounge. Shut blinds.

Sofa.

He looked up, deep furrows in his brow.

Back down to room’s twin, housed within the side of the axehead.

“Wha—?”

Erin’s limp arm hung over the side of the sofa.

But, as far as the polished metal was concerned, the appendage wasn’t there.

It had no reflection.

A small squeal whistled out of him, the deflation of a balloon.

Run. Run. Run.

A flurry of movement.

In one stuttered heartbeat, she was on her feet, halfway between him and the sofa.

Daniel stumbled back, the axe held against his chest — all sense of attack and advantage stolen. A low whine emanated from his throat.

Miss Descoudres stared at him. Her eyes were wide open, the drunkenness since vanished. The whites of her sclera were oh so white.

She grinned and showed him her pointed teeth.

Which had started to grow.

Daniel screamed.


Once he was dead, Erin nodded and looked around.

“Mm, plastic sheets,” she said through a mouthful of flesh. Her tongue worked at a piece of gristle lodged between two of her back teeth.

“That’s a good idea.”


3rd December 2020

Written for the December #BlogBattle

6 thoughts on “Plastic Sheets

  1. aebranson

    This one struck me as quite delightful – in a twisted way, of course! I took an immediate dislike to Daniel, at first categorizing him as no more than a ‘rake,’ but as soon as Erin seemed to look right through him I ‘knew’ he had to be a serial killer. And at first I felt a little sorry for Erin … but somewhere in the story – I can’t put my finger on it – I also began to suspect she would turn the tables on him. While reading, I wasn’t sure if that was because of subtle hints, or because I was just really hoping Daniel’s plan would fail. I confess I wanted to cheer when we realize she had no reflection in the axe blade.
    On a side note … I noticed we both have a reference to Christmas morning in our stories this month. Okay, I know it’s December, it seems somewhat appropriate … but it also seems weird! 🙂 If I summed your story up in one word, I think I’d have to call it charming…!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Doug Jacquier

    A good set-up, Joshua, but as AE said, it didn’t take a lot to see what was coming. Ditch the hackneyed phrases (twinkling eyes, baby blues, showtime, rabbit in the headlights etc) and it will do wonders for taking a clever plot to another level (which is where you deserve to be).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gary

    Very much belated read here Joshua. Oddly half way through I was contemplating a story based on a psychotic serial killer finding the victim chosen was somewhat more likely to have an unexpected similar trait. I’m taking this as sanguisage antics, although maybe a serial crime thriller twist might work for me ha, ha. Nicely done once again. A seamless move in this dance macabre. Of course it could be that Erin is part of the “Supernatural” universe. A guardian angel stalking those with nefarious intent. Monsters within monsters as it were. That makes you Chuck writing the stories if this final tv series is correct ha, ha.

    I’m way behind right now. No writing for over two months. Not sure what’s going on really. Terrible methinks!

    Like

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