Posted by Barbanne on January 10, 2002 at 21:30:37:
I had never seen a dead body before but I knew I was looking at one now.
Penelope lay on her back on the double bed in her room. She was nude and she was laid out, stretched across the bed with her arms above her head as though, had she been standing, she would have been in a diving stance. Her legs were spread and dangled from the end of the bed. Her hands were cupped, fingers curled as though waiting to receive some gift from the other world. Her face was cherry pink, a suffusion of colour that had leached down her neck and out onto her shoulders. Her eyes were barely open, mere slits, her mouth gaped and saliva had dribbled down her cheeks. She had always had quite a large bust and her heavy breasts flowed away from her chest, the nipples pointing apart from each other. Her tummy had been pulled lean and taut by her pose and her cunnie glistened beneath her pubic thatch.
I knew she was dead.
But I came closer and called her name.
I shook her by the shoulder.
Gently, afraid to disturb her as she was in death.
I felt for signs of a pulse.
There was nothing.
She was quite dead.
I felt sick and bile gushed into my mouth and I ran to the bathroom and vomited copiously into the toilet bowl.
Penelope, Zita and I were room mates.
Actually we shared this flat between the three of us.
Penelope was twenty one, a dark haired athletic girl who worked as a bank officer, Zita was a teenager and still a student, a nicotine blonde with a shaggy razor cut and quite lovely as young girls are and I am a straggly, fritzy haired brunette who works as a waitress but then you have met me before.
We were all what I would consider fairly normal young women and we had boyfriends and stuff and we shared our problems and worries and concerns the way girls do. We also mucked in and everyone of us did her share of chores around the place taking turns to cook, clean and so forth. Each of us had her own space and the others respected that.
But then there were times when we'd all muck around together, maybe all lying on someone's bed, swapping confidences and just messing about and at times that would lead to cuddling and kissing and sometimes we'd get naked and fool around, you know a bit of mutual masturbation, a sort of relieving af general tensions and frustrations. Sure it was sexual but it wasn't what I would have called seriously depraved or anything.
It certainly didn't warrant this awful thing to happen.
Fridays I was always last home because my shift didn't finish until past eight.
I was working the "fun bags" section at Tony's Romano restaurant and that required me to work topless wearing a ridiculously short electric blue satin skirt over red satin briefs that had the word "box" stencilled in white across my pudenda. Fishnet stockings that stopped short of my skirt hem by several centimetres of fleshy thigh, silly clumpy high heels and a little blue bib thing that only just reached the top of my inadequate breasts. A farcical costume but the male customers loved it and most of their women companions watched me as I rushed about serving with looks that ranged from disgust to envy and occasionally lust.
When I finished up I was too eager to get home to care about changing so tossed the bib and slid on an outsized sloppy tee shirt and made for the bus.
Dressed like this I was not really attired for a life and death situation and being keen to get home to my familiar stuff and my friends I was not mentally prepared for what awaited me.
I staggered out of the bathroom, the horrid taste of sick in my mouth.
Penelope still lay naked and dead, sprawled on the bed.
I forced myself to cross to where she lay and sat on the very edge of the bed and looked at her corpse. Her face and shoulders were suffused with that cherry redness and I remembered from a first aid course I had undertaken when I first went to work with Tony that gas poisoning resulted in this sort of discolouration. Carbon monoxide is really absorbed into the blood very quickly and starves it of oxygen causing the victim to asphyxiate from that lack of oxygen.
But how had Penelope been poisoned by gas?
And why was she nude and in here in the bedroom?
And where was Zita?
Panic struck me in a wave and I felt nauseous again and tottered up and started searching the house. When I came home I had called out and on getting no reply had started up the stairs to my bedroom and had stuck my head in at Penelope's room hoping to find her in but completely unprepared to find her dead.
I looked in all of the other upstairs rooms. Zita's bed was neatly made and there was no sign of her having been there or anything.
I went downstairs and searched quickly through the living room and sun room and kitchen and downstairs bath but found nothing out of the ordinary. Someone had had a meal, two lots of dishes were in the sink and my dinner was plated and covered with glad wrap and left in the fridge. This was just what happened every Friday night.
Our flat was quite big and covered two floors in a block of four similar flats all on ground plus one. The only way we could afford it was by chipping in and sharing the costs of rent and utilities and maintenance and all, as well as by doing nearly everything ourselves. There were four lock up garages out back connected to each flat by a door through the laundry. We shared an ancient Volvo sedan that we had bought for a pittance with a lot of giggling and embarrassed fumbling, when we decided to all live together. I thought of looking out there but just then the front door bell rang.
I ran through to the front and flipped on the light and opened the door on its security chain.
I looked all around but not a soul was in sight.
"Kids," I thought.
I walked back upstairs.
I'd have to ring the police or ring an ambulance or both. Damn. I was so shaken and horrified by Penelope's death that I was in a daze. I am not action girl at the best of times and I really can't handle crises.
And this was a crisis.
I sat down again beside Penelope's body.
She had recently taken to worrying about her appearance and had been for a full body treatment with shaving and waxing and had had her legs smoothed off and her pubic hair completely shaved smooth. We had all laughed when she showed us the string bikini she had bought to wear to a pool party where serious guys would be present. It was soooooo tiny. I mean I work half naked and I would have been a bit abashed to wear this little scrap.
Penelope would have been a tremendous hit. She was beautiful and toned and smoothed and shaved she could have even appeared nude and she would have been a monster success.
She was nude now.
Nude and very dead.
I leaned forward and touched her face, slowly lifted her eyelid and seeing the ghastly sightless stare from her shrunken pupils closed both eyelids and heaved a great single sob.
The phone rang beside me, making me jump.
Loud and insistent.
I grabbed it up hoping it was Zita.
The voice was male.
Male, quiet, almost a whisper and horribly horribly sinister.
"Lesbian bitch," it hissed through the wires, "die lesbian bitch!"
I dropped the phone and dashed about like a headless chook.
I ran downstairs and grabbed a knife from the kitchen drawer and ran to each window peering out and totally panicked.
I went back upstairs and into Penelpoe's room.
The bed was empty.
She was gone!
Now I was in total funk mode.
The phone rang again.
"Zita," I thought, "let it be Zita."
I scrabbled for it and picked it up.
"Fucking lesbian bitch. Come on down and meet your doom."
I dropped the phone as if it was hot.
I sat there shivering in terror and total confusion. My brain was addled and I had no idea what was happening. I was unable to think two consecutive thoughts.
"The police, I must ring the police."
I found the phone where I had dropped it and dialled triple 0.
More slowly, I clicked it off and dialled again.
I replaced the receiver and then lifted it and listened.
The phone had been cut off!
I was trapped! I had to get out!
I ran down the stairs two at a time and dashed for the front door.
It was locked.
Keys, keys, where were my keys. I remembered. In my purse which I had put down somewhere in Penelope's room. Maybe the back door was open. I sprinted through the house and grabbed the back door and yanked.
It was locked tight too.
I had to get my keys.
Where was HE??
I ran back upstairs and into Penelope's room.
Where was my purse?
There, there, I could see it where I had put it down on the bedside table. I raced over and grabbed it and turned and the door to the robe flew open and a figure all in black burst out. Black pants, black shirt and a balaclava showing only eyes. Evil eyes.
He cannoned into me and we went down in a heap on the bed, my purse flew free and thumped onto the floor. His hands were around my throat and my mind overloaded from everything that had happened since I walked in the door a few moments before and I went icy cold and light headed and then I fainted.
When I came too I was lying across the bed.
My mouth was taped shut and my wrists and ankles were taped together. Silver duct tape.
I could taste my vomit behind my gag and I could smell my fear.
He leant over the bed and grabbing my hair yanked me upright and lifted me and slung me over his shouder.
"Lets go meet your lezzo friends," he said in the same quiet whispery voice.
He carried me downstairs and through to the garage where the old Volvo was chugging away. The stench of exhaust filled the air. A flexible plastic pipe led from the exhaust pipe into one of the rear windows of the car which had been cranked down just enough to receive it.
Penelope's body was slumped on the back seat, still nude and still very dead. Her cherry coloured face was crushed against the glass of the window, her nose and mouth mashed against it like a kid pulling silly faces. Zita, naked except for a pair of white cotton panties was flopped alongside Penelope, leaning against her, her tits squashed onto Penelope's shoulder. Her urchin cut blonde hair partly obscured her face but wide open sightless eyes gazed past Penelope.
Going around to the driver's side the man dumped me against the car.
"Three little lesbian girls couldn't stand the shame and so killed themselves," that voice again, whispery, evil.
He thrust a paper in front of my face. It was done on a computer and read;
THE SHAME OF OUR FILTHY PERVERSIONS IS TOO MUCH.
He laughed a dry humourless laugh and opening the door plonked me on the seat and hooked the seat belt around me. He ripped the gag off and I gasped and swallowed polluted air. I felt light headed. He propped the note on top of the dashboard and shut the door. Under his balaclava he must have had some sort of cover over his nose and mouth.
I was breathing carbon monoxide and I was losing it fast.
I sagged back into the seat.
He opened the door again and unwound the duct tape from my wrists and ankles. After all, who commits suicide bound up. I tried to strike out but I was only semi conscious. He shut the door again. I hung drooping in my seat belt. "I'm not going to go without a fight," I thought, "at least they'll know it was murder. I pulled my tee shirt up and ripped it, I ripped my short blue satin skirt apart and it fell away. I tore my fishnets from thigh to knees. I tried to rip my red panties off, grabbing the word BOX and tugging but by now I was really feeble. "Well," I thought, "I'll hardly look as though I went peacefully."
My eyelids were opening and closing, slower and slower.
At first I saw the dash and the note but after a few seconds I was looking at nothing.
The car was chug, chug, chugging away.
The invisible gas was pumping inside.
Penelope and Zita were slumped dead behind me.
I was going down and down.
Down and down and down.
I went under and started spiralling into blackness.............................
I sucked a huge draught of pure oxygen into my lungs and my head swivelled back and forth.
I was lying on my back on a stretcher on the lawn outside the flats.
Two body bags lay either side of me and I thought, "Penelope, Zita, oh god nooooooooooooo................."
Ambulance para medics were bending over me and one said, "I've got a pulse."
My chest was bare and a blanket covered me to the waist. My upper torso and breasts felt like I had lost to Mike Tyson and I dimly realised someone had been jump starting my heart.
There were cars all around and police officers and I saw the man in black being held by two constables and he was handcuffed and then someone said, "Let's get her to hospital," and the stretcher was lifted and slid into a brightly lit ambulance and with sirens blaring I was whisked away.
A neighbour had heard the car running and then smelt the exhaust fumes and rang triple 0. So the man in black, Penelope and Zita's murderer, having satisfied himself that I was dead meat, was just backing out of the garage when two police officers, the first to arrive at the scene, grabbed him and arrested him on the spot.
I was dragged from the car, more dead than alive, and owed my life to one of the constables who had given me mouth to mouth and then had thumped my chest, kick starting me again. He did a good job of the thumping and I had two very black and blue breasts for several weeks afterward.
It was way too late for Penelope or Zita and the medical examination established that they had been dead for some time before I got home that awful evening.
My confidence and feelings of self worth have been shattered and I have quit my waitressing job, amazed at how I displayed myself in that way for so long.
I am seeing a psychiatrist and being treated by another doctor but have decided to toss all of the drugs they are sedating me with.
I have to fight my way through this but I realise I will never be the same as I was before.
I keep asking myself, WHY?
The man had a history of misogynistic hatred and fear of women and somehow he had fixated on us as evil.
Were we as depraved as he thought?
Even so, did Penelope and Zita deserve to die?
I don't know.
I really don't know.
I am afraid to look at another woman now although I know that desire will always be with me. Worse yet I am afraid to look at a man, any man.
One night of madness, when evil and death came into my life has ruined everything for me.
I live in fear and self loathing.
In a way I am as dead as my two friends and flatmates.
Invisible death has claimed my soul as it claimed their lives.