Murder had never really occurred to me before. I stood at the foot of the bed examining my handiwork, existing in a state of bliss that comes with the rush of killing. The apartment- my apartment- was as still as the wind. Behind me, half-finished canvases lay scattered across the floor, together creating a new painting in their beautiful chaos. Before me was the true art.
Two bodies strewn across the king size bed, blood dripping from their jaws painting their naked breasts red. He was still wrapped up in her, his lifeless body performing necrophillic acts. Her eyes I left open, wide with fear and staring up at me. They painted a kind of self portrait of a killer. Yellow hair was dyed red and strew across my old silk cushions; naked flesh was twisted between the two bodies as pale as the moon on the water. He was on top, arranged perfectly so as just to expose enough of her bare body, pinning her corpse down with his dead dominance.
The act itself had been quite spontaneous. I had arrived home early from a trip to the shops and there they were in bed. I’d known for a while that he had something else going on, but the sight of her younger body rocking beneath his cut my heart open and soaked my mind with blood. I watched them together for a fleeting moment and my hands found a knife. The threesome we had was short lived- painfully interrupted by their untimely deaths. I came on top, and slit both their throats before it even occurred to me what to do.
The aftermath was a carefully constructed cocktail of forensics and artistry. I knew removing fingerprints would do little to misdirect suspicion. The crime took place in my apartment and the victims were my husband and his lover. Any detective, even the most stupid, would mark me as their number one suspect so they only thing to do was to disappear. I hacked his laptops and accessed his accounts. Searched for his hotel bookings where he took the bimbo. Booked myself in for a night. Peroxide dye. Her clothes. The disguise was perfect. Suitcase packed. Everything I would ever need to go on the run. His laptop. Keep as much evidence as humanly possible with me; don’t let the detective get his grimy hands on it.
Then I painted my portrait. Amid the chaos I sculpted them in marble and rested his lips on her cheek. I took the bloody knife and signed my masterpiece in blood on the Egyptian cotton sheets. At the foot of the bed I made my list. In her blood, I wrote their names and pocketed the paper. Before I left I dialled 999 and left it hanging on speakerphone. My breakthrough exhibition was ready to begin.
I always hated the late-night calls. It could never be a good thing. The worst call I ever had was a late-night call about 2 years ago and now it’s all about to end. Before it does, I think I should tell you the whole story. She won’t be here for a while yet so I have some time to kill.
It was a Friday night about two hours after the initial 999 call. I remember it well because the station thought that it was just a prank call; someone rang up and then just left the phone hanging. Didn’t say a word. Still, they managed to trace the call and send a beat officer round to check it out.
By the time I arrived the whole street had been cordoned off and the apartment building was bustling with police. The apartment itself lay mostly untouched. Only a forensics team had been allowed in after the initial break in to the apartment. As I made my way up the stairs I passed the beat officer who was first on scene. He was wrapped in a blanket shaking like a leaf in the blustery autumn winds. White as a sheet and with eyes that painted a portrait of death. I gulped as I was lead through the door.
It wasn’t a huge apartment but it was certainly nice. Picture frames were filled mostly with pictures of the same couple; the couple on a beach, the couple at Disneyland, the couple getting married. A number of canvases were scattered around the floor. None of them looked finished but together they did seem to create some kind of bigger picture.
It was what I found in the bedroom that changed my life forever. The scene couldn’t have been any more perverted. A couple, caught in the act, and slaughtered like pigs. I recognised the man from the photos in the living room, but the woman was unfamiliar. Younger than the woman from the photos with bright blonde hair dyed red by the blood spilling from her neck. I was assured that what I saw was exactly as the killer had left them; naked and still intimate, like the killer was playing some kind of necrophilic porn game. The sheets were signed in blood as well- ‘The Lovers’. The killer had given her crime scene a title.
A quick search of the apartment revealed a number of things to be missing. Most notably all technology belonging to the deceased male and his wife-on-the-run had been removed as well as the deceased female’s clothes. Traces of peroxide were also found in the bathroom. Our jealous wife had gone to some lengths to disguise herself from us.
Looking back on that day what strikes me most is that she dialled 999 herself. It didn’t take forensics long to take prints off a door handle in the house and match them to the prints found on the phone. Even now I can’t quite figure out what her play was there. It was almost as if she was showing off her work as if it was a sculpture in a gallery. I suppose she always has had a dramatic flair. I keep her picture in my wallet now. I cut her out of the wedding photo in her apartment and kept her with me, always looking, always hoping I would find her.
That first case we treated as an individual homicide. Domestic situation with jealousy as a motive. Open and close case; we just needed to find the wife and bring her in. Easier said than done. It took us too long to track down his regular hotel without his computer and by the time we got their she had already checked out with no word as to where she was headed next.
In the hotel room, she had left his phone and computer but they were completely wiped so we had no hope of extracting any evidence from them. She had also left the deceased woman’s clothes in the laundrette next door having washed them of any meaningful evidence. Our killer was playing a game that I hadn’t signed up for.
After the first 24 hours on the case I was already in despair. We had just one suspect and all the evidence necessary to put her away for life. The only problem was we couldn’t find her. Even with all the CCTV and Social Media in the world she was untraceable. My superiors assured me that she couldn’t stay hidden for long and it had only been 24 hours. They reckoned we’d have her within the week. Something told me we wouldn’t.
My apartment is very small. It’s just me- it’s always been just me. 5 days in I took his phone home to see if I could recover something. I wasn’t sleeping so I wanted to put that time to good use. It was 11:30pm when it rang.
‘Good evening detective- I assume it’s a detective answering this right?’ A woman’s voice crackled on the line.
‘Can I help you?’
‘I just wanted to see how you were doing with your little investigation. I’m planning my next move you see.’
‘I’m glad you found this phone. Now we can keep in touch.’
‘You’re not worried I’ll track you?’
‘Not at all’
‘You’re either very foolish or completely deranged’
‘I’d like to think a bit of both. What are the critics saying about my first piece?’
‘Where there is art there are always critics.’
‘I thought it was disgusting’
‘Just what I was going for detective. I hope you like my next piece just as much’
The line went dead. I went into panic mode. I was straight through to the station, frantically trying to explain what had just happened and that she might kill again, but all I got back was bullshit about it being an isolated case. Isolated case my arse. I’ve been on this two years and her little exhibition pieces are getting old now. If I were to be a real art critic I’d say she’s running out of ideas, her technique is getting sloppy, and she’s just not as passionate as she once was.