A Portrait of A Killer in Red: part 3

by jamesmerolla

The Killer’s soft shoes step briskly over the hardened winter sidewalk. The street lights cast a muffled reflection in his dark leather jacket.

A hood is thrown over his head.   Nothing can be projected onto the hollow of his face as he steadily approaches the ticket booth, his breath escaping him like a haunted fog.

The young man in the booth never looks up from his phone. Its reflection dots his eyes in a blue glow of romance. The Killer gets his ticket, and heads into the Theater.  He is intoxicated by the first drifting whiffs of popcorn.

The tarnished gold interior of the old theater has a foul gleam, like an old pervert who’s had too much to drink. Its battered red carpet is spotted with black bubblegum, and stains with long memories.

The glass of the snack counter is cracked and dulled by the clumsy scatterings of thousands of coins. It wheezed when The Killer leaned on it.

He doesn’t like popcorn, but, with an unconscious lick of nostalgia he gets it anyway.

He lets a dumb smile drop from his grasp as he sits towards the back of the theater, his fingers greasy and salted.

He feels the exhausted groans of the old theater as the first frames of The Red Shoes scratch across the screen. Its reflection dots his eyes with a white glow of romance.

When the great tragedy ends, he sat basking in the warm dim of memory. His eyes flutter with passing dreams when a knife plunges deep into the base of his skull and up into his brain. His feet kick out a distress signal no one could hear, as the blood heaved from the hole in his head. He slips and squeaks towards the aisle, blinded by pain and adrenaline, before the cold breath of shock freezes him face down in a puddle of his own ink.

He watches the blood run like a lazy river in front of his eyes, as his heart chokes on its last breath.

The killer calmly slips from the theater and into the alley way.  He walks confidently as he removes his soiled gloves and drops them in the gutter.

He stops before he reaches the street and stares at his garbled reflection in a puddle. He thinks to himself “someday the universe will shrug in indifference and none of this will have ever mattered.”

He lives in an old wrinkled building, dizzy with cat piss, and ringing with the clatter of unhappiness.

He steps into a fluorescent lit kitchen, removes his jacket, and looks into the bare refrigerator. He stares into the emptiness for a moment, just listening to its hollow buzz.

He sits down at the kitchen table and watches the wallpaper peel, his brown eyes the pin points of stars.

A woman, bare foot and sleepy eyed enters. She opens the refrigerator stares at the nothingness, and closes it. She sits down beside him, and watches his face as he looks at her, his brown skin relaxing with her touch.

     It’s done?


     Who was he anyway?

     Another killer.

     He must have done something bad.

     I don’t know.

     So, things are going to be better for us now, right?

     I think so.


She rests her head on his shoulder. He smells her hair and wraps his arm around her.

     How come you couldn’t do it yesterday? What made you change your mind?

     I was always going to do it, but it had to be perfect.

He remembered the white eyes of the film looking back at him with wonder. He saw himself in their gleam. Could they know what would happen next? He wondered.