Detective Hugo Lock glided into the room, surprisingly graceful for his stubbiness. Despite the searing heat and his 3-piece suit, his forehead was dry. Nothing as simple as the weather could crack the diminutive man.
(more) The studio was bare, save for an easel in one corner and a shrouded body in another, illuminated by the pale summer sun.
"What have we got?" Detective Lock inquired.
Patrolwoman Jones, new to the force, turned with a start. "I didn't hear you come in. I thought I was alone."
"It's okay sweetheart, we don't expect much of you"
Jones chafed inwardly at the address. Her face showed nothing. She wouldn't let this man know he had gotten to her so easily. "The neighbors reported a ruckus about half an hour ago. I was first on the scene. Nothing out off place when I arrived, save for a paintbrush"
"A paintbrush? Where did you find it?"
"On the victim. Come take a look."
Jones peeled back the cover from the victim. The soft end off the brush protruded from the artist's nose as though he were using his brain to paint his lips.
"Sir, what do you think?"
"What do I think?" Lock lit a cigarette and took a drag. "I think modern art sucks" (less)
Danny was better than I was. At everything. Coach Thompson always let me know it too. He was the only one honest enough to tell me I wasn't as skilled as I thought. My parents had always told me I was perfect. I used to believe them. Then I(more) met Danny. I couldn't be perfect, because Danny was better. His grades were better. He had more friends. Girls liked him more.
I only ever beat him once.
It was the mddle of the night. We had sneaked into the local pool. After the initial excitement wore off, we realized it wasn't as much fun as we thought. When you sneak, you can't make noise. Being quiet in a pool means you can't do anything. So we decided to see who could hold their breath longest.
Danny won the first time.
And the second.
The third time, I was determined not to lose any more.
The seconds ticked by. My pulse throbbed in my temples. Each second became a lifetime. I couldn't take it anymore.
Danny was still under water. I waited.
He didn't move. I waited longer. Still nothing.
After a decades-long minute, I removed my hand from the back of his head. He bobbed lifelessly. I dried myself off and left, changing into the clothes I had hidden outside the pool fence. I threw the borrowed swim trunks in a trash can that was just close enough to be found, but far enough to be less-than-obvious. Coach Thompson would have a hard time explaining those.
Danny would never beat me again. I was perfect once more. (less)
When I first met Paula, I told her I was probably crazy. She told me that crazy people rarely have the self-awareness to consider the possibility of their own insanity. "I meant crazy about you."
That was three weeks ago. We'd seen each other every day since. Her(more) other appointments, psychiatric patients, were getting jealous.
Today was no different than any other. I had a standing appointment. At half past three I waltzed past her secretary, who gave me a knowing look as she buzzed me in. Paula was waiting for me. Her clothes were on the ground within seconds. I almost regret that this, our final meeting, hadn't lasted longer.
After, her eyes bored into mine, probing for whatever secrets they might hold. I held no more secrets from her. I had bared them all in one passionate moment.
Her office would never smell the same. It didn't matter. We were both leaving the hospital for good.
I used her spare keycard to let myself out of the mental ward. On the way out, I stopped to wash her blood from the knife. Some lunatics are more self-aware than others. (less)