A New Start. Short Story.

Holly stood in the centre of the room, panting. Her heart was thudding heavily in her chest, her arms felt heavy, she was holding something in her hand. Without looking she released it from her grip and hear the familiar sound of a knife hitting the ground. She stumbled over to a chair and sat down, she couldn’t remember what exactly happened, but she knew. She had gotten angry again. She shivered slightly and looked around at the mess she had made. It was a big one this time. Catherine and Danny lay on the ground, they were covered in blood, their bodies still. She had liked them both, she must have gone for Danny first, he was taller than her, stronger too. Catherine was small, just over five foot, with a thin, lithe body. Holly herself wasn’t all that tall, but she towered over poor Catherine, everyone had.

Once Holly had gotten her breath back she stood and grabbed a glass and filled it with water. Everyone else had already gone home for the day, she knew that much, the three of them were staying back late to work on a project. She had time to figure out what she was going to do. Her options were pretty limited, she could hide the bodies, pretend like nothing had happened, or she could run. It wouldn’t be the first time, and her parents would help if she asked. They had told her it would be the last time they’d help the last time she had gotten angry, but they said that a lot. They would always help for fear that she would get caught and tarnish the family name. She sipped her water and took a slow, deep breath. She had some time to decide. She glanced at her watch, it was just past seven, the last thing she remembered was around half five, when they were talking about getting some food delivered. She didn’t see any takeaway containers littered about the lunchroom, so it must not have happened. It would be difficult to get rid of the bodies herself, if she chose to stay she’d need help, if she chose to flee she could get by, at least for a little bit. Change her name again, pretend to be someone new. Perhaps they’d think someone had killed the others and kidnapped her, that was what they thought the last time. At least that was what they thought when she stopped following the news on it. She didn’t like thinking about that kind of stuff, it made her feel bad and she didn’t like feeling bad about it. After all it wasn’t her fault. It was theirs. If they hadn’t made her angry it wouldn’t have happened. She set the glass on the table. She liked her life here, but no more than she had liked any of the others. She stood from the table and went to the sink, there she washed her hands, making sure to get the blood off them.

Once her hands were clean Holly left the lunchroom and went to the ladies bathroom, there she could see the damage in the mirror. She was splattered with blood, all across her face and body. She couldn’t hide the bloodstains on her clothes. Quickly she washed the blood from her skin, watching as the pink water swirl down the drain. Once that was done she stripped off her t-shirt and turned it inside out. The blood was cold and tacky against her skin. She tried to ignore it as best she could. Once she had her jacket on no one would notice the t-shirt was inside out. The blood splattered on her jeans would be impossible to hide, but in the evening light they would just look like stains. No one would know it was blood.

Back in the lunchroom Holly looked at the two bodies, she might as well just leave them where they lay. She turned and paused, the smell of blood was strong in the air, and the police would be able to find evidence that she had been involved. She didn’t remember what she had done exactly, but at the very least there would be fingerprints and people knew that she was staying behind. She chewed on her lip for a moment before nodding. A fire. It was the only way.

The plan to get the fire started was simple. She left a trail of paper all around the office and in the lunch room. Finding a way to light it was a bit more difficult, she had to go through Danny’s pockets to find his lighter, but after a few attempts found it to be empty. Holly stood for a moment looking around when she had another, better idea. She took a pan from the cupboards and put it onto the small stove, turning the stove up as high as she could. Quickly she filled the pan with oil, smiling as she went, she grabbed a plastic bowl and carefully filled it with some water, she gently placed the bowl into the pan and left the room.

She wasn’t sure how long it would take for the oil to go on fire, or for the plastic to melt, but if it went as planned the resulting fire would be spectacular and destroy most, if not all, of the evidence. Holly took the stairs, moving quickly, the stairs didn’t have cameras, and the ones in the lobby had been on the fritz for the last week, someone was supposed to come and repair them, but it kept getting pushed off.

Holly left the building, stepping outside into the cold air, she kept her head down and started walking.

She got to her place without any trouble, no one had paid any attention to her. Once there she worked quickly, grabbing a single change of clothes and some of the cash she kept laying around for emergencies. She changed out of her blood splattered clothing and threw it into her back pack, she would dispose of them later. Everything else she left as it was. The less it looked like she had run the better. They’d come check out her place and find it normal enough, they’d think maybe she was killed too, or someone had kidnapped her. She grabbed her spare cell phone, the one that was kept turned off and only for emergencies and left, closing the door behind herself.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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