“I need an expression, dammit!” Tom barked from the spotlit corner of the room where he was writing.

Teddi closed her eyes, placed a finger in the book she was reading, and shut it. Two heartbeats, she opened her eyes, “How about pi as expressed as a fraction over…” she never got to finish as Tom yelled.

“No, no, no, not a maths expression.” careful to not add the word idiot at the end of his rebuke. “I need something witty for my main character to say to his girlfriend.” His head bobbed over his keyboard as if the keys themselves would start typing.

Teddi chewed the inside of her lip. She knew it had been a mistake to let Tom have his ‘office’ there, in the lounge not four feet away from the couch—her reading couch. Ever since he had ‘moved’ in, putting his small computer desk against one wall, and setting up enough standing lights to illuminate the Eiffel Tower, she’s not had a moments peace to read uninterrupted. And woe betided her getting up to go to the kitchen, thereby disturbing his concentration. The filthy looks still unnerved her. Not sure who this man was, sitting in their lounge. She didn’t recognise him anymore.

Teddi got up and tried not to sigh as she put down her book. “How about, the early bird gets the worm,” she offered straight-faced.

“What?” Tom grunted and then, bit his tongue at the acid retort that made its way to his lips.

Teddi could almost feel the deadly look knife her in the back as she passed Tom on the way to the kitchen. She made her way to the stove, flicked on the under cabinet light and stared at a set of kitchen knives in their stand—a gift from her Mother-in-law as a wedding present. Fine German steel: Heckler & Koch, one of the best sets money could buy.

Had the woman known she would have need of something so sharp? Teddi picked up the largest blade and hefted it in her hand. It felt good. And, as calm as day, walked back into the lounge, the knife held down, and slightly behind her right leg. Concealed.

“Yes, I know, it’s not really an expression,” she said coming in behind him, “that’s more of a saying,” she laid her left hand on his shoulder and leaned in as if to kiss him on the head. Tom, startled, tried for a smile and turned his neck and head to accept the kiss as an apology. Laying the right side of his neck bare.

He never saw it coming.

Teddi grabbed a length of long brown hair, tugging Tom’s head to the left, and plunged the large, sharp blade into his neck. There was a gurgled scream as blood spurt from the wound. It surprised Teddi all the same, despite what she had just read in her book. She watched it gush as she held Tom’s head with one hand, and the knife with the other. Marvelling at how quick the man stopped jerking. His face gone almost as white as the wall.

No, that wasn’t true, the wall, the computer, and, indeed her arm, were all splattered with rich red and, surprisingly warm, blood. She stared, fascinated. Slowly, the spurt turned to a trickle, as she lowered Tom’s head down onto his precious keyboard and lay it in a pool of his own blood.

“How about, nothing special is ever achieved without a lot of blood, sweat, and tears?” She said close to his dead ear and, removing the knife, walked calmly back to the couch. She tossed the bloody knife onto the cushions, sat, picked her book up, and carried on reading as if nothing had happened.


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