Ada is the working title of a novel-in-progress by Varnya Bromilow. This is chapter three. For the first two chapters click here.
“I said not to speak,” she said fiercely.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t…”
She clamped her hand over his mouth and mounted him again. It didn’t take long. She got off the bed, went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. A few minutes later she emerged, her hair still dry. She pulled her knickers back on, hopping awkwardly.
“What, that’s it?”
She grinned, wriggling into her jeans. “You didn’t have a nice time?”
“Well yeah, it’s just…” He rolled over onto his side. His pectorals bulged like aliens beneath his skin.
“I have to go,” she said and picked up her bag.
“Jesus. Okay then.”
She opened the door to the tiny room.
She shut the door, smiling.
In the car on her way home she felt her usual combination of satisfaction and mild disgust. Oh well. Oh well. You did it again. Oh well. It’s done now.
She was a monster. A really nice monster.
Paul waved to her through the window. She opened and closed the door quietly and slung her handbag off the back of a chair.
“How was your night?” She asked, leaning over to kiss him.
“Fine,” he smiled.
“How were the kids?”
“Good as gold.”
“What are you watching?”
He laughed and got up from the couch.
“Do you want a beer?”
“How was yoga?”
“Pretty good,” she sipped the beer. “So, how are the zombies?”
“Freaky. I don’t know if I really like it. I’m curious I guess.”
“About what? Whether the zombies will take over?”
“About who has survived.”
“I thought you weren’t going to watch it when I wasn’t here?”
“Well you don’t want to watch it.”
“Yeah, but I thought you found it too freaky to watch by yourself.”
“I’ve become brave.”
She laughed. “I don’t actually find it scary. Silly, but not scary.”
“There’s a suspense element that’s scary.”
“I guess. But I think I just find the whole concept of zombies so unlikely, so implausible that I can’t get properly scared. Killers are scary.”
“Any sort of killers. Killers are real.”
“Sure,” he laughed.
“What would you do if Lawrence became a killer?”
“Why Lawrence? Why not Alison?”
“Ali couldn’t be a killer!”
“So you’re saying Lawrie could be a killer?”
She paused. “Well, hopefully not. But it’s not inconceivable.”
“Well I’m sure no-one expects their son to become a killer.”
“No, I guess not.”
“Or maybe they have an inkling. Just a germ of a hunch that they ignore.”
“Who, the parents?”
“Maybe,” he laughed again. “I don’t think Lawrence will be a killer.”
“It would really fuck things up for Helen,” she giggled.
“It really would. I wonder if there’s any way she could get elected if Lawrence was a killer?”
“Depends on the sort of killing I think.”
“Yeah. Not with a serial killer.”
“Nope. But a crime of passion might pass,” she said.
“What about an animal killer?”
“I don’t think so.”
“No, neither do I actually.”
“Which is really weird when you think about it,” she said. “That someone could be elected Prime Minister when their nephew has killed a person, but not an animal.”
“People understand crimes of passion. It’s what we’d all do if there were no laws.”
“Do you think so? If someone killed me, you would go and kill them? If there were no consequences.”
“Really? I find that really surprising.”
“Why? You can’t imagine me killing anyone?”
“No, I really can’t,” she laughed. “What about me – do you think I would kill someone if they killed you?”
“Yeah, I kind of think you would.”
“Wow. Actually I kind of like that.”
“Yeah well, I kind of don’t like that you don’t think I’d do it!”
“So you would, you really would? You would go out, with, what, a knife? A gun? And you’d go and confront the person and kill them dead?”
“See? You wouldn’t! You’re too moral!”
“No, I think I would do it but in a different way. Poison.”
“Oh yeah, actually I think I can see you doing that.”
“Why can you imagine me poisoning someone but not stabbing them?” He sounded offended.
“Poisoning requires strategy and sneakiness. It’s cleverer.”
“What about me? Can you imagine me stabbing someone?”
“Actually I can imagine you trying to kill someone by stabbing them but then messing it up.” He laughed.
“Oh great! So they’re all bleeding but they’re not dead?”
“Actually I can’t imagine that either,” he said. “I can imagine you shooting someone. Stabbing is too gory.”
“What, get a gun on the internet?”
She paused. “Yeah, I can imagine that. Or poison. I would probably do poison too.”
“I feel like poisoning wouldn’t be as socially acceptable though.”
“Because it’s less spontaneous?”
“Exactly,” she said.
“But it’s not like shooting someone could be spontaneous. You’d have to order the gun.”
“True. But poisoning – you really have to plan it. It’s calculated.”
“So maybe the only acceptable crime for a relative of a Prime Minister to commit is spontaneous killing in the moment, when you catch someone killing your partner?”
“What about if you catch someone cheating on you?” He asked.
She sipped her beer. “Who do you kill in that example? Your partner or the person they’re sleeping with?”
He paused. “What about both?”
“I think that would fly. Politically speaking. It’s what everyone would want to do, on some intrinsic level.”
“I think you’re right. You know what, it might actually work in her favour.”
“She needs a bit of colour,” he said. “Colour provided by weirdo relative. The she can be as bland and centrist as she likes because she’s got this crime of passion murder in her family history.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty good. Like with Hillary…I think his infidelity totally gets her points.”
“Definitely. Much better than an animal killing nephew.”
“Much,” she laughed. “I’m going to bed.”
He shut down the computer. She got the cat some food and locked the door. He stacked the dishwasher. They brushed their teeth. He went to the toilet. She got the glasses of water. They went to bed. He read. She slept.
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