He fell to the ground, crimson soaking his shirt, turning the bleached and ironed fabric into a sticky shroud. Point. Squeeze. Bang. Easy. Tory rose sluggishly, swaying and tottering to step over her husband and shut the door. Peep-show for paying customers only. She stood towering over him. One hell of a welcoming mat.  

It hit her that she was winging it from here on out. Fuck. She had invested everything into the shitty magic Laura promised that Plan B wasn’t more detailed than shooting him. Thank Fucking Christ we’re isolated by forest. The Leharties probably think a redneck killed a deer. She looked at her husband's corpse and tried to make a deer's call. She chuckled to herself and picked her cellphone up.  

“Hello," a voice said after half a dozen rings.

“Laura, it's Tory."

“Tory? What time is it? Probably too fucking early," Laura sounded groggy, probably hungover.  

“It's time for you to get your ass over to my house."

“I just went to bed."

“And I just shot Benny." She kept her tone jovial, an objective newscaster reporting the day’s tragedies. There was silence on the other end, stretching and growing uncomfortable.  

“I'll be over." The call ended abruptly in Tory's ear. Damn straight you'll be here. She stared at his body, streaming rivulets of blood slithering their way across the floor, soaking into the area rugs.

Hmm. I wonder.


*     *     *


She hadn't even heard the knock. She felt like an artisan, utterly losing herself in her work. Is this how Mozart felt? Van Gogh? So out of tune with the world? Coming back just long enough to feel it choking them before they escaped again? She'd left the door unlocked, and now Laura was there, staring at her, disgusted. “Fucking A, Tory."

Blood is a fantastic stain. The chairs were already a deep cherry, still dripping and running with sluggish droplets of blood. “What? He wasn't using it anymore, and it's cheaper than the chemical shit at Home Depot. It's almost like I'm going organic.” She laughed maniacally as Laura turned pale.

“What the hell am I here for?" Laura's voice was hardly a squeak. It fluttered out as a whisper with the tiniest push of force.  

“Your little voodoo magics failed, so you're going to help me with that," she said in a with drunken slur as she gestured towards the corpse. Laura opened her mouth to object, but decided not to argue with an inebriated black widow.  

“Did you do everything right?" Laura asked.

“Draw, point, light, and speak. Check on all accounts. And it got two hours since he got home late."

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