Excerpt from The Poetry of Murder by Bernadette Steele
As Victoria completed the thank you cards, day turned to night and the danger of the snow was approaching fast but so was the beauty that came with its arrival. Victoria gazed out of the window at the Midway Plaisance as the first winter storm of the year hit Chicago. The longer she looked at the snow, the harder it fell and the whiter the Midway became. The wind rattled the windows in the room as her cell phone rang.
“You want what?”
“I want to talk to you tonight. Meet me in your office.”
“It’s eleven o’clock. Can’t this wait until morning?” Victoria asked.
“No, I’ll see you in ten minutes.”
Before Victoria could respond, the phone disconnected. She turned the phone off, placed it on the table and walked out of the room past the main hallway of International House and toward the empty front desk.
As she stepped into her office, she felt an arm grab her across the abdomen. She twisted and felt a sharp object enter her right shoulder. She turned her head to look at her shoulder and saw a needle come out of her arm. The arm holding her from behind let go. The room became blurry, and she could only make out the outline of her desk. She tried to rub her eyes, but her arms felt heavy and stiff. The room continued to blur until it finally turned completely dark. She tried to walk but her legs collapsed and she fell. She could feel her limbs, but they would not obey her commands. She tried to scream, but she could not move her mouth. The door closed behind her.
Blind and paralyzed, she lay on the floor for what seemed like an eternity on her right side, slightly bent over at the waist. The door opened again. She heard the slow and steady breath of a person in the room with her. She felt two arms slide under her armpits and straighten out her upper body. The person walked to where her feet were and grabbed her ankles and began to straighten her legs. She felt that her body was now lying perfectly straight on her back. Even though the floor in her office had plush, thick carpeting, the floor seemed to get harder by the second.
Two gloved hands took off her right shoe, and then her left shoe, unzipped and removed her pants, unbuttoned her blouse and carefully removed her right arm and then her left arm. The hands slid under her buttocks and pulled down her stockings and underwear. The two hands proceeded to unhook her bra and removed it.
The carpet made her bare skin tingle. As a cool draft blew across her naked body, goose bumps popped out on her skin. Her arms were placed at her sides and her hair adjusted around her head.
A cold, sharp object pierced her chest. The pain in her chest quickly traveled to her head and feet. When the person slowly pulled the object out of her chest, a warm liquid spread all over the top and down the sides of her chest. She realized that she had been stabbed in the chest. She heard a voice whisper. “And now nineteen more. One for each year.”
And I will meet you in hell one day, Victoria thought. And then the pain stopped, forever.