‘Hi, I’m Kelly. I recently moved here,’ I sweetly said to the old lady standing in front of me.
She did not seem to be a person that you could win using a smile. Standing tall, she looked down at me through her silver glasses. That in itself was annoying considering we were the same height. I didn’t much like someone look down at me.
Although her hair was white, I could still see strings of grey that lay hidden behind her bun. Yes, she stood tall, and yes, she seemed to think that she was better than mankind, but her long pink dress seemed to have a bit too many wrinkles.
Appearances, I silently whispered in my head. I, on the hand, stuck to the style I had created when I took a trip to the library. Hair tied up, glasses on, I wore a floral dress with a blue cardigan. So innocent.
‘Oh, oh yes. Your young brother came a few days ago, did he not?’
‘Most probably,’ I smiled, ‘but today you have me,’ opening my arms wide, I continued to smile. ‘I have also brought some cookies with me to share. Brownies too if that is your preference,’ I leaned forward and lifted an eyebrow slightly.
The old woman laughed and invited me in. Why wouldn’t she? Charming people was a talent that I had taken from my dad. But this was too easy. A woman like her, fall so easily?
Handing over the small box, I decide to walk around the house. Her house was smaller than ours, but still held that ‘old fashion’ feel to it. I noticed some candle holders on the side.
‘Do you use candles?’ I asked.
‘No, of course not. Who does in this day and age? Oh, and your brother was such a sweet little boy,’ she smiled and moved off to another direction.
‘This will be easy,’ I chuckled to myself. Jamie had paved a way for me, and he had no idea about it. Lifting my hands in front of me, could I do this? My palms weren’t shaking. Surely that was a good sign?
Quickly slipping on my gloves, I pulled out a test tube and scalpel. It was the type of knife that my mum kept for her work. Stealing a box full of disposable gloves from her room was not difficult.
‘So dear, how many sugars do you take?’ The old woman had returned with tea and the cookies that I had brought along, on a silver tray.
I didn’t dare move. I wanted to see the look on her face when she identified my reason for visiting her. I wanted to see the look on her face when she noticed the knife, the gloves, the test tube and finally, the ending.
‘Oh, what a story!’ I clasped my hands together, completely forgetting that I held a tube and scalpel. But I held true enthusiasm and the adrenaline rush was pushing me on the brink of losing my patience. Pushing the equipment back inside my pockets, I focussed my complete attention on her, whilst slowly peeling off the gloves. My body wanted to get it over with, but my mind had other ideas. Mind games and take it slow.
‘A story?’ She asked. My back was turned towards her.
‘Yes, Mrs Hayes,’ I stated.
‘My story, or your story? Dear, what is wrong and why has your voice taken on a different tone?’
‘You seem to pick things up pretty quick, madam’ I responded.
She hesitated. I could hear her breathing quicken. Oh the joy it brought. Just changing the tone of my voice could affect her. The dear old woman. Was I wrong about her?
‘Why are you-?’ She stopped, but her voice shook.
‘Please don’t stop, why not finish your question?’ I gestured with my hand. My other hand was balled into a fist.
‘I think you should leave.’
‘And I think you should be honest with me, Mrs Hayes,’ I hissed as I turned around.
She jumped backwards and then started retreating. My facial expression must have scared her.
‘Oh no no, Mrs Hayes, please don’t go. I didn’t mean to shout. My tone came out wrong. Quite honestly, I don’t know what is wrong with me. One thing I do know is that I need to book a doctor’s appointment. Mood swings or maybe missing my friends,’ I shrugged my shoulders and looked down.
‘Sorry to hear that. Come now and sit down,’ she indicated to the sofa. Her face softened instantly. What was it about old people? Are they naturally nice to the young?
I dragged myself to the sofa and slowly sat down. Appearance was a must right now. ‘Can you tell me about your history?’ I asked quietly.
I nodded. ‘I’m into the history of this place. My own house holds its own history. I’ve only heard bits of it, but thus far, it’s been extremely interesting. How was Lord Williams related to Mr Hayes?’
‘I…I…I…how did you know?’ She had started stuttering. ‘As far as I know, Lord Williams is not a person that we should waste our breath on,’ she straightened her back.
‘No?’ I questioned. ‘And why is that?’
‘You would have thought that if someone could not afford to pay back a debt, then the one it is owed to would let them off,’ she muttered more to herself than to me.
‘Are you related to Mr Hayes?’
‘That’s Lord Hayes to you. If you could call Williams by his title, I think the same respect belongs to my great granddad, young lady,’ she fumed.
Looking down, I hid my smile. ‘So he was related to you?’ I asked.
‘Yes of course,’ such dignity!
‘Good,’ I whipped my eyes back up to meet hers. ‘You know, if you weren’t, things would definitely be awkward right now. I pulled out the gloves again, and slowly slipped each finger through.
‘What is that?’ She screeched.
‘Madam, please, no shouting. I am saying please,’ I frowned. ‘I’m just putting on the gloves. The tea,’ I pointed to the tray. Picking it up, I took a sip. ‘No sugar? Not to worry. Anyways,’ I looked up at her, ‘I would expect you to screech when I show you these,’ taking out the test tube and scalpel, I leaned forward and passed on a smile. I was genuinely happy. Standing up, I moved towards her, ‘not the gloves.’
‘You’re here to kill me? What have I ever done to you?’ She was locked between a cabinet and a sofa.
‘How is this supposed to be exciting if you cower down before I even make an attempt at your life? I’m disappointed,’ I truly was. My smile had disappeared and annoyance framed my face. Well at least that was what the reflection from the cabinet mirror illustrated. ‘To answer your question, it was what your great granddad did to my family,’ I flicked my head to the side to indicate my house.
‘That was my great granddad. That was not me,’ she pleaded.
‘Look madam, you were indignant for me mentioning the name of Lord Williams. I don’t know how many ‘great’ I’d need to add,’ I was trying to show the logic to it. I mean, she did try to tarnish his reputation. If there’s one thing I learnt, it was that Lord Williams was not a miser. ‘Mr Hayes owed,’ I stopped, ‘sorry, I mean Lord Hayes owed a great debt to Lord Williams. It was put off for a number of years. That alone shows compassion. If Lord Hayes wanted to pay off the debt, he would have done it the first time round. But he did not. He came again and again. In fact, I’ve lost count how many times he came and not once was it paid,’ I inhaled sharply.
‘But how do you know all this?’ Tears were streaming down her face.
‘Because I do my research. Anyways, this should teach you to behave,’ I stated as I took a step towards her.
My eyes were glued on her.
‘No, please, no,’ she began again.
‘Please stop being so melodramatic! I just want to take some blood from you. Just to fill this tube up,’ I clicked the knife to the tube.
I leaned down and grabbed her hand. How was it to be done?
‘Arrghh,’ I shouted as I felt my back hit against the wall.
‘That was uncalled for. You truly are a feisty one,’ I chuckled as I jumped up. ‘Tell me, was Lord Hayes like that?’
Her smile was instantly replaced with wide eyes and her mouth was open.
‘Do you want to scream?’ Her reaction was confusing.
‘Look what she’s trying to do to me’ Mrs Hayes, looking over my shoulder pointed at me.
Turning to see what, or rather, who she was talking to, I could not see anyone there.
‘No please don’t go!’ She cut through me.
‘Ok, I’ve had enough, now pass me you arm,’ grabbing her hand, ‘and there was me thinking that I’ve been hallucinating.’
I looked at her clear hand. It was surrounded by wrinkles, but the veins were visible. Her fat had disappeared a long time ago.
‘I will not slice your throat,’ although she seemed to have relaxed to that statement, her hand still trembled, ‘but I may need to cut through a number of veins,’ I said more so to myself than her. ‘Oh, you agree?’ Looking up at her, I asked as her hand suddenly became a fist.
‘No! Please no,’ she responded.
I kneeled down to be level with her. ‘No? Then why make your veins clearer? I mean, everything is so much easier now,’ I said. Lifting her wrist up, I followed her veins from her arm to her wrist. ‘Now, which one should I slice first,’ this was going to be dramatic.
I allowed her to plead a little longer whilst putting full gaze on her arm.
‘Well you see-’ the sudden scream made me to switch my gaze. I felt liquid slide down my hand. ‘But-’ this time her scream was loud enough to crack the walls. ‘So-’ I sliced her wrist, ‘the wrist-’ another slice, ‘is more-’ the blood was oozing out, ‘is more painful than the-’ I attacked her arm, ‘the veins on your arm?’
I unscrewed the tube with one hand and push it against her wrists to capture the blood. Then there was laughter. ‘Don’t worry, Mrs Hayes, I highly doubt you would die. Although, I do feel like I will pass out soon. Can you smell that?’ I looked around for the cause. ‘Why can you not answer a single question of mine?’ Asking was polite, but I could feel my patience waver.
Screwing the lid, I glanced at Mrs Hayes. She lay slumped on the floor against the sofa, but still had a pulse.
My gloved hands were covered in blood, as was the floor. I guess if I was more careful, the side of the sofa would not have blood scattered across it.
Reaching over for the phone, I dialled 999. I did not want her to die. That would make me a murderer, and that was one thing I refused to be. For now at least.
I heard the voice of a lady before hanging up. They’ll be rushing over now. My lips tipped up again. The receiver was smothered with blood.
Gathering my things, I double checked if I had dropped anything. I needed to leave fast because the stench was starting to get to me.
Breathing was getting harder, and coughing seemed to have taken control of me. I continued to look around for the source. Peeling off my gloves, I stumbled towards the door.
‘It’s all in your head, Kelly,’ I breathed out. Then why were my eyelids getting heavy? Why was it hard to breathe? And why did it seem as if darkness wanted to pull me in?