Surreptitiously Supercilious

"As I sat on my chair that Tuesday, a book in one hand, tea in the other, desperately hoping that no one would come in and begin the awkward eye contact thing, I expected another perfectly normal day. A day when nothing unexpected would happen at all. That’s when the assassin dashed into my store, clapped a hand across my mouth, and crawled under my desk to huddle near my feet, gun pressing against my ankle."


15. Of Cameras and Murderers

Oliver, surprisingly, was exceedingly technology-savvy. He almost tore the security camera from the ceiling, pulled out his phone, and proceeded to do some impressive fiddling with the two that completely confused me. Ironic that Jackson, Marie-Ann, and Melissa’s murderer might be discovered right outside the room Melissa was killed in. Oliver’s hands were shaking slightly- probably a mixture of sadness, anticipation, and achievement. I wasn’t so sure- this murderer was clever enough to kill the most famous director in Hollywood- unlikely that he’d let himself be caught on tape. I refrained from telling Oliver any of this. His moods had been so interchangeable today, and with good reason. Not many people had to deal with three other people so close to them getting killed.

It was strangely fascinating watching Oliver link the security camera to his phone. It was rather like watching the workings of a clock tick- lulling, but not meant to be understood. Unless you were a clock maker. Or really liked clocks.

The smell from the closed door behind me was beginning to make me feel ill, so I moved closer to Oliver. He didn’t look up, intent on his task. I cleared my throat.

“Oliver, if it turns out that the murderer isn’t on here-”

“They will be. They’re got to be.” He still didn’t look up at me, deft fingers fiddling with wires and a whole array of technological looking items. “If they’re not then someone else might get killed.” Finally he looked up at me, but it was with hooded eyes. “Someone like you.” HIs attention returned to his task, blond hair blocking his face from my sight.

I’d always wondered what love felt like, and I suppose I finally knew.

Oliver finished his task with a flourish, brandishing his phone at me ecstatically. “It’s done! We just need to press play and the person who killed them is outed. You do it.”

I reached up to the screen and tapped said button. The video began with a click and whirr, footage in a greyish tone with only light colouring. Oliver put the phone on the floor and we both leant into to see it, heads touching.

“This was four days ago. If I fast forward about two…” Oliver fiddled with it again. “There. That should be the hour Melissa was killed.”

We waited with baited breath.

Sounds slowly began to crackle from the phone- a distant laugh, followed by a slamming door and then the rattle of kitchen implements falling onto the floor as though someone had knocked into a kitchen bench. Then footsteps, more laughter, and Melissa was in view. She smiled at someone just off camera, holding her hand out and giggling like a maniac. Her eyes were glazed over with a whitish film. Another figure slowly appeared, foot edging forwards tantalisingly slowly. Oliver gripped my arm.

The foot was followed by a leg, the a torso, then…a hood. Oliver’s grip relaxed and he let out a moan.

“No, wait Oliver…look.” I pointed to the tiny image of Melissa on the screen. She was teasing the hooded figure, pulling at the zipper on his hoodie and pecking kisses on his face. He resisted her at first, standing awkwardly with his hands in his pockets. She was having none of it, eventually simply pushing open her bedroom door and almost throwing him inside. It slammed behind her.

Oliver let out a breath and glanced at me apologetically.

“Sorry. I can only have baited breath for so long before I suffocate.”

We turned our attention back to the screen. Odd noises were coming from Melissa’s room- her soft speech, then a lower voice and in answer to it Melissa’s voice again, but raised and sounding panicky. Then there was a crack, a scream, and finally silence.

Melissa’s door swung open slowly. Standing just inside was a hooded man with a bloodied trophy in his hand, hood pulled over his red hair but facing the camera full-on.

“Oh my God Edmund. That’s-”

“I know.”

Oliver was gripping my arm so tightly my blood flow was cut off. “We need to get back to the studio now.”

“I know.”

We were still for another moment, before Oliver dragged me to my feet and we sprinted for the stairs.

Well, Oliver sprinted and I jogged for a bit before running out of breath and walking. “Oliver?”

“What? Hurry up!”
“Don’t you think a car would be faster?”

“Huh? Oh yeah. We’ll get a cab. Come on, help me signal one!”
The prospect of not having to run to Galaxy cheered me up somewhat. When I arrived on the pavement Oliver was already leaning into the street, thumb up, waving madly at passing cars. One was slowing down- a slick silver thing with impressively shiny wheels. Oliver leapt into the back seat, me in close pursuit.

“Sorry, we’re in a rush, do you know where Galaxy is?” Oliver’s words were slightly breathy.
The driver started the car and pulled slowly back onto the road. “Yeah. I work there.”

“Brilliant, that’s where we’re heading.”

“I know.”

The first twist of unease began to coil in my stomach. I almost put a hand on Oliver’s arm, but dismissed the feelings as the after affects of seeing so many dead people in two days. Oliver, by contrast, looked more alive than he had all day. “Oh, do you recognise me?”

“Yes. I know your face very well.”

Out of what I told myself was curiosity, I tried the handle on my door. It was locked.

“Cool. Which department do you work in?”

“Arrivals and departures.”

The driver had sunglasses on, and I was seated directly behind him, not allowing me a good look. I inched towards Oliver, trying to look in the front mirror to catch a glimpse of his face.

Oliver seemed oblivious to my qualms. “Did they give you the morning off because of Jackson?”

“No. I took the morning off. I’ve been waiting for someone.”

The driver’s face was covered up by his sunglasses, but his red hair stood out like a beacon. I watched in the mirror as a smile spread slowly across his face like oil spreading across a cold surface.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Oliver Smith. I have something to award you. A trophy you truly deserve.” He reached over to the glovebox, dropping it open and scrabbling leisurely inside. “I hope you remember me, because if you don’t then I won’t be happy. My name’s Martin. I’m your number one fan.”

He pulled out a blood-stained trophy and set it on the seat beside him.






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