Bill watched Claire and Tony embrace each other as they parted. He waited for her to disappear down the street before ringing Tony’s bell. This was going to be perfect. He would be a victim by association. Yes, that’s this man’s crime. He’s her friend.
The door opened with Tony believing Claire had returned. “Oh, hello. I thought you were someone else. What can I do for you?”
“My name is Bill, I believe Claire is expecting me.” He stretched his body, pretending to check out the address on the side of the flat. “Yes, this is the place. Don’t tell me I’ve missed her.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, man. She’s already gone, but I’ll tell her you rang.” He proceeded to shut the door, but Bill’s hand stopped him.
“This is very upsetting to me. I’m afraid my cell is dead, or I would have called her to say I was late. Say, could I use your phone? As soon as I reach her, I’ll be out of your hair.”
Tony reluctantly let the man in, slightly irritated to have his euphoric mood interrupted. “Look, I’m quite busy, so if you would make it quick, I’d appreciate it.”
“Thanks, this is very kind of you.” Bill entered the home, and was shown to the phone. Turning his back to Tony, he reached into his coat pocket to remove some leather gloves. He pulled a glove over one hand and dialed a number. He began speaking into the phone. “Claire? I’m sorry I was late. I know, but my phone is dead. Ok, sure. I can meet you there in 20 minutes.” Bill turned to address Tony, and asked for a glass of water. “I hate to be such a bother, but I am thirsty.”
Tony went to the kitchen with Bill following close behind. Both gloves were now snuggly fitted to his hands, making them free to grasp the knife sticking from the wooden holder next to the stove. “So, how do you know Claire?”
Tony filled the glass, his back still to the stranger and told him how he had done some work for her when she practiced law. “She’s a good lady, that one.” He turned to hand Bill the glass of water only to see him staring wild-eyed, knife in hand, a crazy expression painted on his face. “What the hell?”
Bill stuck the knife into his stomach, then he turned it upward to dig at multiple organs, twisting it back and forth. He held it inside the man until he went limp. The glass hit the floor, making a shattering sound. Finally, Tony fell, the water from the glass turned red and seeped to the low spots of the flooring.
Bill took a few deep breaths and carefully stepped back so his shoes would avoid the blood. He shook his head as if to let the manufactured breeze blow away his fear. Walking into the front room, he leaned on a chair, and again took some deep breaths. He’d never done this before, and it bothered him. But this was a good cause. He needed for Claire to be frightened, he needed her vote, and this was how he was going to get it. He thought he’d be able to do anything for his prominent place in the Senate, and on this day, he had proven it to himself. Carefully, he looked through the window, glad the street was empty. Just before leaving, he saw something that caught his eye.
“Well I’ll be damned.” He walked over to the object that was protected inside a small glass box. It was a baseball autographed by the great Bill Buckner with 1980 scribbled below his name. “Jesus, this was the year he became someone. Chicago Cubs.” Bill smiled and knew he had to have it. He looked toward the kitchen and laughed. “Well, whatever your name is, I don’t think you’ll miss this now.”
Bill scanned the room, searching for something to wrap around the trophy, when his eyes saw a newspaper on the desk. He removed the ball from its container and carefully covered it with the paper, not noticing that its printed words were in Spanish.
He stuffed it in his pocket, knowing that he’d hit the lottery. Taking one last look around the room, he left, closing the door, ensuring that it was locked.
As luck would have it, the street seemed to be abandoned. Bill felt a pleasant strut in his walk, shocked at how easy it had been to kill a man. He knew he could do it again if necessary, he knew that with this new skill, nothing could hold him back from his desires
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