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Mrs. Getty

By Phumlani Mavimbela All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror


I can smell your death and it sweet

There was a strange scent hovering in the lobby of the Olympus Hotel, odorless to most yet as sweet as jasmine to Mrs. Getty. Two things were evident about it. It was human and youthful. How she loved a dying youth. Sniffing the air once more she acquired detail. The youth was male no older than twenty eight and he reeked of death. 

A melodic ping filled the lobby and the lift doors split open. Inside was a snide looking young man with a face that seemed to have undergone some sort of trauma sometime in the past. He stood balanced on the gold railing, his tiny shoulders skewed. He was an untidy fellow, from his loose bowtie to his creased shirt and his jacket hanging from the railing.

  ‘Where to Granma, up down, the infirmary maybe’ he said.

She did not reply instead reached into her bag for her keycard to find her room number and floor.  

 ‘I see we don’t know our way this evening’ he went on.

Mrs. Getty looked up at him with what she considered her best fake smile; she caught a glance of herself in the lift mirrors. It wasn’t something she’d want to see every day. The dainty old woman glancing back at her was unfamiliar and quick as she saw, looked away.

  ‘I’m going up, eighth floor please’

 ‘Sorry gramz, this lift don’t go there. Try next door’ replied the boy with a grin.

She wasn’t moved by his remark as she expected it.

‘Humor, how awfully nice of you’ she said stepping inside ‘now if you don’t mind. The eighth floor, please’

The youth hesitated looking a stone throw from another gibe but evidently thought better of it. He pushed the button and with a slithering sound the steel doors grind close. The lift jerked and rose, she could felt her insides falter with the elevation.

For Mrs. Getty a lift was the worst predicament especially with her talents. She shut her eyes and summoned her defenses. Memories often worked and usually they would be of her late dear husband, Cornelius Getty. A man built for his doctoral profession, his hands could heal, nurture and comfort. His smile was ever-present and his eyes were kind. She remembers how he used to taunt and entice her into agreements no matter how farfetched. How he liked to read and smoke at the same time. Such thoughts stole her mind from the smell of death.

The last thing she wanted was a relapse, not this particular night. Today marked two things, her anniversary and twenty years since she last killed.

   “Any moment now” she thought keeping a stead mind. The moment came sooner.

 First was the jerk and sudden stillness, she opened her eyes and stepped forward expecting the doors to split yet nothing happened.

 ‘Not again’ cried the boy fiddling with the buttons. ‘You can’t do this to me again not with this old hag, please go…just go’. The boy began to sweat; she sensed the increase in his temperature. Not to mention the smell. It had thickened, seeping into her skin sending juts of electricity up her spine.  She couldn’t help but tremble to the sensation. Pleasant as it was she couldn’t allow it to take over.

‘You need to get this thing moving, now’ she gasped.

  ‘The hell you think I’m doing right now, jerking off?’ he snapped, his eyes bloodshot. Mrs. Getty did not appreciate being snapped at not even from a panic ridden youth.

‘Listen to me, you have to calm yourself’ she said.

‘Screw you’ he snared punching the button panel so hard his knuckles cracked. The boy’s sudden reaction was received calmly by the old woman; she shut her eyes once more and dug into the recesses of her mind. Searching for a memory but nothing came. Her mind was suddenly cluttered, even her most prominent memories were slipping replaced by a fierce urge to feed upon death’s feast. She tried to shrug to it off with a few deep breaths, it would not yield.

Calm was key here and to attain it, her mind had to be distracted. She knew how.

 “Under no circumstance, will these hands take a life tonight. Not tonight” she whispered reaching into her bag and pulled out a razor freshly wrapped. She pried it from its packaging.

“Under no circumstance, will these hands take a life tonight. Not tonight” she repeated.

 Pain would steal her mind from the smell. She pulled her dress up to her thigh, a spot where scars were embedded, some not yet healed. Mrs. Getty cut a new one grunting as she did. The pain was sharp yet effective, dissolving away the sparkling sensation.

‘What the hell are you doing’ blurted the boy perplexed, staring down at her newly cut wound where a single stripe of blood ran down her leg. ‘You Psycho’

No need for insults, this is for your own good’

‘Screw that, you’re sick’

Out of all the words created for purposes of impunity and provocation, psycho and sick were ones that riled her.

‘You take that back this instant’ she hissed.   

‘Why you cut yourself. Get a kick out of it do you, you old psycho’

She snapped; silence occupied the space for a split second till she once again said “Under no circumstance, will these hands take a life tonight. Not tonight”


  “Unless that life is due” she swept her hand with a single blind stroke, driven with a lifetime’s worth of skill. The razor kissed his neck leaving behind a trail of red, he chocked as blood sprayed from his neck and down on his knees he staggered, his back slumping against the wall.

 Mrs. Getty allowed the sparkling tingles to ride from head to toe, a thousand explosions erupting within her all at the same time. This went on for a while until the boy was vacant and nothing vapored from him no more.

The sensation left her feeling like she was ten years younger, it was all ecstasy, tiny sparks trickling here and there. She knelt beside the body on a pool of his blood.

‘The dark owns you my child’ she said and began her ritual.

In a few hours they would find the boy. His body would be repositioned to a sitting position all tidied up, his bowtie properly tied, shirt tucked and buttoned up. He would be wearing the jacket showing his name tag.


Her signature dark lipstick kiss would be embedded on his forehead

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