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Darkroom

By Darina All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Thriller

Prologue

The stairs creaked with a comforting familiarity as he descended towards the hallway and picked up the mail from the floor. He shuffled through them quickly throwing most of it into the bin, and the rest onto the counter as he reached for the kettle. The east facing kitchen greeted the sun with open arms and he basked in it’s early morning warmth.  With his tea in hand and toast waiting to pop he sat at the table and opened the first letter.  It was an unusually warm morning for May but he welcomed the summer and allowed his thoughts to wander until the metal clank of the toaster popped them.

He ate quickly and finished his tea, swirling the cup under the tap when he was done, leaving it upside down on the draining board. He brushed his hands through his hair and finally walked across the kitchen to the dining room door. The dining room was darker than the kitchen with the heavy blinds pulled down and the curtains half drawn. All the furniture had been removed the night before and was arranged in the back garden. Except for one chair that sat in the centre of the room.

She was half sitting on the chair, half hanging off it. With her hands tied at the back they supported her limp body as it slumped left, her head lolling at an awkward angle.  She was naked except for knickers that were once pink but now grey with grime and stank of piss. Her hair covered her face, hanging down in greasy tendrils like, tassels over her closed eyes. He walked closer, carefully lifting her chin with one finger then pushing her head over the tall back of the chair. He grabbed her shoulder and made her sit up enticing only a soft moan from her.  Tenderly, he brushed her hair away from her face, curling it around her ears then stepped back to see if it looked right.

Family pictures adorned the walls behind her on faded peach wallpaper. He could almost see the dinners that were be held in this room, as he looked through the lens of his camera. When he secured the tripod in place and checked the lighting for the picture she moved her head, letting it loll back to the left and hiding her face again. He finished setting up the camera before sitting her up again, propping her head against the back of the chair to make it stay in place. Then as he checked the camera one last time he pulled the knife out of his belt and walked over behind her. The red flashing light on the front of the camera warned him of the set timer lapsing so he hurriedly braced her head against his chest, holding her forehead with his hand while the other pressed the knife against her throat.

The camera flash lit the room up with a bright flare, that second, 1 thousandth of a second captured as the knife was dragged across the centre of her throat.

After the flash the room plunged back into a darkness that seemed darker now as her breath gurgled out her throat though the blood flow. He went back to the camera and clipped it off the tripod then took the rest of the pictures he needed.

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