A short story by Emily S. Hurricane

October 21, 2018

James Morgan took the Walsh case expecting an easy paycheck. He didn’t expect his client to drive him completely batshit.

In her photographs, Bianca Walsh was a doe-eyed princess with a demure disposition. With circumstantial evidence and her innocent stature, it was a clear win.

The minute he entered the conference room to meet her for the first time, her lips curled into a devious smile and he knew he was in trouble.

“Good afternoon, Miss Walsh,” he said without a tremble in his voice, despite the sensation of a brick dragging his stomach to the floor. He took the seat opposite her, opening his briefcase.

“You have very pretty blue eyes, Mister Lawyer.” Her voice was a soft husk, breathy and almost songlike. “Did you steal them from someone?”

This was going to be a shitshow.

“My name is James Morgan,” he said. “I’ve reviewed your case and-“

“You thought you’d march in here and save the day, Mister Lawyer?” Bianca put her hands flat on the oak table, brown eyes glittering with intensity. “Keep me out of a big ol’ cage?”

James sighed. “You hired me, Miss Walsh. My job is to defend you in court.”

She trilled a laugh and kicked away from the table, spinning the chair around. “I’ve just always wanted to demand a lawyer in the face of interrogation.” The chair slowed and her eyelashes fluttered, a lazy grin on her face. “I guess that’s you, sucker.”

He furrowed his brow. “Are you saying you don’t actually want a lawyer?”

“I’m saying you’re fucking useless to me.” She stood, eyes ablaze. It was as if fire and brimstone had suddenly risen from her. “I got caught doing what I love, which just so happens to be illegal. By all rights, I shouldn’t have any rights.”

His breath caught in his throat. “Doing what you love?”

“Have you not seen my art?” She clapped her hands with glee and bounced on the balls of her feet. “I bet they gave you my portfolio with that case file. Have a peek; constructive criticism only though. Ohhhhh, I can’t watch!” She covered her eyes with her hands.

James gaped at her.

The only portfolio in his case file was full of crime scene photos.

“Open it, the anticipation is killing me!” Bianca cried, grabbing fistfuls of her honey brown locks.

“Are you saying you… you did it?” He swallowed hard, removing the plastic sleeved pages from his briefcase.

He’d looked at them, alright. He’d wished he hadn’t.

She crawled up onto the table with catlike grace and he jerked back in his chair.

She pawed through the photos. The look of trepidation on her face unnerved him, but when it melted away to pure joy it made his blood run cold.

“This was so close to being my masterpiece,” Bianca whispered, running her hand over a particularly gruesome photo. “The photographer didn’t do it justice. If they’d put a light box over here, they could have gotten the detail on her left calf.”

He caught a whiff of lavender from her hair and it calmed him. James did not want to dwell on how fucked up that was.

“You did it,” he breathed, aware now that he was inches away from a serial killer. A beautiful serial killer. Up close, it was almost as if her skin were translucent, a thin covering stretched over iridescent scales of black opal.

“Guilty!” She giggled. He shook his head, drawn from his reverie as she reached out and ran a finger down his tie. “So, what are you going to do about it?”

James took a deep breath and composed his expression. This was what he was trained for, wasn’t it? They needed to be a united front in the courtroom.

“Well you sure as shit can’t say any of that in the courtroom if you want to get out of this.” He gathered up the photos. He didn’t want to look at them anymore.

She pouted as he hid the pages back in his briefcase. “I don’t want to get out of this.” She flopped down on the table, leaning her head back to look at him upside down. “I want to share my art with the world.”

Directly after that meeting, Bianca Walsh admitted to murdering nineteen people and desecrating their corpses, and James Morgan washed his hands of her.

Or at least he thought he did.

She haunted his dreams. The way she’d looked at him, sprawled on the table, pert tits straining at their tank top prison. He dreamed about sliding his cock between her plump lips in that moment, and woke up terrified of himself and his ruined sheets.

He tried looking at the photos to remind himself that she was a monster, a sociopath, a remorseless killer. But he just stared through them, seeing only her languid form spinning that office chair around and around.

Bianca Walsh had gotten under his skin.

It was for this reason James found himself at her trial, uncomfortably fidgeting in the back row. Seeing her sentenced to capital punishment would break him free of her. It had to.

His faith in that theory wavered as the security officer led her into the courtroom in chains.

Her eyes were a pit of jagged spikes disguised in ambrosia, beckoning to him though it meant certain death. Her lips curled into a cheshire grin that looked like it was too large for a human’s face. When her tongue darted out to moisten them, it looked ebony black in the fluorescent lights.

He shivered despite the sweat beading on his forehead, threatening to trickle down his temple all the way to his already moist collar. He blinked rapidly, breath hitched, and her plump little mouth was back to normal, leaving him with a feeling of vertigo, confusion, and horrendous arousal.

He glared at the back of her head the entire trial, which didn’t last very long given the circumstances of her plea.

It had been the worst week of James’ life. He’d turned down two clients, opting to drink and smoke himself into oblivion in his empty penthouse. On the third day, he’d peeled himself off of the bathroom tiles and actually had a shower.

He buried himself inside of a prostitute that night, hoping to ease the tight knot of tension in his guts. But as he pistoned her on his dining room table, all he heard was Bianca’s dreamlike drawl.

You have very pretty blue eyes, Mister Lawyer. Did you steal them from someone?

He curled his fingers around the whore’s throat, tears threatening the corners of his eyes at the feel of rough sharp scales beneath his digits. He let go as if burned, screaming curses and shoving at the woman he’d just had beneath him.

She grabbed her clothes and scurried out of his apartment in her very normal, human body.

James stared at his hands. He was quite certain at this point that he was going insane.

This was a decent excuse for what he decided to do.

A harsh horn bleated as a steel door before him unlocked, and the disheveled lawyer stepped into the room.

“Ah, Mister Lawyer, you look like shit,” Bianca said with a wry smile. Gooseflesh crawled up his arms as she folded her hands in front of her. “Too much on your mind?”

James flopped down in the metal chair opposite her, letting out a deep whoosh of breath.

Even in an orange jumpsuit with chained limbs, her eyes were bright and there was colour on her cheeks. She looked as if she’d been pampered in a five star hotel, not rotting in a prison cell waiting to die.

What have you done to me? He thought, unable to vocalize the suspicions that anyone else would think were insane.

“Does your life lack meaning?” She blinked ever so slowly, accentuating her long lashes as they glided down the curve of her massive brown eyes. Those eyes suddenly seemed too large for their sockets, pulsing and growing, ready to explode.

He slammed his fists down on the table, leaning forward.

“What have you done to me?” His voice was hoarse, and the outburst brought her face back to its proper proportions. That creamy skin contrasting dark irises, lips somehow still cherry red. No, blood. Fucking hell her mouth has been painted with blood.

“Blaming a victim for your obsession with her,” She lifted her chin. “How ungentlemanly of you.”

He wanted to strangle her.

He could almost see it happening: feel the soft skin of her throat contract beneath his hands, see her eyes rolling back into her head, lush lips parted as she gasped for breath, her naked form squirming underneath him, her smooth hands wrapped around his –

James groaned and blinked, crashing back to reality like a stone.

“Very, very ungentlemanly,” Bianca cooed, a coy smile on her face.

He jolted up, the chair clattering to the floor behind him. He knew that it didn’t matter how far away from her he got, she was in his head, sinking her claws deeper and deeper into his mind.

But he couldn’t be in here anymore, breathing the same air as her.

“You’ll be my masterpiece,” she whispered, and it sounded as if her mouth was a hair’s breadth from his earlobe.

He pounded on the door, and she giggled, a high-pitched noise that made him want to skewer his eardrums. He staggered into the hallway. The door slammed behind him.

On the way home, James’ shoulders suddenly seemed to lift. The afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the world. It was as if every muscle in his body unwound a little more with each mile he put between himself and the prison.

He stopped off at a kitchen supply store to grab a few things for dinner, and by the time he’d paid for his purchases, he had a spring in his step.

Everything was going to be alright.

He took the stairs up to his condo two at a time, forgoing the elevator to get the extra exercise. He burst inside sweaty and full of energy, and tossed his purchases on the kitchen island. Time to wash away the worries of the day.

The shower was blisteringly hot, heaven on his muscles that had been so tense for the past week. He lathered himself up, moaning at the smell of lavender permeating his nostrils. Razor in hand, he took care to shave every inch of himself.

He toweled off in front of the full length mirror, admiring his handiwork. His heart swelled with pride at how much of his beautiful skin he could see now without all of that pesky hair.

He whistled as he strolled back into the kitchen, naked as the day he was born, and overturned the shopping bag on the counter. After freeing his shiny new tools from their packaging, he tossed the garbage away and lined everything up in a neat little row.

Candles. He snapped his fingers. He needed candles.

There were a few candlesticks in his emergency drawer, and he set them up as artfully as he could around the kitchen. He turned off his phone, tossed it in the garbage, and hopped up onto the island.

The marble was freezing on his bare ass and he laughed at the shock of it, for a moment thinking how stupid it was to be sitting on the counter with his balls hanging out.

He ran his finger along the array of tools, a smile still ghosting his lips, and selected the smallest mezzaluna. The v-shaped blade glittered in the candlelight and he waved it in the air like a magic wand.

“My masterpiece,” James whispered, and stretched out his leg, lovingly lowering the blade to his calf.