Arsenic and Candy

The cigarette smoke charred his lungs when he entered the room. It hung heavy, as if she had been there just a moment ago smoking those horrid jacks that she insisted on buying. Light one, smoke, light another. A horrible little chain smoker with lungs rotting black against the velvety red of her insides. He knew that she couldn't have been there. She wouldn't have come back to that place; she couldn't. The room with its dense black stains on the carpet, dense black memories. He always thought they'd stay red forever. The deepest brightest crimson. It had looked as if every aspect of red had come and congealed on the floor, soaked into every fiber of the carpet, every last stitch of that beige carpeting. She had asked for it. He knew that much and so he stepped into the now empty room with confidence. The confidence of a man who had proven his deeds to have reason. The slick evilness of women had been his reason, and he needed nothing else.

She had come home and he had been waiting for her. When he held her and took in a breath the smell was not that horrid burning smell of her tobacco but instead a sweet and sticky smell, one that didn't belong to her. He had had every right to throw her back and watch her body slam into the wall like a paper doll, almost tearing. He had yelled at her, begging to know whose smoke her clothes smelled of. Who it was that had profaned that horrible violent scent that was all hers, and his. Almost crying when his voice started to crack. She had just looked up at him, eyes huge and dangerous, and smiled. Her smile laced with arsenic and candy. And he knew. That smile, that look, the way her hair was a spider's web, the way her red lipstick was smeared up across her cheek, the bite mark on her throat. He would never bite her, he loved her too much. And then right there, right in front of him, just casually sitting on the floor, she did the dumbest thing possible. She took out a cigarette and lit it. Blowing the smoke upwards in his direction she said, "He gave this to me." And that was where he had lost it. He had turned from her, as if giving up as if walking away without a confrontation, as if letting her get away with it all over again. He had turned to the kitchen and he had picked up a knife. The sick thing about it all was that when he walked back to her, knife in hand, fear didn't register on her face at all she just tilted her head and exposed the soft white expanse of her neck. A smirk playing slowly on her lips. It had been like this before. She had told him, he had gone and gotten the knife, almost threatening but ending up in tears with his arms around her, begging her to take him back.

He felt the tears burning behind his eyes and before he could collapse into those wicked torturing arms he drove the knife deep into her stomach feeling blood, warm and slick, gush around his hand. He pulled the knife out and she looked up at him trying to make some evil woman expression with her mouth but instead only her blood poured out over those perfect lips. Then he grabbed her by that matted slightly damp hair and pulled her head back completely. She gurgled trying to beg for her life, trying to provoke him even more and he dug the knife right into her throat dragging it across and then letting the body fall. The blood had spilled beautifully over his hands leaving them wet and sticky. It later flaked off leaving scabs of blood on everything he touched. He had almost cut her head right off; the spine was just in the way. The red stain had started to grow around her, but he was far from done. He knelt, as if ready to propose, and stabbed her again and again. Blood spattering onto his face with each blow. Her body made a wet sucking sound every time the knife went in and the redness of the carpet just kept growing. And then he stopped and set the knife down.

Seventy-three stab wounds, the coroner had said at trial. It had been a crime of violence, violence being the utmost of passion. She would have wanted it that way. He looked around the room that he hadn't seen in years. He could still smell her smoke. He took out a cigarette, one slightly stained with blood, one that had been smoked before and held it between his lips feeling around for a lighter in his pocket and tasting her lipstick in his mouth. He sparked it and lit the end of the jack in one practiced motion. He inhaled quietly and then blew his own smoke into the air, a sweet sticky smelling smoke. She would have wanted to die like that. He'd drive himself crazy without that thought. Because even after all this, after everything that she did to him and after the rage it took him to filet her like that, he still loved her. He set the rose in the middle of the bloodstain and then left that house. Letting the last cigarette she had ever smoked smolder in his mouth and then threw it back onto the porch of his old home. He got in his car and drove off. He still smelled of both sides of her, the heavy dark smoke of her cigarettes and the sticky sweet smell of her betrayal.