I don’t like blood. Especially when it gets in my eyes. Allergies, you see. So when I stabbed Herbert in the solar plexus (and the chest and the neck) I was particularly piqued at the amount of blood that squirted out of him into my left eye. The fact that it got all over my nice clean top was a considerable annoyance too, but not, in the scale of things, too upsetting when you consider that I got to the bathroom pretty quickly and rinsed the top out with cold water.
We’d been playing rock, paper, scissors on a gloriously sunny day in April. I remember that bells were pealing off to the left in a particularly churchy way and when they stopped and a bell let out a single clang, one would presume for one o’clock, it seemed as if it was rather too satisfied with itself. And then, after a pause that was a little too short for my liking, the bells started up again. But don’t start thinking that this was what did it for Herbert. I mean, it was provocative, but one does have a modicum of self-control.
My eyes were already running from the surfeit of tree pollen in the air. Wearing sunglasses had helped a little, but not nearly enough and I was continually tipping my head back to stop mucus from streaming out of my nostrils. So when Herbert inconsiderately filled my eye with his blood, I’m afraid I went a tad crazy and pushed him off the balcony. Before you ask: I’m not at all sure if he was already dead before he tipped over the edge.
On reflection, a scissor tip in the solar plexus would have hurt Herbert but not killed him because I distinctly remember him saying ‘oof’ when he got his next stab in the chest. That couldn’t have killed him either because, being a girl, I’m one hundred per cent sure that I don’t have the strength to stab a pair of scissors deeply enough to hit anything important. Like a heart. So it must have been the blow to his neck that did ‘im in, as the vernacular form would have it. He must have caught his jugular on the tip of the scissors. That would explain the blood, you see; and the eleven level fall into the hotel pool. In my defence, that rail was rather short. Not at all adequate to keep anyone on a balcony. Not if they were given a piqued-push towards it.
It has to be said that he started it and that we were, ultimately, only playing. Surely you must realise this. He had a rock from the plant pot, I had paper from my notebook and I must have picked the scissors up from the kitchen drawer at some time. We were playing to decide who would fetch me a bottle of water from the little shop around the corner. I was parched!
When he won the first round, he hit me with the rock, which rather hurt. I mean, yes, you could call it a pebble, but look, here’s the bruise. He thrashed me pretty darned hard! I triumphed in the next round and so that’s how he got the paper cut on his hand. I remember that he seemed really upset by that. What a wuss, right? Then I got the third round too. Boy, was he surprised when I pulled those scissors out of my pocket! Not as surprised as he was when I stabbed him, though!
Do I regret what happened? Yes, of course I do. I mean, I won fair and square! But due to Herbert stumbling into the pool, I never did get my bottle of water. So, what’s not to regret!
Not based on Rock Paper Killers by Alexia Mason, but I saw a copy in the window of Waterstones before I wrote this. So, thanks, Alexia.