Raising Dave Chapter 12

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Inwardly I reeled with shock.

And I got to thinking: I’d murdered Dorothy.

If I didn’t kill two more people, she would have died for nothing.

So I had to kill again.

And Victor deserved to die. He'd lied to me to get me to kill her.

So, clutching the Harvesting Stone in my right hand, I crept into his room and hid under the bed.

I waited there, covered in fluff, until he showed up.

He took off his pants and sat on the edge of the bed, with his feet within inches of my nose. My nostrils were assaulted by a smell like that of ripe stilton.

I heard two distinct plopping sounds.

I guessed that these were caused by him dropping his false teeth into a glass of water.

He removed his socks and left them lying on the floor in front of my face.

Then he raised up one of his legs and scratched it. Flakes of skin descended like snowflakes onto the carpet in front of me.

He reached down and brushed the skin under his bed with his fingers.

He repeated the exercise on his other leg, then climbed under the covers.

He rolled around for a while, but  eventually began snoring.
I crawled from my hiding place commando-style on my elbows and knees, then got cautiously to my feet and looked at Victor.

He was lying on his back with his arms under the covers.

I carefully climbed astride of him, pinning his arms to his sides with my knees, and switched on his bedside light so that he could see me. He must have taken sleeping pills because the light didn’t wake him up.

I held his nose for a moment. He started gasping for air and emerged from his slumber, blinking in puzzlement.

He tried to get his spectacles then realised that he couldn’t move his arms. I reached out to the bedside cabinet, got them for him, and put them on his face. Now he could see me clearly.

He mumbled something with his gaping, toothless maw that I couldn’t understand.

His dentures were on the bedside table suspended in the glass of water he’d dropped them into. I reached over, plucked them from the glass, and shoved them in his mouth.

They went in at an angle, and for a few moments his jaws moved independently of his teeth, with the teeth at a slant. He worked his jaws this way and that, and eventually got them in the right way.

“Kali,” he said. “What’s happening? What are you doing?”

I bent at the waist bringing my nose to within inches of his.

“I’m ending it, Victor,” I said.

His brow furrowed in bafflement. He tried to mouth an answer but his teeth slipped. It took him a few seconds to get them the right way again.

“Ending what?” He asked.

“Your life.”

Behind the lenses of his spectacles his eyes registered fear.

“What? You’re ending my life? What do you mean?”

My reply was cold as steel.

“I mean I’m going to kill you because of what you did to Dorothy and to me.”

“Why? What are you talking about? I didn’t do anything to either of you. We made an arrangement which was mutually beneficial. You agreed to it. The arrangement helped Dorothy and it helped you.”

I shook my head.

“I know what you did Victor. I know how you deceived me.”

His eyes filled with panic.

“Deceived you? How have I deceived you?”

“You told me she was no more than an empty shell. What were the words you used? According to you, she was a ‘jumble of autonomous reflexes’ or something of the sort. But she was no mere jumble of autonomous reflexes. She had her wits about her. She didn’t have dementia. She had locked-in syndrome. You knew that all along, but you told me she’d lost her mind. You tricked me into killing a sentient human being.”

He tried to wriggle to get me off him. Fortunately, he was old and feeble and tranquilized, and nothing he could do would unseat me from my perch. When he realised he couldn’t escape, he said:

“I tricked you, but only because I thought you wouldn’t help me if you knew the truth. You said you wouldn’t kill a thinking human being, so I told you she couldn’t think. I lied about the state of Dorothy’s mind. But I did so with the best of intentions. Dorothy wanted to die more than anything else in the world. The Doctors wouldn’t end her life for her, and I couldn’t do it for her because I was weak. I only lied to get what was right for Dorothy. You’ve got to believe me, Kali. Please.”

I was determined not to be tricked for a second time by Victor.

“You lied when you told me that Dorothy had lost her mind. You’re lying now to save your miserable hide.”

I set down the Harvesting Stone on his bedside table then pulled a pillow from under his head. I held it over his face for a moment or two, so that he could anticipate the anguish he would shortly be feeling.

“No! Please don’t! Don’t do this to me, Kali!”

When he saw that I wasn’t paying him any heed, he raised the volume of his cries to the maximum of which he was capable:

“Help me! Please help me someone! Help! Help! Murder! Please help!”

For a feeble old man who smoked, he had a surprisingly loud voice. Loud as it was, it was drowned out immediately I pressed the pillow on his face. I held it gently but firmly, positioning my hands so that they were to either side of his nose.

His legs thrashed fiercely under the covers making a noise something like that of a swimmer sprinting the length of his local pool. He tried to move his arms, but they were pinned helplessly against his sides by my knees. I was vaguely aware of his pitiful attempts to dislodge me.

He arched his back and lowered it repeatedly, twisting like a fish on a hook, but all to no avail. He was firmly trapped, and his life was being forcibly taken from him, breath by painful breath.

I enjoyed the thought that he now knew exactly how Dorothy’s final moments must have felt.

Muffled cries of panic emanated from beneath the pillow. Eventually they ceased, as did his frantic writhing.

His death put me one step nearer to my goal of raising Dave.

I needed to take just one more life to achieve it.


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