By Edward Usher
‘I’m just coming!’ I called cheerily from my basement lair, but the blood-curdling screech of stone on metal was quite unmistakable. If anyone else had been present that day, they would have seen the colour drain from Lucy’s face as she realised what was about to happen. But nobody was there. There was nobody to help.
Lucy lunged for the kitchen drawer, scattering cutlery in a frantic and fruitless search for a weapon. There was nothing more substantial to be found than a cheap breadknife, which was withdrawn, glanced at desperately, and tossed away in exasperation. It was useless. The breadknife clattered off the lino and came to rest at the foot of the recycling bin. ‘Everything alright up there?’ I called good-naturedly. I had finished sharpening my knives, and was ascending the stairs.
‘All jolly!’ came the response, but panic made her words shrill. I knew something was up, and quickened my pace. Shitbags, thought Lucy. Why does he mean to kill me? What have I done? It must be because of that goddamn Lucozade campaign. I should have just agreed to have a pack-shot. It’s only a pack-shot. Why had I held out for a logo? To be slain over such a thing.
I reached the top of the stairs, machete swinging lightly from my hand, a meat-cleaver tucked into the waistband of my tracksuit bottoms. I paused to check my hair in the mirror. It doesn’t do to kill your partner looking like you’ve gone through a bush backwards.
I pushed open the kitchen door. Lucy was standing there, white as a sheet, A3 portfolio tucked under her arm. We regarded each other silently for moment, each comprehending the gravity of the situation.
Just as I was making to advance, Lucy flung herself through the balcony window, crashing through the glass and disappearing over the railing, where she bounced lightly on the patio, righted herself, and sprinted away as fast as her little legs could carry her. My murderous plot foiled, I emitted a roar of fury and hurled a meat cleaver in her direction. I only succeeded in scaring the neighbour’s cat.