The evening played out as it always did. The patrons came to the Knock, Knock club, ate, drank and applauded the performances – Mostly Tabitha’s. It was as though there were unaware of the horrors that lay in wait. The night before, when I had tried to escape Dennis – the club manager – had assured me that he would find a way to bring me so far into the club that there would be no escaping. He was vindictive and a monster in his own right but I think the real reason he was so keen to keep me around was so that he wouldn’t be alone. Tabitha had known him for years but with the murder of his father and disappearance of his son he couldn’t trust her. The girls in the club adored him and the patrons loved him but it was a front he put on for them. I was the only one he felt he could talk to, for that he would keep me around.
I kept notes in my head. If I did manage to escape their clutches I would return to my old life as a reporter with the most triumphant article ever featured in the ‘Coldford Chronicle’. I couldn’t risk anyone finding hand written notes so for the time being I kept everything in my head.
A woman had come to the club. She was on her own and she wasn’t a regular face. I could only surmise that she had no idea what the club was about. She was a little unsteady on her feet when she arrived and as the night drew on she drank more and more. Her voice became louder and she spilled wine onto one of the girls serving dinner. She had been calling at the stage and trying to engage those around her in conversation. Most of them weren’t interested. Some of them were even made uncomfortable by her loud, brassy obnoxiousness.
Dennis approached her. She instantly took a shine to him and tried to kiss him. She removed herself from her table and hung on him at the bar for the rest of the night. Tabitha came off stage after her performance. She had changed from her onstage costume into grey trousers and a long grey coat.
“Going somewhere?” I asked.
Tabitha swallowed down a glass of whiskey and slid the glass back to, Lisa, the girl behind the bar. “We all are,” she said with a grin. She pinched my left cheek. “It must be driving you crazy not having been outside the club in all this time.”
Dennis put the drunk girl’s coat around her shoulders. She lifted herself onto her tip toes to kiss him again but he turned his head and she met his cheek instead.
“Where are we going?” I asked. My notes were still drawing in my head.
“To a little party,” said Tabitha, pulling my coat from the coat stand and throwing it to me. “You can see first hand what your Grandfather created.”
Tabitha, Dennis, the drunk girl and I left the Knock, Knock club that night. One of us was never to return.
The drunk girl ushered us into her home.
“I thought we might have something of a small party,” said Dennis lifting a bottle of whiskey from a badly treated side board. There was a beaten old sofa and a chair by the window but not much else. The girl looked a little disappointed that Tabitha and I had come with them.
Tabitha pulled me onto the sofa beside her. The drunk girl stumbled around her living room smiling to herself. Her brunette hair was in disarray. She took the whiskey back from Dennis, threw the lid aside and began drinking straight from the bottle. With a mouthful she finally managed to press her lips against Dennis’. Dennis looked to us. The drunk girl hadn’t noticed him pushing her back. Tabitha was shaking with anticipation beside me. Dennis flashed us a smile. I was as unaware as the drunk girl.
“This girl is wild isn’t she?” Dennis laughed.
“You said you wanted a party,” she groaned. I could barely understand her slurred words.
“We shouldn’t be here,” I said to Tabitha. “Let’s just leave the woman be.”
Tabitha took my arm. “Nonsense, Samuel,” she said.
The drunk girl slumped into a chair by the window, pulling Dennis with her. Dust particles danced in the air.
Dennis straightened up. The woman’s eyes were closed. She had either passed out or Dennis had pacified her.
Dennis removed a cigarette from his pocket. He placed it between his lips but didn’t light it. He watched from the window.
Tabitha stood. She went to the drunk girl, wrapped her arm around her neck and pulled her to her feet. The drunk girl’s eyes flickered but she didn’t waken. A soft smile caressed her painted lips.
Tabitha ran her finger delicately over her neck. “This vein here is quite extraordinary. A single laceration can cause instant death. Its the same vein that wild animals will target when they are looking for a quick kill.” The drunk girl giggled. She probably found Tabitha’s soft caress quite ticklish. “What do they call it?”
Dennis didn’t look round. He still watched from the window. “Do I look like a doctor?”
Tabitha shrugged off his impatience. “Well it doesn’t really matter,” she replied. She drew a blade from her coat. I tried to stop her, I swear I did, but it was too late. She cut the woman’s throat and let the blood spill down her front. The woman gargled. Tabitha had been a little off with her cut so it wasn’t instant death. I had to look away as the woman struggled for breath before finally falling to fate. Tabitha, still laughing, let the woman drop limp onto the floor. She licked the blood from the tips of her fingers.
“Mama!?” came a small voice in the doorway. Two little girls with filthy faces and cheap, oversized clothing looked on in horror as their mother lay dead. Tabitha’s grey eyes shone with excitement. She lowered herself to their height. The girls were confused. In Tabitha’s round, youthful face they saw maternal pleasantness but in her cold gaze they saw danger.
“Tabitha, please don’t!” I pleaded.
Click HERE to read more Vivika Widow thrillers
Check out the series from the beginning: