The Story Contest had a number of entries. The original plan was to release them on Christmas Day however after reading them and trying to make decisions, that plan changed slightly. Now the top three will be announced over the coming days. Today it’s time to announce third place – Murder Around The Christmas Tree by Chandra Kusari. It’s a complete work of fiction, I promise that I am not this crazy – Jess.
Story Contest | Murder around the Christmas Tree
As I walked nervously around in my room, my hand absently circled my swollen belly one thought hammered through my mind again and again.
“Jess is gonna murder me!”
It can’t be. She was my roommate, my friend, but I had heard it hadn’t I?
It was earlier that day when I arrived at the hotel. Jess and Lumi, the infamous X sisters were standing behind the bar. Lumi seemed bored, as she was flipping through the user manual, of what appeared to be a flame thrower, laying in front of her on the bar. Without looking up she said. “Vanessa is having a boy.”
Jess stared at some distant point, playing with her switchblade and calmly said. “Then she has to die. I will be the only one giving Kane a boy.”
Story Contest | “Was I in danger of getting killed?“
Then they both noticed me standing there, smiled and put their heads together, whispering.
I tried my best to overhear what they were talking about, while I was tending to the hotel guests. I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl. I told the doctor I didn’t wanna know. Was I in danger of getting killed?
Until a few days ago I would say they were joking, but then I witnessed a fight between Jess and Brooke, which ended, with Jess stabbing Brooke in the arm with her switchblade. She was getting more and more bonkers as her pregnancy went on.
All I could overhear was they were talking about a party. My party? I loved the idea at first, a baby shower, where the sex of my child would be revealed to me.
But now? Now looking at their vicious smiles it seemed like a walk to the gallows.
I threw myself on the bed. What’s a girl gonna do?
Story Contest | “Jess was allowed to kill me“
My eyes felt on the thick red folder on my nightstand … THE Roommate Agreement
Jess had made me sign the rules, as I moved in with her. Maybe in there was something to give me clarity. I started browsing through the huge binder. Why had this thing been so thick? It was a lease not the fucking constitution.
Shower times … nope
Bringing customers home … nope
Usage of the house slave … WAIT WHAT? I had to read up on that later, but NOPE no help here.
Disagreement among roommates … Finally!
§257, section 3, subsection 5: If a serious grievance is given to a roommate, where the death of said roommate is the only way to make amends, the murder of the offending roommate is perfectly legal under the agreements written by the signing parties.
If I got this right Jess was allowed to kill me if the offence from my side was big enough to justify that.
I should read what I sign. Next time I will read the bible before signing it.
If there was a next time.
What’s a girl gonna do?
Story Contest | “I was most likely fucked“
There was only one thing to do. If those bitches were planning my murder I would murder them first.
Grabbing my phone I opened the marketplace and started searching for weapons. The marketplace was well stocked, now I knew where the X Sisters got all their toys. Let’s see what we have:
Desert Eagle nice
A Pump Action Shotgun … same model as Lumi’s ..maaaybes
There was a lot to buy, but most of what I saw was quite ordinary and the X Sisters’ arsenal was legendary. Rumour had it they owned tanks and nuclear weapons. Who allowed crazy hookers to possess all this shit. If the rumours were true I was most likely fucked.
I could run, but I wasn’t much for turning a challenge down and besides could I really outrun them? What I needed was an ace up my sleeve.
So I dove into the more obscure places of the marketplace.
A Vel Tech HSR 14 Railgun … magnetic acceleration rifle designed to take out Mechas. That would come in handy.
I would not be able to carry the rail gun in the hotel, but I could hide it beforehand.
But I needed something I could easily hide, with a lot of bangs. Something which would scare the shit out of the X Bitches!
Looking around frantically for anything to help me. My eyes fell upon something.
A book wrapped in dark leather … The Book of Skelos
Story Contest | “Hello, roomie”
Well not exactly, but THAT was exactly what I needed. The X Bitches would not know what hit them.
It was Sunday, the 4th of December as I entered the Hotel for my baby shower, or my funeral .. NO! Not my funeral. I really, really didn’t wanna do this. I still hoped it was all a figment of my imagination, but I feared it would be me or them.
The bar was already decorated festively. Garlands of fir decorated with red bands and lights were hanging from the walls. A Christmas tree was standing next to the fireplace. Pink and blue balloons with letters forming my name were hung everywhere.
A table was set near the bar. Jess and Lumi were already there.
“Hello, roomie” Jess greeted me smiling and giving me a hug. “Ready for your big day?” Her hand rubbed my belly. Lumi also greeted me, her smile seemed as fake as Jess’s, There was something dark and sinister in her eyes.
Taking a seat at the head of the table I smiled trying to keep my voice even. “I guess so, can’t drag it out any longer can’t I?”
“No you can’t:” Jess replied, there was something cold in her voice.
“Where are the other girls?” I inquired noticing that Lumi was busy behind the bar, while Jess sat next to me.
“I flung the tea at her face“
Jess smiled her fake smile again. “We had a few cancellations, but I am sure the rest will arrive soon. But how about we start with the boring part and get to the presents when the others arrive.” She grabbed an envelope next to her plate and opened it.
I was so tense I nearly shattered the teacup in my hand.
Jess’s eyes moved over the paper. “You are going to be the proud mother of a boy. Sorry ….”
She didn’t get any further, as I flung the tea at her face.
“Shit” she yelled. I could see that Lumi was getting something from under the bar and let myself fall to the side. They thought I would be easy in my pregnant state. What they didn’t figure was, that I attended my capoeira classes weekly and I worked out regularly. Under normal circumstances, I would have been stronger and faster than both of them, but even now they didn’t outmatch me.
Staying low to get to cover, I pulled the pistol out of my purse and emptied the magazine in the general direction of Lumi. Her shotgun roared to life as she cursed, glass splintered. Ducking behind one of the armchairs on the other side of the bar I knelt reaching for my railgun. I heard the glass of the aquarium shatter and a flood wave nearly swept me out of cover.
All I could do was hold on tight. As the water washed away I grabbed my rifle and noticed a pair of shoes next to me. Jess was standing there. Her face was an angry red, due to the hot tea I flicked in her face. A revolver in her hands.
Story Contest | “What the F ..”
“Die bitch!” She snarled and shot. The protective runes I had drawn in blood on my body earlier flared up and the bullet fell to the floor. Her eyes widened in surprise. “What the F ..” She didn’t get any further as I spat out a few words in a language, not meant for a human throat and shadowy tentacles shot out of a dark corner pulling her into the foyer.
While I was busy Lumi reached for her flamethrower. My runes would not protect against fire. As she opened fire I cast another spell. A wall of earth shot out of the floor covering me against the flames. A wave of fatigue washed over me as the drain of the spell hit me.
Not knowing what would run out first my spell or Lumi’s flamethrower I braced myself and fired the railgun straight at my wall. The magnetically accelerated shards of titanium flew through my wall, the bar and the wall behind the bar. I could hear an explosion but no screams.
Something hit me in the side as Lumi outflanked me. Walking towards me she pumped her shotgun and fired again and again. My protective shield shattered, and the next shell ripped through my leg. I screamed in pain and fell.
“Sentry gun, stupid cow.“
Lumi stood over me with a vicious smile around her lips as she levelled the shotgun at my head. “Sentry gun, stupid cow.“ She snarled.
Time slowed as her finger tightened around the trigger.
No card left to play.
“Take her I will pay your price,” I yelled.
Lumi looked confused, a confusion that became sheer terror as the shadowy entity I made a pact with last night appeared in front of her. She lifted her gun, but was too slow, as the scythe made out of blackness cut through her body and tore out her soul. As the entity disappeared her body fell lifelessly to the floor.
“I am not like everybody else.”
“Nooo!” Jess yelled “I kill you! I kill you!” She lifted her revolver firing at me as she hobbled through the burning bar towards me. Getting free of her bindings had wounded her.
I dove for the shotgun. “What did you expect roomie? That I just roll over like everybody else?”
Jumping the gun I rose. “I am not like everybody else.”
Both guns roared at the same time.
Pain shot through my shoulder and I fell.
I opened my eyes. My whole body was in agony, I was bleeding from at least two wounds. Getting up I groaned. Using the shotgun to support myself, I hobbled over to where Jess lay. She was still breathing but was not going to last much longer. I tried to kick her while I screamed “Why the FUCK did you do that? I am .. was your FUCKING friend.”
Kicking her was a bad idea as I was not able to stand on my injured leg. I fell to the ground screaming in pain. Groaning I sat upright and ripped some tablecloth to bind my leg.
Jess coughed and spat blood. “I am sorry roomie, but it was the only way. Did you think I leave anything to chance?”
A small device fell out of her hand. A blinking green light turned to red. That was all I saw before the flames consumed me.
Story Contest | “Her name is Chandi”
I heard something beeping. Slowly I opened my eyes. I was in a hospital bed.
I shivered as I heard her voice. “Glad you are awake.” Jess sat next to me reading in a red folder. “Kane fainted, but I stayed with you.”
A nurse entered the room and laid a lil screaming bundle on my belly. “What will be your daughter’s name?” She asked.
I took the lil thing in my arms and breathed “Chandi, her name is Chandi.” I looked towards Jess and shook my head. “I had this strange nightmare of us fighting each other. She smiled cryptically and got up. “I leave you to rest a bit. See you later roomie.”
After I had fed Chandi and she was asleep my eyes fell upon the red folder … the roommate agreement. There was a note stuck in it. I opened the folder:
§257, section 3, subsection 6: If a grievance is addressed through the murder of the roommate, every measure has to be taken, to bring said roommate back to life without further reoccurrence of grievance.
I looked at the note. It was an invoice over several clone bodies, one of them pregnant with a female child.