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Claire was in her bedroom undressing after an exhausting day at the office. She changed into a silk nightgown, looking at herself in the mirror, a tinged look of guilt on her face. Tonight, made the twenty-year anniversary of something horrible.

She turned around and a girl was sitting on the edge of her bed. Claire looked away instantaneously. “I’m just drunk.” She said to herself, closing her eyes tightly.

“Are you really though?” The girl asked her.

Claire glanced back. She’s still there.

Claire began crying, she walked into the bathroom. The girl was sitting on the sink. “Where are you going?” The girl asked her.

Claire horrified by the girl, she looked back into the bedroom. Seeing that she was no longer sitting on the bed.

“There isn’t two of me... unfortunately.”

“Please. It was a horrible mistake.”

The girl hops off of the sink, “a horrible mistake? That’s what you’re calling it now?” She hissed.

Claire’s eyes landed on the girls; she hastily exited the bathroom not wanting to make any more eye contact with her. But she bumped into the girl. The conflict causing Claire to fall on the floor.

She crawled backwards into the bathroom, her back resting against the sink. “Denise, no, please stop!”

Tilting her head watching the frightened Claire try to escape her. “Do you remember what you done to me?”

That awful spring-night discernible in Claire’s recollection.

The moonlight reflected on the dark undulating pool water. Claire and Denise, wet, naked, tangled up in each other’s arms, in ecstasy. They shared a nice long kiss.

“This is for screwing my boyfriend last week.” Claire hissed. She gripped Denise by her throat.

Denise was too nonplussed to fight back at first, she then tried. Claire overpowered her, submerging her underwater, drowning her.

After murdering Denise, Claire grabbed Denise’s black bikini that was on the gleaming pool deck, putting it on her. She then got out of the pool, drying herself off before putting her red bikini on.

She took one more look around to make sure no one saw what she done. She then snuck out of Denise’s place.

Denise walked into the bathroom. Claire crawled backwards to the bathtub. “I guess when your dad is the best lawyer in the county, it wasn’t too hard for you to make everyone believe it was a suicide. It made sense, right? I was devastated that you and Henry had gotten back together. Then he really did end up taking his own life.”

“I’m sorry,” Claire said, pleading for her mercy.

“You know I tried breaking you and him up because I really liked you. Selfish, yes. But you were just so damn perfect. I adored every little thing about you Claire. There before you ever met him, I thought you liked me too.” Denise confessed.

Desperate to save her own life, Claire made the attempt to delude her. “I was wrong, maybe we can work things out.” She said.

Denise saw right through it, shaking her head lightly, a tear slipping out of her right-eye, rolling down her cheek. “No, we can’t. You know that we can’t.” The admission sounding like it was arduous for her to say.

Claire got up off the floor, reluctant at first but holding her arms out, wanting Denise to embrace her affection.

Denise tempted, but rejected the hug. “I’m not going to make you beg for yours and drown you in a pool anyways.”

Claire remained silent, wiping away at her own tears. 

“Goodbye, Claire,” Denise said, smiling softly waving at her before vanishing.

Claire’s eyes grew immensely watching her vanish. She walked over to the sink, turning the cold water on. She held her hands under the water, as she’s panting heavily. She threw the cold water onto her face, trying to calm herself down.

She looked up in the mirror as she ran her hand through her blonde mussed hair, absorbing the sight of her trepidation that was plastered on her face. It slowly began to fade away. She thought back to Denise’s funeral, Denise was wearing what she was buried in: A long teal dress, matching earrings and dress shoes. It really complimented her dark hair and brown eyes. She hadn’t even aged, she looked the same as she did then, lying in that hardwood casket at nineteen-years of age.

Claire noticed her bathtub: water rising. Bemused by why there were water in her bathtub she walked over to it slowly. She looked down at the water, watching it rise, then finally stopping just before overflowing. She noticed the drain stopper was in it.

She bent over the tub, reaching for the drain stopper- A hand rose out of the water, cupping her throat, squeezing firmly. Claire trying to break the hands grip as she gasped for air, she was unsuccessful. The hand brought her down into the bathtub. There in the tub with her, was Denise.

“I wouldn’t drown you in your pool, but I said nothing about your bathtub. This has been twenty-years in the making!” She sneered.


Austin Spradlin is a 23-year-old writer, who resides in Flatgap Kentucky. His work can be found in issue 26 of Serial Killer Magazine, right here at 'A Night of Surprises'. He's also got a story forthcoming in Omicron World Entertainment's Automobilia Anthology.



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