Dirk Cuban had blood on his hands – it dribbled inexorably downwards towards his sobering reflection, spiralling crimson welts in the shallow suburban puddles. An oncoming car tooted its horn and ploughed past, flicking muddy water lightly up his thigh.
He grimaced as he felt barbed wire grate against his ribcage, deep inside his jacket – the murder weapon, stinging like a wasp to be swatted. His sticky hands found it and tossed it lightly to the floor. Dirk stood alone, a silent killer in the calm autumn evening.
The whole dirty episode kept repeating itself in his head, a short scuffle and a long, pre-meditated strangulation. Stella – dead at last! There was something about that woman that always made his blood boil – it still did.
The kids were out when he got home, exactly how he’d planned it. Jessie was visiting her mother and Kate was in Paris with her boyfriend, living the twenty-something dream. As long as he had the house to himself, he didn’t give a damn.
Upstairs, Dirk ran a hot bath and slipped out of his bloody garments. The water seared like bleach and purified the scratches that Stella left behind on his grim wrists – a parting shot from the woman who still haunted him, some shadow behind his eyes.
The police found him fast asleep on the sofa, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s dangling precociously from his lips as his chest heaved with the effort of conversion. Dirk’s perpetually pale face had taken on a seasick hue and he snored heavily in a deep, drunken sleep.
Looks like we’ve got a live one, here. Is he breathing?
Yeah, he’ll be alright. Let’s book him.
Dirk’s legs buckled under his weight as two junior policemen escorted him to the waiting car. Meanwhile, the sergeant called for forensics – there was a lot of blood, and Stevenson found a body in the bathroom. Dirk Cuban’s story was over – for the metropolitan police force, it was only just beginning.