Chapter 1, Terminal Blonde
The receptionist told him where to sign and gave the room key to the guest, a man in his 40s who was well built and tall with a shock of black hair on the top of his head. The man wore running bottoms with a sports-type jacket. Taking the key, he pulled up a heavy suitcase with one arm, grasped some shopping bags in his other arm and began walking to his room. Meanwhile, his hotel roommate for the night had a stylish, smaller but it seemed also heavy suitcase and followed him, the heels of her boots clicking a bit from having been out shopping in the rain. And walking in them so long, they had begun to rub just a bit.
After a while when they had gone, the receptionist now taking his break talked to his friend who was tapping on his mobile phone. The two spoke softly as he showed him something on it. Perhaps to any onlooker who happened to see them, they were looking at a photo of a soccer player or another celebrity who was in the news. However, their eyes scanned the picture for some time and the picture moved. It was one of the hotel rooms in the hotel. And they looked up in its direction knowing well where the hotel room was from their break room.
One of the two male hotel workers made frequent adjustments to the picture, and then slowly turned up the dial to hear their conversation, an aperitif perhaps to the bedroom antics that would follow.
Really, it was getting a bit boring. They talked for some time about her. And it seemed he wanted to talk about her sex life or supposed sex life or whatever they were saying. In the break room, the two friends listened and discussed it with each other now what it might be the couple were doing, as they kept talking and did not start having any sex. And the lookers said it in words to explain and play out their little hobby more than you could by just watching. The woman was a bleached blonde, she wore a thick black high-necked jumper, black boots halfway up her calf, black skirt, and white stockings and she had a black and silver belt. She lay in the middle of the bed, her black boots crossed against her white stockings producing a sharp outline against the quite reasonable but somewhat large, toned-up muscle of her calves. Whilst she lay on the bed, he stood and talked facing her. And he had one hand that rested lightly sometimes on and sometimes off a wooden back armchair. The wooden back armchair was near the dressing table. And as he talked, her eyes widened and she looked with disdain at him. It seemed that he was for no good reason at all talking about something like whether she was a slut. This was when it had begun to seem to her stronger and stronger this was indeed what he was talking about. She did not confirm or deny anything about it and looked incredulous he should mention it at all and particularly not at a time like this. She shook her blonde curls and lifted up her young, fit but slightly heavy body to undo the belt around her waist. Then she raised her jumper to Eustace to expose some flesh to him as a turn on. Doing this showed, however, an unwanted but though a still not unpleasant layer of fat around her tummy. It also showed a pretty bra. Sitting up on the bed tugging at the belt in her hands, she then stopped what she was doing when he spoke for just a moment longer than she could have allowed in keeping the moment hot. Instead, she said she'd had enough of him and the conversation. And she got up angrily and abruptly to leave. She pulled on her jumper and did up her belt. Then she took some things, a small clock and a good luck furry ornament and placed them on the bedside cabinet. Other things she had taken out she put back into her suitcase.
The man seemed upset but calmly, if it were not for it appearing a little too hurried for calmness and civility, reached into a carrier bag that he had in his suitcase. In this carrier bag, it seemed he had divided some of his things. From the bag, he pulled a scarf and went over to her and, briefly and assertively when she put up her hand to defend herself, insisted on coming close to her, close enough to kill her. She gave up and turned away from him but with her hand still up. It appeared though that she had thought of picking up a chair that was near her and this was at least part of the reason for her turning away from him. Yet her intended actions were too slow. His hands were now near her neck. And now they were around her neck and holding the scarf about the thin female flesh that did not seem to stand up well to such unkind pressure. A few moments later, she collapsed to the floor falling on top of the man's feet as she did so. He stepped back and sat heavily on the chair by the dressing table. Deep in thought, he looked at her back with its jumper tight around her but for the slightest crumple in it. Also, the belt she'd just tied back up was stretched just a bit. And it went below the waist more than would be right for the fashion it was like. Perhaps he was looking elsewhere though and did not see it as he did not pay much attention or so it seemed to anything at all.
"She's still alive!" said on one the receptionists watching the video. "We should go up there! Come on! Let's go and save her!"
"Call the police!" said a female hotel worker who had seen what was going on.
"No, we can't. They'll fire us for setting up the cameras in these rooms. Let's just go, kick him in and grab her from him."
The female hotel worker was about to say something and then didn't as together the three of them went up to the room. The fitter of the two men bounded up the stairs first, followed by the second man and last by the girl. At the door, they stopped and backed away a bit, whilst the first person to the door fumbled in his pockets for a key he had that would open it. They went in and the man already in the room half-rose from his chair demanding an explanation as it seemed he was doing, but if he did, it was silent and no words came out.
"She's still alive. Stand back from her! And give her some air."
"How do you know?"
"We could see her back moving where she was still breathing," said the female.
The man started at this and moved forward to the girl on the floor. She now raised herself and looked up and over her shoulder at the four, her face creased and sweating. And she tried to rise up still further.
"I know how to do this," said the man. "If you let me near her, then I can save her life…"
"How are you going to?"
"You…. Err…. And then of course… I'm not a doctor and you saw what I did to her earlier, you…," he said now almost on top of her as one of them reacted with suspicion.
The smaller of the two hotel workers pushed him away but not very successfully, although he was strong for his size. The second hotel worker, although stronger, took no part. Instead, he remonstrated but kept his hands up near his face. Otherwise, he showed no other sign there had been already a deathly physical struggle or he had anything to do with it.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"She's a slut!"
"What do you mean? Is she a hooker? Did you meet her outside? You booked in together, so she is your girlfriend. What are you talking about?"
"Why would I bother if she was a hooker? Hookers are decent, but she is some tease who keeps men waiting and then sleeps with someone else they've just met after one too many drinks. And this is when she had already said she'd do it with her long-term boyfriend."
"What's wrong with that?"
And then under his breath, he said to the other person who had come up with him and who was now nursing bruises, "I might need you in a minute. Liven up!"
The woman on the floor woke up more and spoke, saying that she was not a slut and that she had only ever had one boyfriend. Her voice was barely audible, but they looked towards her seeing that she had an undue shakiness in her voice and a queer breathlessness in her lungs.
"Hookers are professionals that men like and who give them a good time. But virgins are sluts and more like hookers than they say hookers are…"
"Why, you…," the smaller of the two men said. He was still nursing his bruises.
And then he took a swing at him…. The tall big man pushed him firmly and he fell against the girl treading on her, he seemed to make too much of trying to steady himself and it killed her.
"What did you do that for?" said the other hotel worker and female hotel worker together, looking alarmed and sickened.
"I was trying to balance myself by…"
"What are you talking about? You could see she was right there and then you killed her…"
"That was unintentional. I just pushed him because he was starting to attack me and then he killed her… How many of these rooms have you got cameras in?"
"It is just this one."
He said something spitting through clenched teeth. Some words sounded like, 'perverts', 'sex scam', 'porn-makers' and other words like that.
"I don't know I've done anything. They'll convict him and not me. How would you like me to expose your swindle? I want to see the video."
"You know what's in it."
"I want to see it."
"It's on my mobile. I put it in my locker as I came up. They'll be others there now who will want to know why I'm getting something out my locker now."
"Never mind that now then. You must know a back-way to take out a body or something like that," he said. "And I'll see you around. My name is Eustace, by the way. What's yours…? I didn't catch it…. I might need to ask for you if I come this way again… Again, I’ll see you around."
He effortlessly picked up his suitcase and the others heaved a sigh of relief when he had gone.
Chapter 2, Later
A week passed and then he came back to the reception with another girl.
"I don't want the same room as the last time. Don't worry about that or anything like you think…"
His girlfriend looked bemused but said nothing.
"Another room as I was saying, different to the one I stayed in last week, please…."
He took the key and he and his guest went up to their room.
The three receptionists watched with trepidation and expectation to see another murder. They had hidden cameras in other rooms and had impulsively told him a lie when they last saw him. Instead, they saw some prolonged sex, after which the couple slept soundly their arms entwined. Murder to even a casual observer could not have been further from their minds when seeing such a loving thing.
"Another blonde, all natural, big breasts… anything else we can say…"
He said this as his thumbs were on the keypad of his mobile.
"Did she enjoy it a lot? Can we say something like that?"
"We'll say that and… anything else before I upload…"
"I'm uploading it now then… it's uploaded…. We can pull it if anything happens to her by the time they leave tomorrow, but I don't think anything will…."
"This is a bit of money-spinner… a natural blonde, I mean. How many views do you think it will get?"
"Lots! We'll see if anyone still likes blondes as what else would most be looking for anyway…"
"Maybe, he won't come again."
"Don't worry about it."
They booked out next morning, but a week later, he came back with someone else, a drunken woman who hung onto him.
"A room, please, any room."
He gave him the key and the two guests fell along the corridor going to their room.
"She's not bad-looking."
"I don't know that I can be bothered with porn still. It's getting boring…"
"No, don't say that. I need you. There's stuff to do I need you for…. I'll check it myself, this time, to see that there is nothing wrong with it and then I'll upload it to give you a break."
"And I'll see about spreading a little more money around than I have been doing…"
"Have you got the video?" Eustace said, coming to reception on his own.
"I need to check if it's all right, edit it and upload it."
"What do you mean?"
"The sex tape we just filmed."
"If you do something like that, I'll kill you."
"I thought we had an agreement."
"What is this? We had no such thing."
He was standing close up speaking in hushed tones. So near was he to him that the smell of his aftershave, the smell of his soap or even the smell of his washing powder he used for his clothes mixed into one and was overpowering.
"We've already uploaded one. It has loads of views. Porn watchers like seeing a natural blonde shagged all night long."
"Did you say a natural blonde? That was my girlfriend, a real person. What have you done with the other video?"
"I don't know. It's around. I don't know if anyone deleted it."
"You killed her, not me. It's you on the video. Why haven't you found all the copies by now and deleted them yourself?"
"We'll do it soon."
"Find those videos and delete them by the next time I see you. I'll give you my mobile number, but just say you have some merchandise and nothing else."
"What about the porn we uploaded."
"We'll have a really good conversation about that when I see you next."
"What's got into you?"
"You are not my therapist, assuming I had one at all… Tell you what, I'll come back to see you. I'll ask your friend when you are on. I expect you to tell me you've deleted the videos. And we'll see what else…"
"What do you mean, 'what else'?"
"Enough talk I think. Or why do I need to tell you that… I'm going now. See you later perhaps…. I'll definitely look forward to it."
"It's only porn, the second video…"
He waved at him as he felt he had to do something and then he had fully gone out the hotel.
Chapter 3, More Porn
"What were you saying?"
"Porn! We were just talking about porn. Would you like to see some?"
"I've seen porn. Someone gave me some of their DVDs they were throwing out when they got the Internet…"
"You're behind the times. Tell you what, I can sell you a laptop very cheap from a friend I know who doesn't want his now, but got it only a year ago."
"Why doesn't he want it?"
"He'd had enough of it."
"Yes, I would like it then."
"Come with me now. By the way, there is some software on it that he put there himself. But I won't charge you extra. I might have some work for you…"
"You'll see. Let's just say that it is good money for not doing a lot of work."
"That sounds interesting."
He said nothing more, they got the laptop together and then he left.
When they met again, he asked him if he had tried the video-editing software.
"A bit, but I haven't used it much. I can't really get the hang of it."
After a pause, he said, "You have a girlfriend. How would she feel about you doing a porn shoot?"
"I don't know as I haven't asked her."
"You have a digital camera that will take video. Do you know how to use the video?"
"You do know how to use it…!" he said surprised and relieved.
"Yes, I can use it for taking video."
"If you take some film of your girlfriend, she won't mind if you do porn yourself. After you've done it, you can appear in lots of porn videos and have lots of fun. You don't have to dump her even. If you can't do this thing we've given you to do, then you will have to dump her definitely."
"How do I get her to agree to it?"
"You know her and you might just have to ask. Lots of women would like a porno of them if their boyfriend or a friend they trusted asked them to do it."
"And I'll only see you if when you get back you've done it. But if you have, you can talk to me if you see me."
It was easy really. He almost literally just had to point the camera at her and she took her clothes off. And he told this to his new friend as he viewed the blue movie he had emailed him to his mobile from his own phone when they met in a café. And the file had passed thousands of miles but otherwise it was just across the table they were sitting at. He looked for a few moments at the video and then handed him a note saying where he should go for his own porn shoot.
The girl he was doing it with was a young, charming, sexy girl who constantly smiled and joked. She must have been in her early to late twenties, but she looked embarrassed when he thought about what her age was for some reason he didn't really know himself why he would keep thinking it. Or she looked embarrassed as well when he observed her looks too closely. She had a perfectly beautiful made-up face and a perfectly fit body. He thought how old she was or what she had been doing before she came to be doing porn. Or he thought why she would 'make a porno that seemed a good idea to do for fun' or whatever the cliché was that he had heard. When she saw him think this, however, she resolutely ignored him. Towards the end of the shoot, he'd spent so much energy thinking things like this before they'd even started that he was too tired to concentrate. And he began to think the things he had thought when he first met her again and as well, even worse or quite strange things about her. Now he began feeling not just tired, but really, he felt a bit bored.
The director told the crew to take a break and then spoke to him and said, "Angelina is a nice girl and today she's done her best to be nice to you. But she's had enough when you really don't do anything yourself. You have to do some work as well. It is not a film of you with your girlfriend and you have to act professionally or you cannot turn women on you've just met. She has been talking the dirt you hear that comes out of her mouth for the only reason of turning you on. And it is not because normally she needs to wash her mouth out with soap and water. It is supposed to turn you on when you have nothing else you can really say to her or she can say to you unless you want to tell her your life story. It would be boring for her anyway after the first few times she's heard men tell her things like that. Your job is just to fuck her and make her look like she's enjoying it, but not to be a 'whatever it is you are doing and however it is you are treating this shoot'. You see these cameras and these people here. They are the crew and the cameras and lights are expensive equipment used by professionals. You are not just shagging a woman and they happen to be standing around in your bedroom. They have work to do and so do you. Angelina realizes that, but you didn't as now the shoot is over. It is harder for her to do it sometimes when she is a girl, but you can enjoy coming and then go home. For her, many people she meets will say she is a slut for almost any act she does. And she only does this so anyone who watches on their computers and mobile phones sees the good entertainment they want and we give them. Nor do they want to see and nor do we want to make any porn that anyone switches off. And nor do we want to make any porn when after they never watch any porn again of anyone else. The audience could tell what you were thinking just then, such as they see your expression because the camera is up close. Just go! And I'll throw the film away as nobody will want to see it anyway."
His girlfriend had also started doing porn. But she got offers of more shoots. Now he worried that she might leave him when she often came back sexually satiated and loosened from what must have been good hard enjoyable sex she'd been having on the shoot. This was even if she was not tired that he didn't feel like asking her for sex. When she got in, they would often just watch a few hours TV. And then they'd retire for the night without saying a word to each other. Nor would they do much else on the days she had porn shoots, as she was too tired or she seemed to him a little distant and distracted. Or she said something like she was sexually exhausted and had been sated, to which he never knew how to reply.
He spoke to his friend about it that had found him the porn shoot.
"It's not like she is going to have an affair with them or anything!" he said. "You are still her boyfriend…. The reason she is in porn and you're not, is that she is better at it than you are…. And there is nothing else to do with it…."
"I still worry about it."
"Don't worry about it! There is really no good reason to do so."
He said nothing back to him for a bit and then the other man left.
Recently, as well as these worries over sex, his social skills had been getting worse. And really, it was now becoming a bit of a crisis. For most of the time when his girlfriend was out, he watched lots of porn on the laptop he had bought and didn't go out himself if it was going to be a problem.
One day his girlfriend, when he was pretending to do something more serious on his computer, came up to him, put her arm lightly on his shoulder and said, "Don't bother, I know about it already…. You dirty 'whatever you are'…. I want you to leave now and not come back…. And you can take that with you…, as I really don't care about you now…. There are plenty of men I can choose from, who have never watched porn…. Or, at least, some men don't watch it all the time…. It's a joke to our friends and an embarrassment to me…. Leave!"
Chapter 4, Money
"Look! You need the money and you might even get your girlfriend back. I'll put in a good word for you with her. Nobody will know it is you. Just go up to him and stick the knife in. You don't have to ask the reason. The reason is just that he has done something we don't like, but you don't have to ask what it was. You're down on your luck, I don't see why. Do this! I used to know and like you. How else can I explain it? Even if you don't know now what I'm saying, trust me. And sincerely, I'm telling you to take this job. It's a friend of a friend, but I'm certain the details are correct, it needs doing and there is no mistake. The cops won't trace it back to us if you do it and they won't know it is you. We know you need some money and you were the first person we thought of asking."
"All right, I trust you and I'll do it."
"That’s right. What had I just been saying…? Get a knife from somewhere, but don't tell me where you'll get it as I don't want to know anything about it. You'll see him on ___ Street at about 12, midday tomorrow, outside of ___. He wears running bottoms and a sports top. The bottoms are… and the top is like…. Make an excuse of some kind and then stab him…. You'll get your money as I've said you will. And we'll know if you've done it. Now, I'm going…. But I expect to hear you've done it… and I'll know if you have or not."
In the shopping area, he looked in a few shop windows. About a minute later, he saw the man with the clothes that he'd had described to him stop and look in another window. He seemed suspicious of him and as he walked in his direction, he worried about him running away or shutting himself in one of the shops. Eustace instead walked right up to him and asked him what he was doing.
"I've got a knife in my pocket," he said by way of something to say.
He said this before he reached in his pocket for the knife. The gap was only a second or two between him saying this and the knife being ready and he really did not expect his words to have a dramatic effect on the other man. But before he could take the knife from his pocket, Eustace had moved a fraction closer staring hard and grabbed him before he could do anything more.
"Now," Eustace said, taking the knife himself from the attacker's pocket and holding the knife he had taken uncomfortably close to the other man in the different scene that was playing itself out now. "What are you doing? And what can you possibly have against me, a reasonable man like you?"
"Someone told me to do it. They paid me."
"Who was it?"
"I don't know."
When Eustace said nothing more and didn’t move but still wanted an answer, he tried instead to make something up. To his relief, Eustace seemed satisfied with his answers and didn't ask for any very incriminating details that might have left him in more of a fix for telling. He just made up a lot of stuff about porn and said that porn was somehow involved. But this seemed enough to put the man off and make him go away.
Chapter 5, All of Them!
"Hand them all over!" said the man. He looked around the room and found them all together. Now he laughed a bit as if this fortuitous chance for him if not them bemused him.
They were in a staff flat owned by the hotel. Eustace had heard about hotels having staff flats and asked someone on the stairs for their flat number. Now they were all in one place to be robbed rather than as they had just been a moment earlier all in one place to chat or watch TV and video.
"I want everything, all surfaces, tablets, mobiles, laptops, everything."
They began to oblige.
"Put them in here," he said, getting a bin liner from one of the drawers in the kitchen. "Now we'll go to your own rooms as well and you'll get all your devices from there and give them to me."
He pushed them around and they did as he told them. In the end, he left with two bin liners and some shopping bags of stuff. As well, he smashed one or two towers with a hammer, although these looked dusty, stained and unused like they had not thrown them out yet for some reason when they should have done so. Then he left out the fire exit, went across the road and opened the door of his car putting the bags on the passenger seat. For a tense moment, he turned the keys in the ignition that he had taken from his pocket and when it started, he drove off hanging a left before turning back up another road.
At his home, a small neat house joined to others next to it on either side, he parked outside and walked in with the bags ignoring anyone he saw by chance. Some did see him, but his black looks did not invite conversation or chat to pass the time of day. Finally, and inside, he put his bags down by the TV and took one or two things out of them, replacing ones he did not find interesting back in the bags. Then he picked up his mobile and called someone.
"What were the leads you said you needed for this?"
The voice on the end of the phone said politely that whomever Eustace wanted to talk to had gone out, but to phone back in 10 minutes or they might phone him. He twiddled with some buttons for about 30 minutes on some mobiles he had taken before he got a phone call back and the person talked computers to him giving very helpful tips. His laptop was not connected to the TV such as he wanted it to be. Eustace explained this was so he could more easily watch a video. And he asked how he could do it. But then the answer was not satisfactory. And the speaker on the other end of the phone became apologetic, saying he didn't want trouble and seeming to convince Eustace of his peaceful desire. Eventually, the person on the other end of the phone said that Eustace could look up anything he wanted to know online. He could do so if he needed to and if he hadn't followed anything that he had said to Eustace.
Eustace browsed the Internet and read for a short while sitting in a wooden chair at a table next to the TV. After some 20 minutes, he plugged in the leads in the right sockets and then on the TV he played the first video from the mobiles and surfaces that he had taken. After a short time, he found a video taken in the first hotel room where the girl had died. It was not very incriminating, as most of what happened when she collapsed had taken place by the door and the cameras had not caught it fully. The cameras it seemed had been focused only on the bed. He deleted the video anyway, put the mobile onto one side and began looking through the rest. Really, he felt bemused by some of these videos and he was even rather enjoying watching them.
After, he went to stand by the window and look out at the road and his front garden.
He saw an odd sight. A man in his 50s, with very old-fashioned shoes and old-fashioned suit even for someone his age, was walking past and looking around. 'What's he doing around here?' Eustace thought. 'And besides which, it is a Saturday and he is wearing a 9-5 suit'. In his youth, he had seen photographs of men like this. And the more he looked, the more he thought it really was a little unusual to see it today and as well, in the flesh so to speak. The fellow disappeared from view and then there was a knock on the door.
Eustace opened the door feeling a bit surprised and inquisitive as to whom it could be. And he saw standing there a man in the old-fashioned suit he had just seen walking outside. Only after a few seconds did he realize it was the same person as he had just seen.
"Yes…," he said with his hands up on the open door. "What do you want?"
"You have something of mine, I believe," said the older man pushing past with surprising strength. After quickly looking around, he walked into Eustace's living room and up to the piles of DVDs, mobiles and other things that were on a small table next to the television. Also, there was near to the TV another larger table on which was Eustace's laptop.
"There're my beautiful young vixens," the man said looking at the label of some DVDs. Eustace had picked up the DVDs in the hotel, not really believing they could have anything current on them, but taking them as they were light. The newcomer slotted a DVD into the computer. And in a short while, girls dressed up as chambermaids, or wearing the fashion of powerful older women despite their younger years and obvious lack of it being anything but an act, appeared on the screen. Also, he could see a little incongruously the bare flesh and some odd small layers of fat around his undressed chest and stomach. The same office suit his visitor had on him as he watched and he had as well been wearing in the blue movies they’d seen hid it now. From the size and appearance of his bare arms, chest and other things that he could see on the video, it seemed that whatever the man's weight-training program was it had not shifted all of this not-so-good-looking or not-so-wanted fat. Maybe it was because of his later years or it was for a health reason or other reason of training. The person in the video who was now looking at his TV breathed heavily and took short breaths that must be from anger. Or perhaps it was the long walk he would have to have taken coming from the train station. Only later did Eustace realize that the girls' nudity and his appearance with them in the video had been turning on the newcomer.
"You owe me an explanation…," the man eventually said speaking as evenly as he could.
Now he turned to look up at him. And though he had quite thick glasses that were perched high on his nose, it seemed he was still able to see Eustace quite well.
"I called around for my usual consignment… and they told me you had robbed the young boys who provided my video entertainment…. Do you know how serious a matter this is…? Blood might be spilled over such a matter."
"No, I don't think any blood will spill," Eustace said. "You just have to pay me and then you can take your videos…. I don't care about a sick old pervert like you…."
"Oh! Are you better than I am and want me to know it and all above a bit of fun with some girls…? But perhaps, we could come to an arrangement…. How much did you have in mind?"
He reached for his wallet….
© Copyright 2017 ALAN FASHION. All rights reserved.
Book / Mystery and Crime
Book / Non-Fiction
Short Story / Romance