Bette Davis eyes.
If there was a time and a place to die for Bette then this wasn't
it where and how she'd planned it.
That saying hanging on by your fingernails was never more
appropriate than it was now. Because that's what she was doing,
literally hanging there from a ten storey building. Six floors up
and four windows along was where you could find her, trying with
all her might to get back into the office she'd vacated
involuntarily about five minutes ago.
It wasn't even her who'd found the discrepancies in the company
accounts, it was Ariadne her predecessor who'd disappeared one
night on her way home from work.
She'd left enough clues though and over the past few months Bette
had been piecing them together. She'd shown the files to her boss
who'd told her not to say anything as he had to flush out the
perpetrator. Only it was he who'd been bodging or massaging the
accounts, whichever way you looked at it it was theft. He'd
salted money away into far flung accounts in far flung places.
He said he'd sort it out and sort it out he did.
Holding a gun to her head he'd forced her out onto the ledge and
as she sat there with the wind whipping around her skirt he
pushed her. Turning in mid air she held on for dear life, her
fingers gripping the concrete as she begged him to help her. He
closed the window and got on with the shredding as she hauled her
right leg up to the same height as her hands and managed to get
her toes on the ledge.
Her shoe had disappeared down into the quiet street. The office
being situated in a less affluent part of town, so the only
person who'd find it would be a drunk or an addict who'd look fo
the other one to sell as a pair.
Well tough, she was wearing it.!
She'd been named Bette after Bette Davis of course, her mother
being a big fan of her films, those where she'd conquered
adversity with a glance from those iconic eyes. And Bette had
inherited that self same doeful look that had occaisionally got
her out of trouble, if only it worked on him in the office now
frantically trying to get rid of the evidence.
She never thought she'd die this way, it was always expected that
she'd marry and have lots of children and grandkids and die as an
old lady in her own bed.
Not taken early by some thief.
She wondered if she should jump. If a car came along it would
break her fall but as it was quiet she'd probably just smash her
skull to bits, or some idiot speeding would run her over. A
bullet would have been quicker but he'd put the gun down as he
had other pressing matters.
Her grip was failing her, her limbs were tired and the ledge was
She shouted to attract attention but her echoes rang out over
empty alleys. There was nothing else to do but cry.
"Bette Davis wouldn't cry" the voice was her granny's but she
knew it was in her head as she'd been scared of heights and
wouldn't have ventured up here.
Granny was always right, or she had been when she was alive.
She'd always quote sayings from old black and white films and she
was always right.
Those old films they watched together, ahead of their time and
leading the way for feminism.
Bette found her second wind, there was no way she was going out
at the hands of a fat baldy creep who'd used any excuse to touch
her up or squeeze her waist.
Her fingers prized at the window, the frame old and wooden
thankfully rotten broke off in her hand and she pushed it up with
all her might. Her shoeless foot found a chair and she hauled
herself through the gap, thankfully three months on the herbalife
diet had shed the pounds that may have held her back. Bette
carefully took off her other shoe and held it in her right hand
to use as a weapon. He was in the other room, a laptop open on
the desk and the shredder going at full pelt.
The gun was on the desk, it was there for the taking but she
didn't know how to use it, still she picked it up and pointed,
clicking back the bit at the top she'd seen actors do in films,
hearing the noise he turned and held up his hands. The shredder
died as the shock on his face made her giggle.
"Bette" he begged, "I have money and I'll share it with you"
But he'd already thrown her out of the window once and she
couldn't risk it again, she moved the gun as if motioning for him
to move and he sat in the corner while she quickly looked at the
"I have money in the Cayman Islands, if you let me I'll transfer
some to your account" he said, she was tempted of course but
Bette knew this man wouldn't let her live. She fired the gun once
there was no noise as the silencer had seen to that, her old boss
fell to the floor and was dead in an instant. She wanted to drop
the gun and phone the police but then her eyes glanced back to
the screen on the laptop.
A few minutes later and Bette had what she wanted, she took the
laptop with her and cleaned the place up, wiping down a few
surfaces after closing the window. The body lay in the back room
where it would be hard to find although why anyone would want to
come to this dump she didn't know.
Granny wouldn't approve but Granny was dead and the living had to
look after themselves. Bette took her passport from the drawer
and packed a small bag, later while staring out onto the blue sea
before her she remembered a quote from one of her favourite
It was a moonless night but she laughed as she drank her
"I may not have the moon" she thought looking down at the diamond
ring which sparkled on her finger "but I have the stars".