Killer Looks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When everything starts to fall apart, blame the faux-tox.

Submitted: November 14, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 14, 2011




An indulgent giggle escapes my lips.

There he is, the bastard.

His attempt at reaching the estate’s perimeter is failing dismally, probably due to the fact that he can’t use his legs. I smile to myself as I rev the car’s engine. Shooting his kneecaps in was a great idea.

The cool evening breeze floats in through the window, along with his cries for mercy. He didn’t do it. It wasn’t him. I should listen. He’s begging me to think about it.

I have.

I laugh a deep, throaty laugh that reminds me of a television super-villain. In this moment I feel as though I understand why it is that they laugh like that. It’s the satisfaction that comes with sweet revenge, especially on traitorous bastards like this one. I stop for a second as I watch him squirm under the headlights like a bird with broken wings. How did it come to this? Just yesterday he was my best friend...


* * *


“The good news is that I can give you a clean bill of health. I don’t know what you’ve been eating, but you have the immune response of someone half your age. The bad news is that I can’t say the same about your face. What’s been going on with you lately?”

“Oh, don’t be such a diva, Palmer,” I said, grabbing the mirror that seemed to materialise from somewhere inside his white coat. When I flipped it however, I couldn’t believe my own eyes. I was hideous. There were so many more cracks in my face than there had been that morning – but then again, I’d left the house before I’d had the chance to look in the mirror so I didn’t really know that to be true. Come to think of it, I couldn’t remember the last time I has consulted a real mirror.

“First of all, Sweetheart, its divo. I’m gay, I’m not Beyoncé,” Palmer grinned. “And that’s Doctor Palmer to you; how many times must I say it?”

I couldn’t have cared less right then what his name was. After six years of friendship he should have known that I would never refer to him as ‘doctor’. There were more important things to think about – like the rapid deterioration of my face. I could almost feel the crows’ feet spreading from the corners of my eyes at that very moment.

“I’ve just been so stressed lately, I squealed at Palmer. “You know the company’s expanding, and I’m handling everything myself so I never get any time off. All I do these days is eat, sleep and work – and even then the sleeping’s optional.”

“Yeah, you don’t look like you’ve been sleeping,” Palmer laughed, “You look as though you died.”

He quickly realised that it wasn’t the time for jokes. After watching my pinched face for a while, he sighed.

“Okay, okay. I have something that might make it better,” Palmer said, rooting through his drawers and pulling out a vial of transparent liquid. “But you have to promise me you won’t tell anyone about it, not even Tom. It’s barely a month old, but they’re already calling it a ‘Magic Medicine’. It’s supposed to be some sort of miracle skin plumper that removes wrinkles and fills out the skin. Supposedly it’s even better than botox. Unfortunately, it’s not completely legal yet.”

I took Palmer’s extension of the word ‘completely’ to mean that it wasn’t legal at all. I didn’t care though; I needed something to help me get over the shock of my own face. I grabbed the vial from him.

“Hey!” Palmer was clearly made anxious by this move, but he continued. “Now, as your doctor I do have to warn you that this is potentially dangerous – but as your friend, I can’t wait to see how fabulous you’ll be! I’m writing down the dosage for you, but you’ll have to measure it and inject it by yourself at home. Do this twice weekly and nothing more. Come, let me show you how to use the syringe...”

“You look gorgeous,” Tom said to me a she got out of bed.

“Yeah yeah, Casanova. Lose the sarcasm; I know I’m not the prettiest in the mornings, okay?”

“So do I,” he replied, sitting back down next to me on the bed. “Don’t take this the wrong way, Honey, but I know your morning face a little too well for anybody’s liking. I know it down to every strand of tornado hair, down to the giant yawn you give every day exactly ten seconds after you wake up, down to your horrible puffy eyes and the drool that has inevitably settled somewhere on your cheek. I know you in the morning, which is why I can say that today you are positively radiant.”

Trust my husband to say something completely offensive but still leave me with a smile on my face.


I was just glad the Miracle-tox was working. It had been only two weeks and I was ‘radiant’ already.


“So that’s ten cases instead of six, yes? Okay, and have you done the –” I couldn’t continue. A tingling sensation was spreading to my fingers and toes and my whole body felt suddenly heavier and harder to control. I was light-headed, and found myself lying on my office floor for the third time that week, trying to gain my bearings. My husband had said it was because I hadn’t been eating well, and although that may have been the case, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I had already been to see Palmer about it twice, but he said I was totally fine and that I should just find time to get off my feet and relax.

I had a feeling he just wanted to rekindle the dying flame of our weekly spa days.

Nevertheless I refused to let it bother me and managed to carry on with my life until four weeks later, when I collapsed in my office.

I woke up in an unfamiliar room. It was clearly a hospital ward, but other than that I had no idea where I was or what had happened. After a few moments of silence, a man in a white coat walked into the room.

“Oh, you’re awake,” he said. “Good timing on my part – I had just steeped out to get your test results. You’ve been out for a pretty long time.”

He continued with the small talk for a little bit, all the while smiling like a trained professional, but stopped dead when he lifted the clipboard with my results on it.

He muttered something like ‘This can’t be right’ as he quickly strode out of the room, but he returned five minutes later with the same bewildered expression on his face. After staring at the pages for what seemed like an hour, he finally said simply and tactlessly “Have you had any condoms in your mouth lately?”

I wasn’t sure what he was implying, but I made sure to stare at him for way too long before I said, even more simply, “No.”

When the doctor had found the dignity to open his mouth again, he tried to explain himself. Apparently, shocking amounts of a toxic chemical called apophenol had been found in my system. I was lucky to still be alive, let alone functioning as well as I was. The compound, potentially lethal even in small doses, is widely used as a preservative in condom lubricants to make them last longer, allowing companies to produce larger quantities at once without having to worry as much about sales.

Apophenol isn’t present in flavoured condoms due to the obvious risks involved, but is common in their unflavoured brethren – even then, in small quantities. In the doctor’s own words, I would have had to be making my husband very happy to get the amount that I had into my system.

“I don’t understand it,” the doctor mused, more to himself than to me. “It can’t be bought over the counter – not legally in any case – and it doesn’t feature in any medication I can think of.” He turned to me slowly, trying not to repeat his previous mistake. “Have you, uh... you wouldn’t happen to be taking any drugs, would you?”

I didn’t appreciate the insinuation that I was a junkie, but had to commend him on his valiant effort at tact, at least.

Wait a minute.

“Could you repeat the question please?”

“Truthfully, Mrs Tailor, are you on drugs?”


Yes, I was on a new drug – the one Palmer had given me. I had been injecting it into my face twice a week for the last six weeks. He had told me that it wasn’t legal for me to have it and as a result that I shouldn’t tell anyone about it, but he must have known what was in it. He’s a doctor – he must have known. Even if he hadn’t, I had been to him and he had told me I was perfectly fine. He had lied to me, all the while giving me a drug that he knew would kill me.

That bastard.

As I grabbed my things from the bedside table, I let my imagination run wild. Why would Palmer want me dead? Maybe out of jealousy. My life was on the up; I was married and happy, and my business was doing ten times better than I had expected. Maybe for money. I didn’t need to work – my inheritance could have set me up comfortably for life and the estate would always be mine, or Tom’s if anything happened to me. Tom was my main beneficiary; why would Palmer kill me for money?


My mind was suddenly spinning with thoughts of a psychopathic Palmer in love with my husband and trying to get rid of me so that he could have Tom to himself. So many thoughts whirled in my head, but they all led to one: I’ve got to give the son of a bitch what he deserves.

I really had been out for a long time – it was already almost dark outside. Fishing in my handbag, I found my phone and dialled Palmer’s number.

“Hey, Palmer,” I said, hoping he didn’t notice the quiver in my voice. “Tom just told me he’ll be out tonight,” I lied; I’d known since last week, “and I was wondering if you’d like to keep me company. You know, have a movie night or something to keep me distracted from the creaks in that big old empty house?”

I tried to listen for anything strange in his voice, but couldn’t find anything as he told me that he’d love to come over.

He was good, I’d give him that.

Tom was just leaving when I got home. I walked him out to his car and he kissed me goodbye, then kissed me goodbye again. He asked me for about the hundredth time what I’d been doing to stay so gorgeous lately, but I wouldn’t tell him. I decided to keep the revelation about Palmer to myself – Tom had represented some shady people in the past, and a lot of them literally owed him their freedom. I was livid, but I didn’t want anything horrible to happen to Palmer.

Unfortunately I may have been wiser to let Tom deal with the situation, because I had obviously underestimated my own anger. Before I knew it, I was waiting for Palmer behind the front door, a baseball bat in one hand and Tom’s gun in the other.


 * * *


He’s getting away. While I’ve been lost in contemplation, Palmer has managed to crawl almost to the edge of the range of my car’s headlights. I kick myself for losing focus, and stick my head out of the window.

“How stupid do you think I am, Palmer?” I shout. “Did you really think I wouldn’t notice? Just tell me the truth. Why would you do that to me? You’re my best friend, Palmer.”

“Best friend? Is this what best friends do to each other? You are not my friend, Tailor, you’re a crazy bitch!”

That’s it.

I barely feel the car shudder as I ride over his body. It’s only when I get out of the car to see the damage that I realise I may have just killed somebody.

Palmer is bleeding from everywhere and my chest is constricting by the second. I sprint into the house and begin to call the emergency services, but realise that I’d probably go to prison for this. Tom is only getting home tomorrow, what am I going to do? I run to the bathroom upstairs and grab the first aid kit from the bathroom cabinet, hoping to patch Palmer up well enough for him to pass as someone who fell down an unusually long flight of stairs.

I knock one of Tom’s colognes off the shelf as I do so, the navy blue glass bottle shattering at my feet. I hastily try to remove the broken glass from the floor but realise that it’s not all broken glass and that there isn’t any liquid inside the bottle. Instead, what looks like a small test tube is on the floor among the shattered glass. Curious, I pick it up and read the label.


Shit. I just ran over the wrong man.

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