She gently nudges him awake and says “You have to get up; it’s time to kill again”; then she giggles and scrapes her nails down his unshaved face. She says this to him every morning and he never gets tired of hearing her voice like velvet gently coaxing him back into the cold reality of the morning. He is sleepy and he doesn’t want to get up so early. He rolls over in bed and rubs the morning rust from his eyes, as he luxuriates in the warm patch where her languorous, porcelain body lay moments before: the sheets are stained and the shade on the bedside lamp doesn’t fit properly, but everything is exactly how it is meant to be. He looks over at her and she is so fucking beautiful that he can’t even handle it and he has to look away. She hurts his dull, sad eyes: the pain is sharp and incessant and she has been impermeably burned into his visual cortex. He has memorised every tiny aspect of her face and he has counted up every one of her eyelashes.
She is just out of the shower and she is just pulling on her lacy underwear, with her silken black hair wet and slick against her back. He was dreaming about roadkill and mass graves, she is thinking that they have run out of milk for the coffee and that they need more bleach to remove the stubborn stains from the bathroom tiles. There is always a strangely sweet, pungent odour coming from their compost heap, and there are always far too many pairs of shoes sitting next to their wheelie bins. She is always out buying industrial strength black bin bags. He isn’t a butcher, but he has a leather apron and a fine collection of carving knives.
When they lie entwined in bed, he touches her painted rainbow skin and he is concerned that it is so thin and delicate that his fingers will pass through it. He is an animal, an atrocity, she is his healing salvation. When he lies with her, the whispering voices stop and he embraces the temporary sanctuary of silence. She runs her fingernails along his scars, but she doesn’t judge him and doesn’t ask where they came from: she just accepts him with all of his countless flaws and holds him gently under the lukewarm water when he just can’t stop screaming in the shower. Together, they are chaos, mania, destruction, teetering on the brink of insanity, but they cannot function without each other, as they have become an inalienable part of one whole. They are a slow motion car crash, a perpetual disaster, and they are everything that is so wrong and so right, all twisted into one.
It was the bloodlust that first brought them together. He still remembers so distinctly the night they met. He pulled into the roadside cafe and she was sitting just inside the door. He had already seen her through the window from the outside and he had to stop, just for a second, to catch his breath at this seductive succubus on earth, living and breathing in transcendental colour. She was dressed in tattered denim shorts and a mysteriously stained Rolling Stones T shirt with the arms ripped off. She looked as if she had figured everything out; she could tell you exactly what you were thinking before you even opened your ignorant mouth and then she would regard you with abject distain as you dribble your pathetic, predictable little stories at her feet. She had the world figured out, and she had found it wanting, she knew that things needed to change, but she had not yet found her missing piece.
She was just sitting there, clearly drunk before noon, with makeup smeared across her face, sneering at the pointless vermin around her. She looked at them as if they were plastic mannequin dolls in unconvincing chemotherapy wigs. She lights a cigarette and looks like she wants to burn the room to the ground. A middle aged, unshaven man snivels opposite her, crying for legitimisation. She is barely aware of his existence, but she lets him pay the cheque. It is desperate for her attention, even the slightest acknowledgement that it exists. The animal wrings its sweaty little hands. She exhales. It reaches across the table and tries to touch her face; she screams and scratches her blood red fingernails down its tearful little eyelids. The wounded animal lies on its back, burbling and screeching in agony. She stands over it and casually lights another cigarette. The people in the room freeze and look like cardboard cut outs. He has still not caught his breath and he tries to ignore the erection pulsing against his jeans.
She walks over to him and puts out her cigarette on his arm. It sizzles on the surface of his skin and gives off an acrid, bitter scent: but he doesn’t even feel it. He can barely hide the tumultuous lust that burns behind his eyes and he knows at this moment he will love her more deeply than he ever thought possible to love another lump of rotting meat. They are eternally joined together from this point, never to be torn apart, and they share the savagery that pulsates in their veins. She gets in his car without even asking and turns on the radio. She doesn’t like any of the music, so she leaves it in between stations playing endless white noise: she says she finds it comforting. She doesn’t even flinch when she sees the bloodstains and clumps of hair in the backseat, and it didn’t seem to bother her when they writhed about in all that red, clawing and scraping at each other, trying to climb inside their faces, desperate to disappear into each other spines, just to live inside a ribcage and frantically eat each other’s heart, before the sky comes crashing in. It wasn’t long after that they disposed of their first body, together.
He makes her promise that she will let him die first, so that he doesn’t have to go through the agony of watching her slowly fade away, pathetic and lost in a hospital bed, full of tubes and gasping for oxygen, through a mask. He constantly draws infinity signs on the palms of her hands, so that there is a vain possibility that it will come true. He begs her to let him cut the shapes into her skin so that there will be a trace of him perpetually etched into her. She never lets him, but she doesn’t mind him leaving the rabid bitemarks in her neck. He dreads the day when they are finally parted and he has already decided that at the next rest stop they will hold hands and jump off the nearest bridge together, just as soon as they finish breakfast. She knows it is coming and she is not afraid, this is the way it has to be.
Then, she walks through to the bathroom and the body is still in the bathtub, she turns round and smiles at him and his soul melts. When he looks at her, he knows that everything that has come before has been meaningless and he has finally found what he has been incessantly searching for. And then everything else, just, makes sense.