Scalpel (2005 Short Story)

Chapter Two

As he stepped into the lobby of The Atrium Towers, Jimmy had already begun to do what was necessary. Serena had come in and went up to her room a good 20 minutes ago, and he had been in the parking lot since. He was now dressed in his guise as Harold Potter, and had carefully planned the executions of all who may threaten his anonymity. “Evening, Danielle,” he said, accented and friendly to keep up his role. He waved as he walked past her, and stepped onto the elevator. Traveling upstairs, he decided to have one last pill for the night. He pulled out the last bit of Acid he hadn’t sold and downed it. Then, he hit the button to slow the elevator- he wanted to have the experience under control before the door opened.

He didn’t have long to wait for an effect. A clear person began to appear through the wall. It looked suspiciously like Robert Stensen, a tenant of the 12th floor whom Jimmy hadn’t seen in a while. He watched patiently, waiting for the hallucination to disappear or do something interesting. Instead, it looked at him and began to speak.

“You are not above the actions you are committing. There are consequences.” The ghost said.

Jimmy thought. He had never heard of a drug-induced hallucination acting as a conscience before.”Oh?” he asked, aware that he was not speaking to anything in real life. A sound-proof elevator that is not going to let anyone in without informing him was definitely the best place to humor this hallucination.

“You will not get away with it, Harold.”

Jimmy smiled. Foolish hallucination, he thought, you don’t know Jimmy Scalpel. He turned away, and opened the door. “That’s the last time I mix alcohol and acid,” he said to the hallucination, and stepped into the hallway. He didn’t have far to go; his room was only across the hall from the elevator. He unlocked the doorknob, which opened up a keypad. ?He made sure he was alone in the hallway, and punched in the combination. The last thing he needed was the other tenants at The Tower asking why he had installed an extra security lock to his apartment- there were occupants vastly more wealthy and paranoid than him with no more than the standard locks and alarms. Jimmy had no wish to explain his desire to keep the Tower staff, particularly the owner, Theodore Atrium III, out.

He stepped into the room, kept neat by sheer necessity, and stashed what he had left on him. Tired, and knowing he had to get up in the morning, he collapsed on the couch. After about 4 hours, he woke up completely refreshed, no hangover or glimpse of fatigue in his eyes. After all, today was the first time Isabelle, The Atrium Tower’s maid, would be able to come in and clean his room. And what a memorable experience that would be for her.

After standing up and straightening out his clothes, Jimmy opened the door and looked out. Sure enough, Isabelle was making her rounds and she was the only one in the hall. He gave it another 20 minutes before she came by, and made sure to leave the door open to get her attention.

Sure enough, in 19 minutes she was at his door. “Uh, Mr. Potter?” she asked, hesitantly. “I know you said you prefer not to be disturbed, but I noticed your door open.”

Jimmy nodded his agreement. “Yes, I would be grateful if you would clean my room for once today. Thank you very much.” He gestured for her to come in, and shut the door behind her as she got to work. Her fate was already sealed, and he just had to wait until the perfect moment to do it without getting much on him. His crimson elevator uniform wouldn’t show much, anyway.

She walked on past the kitchen, preferring to work from the outside back in toward the hall. She’s making this too easy, Jimmy thought as he took out his switch-blade. He walked toward the living room, where Isabelle was vacuuming the floor…

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