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Once They Got a Taste For It...

by Jacob Stiles (Age: 34)
copyright 12-01-2007

Age Rating: 18 +

May, 1974.
The man known to the police and media as Charlie Dylan had been a quiet man. A model neighbor. 'He always minded his own business', said Myra Stevens, who lived across the road from him. Given all we know about serial killers, that should have been a dead giveaway right there. But when police raided his house on the fifteenth of May, suspecting him of drug possession, they were stunned and repulsed to find the rotting, fetid mess of limbs and bones and severed heads in Charlie's bathroom. The bath was filled to the top with congealed blood. One officer threw up on the spot and never lived it down. Two others handed in their badges that same week. From the time of his arrest until his execution two years later, Charlie would never be drawn into conversation on that topic, or any other. In fact, the only words Charlie ever said again were 'The bath made me do it.'


May, 1980
Hold the baby carefully. Make sure she can't slip away, slip out of your grip. Babies can drown in a teaspoon of water. She'd heard that somewhere. Face blank, eyes dull, she lowered the baby into the water. Lorraine. She never thought of the baby as Lorraine. She was just 'the baby'. The squalling, dissatisfied little thing that had disrupted her life.
Wash the baby's hair. No More Tears. Ha. She's still crying, she's always crying, no mere shampoo can stop her. Tiny scrunched up face furious and red, squalling incessantly, wriggling frantically, as she did every night. As she would tomorrow night. And the night after that. In that one bleak moment of epiphany, Lorraine's mother saw her life stretching out before her. It was a desolate wasteland of repetition and despair.
So slippery with the soap, and the bubbles, and the wriggling. So easy to just.. let her slide out of your hands. So easy not to pick her up - easier, in fact, than reaching out for her. 'Your father left because of you,' she said suddenly, watching the tiny form flailing beneath the surface. Satisfied that she'd explained herself, Lorraine's mother sat by the bath and watched dispassionately.

It was over surprisingly quickly.


May, 1986
Elizabeth Perkins lifted one leg out of the sudsy water and watched the way the candlelight reflected on her wet, tanned skin. She loved the bath - she always had a bath before her dates with Alex. She liked the way the perfumed bubbles seemed to leave their scent permeated into her skin. She smiled, thinking of Alex. So tall, and funny, and perfect. She hummed a little as she picked up the razor beside the bath, and snapped the plastic safety guard off the bottom, and opened the vein on the underside of her forearm with one smooth stroke. She lay back and watched the sweet scented bubbles turned pink. The thousand reflections of the lone candle slowly shaded from yellow to orange.

She closed her eyes.


May, 1992
Jeffrey Baez always washed his dog Skipper in the bath. Sure, there were folks who called it unhygenic, but he loved Skipper and wouldn't subject him to a dousing with a cold hose. He talked to the Labrador, as he always did, while he washed and rinsed and made sure the good old boy was as clean as a whistle. 'Yeah, you're a good dog. Good old boy. You like that scratching behind the ears, don't ya? Yeah, I know.' Jeffrey had never married, and at the age of fifty, had no children. He and Skipper were all each other had, and Jeffrey was happy with it that way.

Skipper turned his head, and lunged, and opened Jeffrey's throat with his teeth. The last emotion Jeffrey registered as he slumped forward and dimly heard his blood pattering into the dirty water was surprise.


May, 1998
He loved it like this - loved being in the warm water with her legs around his waist and his mouth on hers and the soft breathless sounds of her moaning filling the air. He tangled his fingers in her wet, soapy hair and moved inside her, feeling her body react to him with familiar passion. Water sloshed over the side of the tub and onto the floor as he moved faster, harder, and her legs tightened on him, and she was crying out his name into his mouth, and it was the easiest thing in the world to lift his head and move his hands to her slender, beautiful neck. Her eyes, heavy lidded and sleepy looking with pleasure, widened with shock when he pushed her under. He held her down while she kicked and fought and tried to scream, succeeding only in letting the water into her lungs.

Eventually she was still.


May, 2004
Lisa examined the bath carefully. Salvage yards were notorious for trying to sell off cracked or broken tubs, but this one looked in top condition. It was old, and there were stains around the plughole that were probably rust, but it should scrub up nicely. It'd look great in the upstairs bathroom. She'd always wanted a bath in there.

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