The Tourist – Part 1
Woodford, New South Wales
Picture It Competition Entry – Picture B
Sissy sat by her favourite waterfall in the Australian bush, and pondered on the night a few months beforehand, when she sat watching her new found friend’s life blood pour out of his neck; pumping like merlot from an overturned bottle. Wiping the kitchen knife on his tee shirt, she sighed, then lay back down beside him, while caressing his black cat, Herman, who nestled upwards into her neck; as if the death of his owner was insignificant. Friedrich had been one of the good ones, and Sissy felt it was a shame she had to end his life. She glanced at the piano which would never again feel Friedrich’s fingers play a Chopin etude on its keys. Herman jumped from her arms and sat licking Friedrich’s bloody throat. Sissy laughed and reached for her Go Pro camera and began videoing the repulsive scene. Moving around the bed, she filmed Herman, and Friedrich’s body, from many angles.
She had met Friedrich a few days previously at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, where he sat beside her on one of the long benches, and after suggesting the Bierbratle from the menu, he offered to buy her a litre of Münchner Weisse beer. Sissy was unsure of the content of the food suggested.
‘What in God’s name is Bierbratle?’ Friedrich laughed; then felt a thrill of attraction at Sissy’s charming screwed up face.
‘It’s pork belly. Could I suggest you have sauerkraut and potatoes as well?’
‘You could … if I knew your name. I’m Sissy.’
‘Hi, I’m Friedrich. Welcome to München. Would you allow me to offer you a stein of Münchner Weisse?’ Sissy again gave him a bewildered look, and Friedrich laughed. ‘Please believe me, it’s the best beer they serve here.’
‘Ja, Mein Herr.’
Sissy’s attempt of the German vernacular was greeted with a smile, and over a few steins of beer and the filling meal, Friedrich learnt that Sissy was from Australia, and was travelling around Europe before starting university. Dancing to the Bavarian oompah band, the couple became engrossed in each other’s company, when Friedrich offered Sissy accommodation at his unit in the Ottobrun district.
For two days Friedrich and Sissy were the perfect lovers. Their days were spent on Friedrich giving Sissy the tourist’s trek of Munich’s charming museums, art galleries and gardens. Night time was spent dancing and drinking at The Atomic Café and Paradiso Tanzbar, which led to home and passionate lovemaking until the early hours.
Sissy opened the window and let Herman outside. Packing her meagre belongings into her back pack, and blowing Friedrich’s corpse a kiss, she picked up her bag and left the building.
Now, sitting on a rock beneath the waterfall where she had went walking with her family since childhood, she reached into her bag and drew out a sandwich and a bottle of water. She knew it was time to confess her sins to the world. She had tried a psychiatrist, but he was getting too close to the truth of why she had committed such crimes. Confessing her slayings had been committed on animals hadn’t worked out the way she intended, and the doctor was becoming suspicious. Why couldn’t she just end it all by jumping off the nearby cliff? She knew that the answer was that she was a coward, and could never carry it out.
Her decision was that she would relate her crimes and fall on the mercy of the court: pleading insanity. Better locked up in a cell than to perpetrate another murder; even though her intended quota of victims was fulfilled. Tears fell gently down her cheek as she remembered Peter in London.
Peter was a singer in a jazz combo and met Sally on his night off at The Crazy Coqs, a dimly lit cabaret club near Piccadilly Circus. Like Friedrich, Peter courted Sissy around London’s famous landmarks by day, and after their exhausting run from one club to another in Peter’s Soho district. He enjoyed making love with her at night, after two nights Sissy awoke in the morning and looked at Peter’s lean muscled back as he lay faced away from her. Reaching into her bag beside the bed, she withdrew a 9H pencil; the hardest lead of the range, and cupping the pencil in her left fist with just the tip showing, she placed her fist a centimetre above Peter’s ear. Drawing in a breath, she held her right fist above the protruding pencil end, and slammed down hard; sending the pencil into Peter’s ear with such force that it penetrated deep into his brain. Peter’s body shuddered for a moment, when Sissy removed her left fist and drove the remainder of the pencil hard into the ear; her fist pressing on Peter’s ear lobes.
Peter was number two.
Sitting at the waterfall now, Sissy placed her head in her hands and sobbed. The ringing of the bellbirds calmed her for a time and she began thinking of Marcel, who she met in Paris as he busked on the walkway at the side of the Seine, near the Ĭlsle de la Cité. Only one night was spent with Marcel, when he talked Sissy into taking her on his Vespa to Étretat in Normandy to see the white cliffs. They enjoyed the day sightseeing, making love, enjoying fine food and wine, as Marcel taught Sissy how to ride his much loved red scooter. It was after they had made love on the cliff of Manneporte; scene of Marcel’s much loved Monet’s painting, The Manneporte, that it occurred to Sissy that it was time wish Marcel adieu.
As Marcel stood in front of her, describing his love of the massive white natural arch, all it took was a push and it was over. Sissy never heard Marcel’s scream as she immediately placed her hands over her ears. Riding the Vespa back to Paris she was glad there was only one more to be chosen.
Sissy left the Vespa in a laneway in a street behind Notre Dame and travelled to Amsterdam by a high speed Thalys train. She met Hans the first night as usual at a bar in the Hazenstraat district. Chet’s Jazz Café was an acoustic jazz club where local solo and duo musicians performed. Hans was a singer guitarist who loved the music of Django Reinhart. Sissy sat down the front and slowly sipped her cocktail while she gave Hans every reason to think she was interested in more than his music. Like the others the couple exchanged smiles, and it was during the break that Sissy told Hans she may only stay the one night in Amsterdam as she was running out of money. Hans offered her to share his lodgings and Sissy moved in the next day.
Sissy stayed with Hans for over two weeks, which began to confuse her as she nearly always only stayed a day or two and then ended the tryst in more ways than one. However, Hans was different. He had a calming influence she’d never felt before, and he never pressured her into making love or anything in any demanding way. Sissy thought she might be better moving on for a short time to find the last and final killing and then return to Hans as his lover.
This changed however, the night Hans found her with his beside drawer open, and Sissy looking at a small photo album. Sissy had been in awe of the photo of Hans with Olympic medals around his neck. Medals that lay in the drawer and displayed that Hans had won them for archery. Hans flew into a rage and slapped Sissy while throwing the album across the room. It was only after he calmed down he told her that his future career in archery was curtailed after a street brawl with a knife wielding thug, which left him with an impaired wrist tendon. Hans cuddled Sissy and apologised, but for Sissy, the damage was done. Hans would be her last victim.
The method Sissy used was to use the last of her diazepam tablets to bring Hans into unconsciousness, and then tie him up by the neck, to the doorknob of the entrance door to his apartment: assuming police would believe Hans had committed suicide. Sissy put the tablets in a hot cup of milk; a habit she had Hans adapt to over the past few weeks. An hour later she tried to rouse him, but he was in a deep sleep. She pondered on whether a massive dose could have finished the job, but Sissy didn’t want to use her prescription for more tablets in the Netherlands, in case it was checked against her whereabouts.
Dragging Hans to the door, she used his favourite tie around his neck and wound the ends around the doorknob. Hans, even in a deep sleep, was having difficulty breathing. Sissy sat for awhile and found the pain of watching Han’s life slip away too much to bear. Hans had been different, and maybe she should cut him loose? Then again, how would she explain the marks on his neck and him becoming aware that Sissy had tried to murder him? Packing her backpack she opened the window and made her way down the fire escape and walked around Amsterdam until dawn broke. Sitting at a cafe at Schipol railway station, she made the decision to return home and put an end to her trail of slaughter, and walked across the station to Schipol Airport to book a flight to Australia. After enquiring, she couldn’t believe that a seat was available that afternoon; she would be home the next evening.
To be continued this afternoon …
Bio: David says he wrote this story because of an idea he had while bushwalking, where he met and chatted with young tourists. Some asked about the dangers of the bush and travel in Australia.