Dark shades of black clouds loomed over the old abandoned manor house. The last beams of the winter sunset, which gave the horizon the only colour in hue, would soon wither away into obliviousness.
“So this is where you grew up?” the man in his mid-thirties asked the girl standing next to him.
She didn’t answer, but gazed at the grey stones and windows, which, once familiar, seemed foreign to her now.
“Well, if there is any building in this small town that would have distinctive markings, then we surely found it,” he tried to make light of the situation.
All the top windows were still intact, with an old curtain or two visible on the first floor.
The bottom windows remained shut with the usual wooden panels used on uninhibited buildings.
She fought hard for the childhood memories not to overwhelm her.
He on the other hand cursed himself for forgetting the rope he planned to bring.
‘Lots of fun to have with this young bird, but it’s always more fun when they are tied up,’ he silently conversed with himself.
“Shall we go in?” she said, taking his hand.
Excitement overwhelmed his heart.
Her strikingly white face in contrast with her long black hair and grey-blue eyes presented a beauty he rarely saw in the Hungarian town.
Once inside, the darkness heightened their senses. The mould smelled stronger, and the old wooden floor screeched ever so loud.
Though the passageways were familiar to her, she still guided her self with her right hand against the wall, while leading him with her left hand.
He did his utmost best to search for a chair, which he can use, for what he had planned for her, but it was dark, and no matter how hard he tried to focus his eyes, the darkness prevailed.
“Distinctive markings, you said?”
“In a minute,” she said with a smile, putting her arm around his waist.
“When was the last time you’ve been here?” he asked.
“About fifteen years ago,” she answered deep in thought. “I was seven, when the house burned down that evening.”
“Where did you go then?”
“It was during the war. So they sent me on a ship to South Africa.”
“Are you Jewish?” he asked surprised.
“My mom was Jewish. My father as Hungarian as you are.”
He didn’t know how to respond.
“Mira, you said your name was?”
“Mira Kozma,” she replied.
“Yes I remember a man by the name of Kozma. Your father then? He was quite wealthy. He had a factory of some sort?”
“Yes,” she confirmed. “He manufactured fire arms.”
“Is he still alive?”
“Let me show you,” she said, taking his hand again, pulling him into what she knew was the kitchen.
“This is where he died.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, not really meaning it and wondering if their might be a chair in the kitchen, contemplating how he would tie her up. To his frustration, it was just as dark in there.
“How did he die?” he asked ignorantly.
“Someone knocked him out during a fight.”
A moment of silence endured, with him unsure if he should get his plan into action or wait for a better opportunity.
“Come,” she invited him. “Let me show you my old bedroom upstairs.”
He hesitated for a moment, but then decided to follow her in the darkness. He could always drag her down again.
She led him by hand into a bedroom, dimly illumined by the moonlight through the large windows.
A sudden chill came over him and he involuntary shivered while watching her removing her coat and throwing it over a chair.
‘Never mind a chair, here is a bed!’ his thoughts went racing, eyes fixed on her slim figure.
She wore a thick, long, old fashioned, dark green skirt with a white blouse.
“The house doesn’t look like it burned down?” he said, standing in the middle of the room.
“They revamped the place, but nobody wanted to live here, so it was never sold,” she said sliding her hand over the cold steel frame of the foot-end of the bed, her back turned to him.
She turned her head sideways looking at the floor, but with such an angle that he was just in sight.
He wanted to step closer to her but something prevented him from doing so. Some invisible force held him back.
Again came the chill, and the involuntary shiver.
“So really, the distinctive markings you wanted to show me, are they in this room?” he asked, immediately taken aback at the uncertainty and brokenness in his own voice.
“Yes, yes they are in this room,” she smiled, and walked over to a chest of drawers where she took out three candles and lit them on a golden candlestick.
With the added light in the room, he searched for some form of ‘distinctive markings’ she said were in the house.
His eyes wondered over the paneled walls, the white pressed ceiling and the bed, until he saw her standing again with her back turned to him, in full view of the candle light.
She started undoing the buttons of her blouse, until just below midway, and let her blouse slide down over her shoulders, exposing the top half of her back and arms.
The young man then understood.
He understood what he had been expecting all along. She was the kind who likes being pushed around. This is the kind of girl who likes playing hard.
The markings on her back confirmed it.
This was his kind of girl, and he was going to enjoy every moment of it.
He looked at the curtains when she turned around.
“No need to close the curtains,” she said, while slowly walking toward him. The tightness of the blouse kept her elbows by her sides with her hands folded in each other in front of her.
He couldn’t take his eyes off her beautiful body, and felt his heartbeat starting to rise.
Her hands came toward his middle, and with elegance, she embraced him, letting her left hand slide firmly up against his back.
With his left arm, he pressed her resolutely against himself, and with the other, took a strong hold on her long hair, pulling her head back slightly.
The sudden painful pull on her hair, and harsh force of action straining her neck, was not the result of his devious thoughts, but rather a reflex of the knife, which she forced through his back, into his heart.
In less than three seconds, he collapsed on the floor.
The life that once in him was, accumulated in a pile of blood, and soaked her dress as she calmly sat next to the lifeless body.
“You see my dear,” she said with a faint smile. “It was my daddy who gave me the distinctive marking on my back. And it was I, who, after he was knocked out on the kitchen floor, took this very knife, and opened his throat.”
She dipped her finger in the blood, painted his lips red, kissed him and whispered in his ear; “My name is Mira Kozma, but in South Africa, I’m better known as Klaradyn.”