free short stories crime thriller basement fashion

Cut-Throat – Free Short Story Crime Thriller

This free short story is a one-shot crime-thriller. Enjoy!


I was literally tied up at that moment, and I knew it would have been a great pun to use if I was able to answer my phone.
“You’ll have to let me answer, you know. If Jeff doesn’t hear from me within an hour of opening the office, he will involve the police. And as we both know, you don’t want that to happen.”
“I said, shut up!” She paced around the tiny basement, complete with grey walls and a huge mirror. I stopped to admire my reflection, but her knife kept glinting in the light of the desktop light that she had on a nearby table. My phone was doing a dance underneath the light, and several fashion magazines were piled up in disheveled heaps alongside it.
“This is not easily explainable to the police, you know. The ropes are digging in and this chair is probably one you bought at an avant-garde Discomfort Store, am I right?”
The anger in her eyes warned me to cool it, but I’ve never learned that fine art.
“You can’t really be serious about what you’re trying to accomplish here,” I continued.
“I’m dead serious,” she growled. If that was supposed to be a pun, it fell flat. Specifically since I was very much still alive.
“Really? You honestly think this is how you’ll get ahead? If you could only-”
She snorted one of those loud obnoxious snorts, brimming with contempt. “Only what? Oh, I get it. You’ll tell me to let you go, that you won’t go to the police, and that you’ll make sure that I will be looked after.”
“You’re only right about one thing. I’m telling you to let me go. But I’m going to the police with this. And the only person who will look after you, will be Cutthroat Cathy… your roommate in prison.”
“Cutthroat Cathy…?” she parroted, looking deeply confused.
I sighed, rolling my eyes. “It’s a name I made up. But the fact remains, you will be going to prison when this is done so let us put an end to this right now by letting me go.”
“Not a chance,” she said, glinting her knife in my eyes. I would have sworn she was doing that on purpose, but I knew that she didn’t have the necessary amount of braincells to work out specific angles for light reflection.
“Since you’re so pig-headed, you might as well explain to me why you decided that I needed to be tied to a chair in your basement.”
“This isn’t my basement,” she said, wide-eyed.
“Fine, then. ‘A basement of someone.’ Explain to me what I’m doing here. You can use monosyllables, I won’t mind.”
She again looked deeply confused, so I felt as though I needed to elaborate. “Short words and short sentences, if that helps. Which I highly doubt.”
“I came to you to ask you for help to break into the fashion industry. You said that you will, you promised.”
“Darling,” I drawled, “It’s a cutthroat industry. I make promises on a daily basis and break them even before I’m done uttering them.”
“Like you did for my mother?”
I pfft’ed. “Your mother was a has-been before she was even on the scene.” I mentally patted myself on the back for my clever rhyming wit. “She was a poor designer and wasn’t cut out for the industry. That’s all.”
“Is that why you had her murdered?” she asked, the pain evident in her eyes. As always, the pain fed my soul and I felt a sudden rush of blood to my head.
“Sweetheart, I didn’t have her murdered. I performed the deed myself.”
The pain in her eyes turned to shock, revulsion, and even a hint of disbelief. How could a celebrated and charming fashion icon have done something so heinous? I could almost hear her thoughts, and they sounded like music to my ears. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Her disbelief was evident. She kept shaking her head. Then something inside her head seemed to snap. She started laughing. It was a small sputter at first, but before long, she was cackling like a wild maniac.
“This is exactly what I knew you would say! You just couldn’t help yourself when given the opportunity to gloat, could you…?” She turned to the mirror on the wall. “Did you get all of that, inspector?”
The mirror on the wall lit up with several men behind it. “Every last word, miss.”

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