A Beautiful Name

Picking up hitchhikers is dangerous, or so I’ve been told. Women in particular are warned to be cautious of strangers asking for a ride. I am a small lady, no more than five feet tall. I should be more careful. I have more to worry about than myself after all.

But when I saw the shivering couple on the corner, the soft snowflakes landing on their ragged clothes, I could not help myself. I ordered my driver to pull over and opened the door.

“You must be half frozen! Come inside!”

The young man who had stuck his thumb out seemed downright baffled, but the girl was overjoyed, bobbing her head up and down before clambering into the car. Her ill-fitting coat couldn’t button over her swollen stomach and she looked beyond grateful to be someplace warm. Her boyfriend followed, shutting the door.

I smiled and reached into the nearby fridge. “Here, have something to drink. Tell me, where are you headed?”

The young man spoke first. “Just someplace we can get warm, gas station or somethin’. Thanks, ma’am,” He grunted. In the enclosed space of the car, I had to do my best not to wrinkle my nose. The two smelled like they hadn’t properly bathed in days. I was polite though, only offering them lemonades.

The girl was smiling over the lip of the bottle, her left incisor notably missing. “I’ve never been in a limo before, how about you, Charlie?” She said in a sing-song tone.

“No.”

The girl cocked her head to the side. “Are you renting this limo? Are you going somewhere nice? What’s your name?” Her eyes landed on my identically round stomach. “Oh! Are you going to have a baby?”

I laughed quietly. “This is my vehicle. My name is Emeline. And yes. We’re just coming back from determining that I’m having a girl,” I said, running my hand over my belly. A girl, a sister for my son. He was going to be so thrilled once I told him.

The girl clapped. “You hear that Charlie? She’s having a baby too!” She chirped.

Charlie grunted and stared out the window. The veins in his neck were popping out, and I noticed his face was a little red. “Whatever Lisa.”

Lisa seemed hardly bothered by Charlie’s attitude. She rested her hands on my stomach, her fingers with chipped fingernails leaving greasy marks on my dress. “She’s gonna be beautiful!” She cooed.

I cleared my throat and adjusted myself so I could pull away subtly. “Of course she’ll be. How about you? Boy or girl?” I eyed her stomach.

“Oh!” Lisa leaned back, pursing her lips. “Dunno yet. I think we could tell by now, but we don’t wanna go through all that trouble. It’ll be a nice surprise in the end, won’t it?”

I shook my head. “I cannot imagine waiting that long,” I said. Once it was possible to learn the sex of my child I had to know. Nothing to be left for surprise. “Well, what names do you have in mind?” I asked.

Lisa giggled before lifting a dirty finger to her lips. “Nope! Secret!” She trilled.

“God, Lisa, shut up!” Charlie snapped. Lisa startled, instinctively flinching before nervously smiling. I nodded back and offered her another bottle of lemonade.

As the car ride went on, Charlie got more and more anxious. I could make out beads of sweat on his forehead, dripping down. It didn’t help his smell. His face grew more and more red and he began muttering to himself. Lisa seemed either used to this behavior or she knew how to ignore it, she just continued sipping her lemonade.

Charlie was starting to get on my nerves. I looked up at the driver. “How about we drop these two off right ahead? They can make a phonecall-“

I was cut off when I was shoved against the car door and a dull pocket knife was shoved to my throat.

Now in my face, Charlie smelled even worse. I could make out undertones of tobacco and rotten teeth on his breath as he hissed, “Give me your fucking money or I’m gonna rip your damn baby out.” His knife dragged down menacingly over my stomach.

I felt my heart jump into my throat. “S… stay calm. It’s… it’s okay. My wallet is in the front seat, with my purse. Adrian?” I managed to knock on the divider three times. “Throw it back here, and let’s drop these two off ahead.”

My ivory colored purse was set inbetween the front seats. Charlie gave me a glare and a sharp poke in the belly before he let go of me to grab the purse…

Only to have my driver punch him in the throat.

I let a smile curl my lips as Charlie fell back, gasping and holding his neck. Lisa screamed and pulled at the car door handle, with no success. Adrian had made sure to lock it when they got inside.

I took my purse and pulled out my favorite. A perfectly sharp stiletto knife, with gold detailing on the handle. “You are pathetic. You don’t even know how to sharpen a knife,” I said before I drove the knife down through his eye.

Lisa’s scream grew fever pitched as Charlie’s blood spattered everywhere, including on her.

Withdrawing my blade, I turned my attention on her. “Adrian? Take the long route. The one through the forest. And may I have my handcuffs?”

Two pairs of handcuffs were thrown into the backseat. I picked them both up and snapped one around the now dead man’s wrist. The other half I attached to Lisa’s.

She hadn’t expected that. She jerked wildly and screeched as she realized was attached to her pig of a dear lover’s body. The other pair I used to bind her wrists together.

“What are you doing?! Let me go! Why are you doing this?!” She screamed, her face white. “Don’t hurt me, please! Charlie, he, he wasn’t really going to-“

“Your voice is annoying me.” I grabbed onto her lips before I placed the knife at the corner of her mouth. With a careful slice, I carved up her jawline. A lopsided smile. She didn’t deserve a symmetrical one. Symmetry is beauty, after all.

Her legs still kicked about, but she wasn’t very strong. A lifetime of neglecting yourself by using drugs and lazing about didn’t give you much muscle. I, on the other hand, took very good care of myself. I’d worked out, I ate right, I didn’t put poison inside my body.

And I had practice dealing with kickers.

My dress was ruined anyway thanks to the squealing girl’s grabby hands, I ripped off the bottom and tied a knot around her skinny ankles. Now all she could do was scream.

My eyes landed on Lisa’s stomach.

“… Are you still curious to see if you’re going to have a boy or a girl?”

I reached into my purse and took out my set of scalpels.

“Don’t squirm. Otherwise you’ll bleed to death before you find out.”

A wet patch grew around the crotch of Lisa’s trousers as I settled the blade over her stomach. “N-no! It’ll kill em! Don’t! Please! Please, I’m begging you!”

I’m a doctor, or at least I am trained to be one. I don’t have a need to work with a husband as wealthy as mine. Cutting open the human body has always been a pleasurable experience. It’s fascinating. The blood, the skin, the fat, the muscle, the nerves and veins. The organs, sometimes damaged, sometimes whole. Depends how well they took care of themselves.

I loved it all.

Lisa’s organs were laid beside her on the leather seats, pink and pulsing. Her uterus opened to me and like a present, I had her child.

“… It’s a girl.”

I lifted the twitching creature up to Lisa’s eyelevel. Tears had soaked her cheeks, her breaths requiring more and more effort. She only whimpered.

“What would you have named her?”

Lisa’s eyes rolled back. I tutted my tongue and pushed the child into her arms.

“Tell me her name. Or I’ll take her back and throw her out the window.”

“E…”

Lisa instinctively curled her arms up as much as she could.

“Eliza.”

Lisa went limp, chained to her lover and holding his bastard.

I sat back and pondered this for a moment.

“Eliza…” I looked up to the front seat. “Adrian? What do you think of that name?”

I got a quiet hiss. Right. He was one of the servants I had removed the vocal chords from.

“Two fingers for yes, one for no.”

Adrian lifted two fingers. I smiled and ran my bloody hands over my belly.

“Mmmm. Eliza. I think your father will love that name too. Adrian? Please remember to have the car cleaned tonight.”