Immoral Immortal: A Fantasy Crime Flash Fiction (Part One)

What would you do if you met a serial killer from the past that looked just like Jessica Rabbit?

Here is Part One of my new Flash Fiction – let me know what you think in the comments, and if you would like a Part Two. 

Immoral Immortal – Part One

As Ric looked up from the floor, a flash of deep crimson caught his gaze. He no longer found his shoes satisfying enough to ponder, and instead set to task trying to work out what he had glimpsed. A longer look intrigued him even more. He had seen pictures in the info stamps of old of the image before him. A woman in a svelte red crushed velvet dress, long auburn waves tumbling over her shoulders and black heels that would pierce even a giant’s skin. Ric often thought the shuttles in his hive were some of the cleanest, but she was out of place, making it seem dingy and dark compared to her.

Ric tried not to gawk as he attempted to remember the tale. Back in the 20th century, there was a film with a cartoon woman called Jessica Rabbit – who was apparently rather pretty and illustrious – and decades later a serial killer emerged, dazzling her victims dressed as this character. She was never caught in the twenty-five years she was active – she just disappeared one day and was never heard from again. Ric knew it couldn’t be the same woman, nearly 300 years later, but it made him wonder what would compel a woman to dress like that these days. It was hardly inconspicuous – only Wards wore red in public, and they were never left unaccompanied.

A Ward or Wardling was a member of an elite group of women, said to be the most beautiful and alluring women from all over the world. They would be chosen from their hometown as a young girl and trained and transformed into Wards. Men would pay a whole year’s wages just for an hour with a Ward. They were said to be multi-lingual, excellent dancers and able to charm men into abandoning their wives and children with just a whispered sentence in the ear of a willing man. But even Wards didn’t wear dresses like that.

Ric’s brain noticed before the rest of him had time to catch up, but the woman was slowly slinking towards him, and before he could close his mouth, she was sat on the seat next to him, her legs daintily crossed over one another. He attempted a casual nod but felt he probably looked like a seal pup begging for fish. Ric looked at his shoes again.

They were standard issue black shoes, leading to the plain black trousers and a black polo shirt. Some people chose to buy clothes themselves, but Ric had never much minded the government-issued wardrobe. He had seven of each item of clothing – in case they needed to be washed or mended. And every year he received a new pack in that year’s chosen colour. This year was black in tribute to the cenotaph of the Fallen Founders – the legendary warriors that had overthrown the monarchy and tragically lost their lives in the battles that followed.

Most people on the shuttle were wearing the same thing or had the additional black jacket for warmth. Ric was glad he hadn’t grabbed his before work that morning, as he could feel the heat swelling through his body as the woman glanced sidewards at him with a slight smile on her red lips. Several minutes passed before the shuttle began to slow and the conductor announced the next stop. Ric snuck glimpses to his left every now and then, pondering her clothes. She truly looked the part of the Jessica Rabbit killer, although he couldn’t remember the real woman’s name.

She stood up as the shuttle came to a stop and the doors slid open. Just as she reached the doors, the woman turned to face him, smiled and said, ‘Her name was Ruby Bennett’, and stepped off onto the platform.

Confidence/ Body Language In Retail Situations

As a person who has a) been in the retail business for most of my life and is b) a lover of people watching, I notice the little things. One thing that has come to my attention is the message our body language expresses when we say hello to people.

This has just been triggered by a very good looking guy in his late twenties, walking onto my department at work. He didn’t say hello, he didn’t say anything. He winked and smiled, browsed and then left. Now, I’m not one for rugged handsome men with spiked blonde hair and letter jackets, but that wink – that’s confidence all over, and confidence is very attractive.

Confidence has also been something I’ve been discussing lately, and as a writer I have the advantage of confidence on paper, I can argue my side, research, create strong characters, but in person, if someone yells at me, I want to cry.

So, when people say hello to me at work, dependant on my mood, they usually get a polite “Hello, can I help you?” or “Hi, do you need anything? When I meet new people, especially attractive men, I am either flirtatious or quiet. When I talk to my colleague and friend at work, I am friendly and flirtatious.

I notice a lot of customers, don’t like being asked how they are or if they need any help, and I find it’s best to say hello, I’m here if you need any help, and leave them to it. That, gets me more sales.

People don’t like being pestered in shops, and they show it through their body language. Many people, will turn their backs to you or not look at you if they don’t want to engage in conversation. If they want help, they approach you, albeit nervously sometimes. If I am on the computer, customers usually wait until I finish typing, or walk away from my desk, and then they approach me.

I think the most interesting display of confidence, is confidence in purchases. If customers have chosen a product they really like, they are happy. If they have been strong-armed into buying, they pay begrudgingly.

I have developed a technique in retail, a very simple one. “Which do you prefer?” “What do you want?” “Do you travel often?” (I work in luggage). The trick is to personalise the sale. People liked being asked what they like, they like having things to choose from, they like talking about their personal lives.

Middle aged women, are very confident. Most of them stroll in pick up a suitcase, say thanks, and leave. Some, not many but some, will spend a good 45 minutes comparing four or five cases, walking them around, picking them up, opening them. Then they ask for my help. It’s usually, “you look about my daughters age” which I never am. I was eighteen when I got this job, and was usually thought of in my late twenties and engaged. I used it to my advantage: a woman thought I was about 28, as that’s how old her daughter was, and she was buying her a case for a wedding present.

Earlier in the day, I had been informed that a particular case was our best seller, due to it’s bright colours and leg-like appearance. So I used this, “Me and my husband got matching ones, because my favourite colour is blue, and he likes yellow, but we wanted the same case, so we got two of these large ones instead! And they’re on sale! Where are they going on their honeymoon? (woman answered “Hawaii”) Oh it’s lovely there this time of year, I went to Thailand for mine. Who are they flying with, as you have to be careful with weight…” and so on.

I didn’t lie to her exactly, a friend of mine had just got back from Hawaii, and said she loved it. Airlines are fussy about weights. Most couples do like different things from each other.

Telling people what they want to hear, makes them happy. If they are happy, they buy things.

So, to conclude, confidence in yourself equals confidence in life. Confidence in life means confidence in your work, and confidence in your work means more sales and happy customers.