Lady Kill

In the spirit of Halloween, Leah Jasmine shares this terrifying tale of what happened to a bad dude with terrible tattoos.



Jonty liked many things. He liked the way streetlights glowed in winter, illuminating the mist on the street. He liked to map out the monsters he saw in the billows of fog in the orange glow. Jonty liked women. He liked the way their breasts gently trembled when they walked, and the time they took to put one leg in front of the other. Jonty liked women. He liked to look at women, but he didn’t like it when women spoke. It was just that every woman who spoke to him sounded like his mother, always making him feel stupid. Jonty didn’t think he was stupid. Women thought he was. But Jonty didn’t care what women thought. He just liked to look at them, ravage them, and dispose of them.


Jonty also liked cars, though he didn’t own one. He would watch them come and go as they passed and parked on his street. When he noticed a particularly expensive and flashy car, he would take his beloved baseball bat in hand and smash three of the four windows. He really liked cars, and he hated that none of them belonged to him. Not that he would know what to do with one, of course, he had never learned to drive. But Jonty liked to imagine himself cruising down highways with the breeze on his skinned head, foot flat and catching a glimpse of his wild eyes in the rear-view mirror.


Jonty really liked tattoos. His cousin, Tyron, worked at Be$t Ink Co., and naturally, Jonty volunteered to be his practice dummy (though he called himself a “model”). Soon enough, Jonty’s body was embellished with black and grey, and some colours that were fading quickly.


We Dem Boys scribbled along the inside of his arm, 4 Jesus over his heart. His latest ink decorated his knuckles. “LADY KILLA,” he told Tyron. “Cause I slay bro, I slay.”


It slipped right over both of their heads that there were not enough knuckles for letters, and it was all too late before Jonty’s hands read LADY KILL. This was not his worst mistake. The canvass of his twenty-six-year-old skin was covered in badly spelt song lyrics and quotes of badassery with bad kerning. Fuck da police emblazoned his neck. No fear of deth wrapped around his arm. Hero’s never die on his left shoulder, Bad Boyz 4 Life on the right. Among the poorly spelt and grammatically obscene tattoos was a collection of tribal and what he considered “traditional” tattoos. Neither Jonty nor Tyron ever realised the faux pas, and they both confused traditional for terrible. What could have been a lion, but also a tiger and perhaps a simple house cat covered his knee? A pack of infantile looking elephants (they could have been gorillas) and a scroll which read family. Jonty was the walking visual representation of everything everyone had ever hated about tattoos, and Jonty loved them, oblivious to their errors.


Jonty liked to pick fights. He would spot what he considered a “Beta” on the street, and let the brandy in his veins work his arms swing for swing until the offender lay crushed on the pavement. They were usually far smaller than he was, and they had nothing to gain by fighting back. Jonty would laugh at their futile hits before socking them square in the stomach. As Friday night dawned (or twilit, as they say) Jonty spotted a young woman making her way up the street. He grinned at the thought of another pulpy mess on the floor, the adrenaline already coursing his endocrine system, overtaking any semblance of rationality he may have once possessed. “Fight, or fuck?” He thought, “Why not both.” Jonty grinned.


“What you doing in my hood, little rat?” He taunted, though the wayward traveller didn’t even flinch, let alone cower. This infuriated Jonty. He did not like being ignored. He raised his fist, ready to strike, but before he knew it he was looking at the evening sky, stunned, his head thumping. Then everything went black.


When Jonty finally opened his eyes he was face down and could not move. Bright fluorescent lights assaulted his eyes and for all his efforts he could not break the straps which bound him to the table.


“I’ll fucking kill you!” He screamed, “I’ll pull out your teeth! Let me out you bitch and I’ll show you! ARRGGGHH!” He threatened and wailed and roared. No one humoured him with a response. Over an hour he spent, barking empty threats until he exhausted himself. When his throat was hoarse and his fight almost done, the petite woman from the street arrived in his vision.


“You!” He breathed, “Who the fuck are you and what the fuck do you want with me? Huh? What do you want?!”


The woman said nothing. Her thin arm raised only a scalpel and a tiny smile flashed across her face for just an instant. Jonty cried out when the first incision was made, but he could not move. The sharp, sharp blade slid up his spine from his coccyx to his neck in one fell motion. The scalpel curved around and slipped underneath his chin, carefully, carefully. The sensation that followed was not something anyone should have to imagine, let alone experience. It felt like hot spiders crawling on his skin. No, they were crawling underneath his skin. Fuck, he thought, before he passed out. He was being skinned alive, by a woman psychotic and senile, though swift with her blade. His skin peeled back like a ripe nectarine, and no part of it was damaged.


When Jonty woke once more, it was briefly and for the last time. He was facing a wall which contained an ornate golden frame. It was the contents of the frame that killed Jonty in the end, reading 4 Jesus the right way around for the very first time. He had been flayed alive. Jonty collapsed as far as he could, which wasn’t very far, his eyes bulging almost out of his head. Jonty’s skin joined a collection of ornate golden frames, each featuring the dermis of an unfortunate faceless lover of ink.


“And this,” explained the petite lady to a room of her wide-eyed students, “is why you should always spellcheck your tattoos,” as LADY KILL blared down from the frame above.

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