‘You’re hurting me.’
‘Just hold still.’
‘I can’t. You’re really hurting me – there’s something wrong.’
‘Hold still. There’s nothing wrong. Just relax and let it happen.’
‘Please, it really hurts, can you stop?’
I can’t stop now. I’m almost done!’
‘No. Stop, please. Please just sto–’
‘I told you to fucking. Hold. STILL! …Now look what you’ve done, you stupid whore.’
was near the heart of Blacktown, comprised of several rundown houses and apartment blocks. No less than typical for the region. But there was a house on the street, number 7, that stood out among the rest of the residential properties. It was renowned as the
well-kept house for miles and therefore hard not to notice. This house was owned by a single man that most in the neighbourhood were aware of, but no one actually knew. By what was mostly snide remarks and snickering mockery, this man was referred to by most as Mr Perfect. Nobody knew his real name, how long he had lived there, or even what he did for work.
The yard of his property was immaculate, the trimmed lawn was soft, even fluffy looking, with no variance in the lush shade of green. Two oak trees stood in the yard, the trunk of each one girded perfectly, as if a ruler had been used to ensure the trunk was perfectly centred in their allocated patch of dirt. The bleach white concrete path was stainless and lead up to the front porch of the house between the Oak trees directly from the footpath off the street.
The house itself was a single story. Again, in immaculate condition with what appeared to be a fresh coat of beige paint. The tiles of the roof were a rich clay colour. The frames of the windows and doors were a deeper shade of brown. The windows were tinted very dark, allowing no one to see inside.
This morning, inside the house, was Darrel. A lean yet strong man of very upright
posture, standing a little over six feet tall with square shoulders, a straight neck, and a chin held that little too high.
In public, or even so much as exiting the front door of his quaint little house to do a little gardening, Darrel wore a suit and tie. Nothing expensive, of course, any high roller would know at a glance he certainly didn’t shop at Dolce & Gabbana. But that didn’t matter to Darrel. He wore the suit like a man of unequalled integrity – and that is all he would ever wear; a black suite, black polished boots, white shirt and black tie. Seven of the same attire hung in the second-hand redwood wardrobe of his bedroom. One for each day of the week. One extra for good measure. On his wrist, Darrel wore an imitation silver Rolex analogue watch, a plain silver ring on the middle finger of his left hand. Combined, they were the sum of accessories he would ever be willing to wear.
Inside was another matter. He rarely wore clothing at home, not so much as underwear. With the exception of when he was entertaining the occasional
guest, during which times he would dress in a plain grey T-shirt, grey cotton tracksuit pants cut off at the knees, and plain grey socks. Nothing more. This outfit too was also duplicated seven-fold, immaculately folded in his dresser drawers. One for each day of the week, and one extra for good measure.
This morning, alike many a morning of late, Darrel was cleaning. Naked, with dustpan and brush in hand, he finished sweeping away the last remaining traces of dust from his bleach-white bedsheets. After which, he removed said sheets, dropped them in the washing machine along with detergent – the amount of which he had perfected – and set the wash to Full Cycle. He would likely need to repeat the wash several times for good measure
throughout the day and possibly into tomorrow. But that was okay, he did have seven more sets of the same bedsheets immaculately folded in the hallway closet.
Once the sheets were in the wash he shit, shaved and showered. Then the first cycle was done. Setting the wash to another full cycle he cooked one perfectly poached egg, one perfectly browned toast, and one glass of orange juice. No salt and no pepper. No butter. No added sugar. After breakfast, he started the second washing cycle, dressed in his suit and attended the bathroom where he carefully and meticulously combed his short black hair, then commenced removing even so much as a shadow of lint from his suit coat with a lint roller.
After several minutes of antagonising over his appearance, he came to accept everything was perfect. His tie, perfectly straight. His suit, void of marks. His clean shaven face and strong jawline, clear of blemish. His intense translucent blue eyes, as always without flaw. Black boots could have been used as a mirror. His hair… remarkable.
‘You are the perfect man,’ He told himself, ‘She is out there, somewhere.’
Once another cycle of bedsheets was complete and the fourth cycle started, he was ready to exit the house and start his day - but first, there was one other thing to do:
He arrived in the lounge room, furnished only with a stereo system. The low budget stereo was centred in the otherwise empty room. He touched the play button as if touching a priceless gemstone. The music
began to play. And there he stood swaying to the music, eyes closed, a faint smile riding his face.