Meeks rocked back and forth curled up in a sort of upright fetal position, staring at a spot on his yellowing apartment wall. He was pretty sure it was from an upstairs leak, every time it rained disgusting crap trickled down from the floor above. Ruminating on this and other trivial matters helped, because Meeks felt that if he did not do so he would lose his mind. There was in particular a growing crimson pool flowing out from his bedroom. He was sure that if he turned his head, even slightly, he would catch sight of it out of the corner of his eye. And then of course he would think, ‘What if it leaks down to the third floor, like the rain water?’, and then, yes. He would go insane. Better just to stare at the spot. It was all out of his hands now anyway.
He had called somebody, or rather somebody who knew somebody. They called the man who was to solve Meeks‘ problem “The Badger”, which overall was not a terribly comforting nickname for a doctor to bear, but it wasn’t exactly as though Meeks had a lot of options. In any case, Badger was supposed to be pretty good, a new kid in town but a seasoned pro, Dr. Brandt, some ex Corp from overseas. Meeks had just made a lot of money off a ‘business transaction‘ or he wouldn’t even have been able to afford the price, which was heavy. Well as long as The Badger got the job done, it was worth it. It was this or a cell, or a fatal beating as events often seemed to unfold where Star was concerned.
Springing to his feet before he even really knew why, Meeks realized he’d heard a distant sound he hadn’t heard in a year at least -- the ‘crack’ of stiletto heel on a hard floor. Whoever it was, they weren’t a junkie, and thus didn’t live here. Deduction. There was nothing that said Badger had to be a man, but nonetheless caution was king. Sure enough, Meeks had never really doubted it, the footfalls stopped outside his door and there came three short knocks. Meeks darted to his laptop and called up the feed from the pinhole camera he’d installed in his peephole -- cute little ganger trick was to shoot through it when you went to look, they thought it was real clever.
Standing impatiently on the other side of the door was his savior, an older (maybe late thirties) bleach blonde woman toting a big leather doctor’s bag, decked out in a long black coat. Her face was hard and cold, beautiful and aristocratic, and her bleached white hair carried streaks of black -- which he reflected mirrored the coat coloration of her namesake nasty critter. She shifted her weight from foot to foot and knocked again, three more times with exactly the same rhythm. Meeks ran to answer the door muttering a vague apology. Badger met his eyes with her cold grey ones, and smiled politely as she shouldered her way in, “Good morning to you. Where is she Mister Meeks?” Her voice was deep and rough, probably either a current or ex smoker, and she had a moderate German accent. She was short, Meeks towered above her, but she carried herself confidently and of the two of them Meeks knew she would have played the dominant role even in better circumstances. The woman removed her coat and parked it on a chair, underneath she was wearing a short sleeved olive military-style dress shirt and a tight low-riding pencil skirt. She was deeply tanned and extremely well-built for a woman of her age, someone was clearly keeping up in her Pilates classes. As her shirt moved Meeks could see flashes of her tan backside, which he couldn’t help but feel was totally irrelevant to the situation at hand. And a little creepy with his dead girlfriend in the next room.
Oh, she‘d asked him a question. He managed to stammer, “She’s in the bedroom, it’s not what it looks like, it was an accident -- she likes, uh liked, to play with knives, and --”
“Perhaps you should be talking to your local parish priest Mister Meeks, I have no interest in this.” Badger sauntered into the bedroom, giving the blood pool a wide berth. Now that it was being taken care of, Meeks felt it was safe to look. The doctor dropped her bag to the floor with a heavy ‘thunk’ and snapped on a pair of rubber gloves. She smirked slightly as she stared at the corpse, “Accident you say.”
“Never mind.” The doctor reached into her bag and tossed Meeks a small, featureless plastic bottle, “You’re shaking, I need you to stop it. Take two of these.” A terrified Meeks did as he was told, swallowing them dry, not daring to palm any of the small blue pills for later. She probably counted them, she looked like the type. Almost immediately a feeling of… placidity overtook him. He was still lucid, but somehow it all seemed so… manageable. He tossed the bottle back, and Badger caught it in one hand, the other now grasping the foot of Meeks’ dearly departed girlfriend. Tossing the bottle into her doctor’s bag, Badger turned to Meeks, “I need you to take her into the bathroom for me.” She let the foot fall into the blood pool with a light ’splat’, grabbing her bag and striding past him into his dingy bathroom. Meeks heard her run some water in the tub.
He opened his mouth to protest, and closed it. Frag it, as if he had a choice. As if he was going to ‘haggle’. He held his breath and crossed the threshold into his bedroom. The air was thick, he knew if he opened his airways the stench of blood would be overpowering and he would give Badger more to clean up. Trying not to think about it, he grasped the corpse of his (former) lover by the ankles. He drug her with his eyes closed into the bathroom, only daring to open them when he’d arrived. Badger had half filled the tub with water, though the water was now saturated with something white and opaque. Oxyclean?
Badger had also lit a cigarette, it dangled lazily from her lips and bobbed up and down as she spoke, “Okay, help me get her in there. Carefully, very carefully. You don‘t need this drek on your hands and my gloves are all, uh, how do you say. Petite. Very small.” The two of them grunted (or Meeks did, herr Doktor Badger seemed oddly accustomed to heavy lifting, or maybe just too stoic to show she was going to any effort), hefting the dead weight into the tub. Badger regarded the girl floating facedown in the mysterious solution before finally nodding in approval and standing, motioning for Meeks to leave with her, which he did. She leaned up conspiratorially as if to prevent the girl in the bathroom from hearing, “Give it a half hour to an hour and when the remains are liquefied simply drain it.” Meeks nodded slowly, and Badger moved back to her bag, wielding a spray bottle and a cloth and beginning to attack the many stains defacing the apartment.
An hour, a drained tub formerly full of unspeakable goo, and a few cigarettes later, Meeks’ crappy apartment was just as crappy as the night before but now much less felonious. Badger had meticulously erased every trace of his girl’s presence, collecting the corpse‘s watch and teeth from the bottom of the empty tub and placing them in a plastic baggie, as well as a garbage bag full of Meeks’ soiled clothing. She had left in its place a horrible stink of cheap cigarettes, but that was acceptable. Badger snapped her bag shut and grabbed her coat, “That should just about cover it Mister Meeks. A fully equipped forensic team will uncover the subterfuge, but nothing short of that, and I trust you will not give the police pretext to expend the effort, yes. Because your lady friend was never here, yes. I want the other half wired to my account within twenty four hours. Danke, good luck, go forth and murder no more.”
Badger Brandt didn‘t turn as she walked to the door, “I don’t give a donkey’s day-old drek Mister Meeks. I was never here.”
With that, she was gone.