by Carys Crossen
Her first inclination was brazen denial. It had served her well in the past. Guilt had never tripped her, accusations never cowed her. Keep calm, never admit to anything and play dumb. The compulsion to confess had never clutched her guts in its claws.
Then she reconsidered. She had done her best to scrub away the evidence, dispose of the clothes she had been wearing, pulled a baseball cap low down on her brow to hide her face from prying eyes. But she knew better than to suppose her crime had been a perfect one. There was always some clue left behind, one insignificant detail to unravel a carefully woven tale of innocence. Leopold and Loeb, caught because of the hinge on Leopold’s glasses.
She’d known it was only a matter of time before this day came. Retribution. Criminals always sneered at the law, its bumbling and injustices, but only the very rich and the very lucky could hope to evade it forever. There were only ever two true conclusions to a criminal’s career, one of which was a prison cell.
So she seriously considered her options. They had enough evidence to arrest her. A good solicitor and continued denial might buy her a reprieve. Allow her to go on the run. She might even make it as far as the Continent, and live quietly for a few years.
But she knew she’d be living on borrowed time. And there would be no more adventure, no more scams, no more high life or hijinks. She’d have to keep her head down, not attract attention, keep quiet and keep moving. It sounded dismal.
So did she want to be nabbed for something third rate, at some indefinite point in the near or far future? Theft, an insurance scam, conning some old dear out of her life savings? There would be no glamour in that.
Or could she own this? Would she own this? This crime that already promised to be a sensation? That had dominated today’s headlines?
She glanced at her opponent, to see if he’d try and pile on the pressure.
The copper said nothing further. He just waited. Wise man. He knew if they got her, it would be on her terms.
She laughed out loud and decided.
‘I killed him,’ she said.