You oohed and aahed when I showed you the size of the front room. Your husband said something about how light it was in there, and how much noise from the street would filter in through the windows. I told him, none. Double-glazed glass, casements shut tight. No noise, and it was a quiet neighbourhood.

That works both ways, of course, I said. And we all laughed, though I’m not sure you understood the joke.

When you saw the kitchen, you asked me whether the appliances were included in the price. I told you, of course they are. Brand new, too. The tiles from Tuscany and are guaranteed against cracking or chipping. Because you want to know that the home you’re buying won’t fall apart the moment you move in.

Your husband adored the view of the back yard through the French windows from the dining room, and all those trees swaying beyond. I knew he would. He loved his gardens, didn’t he?

The bedrooms were ever so spacious, and you were crazy about the ceiling beams. They didn’t look at all out of place, which they sometimes can with these newer properties. The closet space wasn’t vast, but you thought it would be more than enough for the two of you.

I made the usual remark about how the two spare rooms could be used for almost anything, unless the two of you wanted to bring another little life into this world. All realtors say that when they know you don’t have kids.

We all laughed again. You blushed a little.

You both followed me into the bathroom so I could show you the extensive modern fittings and the beautiful, large, circular bath. Just the thing to relax in after a long day’s work, I said. You asked me if the tiles in here were like the ones downstairs, from Tuscany. I said I didn’t know, but Tuscan or not, it was important to have a wipe-clean bathroom.

You agreed, and I shot you in the face.

Your husband opened his mouth in shock, and I planted a bullet through the back of his throat.

Then I closed the bathroom door and left the house.

I have no idea why I did it. I don’t know why you had to die. What you’d done, or not done, to deserve it. All I know is that someone gave me your name and a large sum of money, and that’s how it happens.

(by me, c. 2004, I think)