It's funny, what most horror movies nowadays make you believe about blood on clothes. It's funny that most people believe it stays stark red -- like candy coating on an apple.

Ah, I wish it stayed that way. It might make it easier to look at. But the crushing weight of reality will always set in when the sun goes down. It, like everythin' else, doesn't stay in a constant state. After a while it turns a sickly, grotesque brown, crusting up and staining everything.

And in this case, it really DID stain everything. My shirt, my pants, my underpants... hell, even my socks, if you can believe that. That stuff had poured down my legs and into my shoes. This afternoon had been worse than usual. Thankfully I was able to hobble to the laundry room before I left too many footprints on the floor.

I toss aside my belt, also drenched in the stuff, and throw my shirt into the wash. Don't even go to lecture me about having to soak it first -- my daughter gives me enough of that, bless her heart. Whatever part of her heart still works, anyway.

I throw the rest of my brown, horrifying unrecognizable clothes into the washing machine, pouring in the detergent before closing it up and turnin' it on. I watch the clothes spin, spin, spin, in a bit of a trance as I decompress from tonight's... endeavors.

It's terrifying. The muffled cries and the sight and feel of the blood seeping through your clothes.

I don't enjoy it, you know. Not with people. Been a butcher for the last 35 years, damn good at it too. And I never even thought about harmin' a fly before this...

I sigh, looking down at the blood caked under my nails, my tired eyes flicking to the dryer, which had its little green light on. Guess Mary'd put in a load of our daughter's and her stuff before she left for the hospital.

I open the dryer, the smell of the softener hitting me in the face and hitting me with a wave of calm. Reminds me of when my little girl was.. well, a little girl. She -- Violet -- used to help her old dad with the laundry. She would sit in front of the dryer while I grabbed the wet clothes and plopped them on her head. Made her laugh every time.

I catch myself smiling at the distant memory, suddenly all too aware of how quiet the house has been lately as I pull the warm clothes into the little blue basket. Now that she's not home or runnin' around or laughing... not even listenin' to her music that she plays way too loud. I never thought I'd say I missed that.

I pull the laundry into a basket, leaning on the baby-blue wall after gathering it, setting it on top of the crowded dryer. I look at the wall, noting the barely-visible handprint, making a mental note to wipe the blood from the wall later.

I get to folding the shirts and pants, matchin' up the socks, and setting a few of violet's things aside to bring to her at the hospital tomorrow.

I bet you're wonderin' why she's there, a young woman like herself. Poor baby's got a bad heart. She was a trooper as a kid, but the older she gets...

I sigh and fold my wife's shirt, setting it aside.

She's twenty-two now, and she's been in the hospital for the better part of a month...

I match up Violet's polka-dot socks, setting them aside to take to her later.

Docs say that if she didn't get a new heart soon, she'd- well, she'd...

I come across Violet's favorite shirt, looking down at it in my hands.

I can feel my lower lip tremble -- I can't even bring myself to think such a thing. I run a hand through my grey, thinning hair as I try and think about anything- anything else.

That's my baby girl. That's my sunshine. Without her, I don't know what I'd do. I've been looking and washing up after her since the day she was born. I can't imagine my world without her. I don't think there would even BE a world without her. Not for me, anyway.

No matter how old she gets, she'll always be my baby.

So you can understand why I do what I do, can't you? Even if it makes me a monster?

I pull myself together after a deep breath, the bitter pang of the smell of blood hitting my nose, the blatant reminder of what I'd done staring me in the face.

I come across one of my undershirts, which has a pretty bad bloodstain across the collar. This is from last week, I thought I'd...

I take out one'a those little stain pen thingies and get to dabbing the spot, trying not to think about the young woman whose throat I'd slit earlier. She was pretty, too. I bet she was a lovely young lady.

It's not like I'm cold -- it hurts me. With everyone I kill, I know they must be scared, I know it must hurt, so whenever i take one, I just... hold 'em. While they go. I tell 'em it's gonna be okay. I tell 'em they'll be helping somebody real soon.

And then I do the routine of callin' in the right people to get 'em where they need to be, because hah... after all, somebody's bound to be an organ donor, right? Bound to have a heart that'll match my little girl? And even if they don't, they'll be saving someone else's baby.


That's what I tell myself when I come home to do the laundry each night.

I finish up with the stain, happy as I can be with my work. Mary won't notice. She'll just think it's pig's blood. She always does.

I put the folded laundry back into the basket, holding it in front of me as I leave my bloodied shoes by the washer, stepping toward the door to the laundry room.

I don't want to do this forever. I don't want to keep havin' to hurt people and lie to my wife and child. After Violet's had her surgery, I swear to the lord that I'll never -- never harm another person again. Hell, I don't even want to be doin' this now.

But a good father has to be willin' to do whatever it takes for his family. For his kids. For his only girl. I, with a trembling exhale, close the laundry room door, flicking off the light switch, leaving my bloody, soaking clothes to spin.

And spin.

And spin.

If I keep things up like this, my Violet will be home soon, and we'll be doing laundry together just like we did before all of this. I can put everything behind me and retire -- never have to see blood again.

My baby girl is coming home soon.

I know it in my heart.

And in the hearts of those I end.

March 07, 2020 00:31

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.