Written in response to inspiration provided by Ghylene (call for inspiration 3):
The moon light slices through the open venetian blind so that she can make out the blood, dribbling onto the white fur like gooey icing. The hand gripping the ice shard is warm and slowly melting the weapon, so that water mingles with the blood, increasing the speed at which it spills onto the plush long hair rug on the floor. The woman the hand is attached to stands back, surveying the mess she has created. The blood falls unevenly, chaotically, creeping away into two distinct smudges.
She looks down at the stained carpet, wonders what they will say when they discover it in the morning. She hears them upstairs; the telltale squeak of a wooden bed, the sighing groan. She can see him so clearly, running his hand from her throat, between her breasts, gripping her waist. His lips against her nipples.
All his moves, played out in her mind with uncanny realism.
Leaning against the rammed earth fireplace, the random splinters of wood in the mud blocks prick her bare thigh. She hears a whimper and it doesn’t come from the bedroom above her. Soft footsteps pad across the kitchen and a dog that could pass as the rug’s twin brother stops in front of the woman, looks up at her. His tongue lolls out. He sits down expectantly. Pricks his ears up.
She sighs, smiles despite herself. “Buddy,” she whispers. He gets up, rubs against her leg. She crouches down, drops the dwindling ice shard, and wraps her arms around his thick neck. She buries her face in the long, matted hair behind his left ear. He smells like hands stained from working in the garden, like children running under a sprinkler, like three day old bread that crumbled when you buttered it.
The dog whimpers again, this time in discomfort. She loosens her hold on him. He runs off and even in the dark she can see where her blood has run down his back. She looks at her wrists. The blood is bubbling now and she imagines the effervescence is her escaping soul. She thinks of her two sons, asleep at her in-laws.
They cried when she dropped them off; she had been late for her flight and had dumped them perhaps with too much haste.
On the way home from the airport the grounded plane had seemed like a blessing; the heavy snowfall a gift from the parenting gods. She would get the boys in the morning – no point waking them now – and then the four of them could go out for one of those weekend breakfasts that have very little to do with getting a nutritious start to the day, and everything to do with jam and honey and chocolate syrup.
She had sat in her car a long time; parked on the neighbours’ lawn, unwilling to begin the new life unfurling before her, heralded by the strange car in her driveway. It wasn’t strange because she didn’t recognise it; it was strange because it shouldn’t be there.
She had snapped off an ice shard from the frosted verandah and carried it inside, cautious of the sharp edge against her palm. She closed the door softly behind her and the clicking lock was the last sound her old life made.