Stickiness was the first hint that something was amiss. Her hand, between her fingers, felt gluey and oddly crunchy as she bent them. Flora cracked open her lids and squinted in the harsh light, she tried to read the numbers on the flashing digital clock but her brain refused to make sense of the blur. She reached for her spectacles. The curtains hadn’t been closed, that was odd, very odd, the watery light showed smears and stains on the skin of her hand and arm, what the heck?
Her head pounded, a dull heaviness, her stomach contracted and acid threatened her throat. She tried to remember. Exactly how much had they drunk last night? Fighting the nausea she acknowledged the misery that hovered at the edges of her heart. They’d had another row, another blazing, painful confrontation. Tears formed and overflowed, yet more tears. She had to get out, this relationship was no good, it was toxic, destroying them both, going nowhere.
She pushed back the duvet and glanced down.
Panic threw her from the bed, she backed towards the wardrobe her gaze fixed on the devastation of stained sheets and ruby splattered pillows. The knife lay on his side of the bed, Trevor’s side. What the hell was he doing with a knife, a knife in bed? She peered now at her shaking body.
Her nightdress was smeared and streaked, there were cuts and slashes in the fine fabric and the tiny lace frill around the hem hung in ribbons around her knees. Her legs let her go and she flopped in a quivering heap to the carpet.
She couldn’t find the wound, her arms, legs, her belly; all seemed undamaged, whole and pain free. She stretched a hand behind her and stroked it across her back – nothing. Where was it from, the blood, she wasn’t hurt yet she was covered in it, the bed was a turmoil of gore there were marks on the carpet, the wall near the light switch. The more she looked the more she found. It was everywhere.
“Trevor?” she heard her whisper, it came from far away, feeble and quavering, “Trev?” There was no answer. There was no sound of the shower, no flush of the toilet, no clatter of pots and dishes from the kitchen. The house was silent, dead and silent.
She pushed to her feet, there were drips of red on her slippers, she couldn’t bear to push her toes into them.
“Trevor?” She remembered that they had screamed at each other the night before. Her, screeching his name in fury, both of them drunk and unreasonable, railing and tearing in their anger.
“Trevor?” She made her way down the hallway, no sound. The red smears on the wall accused her now, her stomach turned and roiled, the door to the kitchen was slightly ajar, she reached out. Her blood stained hand touched the cream paint, she pushed at the wood.