words kill, words give life

the beginnings of an as yet untitled fiction

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 5, 2010

by yours truly:

Something tickles my nose. Unwilling to open my eyes, I twitch a nostril. Then, I hear a faint buzzing as it moves to rest on my cheek. A fly. I softly blow and it leaves. It’s the time of evening when everything monochrome. A breeze brings the sound of the river and I reach for my sweater.

It’s wet and sticky. The ground must be muddy. Standing, I shrug my arms through the clotted cashmere. I tug it down before folding the throw I was lying on. It’s sticky, too. Oh well, I need to do laundry anyway.

I head for home through the trees and gathering dark. Hopping up the two steps, I pull out the key. When I push on the knob, the door opens. Did I forget to lock it? A chill runs across my back despite my sweater.

My hand slides up the wall finding the light switch. The lamp lies on its side light spilling across the floor. Two streaks of red pass over the threshold leading to a slumped form in the middle of the room. My landlord.

“Mr. Petersen?”

I drop the throw and step into the room.

“Mr. Petersen, are you alright?”

Red covers the front of his shirt.

“Oh, my God, are you bleeding?”

He sits legs splayed like an abandoned baby doll, red-splotched shirt in place of a bib. Two steps bring me to him. I slowly kneel beside him.

“We’ll go to the hospital, OK?”

I reach two fingers towards his neck to check his pulse. Not meeting the resistance I expect, my fingers squish as my knuckles pass his skin.

I scream and jerk back my blood-soaked hand.

The motion knocks his head back. His throat opens to the bone, and in the middle of his windpipe, sits the mouthpiece to my clarinet.