He relived the moments of Ivan’s death continuously throughout each day, especially in the shower. There was something about being in hot water that made him have vivid flashbacks. His heart would beat, his adrenaline would pump, and then a series of images would pass in front of his eyes: Ivan’s body, his blood, the knife. He couldn’t help but imagine the hot water as anything else but blood. Blood washing his body.
Even out of the shower he thought about the blood. It was the foremost image in his mind. Weeks after the sight of anything blood red would send Paul into a hallucinatory daze. For minutes he stood still with his eyes wide open, transfixed by the red, replaying the event.
Ivan, knife, blood.
Ivan, knife, blood.
Ivan, knife, blood.
Now, standing in his home the images of that morning came back to him once again.
The blood was everywhere; it was on the walls, his clothes, flavouring his coffee, and oozing out of the quickly expiring body of his friend lying face down on their dirty kitchen floor. There was blood everywhere; he couldn’t believe how much blood there was inside one man’s body A dark red pool emerged and spread, covering a large area of their kitchen floor. The blood was so wet. His hands were soaked in it. He knew he had just killed Ivan but he couldn’t remember how the blood had gotten out of Ivan and onto him.
He had always imagined that blood would be heavy and thick like syrup, but it was like water. There wasn’t really much to it and he watched as it dripped from in between his fingers onto the floor. Little red dots peppered the floor by his feet as he tried to wipe the blood onto his shirt. When he looked down he could see that his shirt was covered in blood too. He realized then that some of it was his. Ivan had grazed his side with a knife and his own blood had soaked into his shirt and the waistband of his jeans. He was grateful for the wound.
Paul used the dish towel to wipe off the blood on his skin. It wouldn’t work. The blood had started to dry and it was getting sticky, he hated anything sticky on his skin. He tossed the bloody dish towel of his shirt into the sink.
He thought about getting a shower but remembered Ivan being dead on the floor.
Paul looked at his friend’s body and nudged his shoulder with his foot. He knelt down and tilted his face to meet Ivan’s eyes. He was dead. People do look different once their dead, he thought.
He stepped over Ivan’s body and with a leap he was over the pile of blood that was covering a good portion of the kitchen floor. He had no idea what to do. He walked into his bedroom and sat on his bed and rubbed his hands together. They were still sticky. He decided to go wash them.
On the way to the bathroom he passed Ivan’s room, feeling his sticky hands he thought about putting them to good use. He walked into Ivan’s room and started going through his things. He opened his dresser and rummaged through his clothes; people always like to hide things in their clothes he thought. In the bottom drawer of the dresser, inside a porno mag, was a few hundred dollars, Paul put it into his pocket.
The closet was full of shoes that were too big for him but hung up in the corner was Ivan’s favourite jacket. He pulled it off the hanger and tried it on. It fit well. He looked at himself in Ivan’s mirror; he liked it and kept it on while he continued to go through his dead roommate’s things.
Under the bed there was a shoebox filled with papers and receipts and taxes returns and under it all, to his surprise, a six shooter revolver. Paul picked up the gun by the barrel and looked it over; it was big and heavy and loaded. He knew nothing about guns but thought that this one looked kind of old and he could see that the safety was on. He held it with both hands and pointed it at the wall. Then he tried to twirl it around his finger like a cowboy would but it was too heavy and it swung awkwardly. He flicked the safety off and then pointed it at his reflection in the mirror. He laughed to himself and then put the gun in the jacket pocket and went back out into the kitchen.
Ivan was still there on the floor. Paul stood in the kitchen and thought for a while about what he should do. He pulled out the gun and scratched his temple with it. He thought about shooting himself with Ivan’s gun. He thought about running away.
He thought about other things for a few minutes and then he took off Ivan’s jacket, with the gun still in the pocket, he rolled it up and hid it behind the fridge and called the police.
After a few weeks of random interrogations Paul was released of any responsibility for having killed Ivan. The police seemed to believe that Paul had acted in self defense based on Paul’s version of the events and the fact that he’d been stabbed by Ivan.
With the whole ordeal seemingly over and not knowing what else to do Paul returned home. He went to the kitchen and stood in the spot where Ivan had died. The blood was all gone. Ivan’s body was gone.
But he did have a new jacket and a gun.
Reaching behind the fridge, he pulled out the rolled up jacket, brushed off some dust and then slid it on. He felt the heavy weight of the gun and took it out of the pocket. Holding it in his hand tightly he tried to twirl it around his finger like a cowboy would. It was still heavy and big; he had to flick his wrist hard to make it go around one time. He pulled the gun out further in front of his body thinking it might help. He flicked his wrist again and kept at it to keep the momentum going. The gun was going around and around his index finger just like a cowboy. He kept it going.
A loud crack filled the quiet apartment. Paul dropped to his knees. A dark spot emerged on the front of his shirt and spread. He looked down at the gun on the floor, the safety was off. He had forgot to check.
Lacy Lalonde is a 25 year old masters student living in Montreal. She has a handful of publications online, the most recent being by Ether Books Ltd, which you can search for here http://www.etherbooks.com/. She was recently interviewed by author Joey Comeau, read the interview here http://www.asofterworld.com/bw-display.php?id=6. You can also view her blog 'I Write Things. I Read Things' at http://ladala.blogspot.com/.