Animal-Print Rug

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


How did my life come to this? Where a man laid dead on my favorite animal-print rug.

Submitted: May 10, 2018

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Submitted: May 10, 2018

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How did my life come to this? Where a man laid dead on my favorite animal-print rug.

I sat on my battered green couch staring down at the body. Blood pooled around his mangled head, his face unrecognizable, and splatter covered every surface of the living room like the crime scenes you would see on TV. Except this isn't Law and Order, I killed someone.

No, I protected myself.

He's the one who broke in and attacked me. I had every right to protect myself.

Would the cops think so? Would they believe that my small frame took down a 250-pound man who looks like he's been beaten to death with a baseball bat? Maybe a baseball bat would be more believable than the cast iron pan laying now innocently next to my thigh.

Then there was the matter of the force I put behind my attack. Would the cops consider it excessive? Was I suppose to incapacitate my attacker or make sure I was comfortable he wouldn't get back up? Because I never considered to stop hitting him until there wasn't even a twitch in his fingers.

That doesn't even cover the problems that could arise with who my attacker was.

Stan Hendrik.

My neighbor from across the hall who had previously been the perfect gentleman that anyone would want near them, but yesterday had altered the image for me and tonight had changed it permanently. Stan had wanted to make me dinner, but I politely declined, not interested in anything more than being friends. He reacted badly. He started yelling and calling me names. And when whore came out of his mouth, I gave as good as I got. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole apartment building heard us. Not a good last meeting when he's now laying dead by my hands.

Shit, I cursed silently. What am I going to do?

I went to rub my face, but stopped at the dried blood covering my hands. For a long moment I stared at my hands before I stood up and went to the bathroom. I turn on the facet and stuck my hands under the water, slowly removing the blood.

Great, I snorted. Now I'm washing away evidence.

I glance up and find my reflection staring back at me. I cringed. I look like a serial killer with blood on my face and caked in my dirty blond hair. A large bruise covered the left side of my face. I prod the area gently and winced. He had hit me hard. It's going to swell pretty bad by tomorrow.

Stan had somehow gotten into my apartment silently last night. Luckily, I had stayed up late watching a movie I've been missing for weeks. He had caught me off guard when I went and got a snack in the kitchen. He had snuck up behind me and as I turned back around he had punched me to the floor. He probably thought that would be the end of it, but unfortunately for him he targeted a girl who had watched Tangled one too many times. I had quickly grabbed my cast iron pan from my cabinet and swung blindly. I hit his knee, and he buckled to the floor.

I took the opportunity to escape, only making it to the living room before he tackled me to the floor on my animal-print rug. I swung blindly again, and this time I hit him on the side of the head. And I kept hitting him.

If only in reality men were as resilient as Eugene, then I wouldn't be in the situation I am now.

I sighed, as my options slowly faded in my mind until it felt like I only had one option left.

I had to get rid of the body.

How that became my determination I had no idea. All I knew was that I had a goal to accomplish. So I went to my kitchen, grabbed my washing gloves and slowly made my way back to the dead body in my living room. I eyed the mess, thinking, How am I going to do this?

An image of a green and gold trunk in my closet flashed through my mind. I didn't really want to get rid of the trunk, I've had it since childhood, but I had nothing else big enough to shove the body in to get him out of the apartment without anyone noticing. A sinking feeling settled in my stomach, it was a necessary sacrifice.

I marched to my bedroom and yanked the trunk from my closet. I had to empty it of all its contents before I could drag the box back to the living room. I grimaced at the next part. I dragged the body by the legs in order to get him positioned horizontally on the carpet. I then rolled the body up in my animal-printed rug. So maybe it was two sacrifices instead of one – my childhood trunk and my favorite rug. Bastard. . .

I dragged the trunk closer to the wrapped-up body and eyed the two, quickly seeing a problem. Shit. . . this is going to take some working. With severe grunting, an almost slip, and a few moves a contortionist would be envy of I managed to squeeze the fully-grown man in the trunk. I breathed heavily as I braced myself against the edge of the trunk. Now I only had to get the lid closed. I almost cried at the prospect. Why did he have to be such a big guy?

Twenty-minutes later I had the lid securely closed. Through my exhaustion, I breathed a sigh of relief. One obstacle done. The next one would be that much harder.

I used all my strength to get the trunk to the door. I wiped my sweaty forehead, bringing my attention back to the fact that I'm covered in blood and I was about to leave. Stupid, I berated myself as I tore the gloves off and went to the bathroom to wash up and get changed. Now's not the time to make mistakes.

Once I didn't look like the cops needed to be called on me I dragged the trunk out of my apartment as fast as I could before closing and locking my front door. It may have been only three in the morning, but with my situation one couldn't take any chances.

I cringed at the scratching noise the trunk made against the wooden floor as I slowly made my way down the hallway. The sound echoed off the dingy beige walls, causing my growing paranoia to heighten that much further.

Tonight is just not going my way, I groaned as I stared down at the flight of stairs. Why didn't this ever cross my mind when this plan sprouted? For a brief moment I humored the idea of shoving the trunk down the stairs. Would anyone investigate the inevitable crash that would follow? No, can't take that risk. With my luck the trunk would pop open and the body fly out.

I choked down a laugh at the image. And that's when I knew the night was getting to me, because seeing a body flying out of a trunk shouldn't be that hilarious.

Bracing myself, I slowly coaxed the trunk to the edge of the step and allowed it to fall down to the next one. The loud thud had my heart lodging in my throat. There was no way this was going to go unnoticed. Steeling my nerves, I continued the grueling task of getting the 280-pound trunk down the stairs.

I gasped for air when I made it close to the bottom. Sweat dripped down my face and back, muscles ached and protested against anymore abuse. Three more steps. Just three more. I can do it. And then all I have to do is get. . . Fuck, I still have to get this thing in the car. Maybe I should've took my chances with the cops.

I fell down against the steps, feeling exhausted. How can serial killers do this so often? It's not worth it.

“Miss Edwards?” came a voice from behind me. I jumped up and swirled around, and at the top of the stairs stood Walter Combs, the building Manager. Shit. “What are you doing at this hour?”

I fixed the deer-caught-in-headlights look I sported and smiled pleasantly. “I couldn't sleep so I thought I would gather some things to donate to the Goodwill.” Who knew I could lie on the spot. And a lie that actually sounded convincing.

Mr. Combs smiled back at me, his wrinkles becoming more prominent around his mouth and eyes. “I suffer from insomnia myself.” He started down the stairs. “Here let me help you.”

“Oh no, I couldn't trouble you,” internally willing him to leave.

“Nonsense, it's not like I'm doing anything important like sleeping.” He made to slip by the truck, but stopped when he look at me again. “What happened?”

My heart hammered against my ribcage in panic as I asked, “What? What'd you mean?”

“Your face. Where did you get that horrendous bruise?”

“Oh!” I fingered the bruise, keeping the wince at bay as relief flooded me. “It's stupid. I tripped and fell on the corner of this thing.” I used my hand to indicate the trunk. Really, these lies were coming out left and right.

“That must have hurt.” Mr. Combs leaned down and grabbed the handle.

I glared at the hand, rather having that limb removed. “It did at first, but now it's only when I smile.” I forced a smile just to prove it. “But really, you shouldn't have to help me. It's heavy.”

“I may be old, but these bones are still in good working order.” He groaned when he lifted his end. “What are you donating, bricks?”

“Books mostly,” I sighed out, resigning to my fate. Here I thought chivalry was dead.

I quickly grabbed my end, and they made quick work of the rest of the steps and loading it in the back of my car. Alright, I admit, his help was a godsend. Maybe that's the wrong choice of words to use.

“Thanks again, Mr. Combs,” I yelled through the car window when I drove off.

I drove all the way across town where a wooded area was located. I took a dirt path to get me deeper into the woods before I parked on the side of the road. I got out and took in the clearing before me, it'd have to do. I surveyed my surroundings, making sure I was alone, and yanked the trunk out of the backseat.

Dragging the trunk through overgrown grass happened to be worse than getting it down a flight of stairs. I yelped when I tripped and fell on my ass. That's it, right here will be fine. I only got a quarter of the way than I wanted to, but the adrenaline of being caught by Mr. Combs was wearing off.

I used the shirt I wore to wipe the sweat off my face and chest as I sluggishly made my way back to my car. I rummaged through the front, finding a piece of paper and a lighter, and then went to the trunk to grab the lighter fluid I kept there for the spontaneous grill-outs I take at parks. I went back to the trunk in the clearing and drench the exterior with the lighter fluid. I lit the paper with the lighter, watching the small flame for a second before throwing it on the trunk.

Flames burst forth violently, causing me to take a step back. I crossed my arms over my chest, staring at the flames languidly.

I did it. I got rid of the body. The cops can't connect this to me anymore. And then I remembered my apartment - the giant crime scene - and all the ways the cops could pin this on me.

I closed my eyes and groaned, I'm so going to prison.



© Copyright 2018 Nikki Black. All rights reserved.

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