Blood on the floor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

How a bloodstain is the common denominator.

Blood on the floor_ Booksie large.jpg

BLOOD ON THE FLOOR

The kitchen floorboards had once been varnished dark brown, but now they had worn away and the rest of the floor was nothing more than washed out, faded, splintery boards. The wood had shrunk in places and the gaps between the boards were wider than they should have been. To finish off the total air of abandonment there was a reddish brown mark or stain on the floor. The window had no glass and the frame was also in a distressed state. It would have taken a while to guess the last time the house had been inhabited. There wasn’t much that could be said about anything to do with the structure. Was the house ancient or just plain old? Kyla and Gaby were two late-middle-aged ladies, whose hobby was to look into properties for sale. They had no problems about how far they had to travel, the most important thing was that the properties could be done up and made habitable. They had a mission in life, and that was to prevent dwellings from being demolished and the land being rebuilt on.

“Kyla, does that door open onto the back garden?” Gaby asked her friend and associate.

Kyla walked to the door and saw the sorry state it was in, and tried to pull at it. After a few tries she felt the door give, and she and Gaby were able to go outside and take a look at the state of the garden. “It looks as sorry as the house. How long will it take us to get it into some kind of order?”

“Are you talking about the garden or the house?” Gaby asked her friend.

“Both, actually. Look at the terrible state it’s all in. We’ll certainly have a job on our hands to get it right again,” Kyla said.

“We’d better get the boys round here to take a look, and then tell us what it’ll cost, both in money and time.”

“All right? Come on, let’s go. I’m getting tired,” Kyla said.

 

Brian had finished showering and shaving when he cut himself. He saw the blood from his chin drip down his newly cleaned body and onto the floor. He always felt embarrassed on such occasions, and did everything he could to clean up the mess. Inside the bathroom cabinet there were all kinds of treatments for one ailment or another. Brian opened the cabinet and got out a minute packet of special papers for shaving accidents. He cleaned the dripping blood with a paper hankie before placing one of the papers on the wound. He then went into the bedroom he shared with his wife, Glenys, who raised her head and said, “Oh, not old paper-face again. That’s the third time this week you’ve cut yourself while shaving. What’s the matter, getting shaky hands or needing new glasses?”

Brian stopped moving in his search for a clean shirt, and turned to face Glenys. “You say some silly things at times. You know jolly well why I’m on edge. It’s Charlotte, and nothing else. How do you think I feel, knowing she disobeys me all the time and goes out with undesirable youngsters? I can’t get my head around it, and until she begins living the sort of life we want for her, I’ll be in a state of not knowing what to do.”

Glenys got out of bed and put her dressing-gown over her pyjamas. “She came in late last night, but I didn’t hear any staggering up the stairs, so she wasn’t drunk.”

Brian had put on a shirt and was tying his tie at that point. “I’d like to see her before I leave for work. I won’t hard-talk her, unless there’s a reason to. OK?”

“Yes. Of course. I’ll let her know you’d like to see her.” Glenys left the marital bedroom and went along the corridor to her daughter’s bedroom. She opened the door gingerly, wondering whether Charlotte would still be asleep. Charlotte was their only child, and they had put all their eggs in one basket with her. Brian felt she should be grateful, but Glenys was more tolerant and said she was like all other teenagers.

“Charlotte, are you awake? Your father wants to see you before he goes to work.”

The body in the bed moaned and groaned, and said, “What does he want?”

“Never you mind what he wants, just get up and go and see him. He’s downstairs having his breakfast.” Glenys pulled the bed clothes off Charlotte’s body.

“Hey, don’t do that! I’ll get up. You don’t have to push me out, you know,” Charlotte, out of bed feeling heavy-headed. She knew that she ought to have got home much earlier than she had. Her mother waited while she put on her dressing gown and slippers, before leaving. Charlotte tried to focus her eyes on her face in the mirror, but when she finally managed it, didn’t like what she saw. Charlotte knew her father with his eagle eyes would hold nothing back in his criticism of her behaviour.

Brian was drinking one of his numerous cups of tea when Charlotte went into the kitchen. He stared at his daughter and said nothing. Charlotte found this more unnerving than if he had shouted at her and berated her. Brian finished his breakfast and put on his jacket to his suit. Just as Charlotte thought he had forgotten to say anything about the previous night, he said, “By the way, Charlotte, I’m having a chat with the principal of your school today, and if you’re getting up to no good like missing lessons or anything else, we’re going to remove you from the school, and sending you away as far as possible.” Brian left the house.

“Is he that angry with me?” Charlotte asked her mother.

“Yes, of course he is. We’ve put a lot into your education and everything else, and we feel you’re betraying us in a very unpleasant way, and going in the opposite direction to what we think is good for you.”

Charlotte had her breakfast and then went up to her room, knowing that if she misbehaved, her father would never forgive her, and she would miss out on the opportunities he had achieved for her.

 

The toilets in the large department store were not too difficult to clean, and the cleaners went through them four times a day. Diana had been there the longest and was very fussy. Whenever she found things not to her liking, she put notices up on the notice board, declaring that she wondered what sort of homes some of the users of the toilets had. The other lavatory cleaners were as fussy as Diana, and were also given to telling anyone who infringed the rules about hygiene and general cleanliness, to take more care. The mirrors were polished, the wash basins were thoroughly gone over. The toilet paper rollers were changed before they were completely finished. The antibacterial dispensers were kept full, and of course the lavatories were maintained up to an almost impossible level of sanitisation. When the ladies had finished, the whole place smelled of cleaning products and supreme cleanliness. On seeing Diana in her kingdom of bleach and air fresheners, the female members of the general public were careful not to drop water or paper towels on the floor. The day came however when the inevitable happened. Diana found blood on the floor.

The stain was quite large and she called to her companion that morning, and asked her, “Have you seen anyone in here this morning?”

“No, Diana, I haven’t. What’s that on the floor?” Carole asked her boss.

“It looks like blood, but if it is, I have a bad feeling about it. I’m going to ring the store detective and he can get the police round here.”

“What are we supposed to do with the public?” Carole asked.

“Direct them to the first floor, and put up a notice saying the ladies lavatories are out of order.” Diana got out her mobile and rang the store detective to tell him about the blood. Carole found the ‘OUT OF ORDER’ notice and put it on the door, and then went upstairs to the first floor. Fortunately, it was first thing in the morning and not many ladies had even got up, let alone were ready to go shopping.

 

The Double Take’ was a leisure yacht, big enough to take at least eight passengers. There was space to accommodate them easily. Boris, and his wife Tina, were the owners of the yacht and liked to show off to those with less spending power than them. They needed their friends, with or without the same financial level, to help them wile away the time they spent on the yacht. That weekend was the last they would be on the yacht, before its journey to the Caribbean, where it would spend the winter. Robin and Anita were not the usual friends that Boris and Tina associated with. Boris had made more money than he could ever spend in one lifetime. Tina was just so happy to help him spend it. Robin was a man who had struggled to make anything of himself, and Anita who was his ever loving wife, had been more than happy to accept being a friend of Tina’s. How did all this work out? Tina was a woman who couldn’t stand anyone having anything better than her, so Anita would never be such a threat to Tina’s vanity, so she was made a special friend and invited on the yacht and to their various houses.

 

‘The Double Take’ was sighted off the coast of southern Italy by coastguards. They tried attracting the attention of anyone on board the yacht, but it was useless, nobody answered. The guards went up to the yacht and climbed on board. It seemed that nothing was amiss, then they went into the large cabin living-room and saw blood on the floor. They went from room to room and cabin to cabin, but found no sign of life. Everything was in its place, as if it had just been cleaned and tidied. There were no signs of violence or struggle. So where was everybody? The blood stain bothered the guards, as it was totally out of place on the incredibly clean and tidy yacht. After exhausting all possibilities as to the whereabouts of those who had been on board, the coast guards towed the yacht back to the nearest port.

 

Kyla and Gabi walked round the garden, which was so overgrown it resembled a field of long grass. “Do we want to buy this or not?” Gabi asked.

“Well, it’s in a very sorry state. Nevertheless, once it’s done up, you never know, it might turn out to be quite a good investment.”

“All right. I’ll get in touch with the boys who do this work, and those who tend the gardens.”

 

The following weeks saw the arrival of many types of trucks loaded with bricks, cement, and of course wooden pieces for floorboards. Kyla and Gabi saw that the works were causing curiosity in the neighbourhood, and they spoke to some of the locals.

“What is causing so much interest in the make-over of the house?” Kyla asked an elderly couple.

“That house is not a good house. It was used as a place for illegally killing animals, and then selling the meat,” the elderly lady said.

“How long ago was that?” Gabi asked.

“Oh, that was many years ago. Nobody’s lived there for so long I don’t remember,” the man said.

Kyla stared at the pair of them, and then said, “It seems to me that you’re trying to scare us off. Are you?”

“No, not exactly, only trying to warn you. That place used to be smothered in blood. I can’t see how you’re going to chase away the ghosts of the dead animals just with new floors and fresh paint work. It won’t be that easy,” the man declared.

Their thoughts about the make-over of the house said, the elderly couple walked off.

“What do you make of that?” Gabi asked Kyla.

“We’d be better off ignoring such comments, otherwise it will affect the job in hand.”

The workmen inside the house cut away the rotten wooden floorboards, and as they were clearing up they saw a cavity underneath. The old floor was taken outside to a lorry, and they went back inside to view the contents of the cavity. They held strong torches as they made the effort to try and discover what had been kept hidden. Kyla rang the police and they came with forensic specialists who removed the bones. There was not one complete skeleton. They were informed that the work could go on, as the police didn’t think there would be any more bones, especially as they were so small they had to be from animals.

The work went well, just as the two women had predicted. The house was done up in such a way it was shown in all its glory. The new floorboards placed over where the rotten ones with the bones in the cavity underneath, had been varnished a rich dark brown, and the white paintwork stood out in strong contrast. The best they were able to afford had been put into the house.

Before the landscapers moved out into the garden, there were some storms that left the landscape drenched. For several days the garden was soaking wet. Cutting back the long grass and pruning the trees was out of the question. The sun shone at last, and the garden dried out, and the long grass was cut back, and the gardeners saw that the ground was far from being level. There were little mounds all over it. So the men started digging up what they thought was the lawn, and it proved to be a burial ground. Kyla, when informed about the events at the house, went with Gabi to see the garden for herself. She also rang the police again. The forensics removed everything that was lying under the long grass. The police told them they would have to wait for the results of the analysis of the bones, before the landscaping could continue.

 

Charlotte made a huge effort to behave herself, at school and out of it. Brian, his nerves torn to shreds as he put it, still cut himself every morning when shaving, and he saw blood on the floor and cleaned it up before his wife or daughter could see it.

 

One day Brian didn’t go back home, and Glenys rang the police to report him missing. The following day the police went to see Glenys about her husband’s disappearance. Glenys had to tell them that he was still gone, and he hadn’t rung her, or anything. The police went through his laptop and searched his papers. There was nothing anywhere that he was thinking of doing anything out of the ordinary. A team of forensics went to examine the house in depth. They found the remains of blood on the floor, the bath, and the wash basin. The luminal lamp showed up the marks clearly. Glenys said that he must have cut himself shaving, but the forensic officers were not so convinced. Both Charlotte and Glenys were left in a limbo with the disappearance of Brian. The bank accounts in his name were empty and his passport had gone. Where was he?

 

Diana was inspecting the lavatories, and saw that there was another blood stain on the floor. She called her team to her, and asked, “What’s this doing on the floor? I thought I’d made it clear there were to be no more stains on the floors.”

Carole asked, “What happened with the police when they came? Didn’t they make some kind of investigation?”

“Yes, they did, but didn’t turn up with anything. So we just have to put up with it and keep on cleaning,” Diana told them.

 

The yacht was left in dry dock while the coast guards and the police decided what to do. The yacht had been examined so thoroughly, it beggared belief that anything bad could have happened to the passengers.

 

Kyla and Gabi felt silly after all the trouble with the dead-animal bones found on the property that they had been so eager to acquire. The police told them it had been an illegal butcher’s, and that those who had been in the fraud must have made a fortune. There was no way of tracing them as it had happened so long ago.

“We ought to have seen that was a blood stain on the floor the first day we visited. Then we wouldn’t have had all this trouble,” Kyla moaned.

“What’s happened has happened, and there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Gabi reasoned.

“We’ve spent a fortune on the place only to lose it. Who do you think’s going to buy it now, however nice it looks? Future buyers will be put off, just by having read the stories in the newspapers and having seen it on the television,” Kyla moaned again.

 

Glenys and Charlotte were all right money-wise, the insurance from Brian, had left them in an advantageous position. They both knew he would never be back, and wished him well, wherever he was. Charlotte was happier with her father out of the way, because she knew how to manipulate her mother.

 

Diana became famous in the cleaning department of the store, for buying the most potent cleaners for the floor in the ladies lavatories. Eventually the stain faded, never to return, and as Diana always said, “That blood stain couldn’t beat me! When I clean, I make sure things are as they should be.”

 

Robin and Anita had purchased a building in Panama with Boris/Brian’s money. Tina had been worried at times, that the blood stain from her nosebleed, which gushed onto the floor in the ladies’ lavatory in the department store, might be traced to her. She didn’t need to worry, Diana had done a good job of making it disappear. Robin and Brian had cleaned up a lot of money in the illegal butcher’s business, and had managed to flourish for a quite a while. Brian had another job to keep Glenys quiet, but his big money-maker had been the butcher’s. The blood on the floor in the cabin on the yacht was when Brian, now known as Boris, had tried cutting up a sheep to turn it into chops, and sell the rest. When the forensics discovered that, they gradually linked the two occurrences, but they got bogged down by Glenys, who said she knew nothing about butcher’s.

 

So, there they were - all involved in a scam that brought them all a tidy sum of money and easy living. In the evenings in Panama, sitting comfortably on a rattan chair having a cocktail, Boris and Tina would smile at each other, wondering how they had managed to carry it all off.

 

Robin and Anita had got themselves a couple of small dogs, and spent a lot of their time walking in the park with them. Whenever the four saw a butcher’s, they felt like offering advice on how to make a killing out of it - as they had done.

 

The coast guards auctioned off the yacht and made a lot of money, which pleased all of them.  What they never found out was, that there had been an even bigger yacht waiting for the quartet, not far from where the other yacht had been found. 


Submitted: March 22, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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