Week Two | 3,114 words
There was silence. Then whistling. Then the pitter patter of blood falling on tiled floor.
In my dark little cupboard I waited. That pitter patter would be followed shortly by ominous thumps and bangs, the sharp yank of plastic sheeting, and then, eventually, footsteps coming down the stairs. On his way back the owner of those jaunty footfalls would throw open the cupboard door, grab me, the bucket, and the sponge, and swing us all upstairs. The bucket and sponge would be tossed into the sink with the hot water running. I would be propped in a corner to stare at crimson streaked walls until my turn came to clean the floor.
This was the routine, as regular as clockwork. Every two weeks he’d lure a girl home with him. From the cupboard I could hear the same script, time after time, and would wonder at his uncanny ability to be able to make the girls relax. I could feel the excitement buzzing through him all the way across the house.
There would be some fluff about how he never did this sort of thing.
There would be the offer of wine, or tea, or you know – whatever you’d like.
They would always take something, and their host would always slip in his favourite darkness-inducing drug. There would be small talk for a short while, and then a mumble from the girl, and concern from the host.
“Are you alright? You seem a bit, um, unsteady… Do you want to go up to the bathroom and throw some water on your face? I’ll call you a cab, you look a little unwell.”
There would be the sound of light feet hurrying past the cupboard door, up the stairs, into the bathroom, never noticing that there was no lock, just grabbing at the taps and running the cold water, splashing their wrists and faces and trying to shake the shivers and aches and blurred vision. They would always lose the battle with whatever drug he used to steal their consciousness from them. And shortly after that there would be no phone call to a cab company. Instead there would be the slow purposeful steps of the man, sweeping his joy past the cupboard like a cloak, and striding up to do the thing he loved best in the world.