Fluid- A Short Story

September 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM (Short Stories) (, , , )

FLUID

A Short Story by Misty Wilkins


She woke up drenched in sweat.  It must have been a bad dream, but it was escaping her mind fast. Flashes of madness, screams and blood.  So much blood…  She kept on shaking; the sweat on her salty skin was turning cold.  She tasted the copper on her lips and felt nauseated. Her stomach started to turn and had the kind of feeling you have when caught in a lie and don’t know what to do. “What happened?” she thought.  She fought to get out of bed, tangled in wet sheets.  She felt like she was paralyzed.  Arwyn lay in bed for five minutes struggling to get out.  She felt chained to it.  She finally managed to put her feet on the carpet. Arywn felt pain explode through her head like someone was trying to wrench a bolt into it.  As she tried to stand up, she face-planted the floor. Arwyn moaned and thought she couldn’t take much more of this.  Did she break her nose?  She tried to lift her head up and blood started pouring down her face. Her head fell back down on the carpet.  She turned her gaze towards her bed and started screaming at the sight under it.

***********

Arwyn thought she was hallucinating. The night light gave illumination of what she saw. The gore in front of her green eyes could not be there.  It seemed to be human.  It also seemed to have some sort of face, but half of it was gone.  Ribbons of flesh hung from its face like a curtain.  An eyeball hung from its socket to the carpet dripping blood in what seemed to be two second increments.  Dark blood curdled out from the body. As she got the courage to inch closer, the body was ripped open; the rib cage was visible.  She inched even closer… The heart was still in its chest.  The body was naked and she saw a penis and the only article of clothing he had was a red tie that seemed to be entangled in his ribs.  “Ok” she thought, “It’s a man. But why is a man dead underneath my bed?”  Arwyn’s mind was racing.  One million thoughts were running through it; counting sheep won’t help her sleep tonight.  Actually, she may never sleep again.

“I need to call the Police! No! Wait!  I can’t explain why a mutilated dead man is under my bed!  Maybe I should walk through my house. No!  What if the murderer is still here?”  She thought.  Arwyn got up, still aching and her head still throbbing.  She looked down, she was naked.  She never sleeps naked.  There was blood all over her. She had scratches on her breasts and arms; not quite deep enough to need stitches, but just enough to still be bleeding.  Her long blond hair was caked in crimson.  She looked over at the bed; smears of blood were all over the sheets.  “This can’t be real.” She thought.  Arwyn willed herself to walk into the master bathroom.  Even though the bathroom was a few feet away, it felt like it took forever to get there.  She struggled to turn on the light.  The switch felt heavy on her finger.  She managed to flip it up and walk toward the vanity.  She closed her eyes before she looked into the mirror; like somehow she knew what she would see would not be believable.  She finally pried open her eyes.

At first, Arwyn only focused on her green eyes.  She always loved them. In fact, it was the only thing she liked about herself.  She has always been very critical of herself.  She never liked her pale complexion; it made her think she looked like a ghost.  Her body was never quite right; her breasts were too small, her stomach was never flat and her feet were way too big.  Her hair never was exactly straight and never the color she liked.  The truth is: Arwyn wanted perfection.  It was a conundrum because no one is ever really perfect, but yet they strive for it.  Some people suffer form anorexia or bulimia; she suffered from a personality disorder to where she strived to be perfect that some psychologist call a maladaptive perfectionist with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  It consumes her day.  She gets up three hours before she has to; gazing in the mirror, trying to suck her stomach in, looking at every blemish, painstakingly applying her makeup and finding the perfect outfit.  Arywn also spends one hour in the shower scrubbing until her skin is red so her skin is soft and washing her hair three times. No one but her knows this disorder.  Not at work, and her friends don’t know because she doesn’t have friends.  She doesn’t even date men, so finding a dead man underneath her bed is perplexing because of that fact.

Arwyn finally looked at herself.  The tears started to swell up.  She had dried blood on both sides of her mouth; her eye was bruised and was turning blacker and blacker by the second.  It looked like an old bruise on her stomach; it was turning yellow. “I don’t remember ever getting this bruise.”  She thought.  She looked at her fingernails; two were broken off and bleeding and it seemed like there was some bloody skin underneath them.  Not being able to look at herself anymore and still in bewilderment, she turned away.  She eyed the dead man underneath the bed as she walked past and out the room half thinking he would get up and perhaps get revenge.  “Why would I think that?” She thought. “There is no way I could have done this.”  She slowly crept down the hallway to the living room. The carpet felt sticky.  It was still dark outside and her place was pitch black and she was afraid to turn the lights on because in the back of her mind she wondered if there would be another dead body.  She padded into the living room and looked around.  Everything seemed normal.  She walked by the living room and into the kitchen.  She flipped the switch.

***********

Blood was smeared on the fridge and it was coagulated on the tile floor.  Arwyn tried to hold back her scream, gulping in large amounts of air and choking in the process.  A glass of wine was on the counter by the sink and the other glass was broken in a million pieces on the floor.  A bottle of Sangria was on the floor as well, but it was stuck in position with blood and hair on it.  “I couldn’t have done this.” She thought. “I couldn’t hurt a fly!”  She started in on panic mode; she started to hyperventilate.  She looked to her knives- one was missing.  It was the sharpest knife she had; the one she could cut meat and even bone with if she wanted to.  Then she was drawn back to the fridge.  Some unknown force made her pull open the freezer.  It creaked as she slowly opened it.  She always meant to spray it with WD-40 but never got around to it.  As soon as she opened it, a face was staring back at her…

His was cut up; tatters of flesh hung from his cheeks, the blue eyes were glazed over looking upwards.  His mouth was open and it looked like his last moments were agony.  His brown hair was frozen stiff and red like frost started to accumulate on his head.  Arwyn screamed.  She started to panic.  “I couldn’t have done this.  There has to be someone else who is doing this.  What do I do?”  Her face began to flush, her heart was beating too fast; her ears were filled with the raging loud heartbeat and she couldn’t hear herself think anymore.  She slammed the freezer door shut and opened the fridge door.  In glass jars, there seemed to be some sort of green colored liquid.  Arywn frowned, “What is this?!?”  There were syringes filled with the same liquid.  She slammed the door.

Arywn was a chemist. In her lab, she worked on ways to sustain beauty and life.  It seemed fitting for her because she is obsessed with being unblemished.  She has worked on it for years and hasn’t yet found a way to perfect the human physical condition.  America has the desire to be perfect.  All of the magazines show beautiful people looking flawless.  Therefore, a lot of people think that is the way they should look.  Sadly, most people do not realize that you cannot be that way.  “I would never bring my work home!” she thought.  As soon as she thought that, she heard a noise in the basement.  Grabbing one of the knives that were not missing; she opened the door and inched down the stairs.  She stopped mid-step when she heard what she thought were chains.  Then she thought she heard some grunting.  She approached the bottom step and looked in amazement.

***********

A naked man was hanging in chains that were bolted to the ceiling.  Blood was seeping from what seemed to be gashes and other type of wounds she could not determine.  His mouth was stuffed with a cloth and covered in duct tape.  As soon as he saw her, his eyes filled with terror.  His legs were restrained by chains bolted to the cement floor and more blood was swirling down the big drain.

He looked like Jesus on the cross, very surreal.  He trembled and the chains rang louder.  Arywn approached him slowly.  The florescent lights hummed and the lights flickered.  She stared in disbelief.  “I don’t understand!” She said out loud.  The man started screaming; well it seemed like he was, but hard to tell because of the duct tape.  Arwyn circled around him and touched him with her finger.  He recoiled at her touch. She came back around to his front.  He has tears streaming down his face.  She ripped off the tape and pulled the cloth out of his mouth that was covered in blood.  “Who are you?” She asked.  The man responded first by coughing and began to stutter, “You you you know who I am, and you are the one who put me here!  What do you want with me? Please let me go!”

***********

“I didn’t do this to you!”

“Yes you did, you crazy bitch!”

“No. No. No.”

“Let me go you crazy cunt!”

“I… don’t know what’s happening!”

“You fucking drugged me and I woke up like this!  Let me go!”

“I didn’t!  I couldn’t!”

“Fucking bitch! You bought me a fucking drink at the bar; you drugged me!”

“NO!!!”

“Fuck you! You did!  Let me go!”

Arwyn’s mind was spinning.  The basement was going in circles; she felt sick and she vomited on the floor. She wiped her mouth and walked around.  Against the back wall there were some sharp tools.  There was also a steel table with syringes, tools and various other implements that she used in her lab. A bunch of equations was written on a dry erase board, a water hose hung in the corner and plastic sheeting was folded on another table.

“Hey crazy bitch!  Did you kill someone upstairs?  I fucking heard him screaming. Oh please don’t let that happen to me. Please…”

Arwyn ignored him.  She was mesmerized by everything in the basement.  “This has to be a dream.” She thought.  “I will wake up any time now and laugh about how real this dream was.”  She eyed a door in the back of the basement.  She casually opened it and flipped on the light. It was cold in there; it sent shivers down her spine and being naked didn’t help.  In front of her was the worst sight of the night.  Bodies of men hung from hooks; maybe it was a dozen, maybe more. The men were of all different colors, shapes and sizes; all looked young and virulent.  They were all slashed and their lifeless eyes gazing into their afterworld.  Arwyn clasped her hand around her mouth and began to cry and she retched again.  She turned around and walked out of the cooler.  Everything started spinning again.  Flashes appeared before her eyes.

***********

In those images, she saw herself picking up various men at different bars throughout the city.  When the men would leave for the bathroom, she would pull out a vial of powder from her pocket and put in their drinks.  They would get so stupefied she would have to help them out of the establishment and into her car.  She would take them home, offer them a drink and even sometimes have sex with them.  She would then knock them unconscious with whatever contraption that was handy then take the fluid from their brain stem.  But, she would never leave it at that.  She couldn’t let them live, could she?  She would be found out and the research would be banned forever and they would put her away.  She would savagely stab them to death and rip them apart because she felt so much rage or would let them hang in the basement for awhile to suffer before she slowly killed them.  Sometimes she would saw off a head to admire it later.  Oh how she hated herself and the way men never gave her much attention. But, the fluid was the key.  Secretly after a mishap with a coworker, (his wife reported him missing, but they never found him) he died and she found out that some fluid from a man’s brain stem can restore a woman’s vitality.  Of course her superiors wouldn’t let her take a man’s brain stem fluid; so she had to improvise.

Arwyn awoke from her state.  But, she wasn’t Arwyn anymore, she was Jules.  Jules was always the one to do the dirty work.  Arwyn never had enough “balls” to get the job done.  She began to laugh.  The man screamed as Jules jumped up and thrust a knife into his stomach and started to slash his face into pieces.  She needed the fluid, she loved her rage.

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