Man in picture Chapter Nine v2.0 Sun Bangs Through

I wake and I’m blank.   I’m alone.  I understand that’s wrong, but it’s all I know.

Hanging over the opposite side of the bed I sleep on.  There’s a tiny smear of blood on the bed skirt.  I dab at it.  It’s sticky.  Not yet dry.  I check my mouth.  Not sure what I expected.

I’ve seen the last of Shirley.  I begin to think about that.  I’m sure it was brutal.  A bird of prey on a rodent.  I want to shit myself.


The bathroom door clicks and she’s in front of me in my robe.  Beaming with self satisfaction, she holds aloft a platter of steaming pastries. Ever seen the album cover for Breakfast in America by Supertramp?  There is fruit and juice.  The aroma of cinnamon and sugar.  Her cleavage strains against the robe as it becomes the uniform of a diner waitress.  Sun bangs through the window and it’s warm.  She feeds me pastries from the platter but I can’t taste them and I’m thirsty.  She is matronly and jolly.  I grab for the fruit but it’s dry on my tongue.  Cardboard, styrofoam.  I gulp the juice but it’s air.  Everything looks cloudy.  Everything feels cloudy.

Blood begins to leak from her eyes.  Her face panics while it folds and creases.  She screams.  Snot erupting from her nose and streaming off her quivering chin.  Thick black whiskers sprout and curl as though fertilized by the blood and mucus.  She’s a lumberjack and she’s not okay.

I recoil into consciousness.  It’s violent.

Like I’ve been wailed on until I open my eyes.

I’m awake, still wearing this beautiful watch.

You fucking A!  I’m awake.

Here it comes.  All of it.  She’s gone.

I gotta piss like a racehorse and I’m shaking while it sinks in.

The mirror above the sink confuses me because I mistake it for blood at first.  It’s lipstick and the message is incomplete.  My name and Shirley had a lovely time, then a smear that trails to the bottom of the mirror and her lipstick is in the sink along with the clear plastic cap.

I look like a chicken fucking McNugget.  What we have here is a deep fried and greasy countenance.

I must have gone down after the blowjob.

She wiped me off with a warm wet towel.  There it is, still damp between the bed and the bathroom.  It’s orange.  There’s no condoms, my junk isn’t sticky and there’s orange lipstick on it.

He killed her right there and then.

Right after my righteous hoovering.  She went to freshen up and maybe spit?  Did she already have the towel?

There’s blood, viscera and hair in the shower.  Blond hair.  His knife is there too.  No batteries in the waste basket.

Housekeeping can change the linens, I won’t ditch the bed skirt.  Absence being more conspicuous than a smear of blood I figure.  We’ll see.

Carlo hammers at my door, calling my name.

I’m freaked out all over again.  I don’t know anything about this dude except he’s fucking odd.

Man I’m in trouble.

“How bad is it?”, he barks when I open the door.  He hasn’t slept, he’s pale and a little bug eyed.

I wonder how he got on the boat.  Carlo probably boards airplanes at will.

I wonder how he knows.  I wonder how he knows what he knows.

I tell him what I know, and what I think I know.  Somehow I’d managed jeans and a t-shirt.

He folds his hands and rests his forearms on his knees, looks up at me from the corner of the bed.  The watch he wears is identical to the one he gave me.

He bows his head, then comes up with a grimace.  He goes to the closet and pulls out a plastic bag for shoes to be shined.  He doesn’t look at me as he collects the evidence, the bloody viscera, lipstick, knife and hair into the bag.  He starts the shower, hands me the shoeshine bag and tells me to lose it while indicating the balcony with a nod of his head.

I’m outside and it’s chilly, I look both ways before letting it drop.   I wait for it to hit the water.  It seems too loud, but I probably only imagined hearing it.

I slide the door shut behind me and he’s back in the bathroom methodically cleaning the mirror with toilet paper wrapped around his open hand.  His hat is off, he sweats a little.  It is here I begin to trust the man.

I need a cigarette.

Holding up a finger he disappears out the door.  As quickly he’s back with paper towels and a spray bottle of blue he’s lifted from a cleaning cart.  I now understand that lipstick is very greasy.  The blue liquid is a minor miracle.  I’m able to make short work of everything.  I consider dousing my genitals with it.

This is some bullshit.  No fair.  I’m just not equipped for this.

I can’t help it.  I sob.  I choke.  I dry heave into the tiny sink hard enough to bleed.  I’m aware of stomping my foot as I convulse with anger.
He’s behind me in the mirror all about sympathetic chagrin.  “Shower, but be quick.  We need to get you out of here.”  He points at the floor.

I am grateful to hear it.  I need to wash this off of me.  I need to be told what to do.

I’ve no idea where to go from here.  It’s all way too much.  A woman has been murdered.  An innocent woman.  She was nice and she smelled good.  She didn’t deserve to meet anyone like me.  It wasn’t her fault but it was mine.

She suffered a violent dissection with a a dual D-cell powered, serrated knife.  Not fair.  It’s not fair and I’m in the middle of it.  It’s entirely my fault.

I knew what would happen.  I knew it absolutely.  I fucking saw it.  Now I’ve gotten more than an eyeful.  Now I am guilty.

I’ve just dropped evidence into the ocean.

Mr. Tarcisi hands me a towel.  He is anxious for us to leave.

Before we leave the boat, we stop for eggs, coffee and a muffin with butter and jam, Carlo insists.  I can’t eat.  I’m numb.  I can’t take most allergy medicine because it traps me between wanting to catch a frisbee in my mouth like a dog in a commercial or napping until the solstice and this is exactly how I feel right this minute.  I seem to be vibrating with a low frequency panic and something octaves up that would make for excellent surveillance camera footage.

By the time we’re in his car his impatience is obvious.  Fuck me.  Fuck him.

“I need to take you to my home for a bit”, says Carlo through a smile and a brown cigarette.  He looks out the window when I look at him.

Drinks for my friends.

4 Responses to “Man in picture Chapter Nine v2.0 Sun Bangs Through”

  • tacohead:

    This is very suspensful! What I need is a little more hint towards the answer to “why me?” and how Tarcisi fits into it all. What is the larger scheme here? If you can pull that off it will tie it together more, I will connect with the story and character more. It will even be more suspensful and scary.

  • Ok dude, I’m caught up now. Tacohead makes a nice comment above, and some fair requests. Looks like you caught a couple of boos back there a chapter ago, and the one before that. Don’t let ’em discourage you to plow forward. Everyone gets an opinion, and this kind of horror trash isn’t for everybody. But they do have to start at the beginning and read up to the cruise to even have half a soap box to boo from.

    This chapter reminds me of a trivial story I was going to tell you this past x-mas season but forgot to. I watched a movie that made me think of you. It was called ‘I Drink Your Blood’ It was made in ’71, if I remember right, and it was ridiculous, but it worked better than most of the other trash cinema nuggets I’ve sat through- which you know is saying something, I love that garbage.

    Here’s the plot: A band of satan worshiping hippies, modeled loosely on the Manson family, converge on a small town and squat in an old house. Grampa whoever goes over to the house and chews em all out and tells em to git. They dose him with LSD, and he spend the night hollering in his own kitchen. This chubby little boy, the grandson, decides to get revenge on the hippies. He takes his shotgun and goes off into the night. He meets up with a rabid dog. He shoots it dead, and then goes on home for some reason. Now, his grandad’s a doctor, and his mom runs the town bakery. His stepdads the sheriff. He returns home, sneeks a syringe from the doctor bag, goes back out to the dead dog and fills the syringe with rabid blood. Then he goes back to the bakery, sees that the Satanic hippys are headed in for some breakfast, so he injects all the meat pies with the syringe. The hippies come and eat the meat pies and wah-la, crazy rabid hippies start killing everybody. One of them fucks the entire construction crew from the project up the road. So for the rest of the film, dirty hippies and guys in blue work shirts and hard hats are running around with toothpaste foam spiting out their heads. It’s all pretty stupid and fun.

    So here’s the part that made me think of you: One of the Satanic rabid hippies is this beautiful young brunette with long straight hair and big sixties eyes. She’s just coming on to her rabid ways, so she’s not foaming at the mouth yet. She’s in a house with a woman who is doing a little kitchen work. The hippy chick watches doe-eyed and innocent as the womean uses her electric turkey carver to slice up something, I can’t remember what. She sets the knife down and the pretty hippy looks wonderingly at it. Then, without any grimace or overt malice, she picks the thing up and saws off the older womans hand.

    I thought of you. Sure the wrist bones sawed apart too easily, but that didn’t lessen the effect. It was shocking when the wayward hand plonked on the floorboards.

    carry on

  • admin:

    I’m working toward giving those answers. It’s a fine line between maintaining the suspense and letting the narrative roll on.

  • admin:

    Well then, I think you’ve told me what I need to know. Got your package today. Zeekers!!!

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