Sunday, October 2, 2011

Varnish Drying

Varnish Drying
by: jlmo

“You knew something was wrong.

“You looked right at her, and you knew. Something tickled the back of your mind. The outer recess of your memory tried calling to you. You chose to ignore her.

“And now, what? You feel ‘guilty’? You feel ‘sorry’? Do you feel ‘bad’? Doesn’t help her now, does it?.”

The bastard had me face down on the floor with my hands tied behind my back. The rope tied so tight, the knot cut into my wrists. My own blood began to wet the back of my shirt. He sat in a metal folding chair using me as his footrest, keeping me in this hallway at the threshold of the room he’d put varnish down on. From the odor, he only did it this afternoon.

His voice sounded so soft and smooth. I understood why she would be drawn to him. The thought this pig of a man even touched her sent a shiver through me.

“I realize she wanted to reach you. I recognized the expression on her face cried for help. I only hoped you didn’t. I guess I knew you did. Looking back now, my recurring thought was you must be a coward. You liked the way things were, and to acknowledge her, to reach out to her at that moment, would have screwed up your night. You had other plans. You had other places to go, didn’t you? Guess what? So did she. She probably didn’t like what I had planned for her.”

I couldn’t deny the accusation. She’d blown me off a number of times recently, only to call later, crying about her bad choices. I was on my way to meet a hot date, and yeah, running into her put a cramp in my agenda.

“What a fluke for you to turn the corner the same time we did. You said ‘hi’ to her and I almost lost my nerve. Then she gave you that look. Even I could tell, and I’d only been with her for a very short time. I had seen the same in other women’s eyes, though. A cross between hope, and disappointment. Hope you might see the situation for what it was. Disappointment, because she knew you wouldn’t.

“I kept my arm tightly wrapped around her. I nuzzled her neck and her stomach muscles actually clenched. She was about to vomit. The knife pressed into her thigh, though. By that time there was no doubt someone would get hurt if she screamed. I got a hard-on just thinking about what I was about to get away with. And you stood as impotent as any weak, lily-livered, self-absorbed wimp to ever walk this earth.”

I would not let this low-life make me feel guilty for what he did to her. I would make this asshole pay, though.

“So wimp, what’d ya think when I nuzzled her? I couldn’t see her face, but I picture her eyes as terrified. They must’ve darted between you and me. Granted, I only looked away to put my lips against her neck for a moment. I had full confidence man, you weren’t going to do a damn thing.”

The smell of varnish was beginning to get to me. I never could handle the odor of paint in general. I was one of the first in line for the ‘odorless’ type. But varnish never changed, at least none I had found.

“I didn’t want to actually kill her, I only wanted to screw her. Same with the other two. But she started screaming, and carrying on. I told her to shut up, but she started whining. Man! I hate whiners.”

That got to me. She did whine, but in the cutest, self-deprecating kind of way. She made fun of herself for whining. Once again, tears welled in my eyes.

“Ah, are you crying? You know, I wasn’t going to do anything to you, even though you saw us together last. Mick told me you were trying to find me. He described you perfectly. I gotta tell ya, I laughed. The wimp wants to do good!

“After our brief meeting on the street, I didn’t think you had the cohones God gave a monkey. So, I figured, I’d let you find me. Look where that got you. Ha!”

Just keep talking.

“I didn’t want to kill you, but you’ve painted yourself into this corner. You could’ve done something while she and I stood in front of you last night. I most likely would’ve walked away from the little lovely, but that’s not what you chose to do. You chose to ignore her silent pleas. I, on the other hand, chose to ignore her verbal pleas. Now you wait to be executed with no one to help. A wet corner, indeed.”

The idiot actually laughs at his own twisted sense of humor. My tears are under control, but my stomach may empty its contents with my face planted on the floor.

“If it’s any consolation, when the time came, I killed her quickly.”

‘Funny, I’d like to see you die slowly.’

“How much longer am I supposed to wait?” he shouted to the world. “I should shoot you now, but cleaning up blood and wet varnish is impossible. I’ve tried.” He sighed and said,  “Ah, well. The floor will dry soon enough.

“Don’t you want to say anything? I didn’t gag you because I wanted to hear you shout at me, curse me, cry. Something.”

You are so gonna hate what I say, when I say it.

“You should keep your nose out of other people’s business. Did you wake up this morning and think you should ‘save’ her?”

At this point, he rose from his folding metal chair and stepped on my back in order to get a better view of what he called his ‘killing room’. I could tell the gun was still in his hand.

“Damn! I took such pains to get the entire room cleaned of her blood. I painted the walls, and waited for that to dry. I coated the floor with varnish, so I would never need to wait like this again. ‘I’ll just hose the room down,’ I thought. Here you come, before the floor even dried, and spoil the whole, damn thing. I cleaned up blood from three women before I thought of the varnish thing. Including your little friend!”

He returned to his chair and kicked me in the side. I guess I annoyed him. He let a silence pass for a few minutes.

“You didn’t actually spoil everything. I mean, once this dries, and I kill you, should still be easy to spray the blood off and right down the drain. A little alcohol wash and voila! No trace of you remains.

“You know, I can’t get over your sudden change of heart. What were you thinking? Did you believe you could do something? Did you even have a plan here?

“If you hadn’t gone into Mick’s place and asked for me, you never would’ve found me. Lucky for me, Mick is a friend, who isn’t aware of my, well, let’s say diverse pleasures. So, when you told him you were looking to find me, he figured you were either a narc or wanted to pick up an eight-ball. Either way, he kept you strung along. Nice move when he told you to come back at ten. I come in at nine. I do every night. When he told me about you, I tell ya again, I laughed out loud! You were actually stupid enough to come back to the place, alone!”

Keep talking, asshole. Just keep talking.

“I thought it was a stroke of genius on my part to get Mick to tell you to follow me out. Not only did you follow me, but you kept following! Your stupidity is amazing! Now here you are, all tied up and waiting for the varnish to dry. Didn’t you think to tell anyone you were doing something this crazy?”

“Yeah. Me.”

The two gunshots echoed in my ears as the bullets blew off the top of his head. I almost pissed myself I was so relieved.

My partner Bob untied my hands and had to help me up. My shoulders had been pulled back for so long, they had gone numb. I walked over to my torturer, leaned in close and inspected the frozen expression of shock on what was left of his face.

“My blood ain’t never gonna be hosed off this floor, asshole!” I shouted at the corpse. “Your blood will stain this floor for-fucking-ever!”

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