by Amy Geilen '20
The red washes down her arms like a crimson river, moving down her wrists and dripping
from her fingertips, splashing onto the tile and following the red tears as they filtered down the drain. Her eyes followed the droplets robotically, her mind focusing on absolutely nothing other than her hands that shook slightly. She felt numb, empty.
A knock sounded through the room, jolting her out of her thoughts, and she slowly and methodically began to wash the red from the crevices. First, it was her hands, then her legs, then her arms, and finally it was her hair and face. Her skin was pink from how hard she scrubbed it, but she didn’t care. She had never wanted to forget something more in her entire life.
Her eyes trained on the faucet dial, and she moved her hand up to turn the steady stream of water off. A flash of red caught her eyes, and she instantly focused on her hand. It was covered in a dark sticky liquid. Her throat clenched, and she stumbled back in shock. Her hand was once again submerged in the water, but unlike before, the thick liquid wasn’t washing off.
“No, no, no, no,” she whispered to herself. She quickly pumped soap into her hand, raising her other hand to begin to scrub the liquid away. Her panic grew as both hands began to become coated in the thick blood.
Her breaths began to come out hazardously. Her head shook frantically as she grabbed a cloth and began to desperately scrub her hands. Soon, the cloth was covered in red, and a small sob rocked through her body. She knew she shouldn’t have listened to what Chris told her to do, but something told her to listen.
She felt pressure behind her eyes before warmth began to flow down her cheeks. She used her forearm to wipe her face, her mind focusing on her hands. A streak of red caught her eye and she let out another quiet sob. On her forearm was a long streak of red.
“I’m sorry,” she sobbed, kneeling on the tile. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” her voice became a chant. “Forgive me.”
She knew she couldn’t be forgiven. Not for something of this magnitude.
“Congratulations,” a voice whispered, sending shivers down her spine. “You’ve become a killer.”
“No,” she sobbed.
“Morana. Poor little Morana,” the voice mocked. A figure began walking around her, and she tensed, shutting her eyes tightly. “It’s fitting, your name. Morana, meaning: Death, Annihilation-” the figure bent down and gripped her chin in its hands, causing her to open her eyes “- hallucinations.”
Her breath caught in her throat at the figure in front of her. Its body was pale as snow but covered from head to toe in blood. She recognized the person - how could she not? His blood was mixed with many others on her hands.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
The man laughed sarcastically, the sounding freezing her blood and sending ice to her heart. “I don’t doubt it,” he said. “But don’t you worry, Morana. I’ll be here to remind you,” the man rose to his feet and exited through the curtain.
“He told me to,” she said, her voice coming out in a feeble excuse. “Chris said I had to do it,” her hands covered her mouth, “I don’t know why,” she whispered helplessly.
After a few seconds, she rose shakily to her feet. The blood that once coated her hands was gone. Instead, her hands were a light red from how harshly she had scrubbed them. She hesitatingly stepped out of the shower, drying off before putting on sweatpants and a sweatshirt. She cautiously exited the bathroom, only to shriek as she came face to face with a man.
“Chris,” she squeaked.
At the sight of his face, her mind flashed with images. Images of blood coating the ground of a diner, and Chris sitting at the bar with a smile on his face. The memory of blood coating her hands as she held a butter knife tightly in her grasp, the strong metallic scent flooding her senses, and the puddle of warmth soaking into her white vans. A memory that created bile in her mouth.
Chris’ voice rang clearly in her mind; the words he said as she coated the diner red: “I didn’t think you’d have the guts to do it. Guess I was wrong.”
“How are you feeling?” His voice jolted her back to reality. His hands moved rhythmically up and down her arms, the action meant to be soothing.
She shrugged, and he instantly encased her in a hug. Behind him, was the man covered in blood. He was manically smiling at her, leaning on a wall that was dripping with blood.
“I’m so proud of you,” Chris whispered.
Her heart began to drown out the other words Chris said as more and more figures coated in blood stood next to the man. All of them carrying the same maniacal smile that sent shivers down her spine.
Chris pulled away, a frown on his face. “Are you okay?” he questioned.
The man rose his index finger to his lips, his eyes twinkling as he made a shushing motion. She shook her head, unlocking her eyes from the man and onto Chris’. “Never better,” she breathed.