Karti scrubbed with grim determination. It was tougher than she’d thought to get blood out of carpet, and she was sure someone in the building had already called the cops. Even with Marron doped up on tranqs, she’d had a hell of a time muffling his screams. Someone must have heard.
She pressed her wireless earbuds further in and turned her music up. Music, loud music, always helped her quiet the myriad thoughts flying around her brain, and pick just one to focus on.
The rapid fire beating of her heart calmed to a slower pace as she scrubbed in time to the base beat reverberating through her skull. This was just another stubborn stain in the carpet of this dingy rental in the less than salubrious part of town; a stark contrast to the wealth and hedonism Karti had grown up in.
She brushed an arm across her forehead, wiping the sweat away. This was the third scrubbing with caustic chemicals, and she was convinced she could still see his viscous green blood in the carpet. A momentary twinge of pity for Marron gripped her and stayed her hand. Then she remembered just how much he deserved everything he got, the lousy shit.
‘When would he learn to keep his eyes and limbs to himself?’
She’d warned him when they’d hooked up that if he cheated on her, she’d wreak bloody revenge. He’d laughed, thinking her jealousy cute.
‘How cute am I now, Marron?’
Marron lay limp and unconscious on their shared bed, his pelvis carefully bandaged. On the nightstand, his severed penis flopped sluggishly in a ziploc bag, a fish in its death throes, waning bolts of cellular connections twitching through it. Guilt pricked the edges of her conscience.
She’d take the dismembered appendage out of the bag soon, so it could atrophy and disintegrate on exposure to the air, like the thumb he’d chopped off. Karti had been filled with horror and wonder as he’d demonstrated his latest trick, the distinct benefits of splicing starfish genes onto his own. The disintegration of the butchered thumb had given her the courage to enact her oft fantasised revenge. He’d be fine. Pissed off, but fine. She wanted to teach him a lesson, not kill him. Maybe this time he’d change.
Karti gathered her cleaning equipment, dumped it all in the bucket she’d brought up from the basement, and tidied up. As much as she wanted to keep it, a trophy for finally standing up for herself, she knew it was evidence the cops would use against her.
Marron groaned groggily from the bed.
“Karti? Wass goin on?” he mumbled.
“Nuthin. Go back to sleep. Dog peed. I’ve cleaned it up.” Karti hoped the lie was convincing enough, that he wouldn’t remember that the dog had died last week.
Marron grunted, turned onto his back, and slipped back into a deep sleep. Karti had probably overdone the amount of tranqs she’d given him, but he was big enough to absorb it. She waited a full seven minutes before she went over to the bed. She’d read somewhere that it took seven minutes to fall into a deep sleep, and she wasn’t taking any chances.
Carefully, she pulled the covers back. Marron twitched, but didn’t wake. Scissors firmly in hand, Karti took a deep breath and began snipping and gently tugging at the bandages.
When the last round had been removed, Karti leaned in to examine her work. The cut had been rough, but the scarring would fade.
Karti stood back satisfied. There, in the middle of the crude gash that had already closed over, was a tiny, engorged, perfectly erect penis. Marron’s significant investment in this latest round of gene splicing had paid off. Within an hour, Marron would be back to his old self with no more to show for her vengeance than a small silvery scar that he’d never notice.
This was entered into YeahWrite’s weekly Fiction Challenge Grid. Click the link (or the badge, below) to check out the other entries and to read works of non-fiction too.
Oh my! You played this so well. Totally creeped me out, but the story arc was perfect.
Thank you so much! Also, hooray on the creeping out. I was aiming for that.
This was very creepy, I felt something actually rise in my throat! The whole thing reads like a scene from a movie.
I have a question. In the sentence “…third scrubbing with caustic chemicals…” – is the use of ‘caustic chemicals’ intentional? (Because it has a nice sound to it?) I kept wondering why the name of the chemical isn’t mentioned. Sorry for being a geek! 😀
Thank you! Yes, it was purposeful. Initially, I had “bleach” in there, but thought that might be a little specific for an unspecified dystopian future. Plus, you know I’m a huge fan of alliteration!
The green blood was such a clever hint! I like how you meted out the details of this world. The gene splicing, especially, was unexpected but it didn’t come out of nowhere. I am confused, however, at first Karti says she did it to teach him a lesson but at the end she’s making sure he doesn’t know she did it. Did I miss something?
Yeah, that was clumsy phrasing on my part. Marron would know what she’d done. He’d wake up before the growth was complete (why am I being so coy?), but the physical scar would be small and insignificant, something he wouldn’t notice most of the time. The gene splicing is something he sees as a benefit, a super power of sorts, but Karti figures out that it’s also his weakness/vulnerability. She can emotionally scar him, while leaving no notable physical traces of abuse on his body. My mind is a very dark place.
This was like when you don’t want to look at something but keep peeking through your fingers. I haven’t gotten to read as much of your work as I’d like, so I opened this expecting sweet or poignant or meaningful. I was delighted to be surprised and, yes, creeped out. You strung me along very nicely.
Thank you! I’m hesitant to say, but this story actually gets darker.
Whoa! I hope we get a chance to experience that!