From Imaginary Ripples · Stories

Solitary II: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

As you approach the house, it is immediately obvious that something of note has occurred here. A half dozen police cars line the narrow laneway, with a young male officer directing civilian traffic away from the site. On the lawn in front of the small house two officers, one a young man barely from the academy and the other a hardened old sergeant, are doubled over, their hands resting on their knees as they try not to vomit on themselves. In front of them are pools of sickening, foul smelling vomitus, a testimony to the grotesque nature of the carnage inside the house. As you walk up the well-maintained, neat path that meanders its way through the front yard, passing the stunning, meticulously attended rainbow of rose bushes, you again hear the officers vomit across the neat grass, only now they no longer vomit, having long ago emptied the contents of their stomach. As you reach the carved wooden front door, it is thrown open from the inside and a young yet experienced female constable, lurches towards the garden, her handing covering the lower half of her greening face. Her feet squelch as she hurries, looking down you see her once black shoes have been turned a horrid shade of blood red. Whilst behind her she leaves a trail of bloody footprints. As she reaches the roses her hand flies from her face and she vomits forcefully at the base of the bushes.

You enter the house, noting several sets of bloodied footprints coming from a room to the left, through another door. Aside from the bloodied footprints, the room seems warm and inviting, pictures of a young family, a husband and wife and a young daughter, line the room. There are memorabilia and valueless trinkets that add to the homeliness and carry an aura of sentimentality about them. A deep blue vase houses a set of roses and another matching vase holds a pleasing arrangement of chrysanthemums. A small handcrafted wooden bear sits between them, a carving on its belly declaring Mary-Anne as Patrick’s beloved. Other symbols of young love bedeck the room along with photos of extended family and the pair on holiday. The door from which the bloody footprints emerge seems ominous under the lights and the faint odour of human blood seeps through from beyond.

As you open the door you are assaulted by the overwhelming odour of human vitae. The Beast surges towards the surface as you fight to control your baser instincts. The cream-white plush carpet has been stained a ghastly red, and the precious life blood has been splattered across the room. The walls seem to have been painted with the blood. As you take a step into the room, your attention is drawn upwards as a drop of blood falls from the ceiling fan and lands on your shoulder. Even the roof has blood splattered across it. The once pristine couch, adorned with comfortable cushions and the old cracked leather recliner are soaked by the fluid, glistening in the reddened light emitting from the blood-stained globe. A pale faced officer tries to guard the door to the next room, but his green-tinged appearance and weeping eyes betray him. Again you have to fight the Beast, pushing it down into the deepest recesses of your mind, as it is drawn ever forwards by the constant odour of the freshly spilt blood and the red that assaults your vision no matter which way you turn. In the corner of the room is a collection of small toys, obviously belonging to the young child in the family, they too have been spattered with blood. Once again the Beast rises towards the surface, this time at the thought of the young infant’s blood.

The woman lies in the middle of the room. A tattered, torn and blood-soaked book lies beside the body. An old, well-used bookmark still rests within it. The body itself is contorted and torn apart; her face is one of the few parts still recognisable. Somehow, that only adds to the horror and draws the Beast ever closer. Her clothes have been reduced to shreds and you can see deep viscous wounds on what you assume were once her arms, presumably where she tried to defend herself from the monstrous beast that caused this. It is impossible to tell what colour her clothes once were, let alone their design, all they now resemble is a shredded pile of blood red cloth. Her right leg has bite marks along its length. Almost as if something feasted on it after it brutally tore her apart. Her left leg is bent behind her at an impossible angle, and it too seems to have been partly eaten. Her belly and chest have been torn open, and amongst the soppy, red flaps of skin and fat organs are recognisable. Her liver, shredded by large claws, her intestines chewed and gnawed on. Her heart crushed under the weight of the beast’s foot. Yet despite the graphic horror of the blood spattered remains of the poor woman, the view of her mutilated, eviscerated body is nothing compared to the horror on her face, contorted in a look of so much pain as to be near unbelievable. Where her left eye should be is a bloody, oozing pile of flesh that looks far too much like her eye exploded under too much pressure. Her right eye seems to stare up at you, unliving yet pleading for the pain to stop, pleading for death and release from the living nightmare, pleading for the excruciating pain that tears through her body as the beast rips chucks out of her legs and gut to sate it’s hunger. And at once pleading that through some miracle she survive this atrocity, that someone rescues her and returns her to her loving husband and their precious baby. It is a continuous fight now to stop the Beast from breaking through to the surface as it revels in the destruction and horror that is before you. What reviles and disgusts even the most hardened of cops, sending them running for the relative peace of the front yard, running to empty their stomachs and be haunted for their pathetic little lives by nightmarish visions of the carnage that is this room, stirs but one true emotion in what remains of your undead heart. Lust. The Beast lusts to run rampant through the streets recreating this nightmare scene a hundred times, each more horrendous and disgusting than the last.

As you force the Beast back into the cage that supposedly keeps it in check, you cross the room to the other door. Opening it you see bloodied paw prints across more cream-white plush carpet, ending at a lion. The lion looks up at you as you enter, and recognising you as a fellow predator it merely yawns and licks a large, bloody piece of Mary-Anne off of its paw and settles back down to snooze in the comforting warmth of the room.

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