The Scene of a Murder

December 7, 2011
My hands are cold and sweaty. My brain is flicking on and off, unable to function from lack of sleep. Through my eyes, I do not see my empty gray room; I see flashing lights, pulsing red and blue and the sight of dark splotches of blood glistening on the leather seats. The sickening smell of the thick red substance spattered across the windshield and the bitter stench of alcohol was overwhelming. My shirt was soaked through with the liquid that used to be in the empty cans at my feet. I blink my eyes and will all my muscles to force my body from the soggy belt, slamming open the truck door. Standing outside, I felt as if my legs had iron bars inserted through them.

The vehicle I had smashed into had spun over multiple times. Smoke blurred my vision and snaked through my nostrils as I stumbled towards the wreck. The small station wagon was demolished, and smoke was curling from the battered and dented hood. Bits of metal debris littered the pavement, wet from the rainstorm earlier that day. I pried off the drivers side of the car, since there wasn’t much left of it. The image that met my bloodshot eyes next was plastered onto my brain, as if it had been stuck there with superglue and duck tape. The mangled body of a woman lay broken and twisted in the seat. Her skin on her chest was covered in severe burns, probably from the airbag, and what was left of her V neck was tattered. Her face was hardly recognizable; it looked like a squashed berry, charred and black. A small mouth and bright white teeth, along with one remaining eye was all that could be seen around the blackened and bloody skin. Next to her, a scorched body of a boy that could have been no more than 10 sat in a gruesome heap. I had hit the passenger side of the station wagon with the front of my truck and it clearly showed in the state of this boy’s body. A large piece of shrapnel protruded from this throat, his head almost ripped from his neck. It looked like one of a flimsy rag doll. Brains and thick fluid trickled from his dangling head and what remained of his face was a look of horror. I felt numb. It was like I was walking in even more of a dream than it had felt like when I was driving. I couldn’t speak or cry. I couldn’t tear my gaze from those two contorted figures in the seats. The smell of beer from my shirt, smoke from the wreck and the pungent odor of the bodies brought me to my knees. Shaking, and my limbs feeling as if they were being controlled like a puppet, I reached out across the woman to touch the hand of the little boy.

His small hand shone in the dim light of the street lamps, along with the rest of his body. I tenderly held his hand that was cast in the eerie orange glow. It was so cold… The blood in my veins turned to ice and stopped running, just like his, as our palms touched. A single tear rolled down my cheek and all I remember before I passed out into the woman’s lap is my hand touching his, the murderer and his victims.

And now, as I flash my mind back to the present, I tightly grip the steel bars that cage me. I grip those bars with the same hand that touched the dead little boy’s his blood on my fingertips. He and his mother had a life ahead of them. An innocent ride back home after a long day turned into their last minutes on earth. All because of me; the guy who decided to drink all his problems away, and just created more. I am a murderer, and I feel like this room I have been sentenced to, bleak and gray. My heart beats slow and faint, and my hands are clammy, my eyes empty. My soul carries the burden of the two lives I had taken and found laying in front of me in that little station wagon.

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