Quiet the Blood and the Tears

November 24, 2009
By crg_rose SILVER, Johnsburg, Illinois
crg_rose SILVER, Johnsburg, Illinois
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments

“Look,” George turned his wife’s face toward him. “Look at that!”

Anne turned to the sky, seeing hundreds of white birds clouding the sun from her eyes.

“It’s beautiful,” she sighed, looking back at George’s eyes. They were twinkling.

George’s eyes had been twinkling for Anne since the moment they had met. A victim of her own innocence, she had been furiously washing her face in the women’s bathroom, bidding the scarlet blood to leave her cheek and shoulder. George, the manager of that fancy restaurant – Anne had tried to block the name from her memory, but still it came: Au Poivre – had patiently waited outside the bathroom as long as he could stand (it had been forty three minutes exactly, he had always kidded her) until she had let out a scream and had burst from the bathroom. Fiery eyes had glared at George has he jumped in front of Anne, blocking her way. He let her pass. She tore to a small table in the corner, frantically searching for something, breaking a costly glass plate (George had forgiven her that expense), and finally sitting down and burying her face in her hands. As George walked closer, he could see the giant gash in her cheek that she had been trying to clean begin to bleed again, covering her fingers with the sticky substance. When he sat down across from her with concern written on his face, and across his heart, Anne had looked up right into his eyes and had immediately quieted. His eyes had twinkled then, just as they twinkled now.

Twenty years later, and George was still rescuing Anne from the sticky situations she got herself into. As a policewoman, Anne’s job was dangerous to begin with, but with her latest case, her job had become much more risky. Catching a gang of drug-dealing teenagers was a task Anne had undertaken before, but never a gang with so many members or affiliations. After busting their leader – a strange, older man who would only answer to the name He-Ya – Anne had started to run into his gang members everywhere. They had staked out her street corner and eyed her on her way to work. They had graffitted her house, splaying their symbol across her front lawn for the whole world to see. Her neighbors had actually called the police on her. George had begun to drive their kids to school so that they wouldn’t have to walk past the Heani gang members, who had once spit on their eldest child, sending her home in tears.

This vacation was George’s idea, a getaway from the gang members as well as a chance for a break. For both of them – they deserved it. Those were the words George had used to convince Anne to live in mid-case, the Heani gang flying all over town, and her not there to do anything about it. Anne had to admit that it was nice to walk from hotel to restaurant to city park without fingering the gun she carried on her at all times. Still, she worried. Her children were staying safely away with George’s mother, attending school without interruption or gang-induced worry. Her coworkers were taking in more of the Heani teens every day, reuniting them with He-Ya in jail. Of course, the teens could probably go to juvenile detention and get off quickly. They were young, misguided, and most likely could be straightened out with proper care and a home. He-Ya might possibly be spending his life in that jail.
There was nothing more she could do, George told her at least once a day, but enjoy the break and their time together. Anne felt safe here, in Paris, with George’s hand in hers and the welcoming city twinkling so much like George’s eyes. Still, she could not help but feel that something would go wrong.

It was later, in their dinner that night at the Spiced Pepperhouse, that her suspicions came true. George had gone to the bathroom awhile ago and had still not returned. Forty three minutes exactly, she remembered, then decided to wait longer. Their food arrived, and still George did not come back. Anne shivered, feeling the strangest sense of déjà vu from the night she and George had met. Slowly, she slid out of her chair and made her way to the men’s bathroom, being careful to discreetly touch the gun that barely outlined its shape in her shoe.

“George?” she called. Waited, then knocked. She knocked again, harder this time. The people at the bar looked at her, and Anne felt they could see right down to her sweating palms and .40 Cartridge. She cleared her throat, looking away. She knocked again, beginning to get nervous.
“George?” she murmured.
Suddenly, the door slammed open and before Anne could react, a bearded man grabbed onto her shirt and pulled her inside. She glimpsed George, unconscious, leaning awkwardly over a sink with blood gushing out of a cut in his neck. Her heart fluttered, distracted, as she was shoved into the handicapped stall where He-Ya was waiting for her.

She gasped in shock. He-Ya giggled, clasping the crude knife held in his hand. His crazed eyes crinkled as he smiled down on her, focusing on the scar below her right cheekbone. Abruptly, Anne understood.

“It was you!” she shrieked, horrified, pointing a shaking finger at him. “It was you that night when you – when you attacked me!”

He-Ya did not scream or yell or even grin, as Anne expected him to, but instead licked his dirty lips and started toward her with the crooked knife. Raging, Anne pulled her gun from her body and stood facing him, both hands on the trigger. He-Ya moved on. Anne could smell his breath. It smelled of steak. Just as it had smelled the last time she had been in a nice restaurant with him. She shuddered.
He-Ya walked right into Anne’s pointed gun, now perfectly placed on the left side of his chest.
“You didn’t want me then, and you don’t want me now,” he rasped. He held up his middle finger. Then, taking the forlorn knife, he cut it off. Anne watched, horrified. One by one he cut off all the fingers of his left hand, letting them drop quietly to the ground. He held up his shaking hand, blood gushing out of it, to the fluorescent light. He turned to Anne.
He slapped her face at the same instant that she released the trigger. His eyes bugged out.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, then fell to the ground, blacking out. Anne knew he would be dead before he woke up. She stood, reeling back with shock for a split second, and then the other guy – the bearded one who had shoved her in the stall – twisted the flimsy bathroom lock to get in. Taking in the scene of Anne with her gun raised, and He-Ya on the floor, he held up his hands and stumbled backwards.
Anne pointed her gun toward him, backing away to the door, then pushed it open with her back. The bartender took in the sight of her bloodied face and the gun and immediately rushed to the phone. Anne hoped that it was to call the police. The people who had looked at her rudely before now sat, with mouths dropped open, eyes widened at the gun.
It was forty three seconds exactly before the police arrived. Anne counted. As soon as they got control of the bearded man, Anne rushed over to George. Only now did she allow herself to cry.
“George, George!” she whispered. “George!”
George heard a sound, quite like his wife. He felt a wet mark on his heart and looked down to see his wife’s hair, mangling with his own blood. His wife’s face was crying on his shirt. Red tears? he wondered. He realized she was covered with blood, too. Just like when I met her, he remembered fondly, then tilted her face toward his. Her eyes were fiery, inquisitive.
Anne searched George’s face, looking for other marks of pain. Pain because of me, she thought, touching the gash on his neck and whimpering. But as soon as Anne looked into his eyes, she quieted. For George’s eyes, once again, were twinkling.



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This article has 5 comments.


DEMON said...
on Dec. 23 2009 at 4:57 pm
Different, with an intense edge. "Quiet the Blood and the Tears" seemed emotional, and yet it held that sad, unclenching suspense. Very well writen, love. RAZE or RANT about the infamous work of DEMON in...

"RAZED EXPECTATIONS"

Wisps of smoke danced into the wintry air from my lips, creating ornate designs that could never be replicated. I carefully tilted the corners of my lips into a smile that I meant to be wry. Of course, it's difficult to articulate emotions that I can't feel, but I find that irony is relatively simple to demonstrate. I inhaled the toxic vapors of the cigarette casually. Its sinister, black cancer couldn't cripple a seventeen-year-old boy with no lungs, let alone a heart.

I glanced in the direction of the horizon, and flinched. The sun was dying flamboyantly, casting its radiant colors across the sky. Its last waves of light caressed my cold, pale skin. I wanted to snarl rebelliously as I felt its warmth slide against me deviously.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

My muscles went rigid, and I had to focus madly on controlling my shaking hands. I would know that voice, that beautiful, disastrous voice, in the realms beyond that of Earth. I grated my teeth, reeling in the disturbing sensations that she unknowingly always aroused in me.

I cocked my body towards her arrogantly, and lifted my mouth into a crooked crescent moon. I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises.

“I find the sunset lifeless and meaningless, actually,” I countered flatly, and a beat too late.

She laughed merrily, and I struggled within myself as my mind and body became entranced by the beautiful movement of her laughter as the colors of the sun played about her.

“You amuse me, Darian. How can you have such a pessimistic view of the world? The sun will not be lifeless until it disappears beneath the horizon, and the night falls. It’ll rise tomorrow, though,” she said.

I dared not think of her name. I hated the way my soul-if I had a soul-thrilled when her voice lingered over my name. It reminded me of music. I had to close my mind defiantly as I thought of music. I wanted nothing that resembled passion.

“That’s an inane notion that foolish women entertain. You want poetry, and ridiculous vows of forever. You aren’t difficult to read. If you want that sunset to mean something, then you want unrequited love. It doesn’t work like that,” I growled unmercifully, angry at her for unleashing the flood of feelings upon me.

DEMON said...
on Dec. 23 2009 at 4:54 pm
"RAZED EXPECTATIONS" continues...

Her lovely green eyes shifted into hard emeralds.

“What do you know about me, Dare? And what’s so wrong with having dreams? And why are you talking to me like that? I was simply commenting on the sunset.” She tossed her red curls, clearly miffed.

I lifted my chin, and blew smoke in her face. It was easier on me when she was angry. I don’t know why she bothered with me. Why she was brave enough to confront me. Why she didn’t follow the laws of the superficial high school we both attended. Why she didn’t stay away from me, like everyone else.

“You’ll die from that smoking, Darian.” She glared at me. We’d had this argument a lot. I lifted my eyebrows, and turned away from her, signaling that the conversation was over.

She didn’t obey, and I sighed.

“You know, Dare, you could let yourself feel. You could understand it.” Her voice was soft, a whisper in the darkening air. She was air. My air.

I reviled the potency of the emotions I could feel pulsing through me. I ran a hand through my black hair nervously, my body skidding with strange, unfamiliar energy. I didn’t want to answer her. Why didn’t she leave?

I made a fatal mistake when I looked at her. Every nerve inside of me screamed, as though my body and internal organs were recharging hurriedly in the rare moment of my awakening.

I think I felt my heart beat hesitantly.

My voice seemed like that of a stranger. It had a rich, deep tone to it. It had color.

“Understand what?”

Something in my expression changed the way she was looking at me. It may have mirrored the arrangement of my own features. She became vulnerable in that instant.

“Kiss me.” She whispered brokenly.

Surprise jolted keenly through me. God, I wished I was numb again. Everything felt electric-too intense and too vivid. Emotions scattered across my being, a mutinous invasion of the raging war against myself. I was defenseless and an easy prey to her request. I breathed jaggedly, and there was a husky vibe to it. Want. I recognized it more clearly as it bloomed vibrantly through me.

And she was waiting. For me.

I destroyed the walls I had so warily built as I leaned towards her. She lifted a creamy hand and laid it tenderly against my cheek, the expectation making her bold. I moaned, and closed my eyes. My own hands loosened, and reached for her face greedily

Something hot-burning-ignited against my skin. I wrenched myself away, dazed by the unpleasant sensation. Had a spark traveled through our bodies? That’s when I noticed the cigarette kindling like a faint ember beside my marred hand. It had burnt me. The throbbing pain brought a wave of consciousness through me. Reality. And I stared at her face, inches from mine, and something clicked inside of me. Gears that began humming smoothly, like a tuned clock. I pulled back, and tossed her hand away like it stung. I grimaced as the vitals within me slowly resumed their state of nothingness, and shook my head to clear it of its nonsensical ideas.

She watched the change take possession of me, and tears began to collect in her eyes.

I found that I could care less.

I grinned at her, and mocked, “I taste of cigarettes, Clara.”

She got up shockingly to her feet, and backed away as if understanding for the first time what I was. Tears stained her nondescript face.

I smiled, that careful replication of a smile, and said acidly, “Did I humor your silly fantasies well?”

Her face crumpled entirely, and she pivoted away and ran sobbing from my scathing ridicule.

The sun died, and all was dark.

on Dec. 22 2009 at 6:24 pm
SerenityMine BRONZE, Not Saying, California
2 articles 0 photos 156 comments
Oh, wow. Very suspenseful and well written but ew cutting off all his fingers! I was picturing the whole thing. :)

on Dec. 17 2009 at 1:30 am
crg_rose SILVER, Johnsburg, Illinois
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments
I know...somehow the spaces between my paragraphs got removed. :(

on Dec. 16 2009 at 10:39 pm
Dr@maGeek SILVER, Mckinny, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 16 comments
Wow very good i loved the suspence in it. The only problem is that the words blende so well its like reading a wonderfull story but not being able to see the words. It needs somthing that will make the words pop out.


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