Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quite the Maid

Damian couldn't help but smile on his way back to his room.  His mind spun, but whether it was from the wine or the company, he didn't care.  Surely some of both.

Genny had left him with a simple, chaste kiss on the cheek.  He could still feel it burning there.  A hand came up to rub the spot, but Damian kept it from completing its mission.  He didn't want to ruin the feeling.

He got all the way to the door to his room before reality grabbed at his ankles and yanked him back down from the clouds.  Bloody memories returned, pooling before his eyes as his hand hovered above the nob.  Damian could picture the scene that waited behind the door.  What am I going to do?

You could pray, Inigo suggested.

Damian failed to see how that would help.  The police would still be called.  He would still be arrested for murder.

It was self-defense, Inigo reminded him.  You were protecting life by taking it.  Besides, those men were unclean, if you will recall.

Damian did recall.  How could he forget?  The dark eyes with little tongues of flame burning in them, staring at him as they coldly sought his demise.  The card key shook in his hand as he tried to open the door.  Damian took a deep breath and calmed himself.  Think happy thoughts, he ordered his brain.  Think about Genny.

An angel, Inigo agreed.

Her smile fortified Damian.  Her eyes banished those of the strange men.  But even her body couldn't exorcise the memory of the blood.  Damian opened the door sick with dread.

The room was a mess.  Shards of glass glittered on the floor.  Blankets lay in bunched piles on the floor.  The innards of one of the pillows was strew across the bare bed.  A single light from the far corner of the room illuminated the scene.

Damian frowned and turned on the rest of the lights.  He turned and stuck his head back out into the hallway, craning up to catch a view of the room number.  Then, he shut the door and latched it closed.  He even flipped the metal bar across the knob that would keep the door from being opened if someone were able to bypass the lock.

He stood with his back to it for a moment, breathing deep.  How could this be?  There was no blood.  No bodies.  Sure, the room looked as if a fight had occurred, or perhaps a rambunctious celebration, but all evidence of death was simply... gone.

Perhaps the maid has come, he thought.

And cleaned up the bodies?  The blood?  Inigo replied.  You would be in chains now, if that were the case.

Handcuffs... or jail, Inigo.  They don't really use chains anymore.

He walked forward and placed a hand on the carpet.  It was dry.  He sniffed the air.  It was clean.  No stink of cleaning solution.

A numbness settled deep inside of Damian.  He wasn't sure which was more powerful, the sense of relief or bewilderment.  He glanced at the clock.  It blinked back 1:35 AM.

The power must have gone out, Damian reasoned.  He pulled out his cell phone and thumbed it open.  It read a steady half-past ten.  Exhaustion broke over him like a wave.  For the first time, he realized how tired he was.  He took a long look at the ruined hotel room.  Then, he walked over to the bed, brushed it off, and flopped down.

"I'll clean it in the morning," he promised the pillow.


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