"Something I've heard." Gerard has a vicious allusion of blood.
"See you in the morning Gerard."
"Off to bed already?" I stretched playfully; turning to my friend.
Ray who'd headed to the adjacent door of the dinning room turned and looked at me. His expression stolid.
"Scared?" I teased.
He smiled lightly towards me; not in high spirits. I excused myself after a vexed cough eluded my brother's throat. Moving to an upstairs bathroom I passed a large grandfather clock which seemed to have stopped ticking years before. If it were any other however I would have continued, yet this one I felt compelled to greet. Stopping short I looked to the frozen hands,
"4:43," I whispered sharply.
For a split second I assumed something of the time; scanning hard for a reason nothing came. I brushed this from me and carried on to the bathroom my main objective for the night; bathing. The room was musky and an old color of forest green seemed to be pealing from the walls. I looked to the cracking tiles on the floor and to the gritted sink with rusted faucet.
"Gerard," A familiar unsure voice called to my back.
"Yes Frank," I answered while observing the grey concrete soap scum which had taken refuge to the shower's connecting tub.
"Is it...," He paused, "Can I sleep on that couch in you're room tonight?"
An image of my room came to mind, with it the couch Frank spoke of. It was as I remembered from laying on it when first reviewing the house, red and faded velvet fabric. Upon taking a seat the couch would allow you to sink in deep and feel almost as if you were cocooned. I turned to Frank, is eyes wore deep bags from years of disrupted sleep cycles.
"That's fine," I said enjoying his expression wash with relief.
He left and I was alone. Grabbing a dulled primrose pink towel from the linen closet opposite the toilet I began to undress gently. Taking hold of my zipper I pulled downwards slowly removing the garment and letting it drop to my side. I pulled at the back collar of my shirt dragging it over my head. The cloth moved against my greasy hair causing a slight static sensation. I stared into the grained mirror. Touching my pale chest I traced a fading scar I had received from my darker days of addiction. Not remembering the origin of the event I moved to my pants. Soon I stood naked; not in a while had I made undressing such a ritual.
The taps in the shower were rusted seemingly as the same ones the sink owned. I turned them with little ease. A low moan as water met pressure escaped like a mummer into the bathroom. I sat on the side of the tub waiting for the water to come.
A voice from the door accompanied with a single knock wished me.
Water gushed out blasting into the tub; I stood to pull at a small ring which sat neatly on top of the choking faucet. The name of this device as I stepped into the shower escaped me, I never caught the name of it and I probably never would. I only knew it's functions, pull the ring you'd be showering, don't touch it and your bathing. Simple and clear. Stepping under the shower head I heard Bob yelling through the door.
His heavy feet deafened as he headed to his room; I remained under the scalding water. For a long time I had preferred lukewarm as the temperature but in the last year it had come to change; getting hotter each time I stepped in. Seldom would I burn my skin, but frequently would I leave not a drop of hot water left for anyone else. Taking the bite on my skin a few seconds more I shut off the water. I felt the steam billowing off as my body began to cool; I pulled back the curtain. Stepping out onto the grungy mat I reached for my towel. I roughly began to dry myself finishing with my matted hair. I took a long humid breath and wrapped the towel around my waist. I wiped the mirror while looking around the sink for my razor. Little brown hairs lay stuck in it's blades, I smirked slightly and mumbled to myself,
I ran it under the rusted tap; watching the little hairs wash down in a swirl and into the drain. I gripped my razor tightly and lifted it to my face. Glancing at the mirror I dropped it. Instantly as it had appeared the bloody hand prints that lay spewed and smudged disappeared from the mirror. I didn't for a second doubt that I hadn't seen this, but who would believe it?