Disposal. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend, mine was ok, fairly boring in all! I finished reading Desperation and started on a new book, whose name I can’t quite recall at the moment. I’m pretty tired, I woke up this morning at about 6 A.M. for no real reason, I dozed till about 7.30 or so and got up then. I have to say though, the music on the radio this morning was all depressing songs, yes, just what people need to perk them up on early Monday mornings. It isn’t that hard to play some happy music for crying out loud.

On with the show!

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Disposal.

She looked down at her hands, the blood. Everywhere. She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself, instead she inhaled the thick heady, metallic scent. No. Now was not the time to freak out. She needed to get control of herself. There were things that needed to be done. She shut her eyes, blocking out the sight of the blood. Good. That was a start. Shallow breaths, that was key, shallow. She wasn’t sure what happened, it had all happened so quickly, so incredibly fast, but now wasn’t the time to figure that out, there would be plenty of time to deal with it later. She opened her eyes, shocked again by the amount of blood, who knew a single person could hold so much, gallons and gallons of it coating everything. She had to get rid of the body, that was vital, but how? You couldn’t just dump a body at the side of the road, someone might see, she couldn’t dump it in the woods, it would be found. She could dig a hole in the back garden, no one would see there, but then the body would be sitting there, waiting to be discovered. She would never be able to relax, though the prospect of relaxing ever again seemed unlikely. She’d always be waiting for the day the body’s discovered, the day that they come to find her. No. No thinking about that, no thinking. Just act. She tried to pick him up. No, not him, it. It wasn’t him anymore. It wasn’t anything, it was an empty vessel. She tried to pick it up, but it was heavier than she had thought. Though who ever really thinks about how much a body would weigh. She thought it would be lighter for some reason, lighter than before, when he was still the other way. Like something would have left the body, something heavy and measurable. There was nothing now, just blank, dead eyes staring upwards at nothing. She put her arms under its and started to drag it away. Away from the blood, but it was leaving a trail. Shit. She left the room, she’d get plastic bags or something. The air outside was fresh, her hands felt slippery and tacky at once. She found bags quickly then returned. She stood at the door, trying to convince herself to turn the handle, to go back into the warm, stale metallic air, to where everything was harsh and red and accusatory.

Her hand reached out, seemingly of its own accord and twisted the knob, before she had time to reconsider she flung to door open and stepped inside. The door banged against the wall, making her jump. She opened up one of the bags, as big as it would go, then laid it on the floor, she did the same with two others and then with some careful manoeuvring, she managed to get the body on top of the plastic covering. Good. That was a start. Next, wrapping it. The body was lifeless now, flopping all over as she tried to manoeuvre it. God. He was always difficult in life, now he had to be difficult in death. No. Not he. Never he. It. He isn’t there anymore. She wrapped it in plastic then started dragging it again. Going down the stairs was the worst part, the constant thumping of it as it banged against the steps. She couldn’t lift it properly, not while it was all loose and floppy. Finally it was downstairs and she paused, panting heavily. This was difficult, more difficult than she could have imagined. She would have to get it out to the car, take it out to the woods, bury it there. That was the only thing she could do. She dragged the body out to the garage, thankful she had parked there. She lived a bit of a distance away from everyone else, but it would be her luck that someone would wander along and see what she was doing, maybe even offer to help, after all, that would be the neighbourly thing to do. She stopped at the door, then opened it, it was cold inside the garage, good. The body wouldn’t rot. She didn’t know how long it took before that happened, before it started smelling. She didn’t’ really care, he would be long gone by that stage. That was what was important. She turned on the lights, it took a few seconds for them to flicker and catch, their gentle hum filling the room. She turned back to the bags and started to drag them again. The floor was smooth concrete and though the bags didn’t slide as easily as they did on the wood, it wasn’t too bad. She stood at the boot of the car for a few moments, trying to devise a way to get it in the car with little effort. She eventually settled on the only obvious option, brute force. She found a pair of work mans gloves, after all, she didn’t want the car to get bloody. Then she opened the boot and began. It took her almost half an hour to get the body in the boot, she crammed it halfway in before realising it wouldn’t fit, she would have to drop the seats. She left the body dangling where it was, precariously half in and half out of the car. She moved the seats down, but as they clicked into place the body slide backwards, falling out of the car and landing with a small thump. After cursing for a few seconds, she started again. Grunting and gasping as the body refused to cooperate. Once it was firmly in the car she threw a shovel in on top of it and then a tarp, ensuring that should someone look in, the shape of the body wasn’t obvious at all. Once it was covered, she went back inside the house. She’d need to clean up the blood, the longer it sat around the harder it would be. Inside, she stripped off the work gloves and gathered a bunch of towels.

She soaked up the worst of it, then once that was done, she mopped, four times in all. Until the water no longer had a pink tinge. Once the floor was clean, she did a final mop, this time filling the bucket with a mixture of bleach and water. The smell was thick and heavy, covering the last lingering traces of blood. That’s what they did in movies right? To destroy DNA evidence? She finished with the floor, then went around the room, looking for splashes. There were one or two large ones, and loads of smaller drops. As she washed the walls, she wondered if maybe she should have left the floor till last, after all, what if some of the blood spilled again? When the room was clean, at least as clean as she could make it, it smelled of harsh cleaners and a faint smell of lemon, overpowering everything else. Good. That was good. There was no more of that smell. She looked around the room, then at herself. Oh god. She was still covered in it. She went into the bathroom and got into the shower, stripping out of her clothes there, leaving them at the bottom of the tub. She turned on the water, shivering in the cool air. When it finally heated she began to wash, pink swirls of suds spun down the drain, as the water lightened and turned clear she felt better, cleansed. She washed her body three times with soap and her hair four. It seemed better to be sure. Once she was completely clean she stepped out of the shower and wrapped herself in a towel. She got another plastic  bag and put her wet, dripping clothes inside. With that done, she got the container of bleach and liberally sprayed it around the tub, focusing on where her clothes had lain and the drain. She tied the bag closed, then left the bathroom. Everything was cleaned, she was almost done, soon no one would know he had been here in the first place. Good. This was good. Cleansing.

She changed into work clothes, then taking the plastic bag with  her wet ones, she went to the car. She didn’t like the body back there. It was creepy. But it had to be done. She made sure to drive correctly and calmly, after all she didn’t want to get pulled over. It had happened early enough, at about five o clock, but it was now getting late, almost ten. She had spent a long time in the shower. That was good. The dark was good. She turned on the radio to try and drown out the silence. It worked for a while, but she was aware of the empty space behind her, of the complete and utter silence behind it. The drive was long but short at the same time and she found herself parking. This wouldn’t be fun. She looked around and waited for a few moments, ensuring she was alone. When she felt safe, she opened the boot and dragged the body, tarp and all, out, letting it fall to the ground. With that done, she lay out the tarp and put the wrapped body on top, across it she lay the shovel. There, that would make things a bit easier. She began to drag the tarp.

She dragged it for a good forty five minutes before she felt she was deep enough to start. Throughout that time she had seen neither human or animal, though occasionally she would hear a bird cry. Now it was time to dig. She took the shovel, then regretted not bringing the work gloves. They were sitting in the garage still.

The digging was repetitive and soothing, sweat started to run down her face and body freely and after awhile, she could barely continue. The grave, for that’s what it was, wasn’t that deep at all, two feet, maybe three if whomever counting was generous. She pulled the plastic bags from the body, then wrapped up the tarp. She wanted the body gone as quick as possible and that would happen faster without the plastic, besides the tarp was bright, neon blue and would be highly visible if some rain washed away the top soil. She looked at him, lying in the hole. It was strange. She should feel something. She stepped out of the grave and started to fill the earth back in.

When she was done, she was tired, sweaty and dirty, there was still some work to be done however. She picked up the bundled plastic and the shovel and began walking back to the car, it was much faster this time without having to drag that thing. She threw everything into the boot and got in. She drove for another twenty minutes, finding another winding forest road and, after stopping, she got out and walked into the woods. She didn’t’ go that far in, but far enough that what she was going to do wouldn’t be visible. She built up a fire, it wasn’t that difficult, especially with the lighter in her pocket. The hardest part was making a fire pit. After the fire was burning merrily, she took her clothes from the bag and placed them at the edge of the fire, they were still sopping wet. Hoping the fire would dry them out quickly, she placed the bundle of plastic on top of the flames. Instantly it started melting, filling the air with its noxious fumes, a breeze was blowing, taking the worst of it away from her, the plastic melted and caught fire. Good, there wouldn’t be any trace of it left. The fire was roaring now, feeding on the plastic, quickly she wrung out her clothes and dumped them on top, the intense heat should take care of them. It seemed to stifle the fire somewhat, but after another minute, the clothes started to burn as well. She watched the fire for a few minutes, occasionally throwing a new stick or branch on top. When she was satisfied that the flames had consumed enough, she stood back and watched it for a few moments. There, that was the last of the evidence. No one would find the body and if they did, so what? By then he’d be too decomposed to identify, there was nothing on him that would ID him, she was sure of it. She stepped back from the fire and looked around the clearing, it wasn’t too dry here and she decided it would be safe enough to leave the fire burn itself out. She didn’t’ want to cover it over, the longer it burned the better. After a few seconds hesitation she cleared away some of the larger leaves and branches, she didn’t want to start a forest fire, they’d find out what started it and then probably find the body too.

She walked back to the car, occasionally glancing over her shoulder to see if she could still see the flames, but after a while the orange flickers died, then there were no more flickering shadows. This was good. She was done. Well, mostly done. She got back into the car and started the drive home. It was already half three. When she got home she was tired, but she got into the shower anyway, washing away the dirt and grime. When that was done she dried herself, then her hair and went to bed. Her sleep was uneasy and broken, but she felt better for it. When she woke the next morning she stretched then smiled. It was almost over, only one thing left to do. She got out of bed and checked the room again in the daylight. There were no traces of anything she could see. Perfect. She filled a bucket with a mixture of water and bleach and started to mop the floors of the house. It would be suspicious if only one room was cleaned that way. When she was done she opened all the windows around the house, allowing the fresh spring breeze to enter, replacing the smell of chemicals with soft, gentle scents. As she poured the remaining bleach down the sink, she remember the work gloves, she dumped them into the bucket, smiling. That would clean away any DNA traces, with that done she put them in the bin, the collection was tomorrow, soon the gloves would be gone and with it, the last of the evidence. It was good. Life was good.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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