Chapter 9: Bloody Omen
It was morning when Dylan came to, still sprawled on the floor. He opened bleary eyes and lay motionless for several moments staring up at the ceiling. His head was pounding, but his mind was blank. What happened last night? The last thing Dylan recalled was standing by the window and watching the cops leave. He sat up slowly, trying not to jar his aching head. Had it all been a dream? It definitely felt like a nightmare.
Sure, that was probably what happened. He got plastered, passed out and dreamt the whole thing. For one fleeting moment, his anxiety melted away and the dread knotted in his chest came undone. Then Dylan looked around and his sigh of relief was abruptly choked off. How had he gotten in the bathroom, when he fainted by the window? It was difficult cast his mind back to the night before. Concentrating seemed to make his head hurt more. He realized that he was panting and closed his mouth, becoming aware for the first time of a strange metallic taste. What had been in his mouth?
Dylan got to his feet slowly and swayed as a wave of dizziness washed over him. He grabbed the sink and gazed at his reflection, eyes widening in horror at the sight of dried blood around his mouth. Repulsed, Dylan spat into a sink already stained and spattered with it. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something on the white tile floor and bent down for a closer look. There was a trail of blood droplets going out into the hallway. He caught sight of dried red smears of it on the walls. Dylan turned towards the mirror and studied his reflection. There were no injuries to his face. He looked down at his bare arms. The minor cuts and scratches he saw did not account for all the blood.
Where did all it all come from? He had cleaned up after Rosa’s…accident. The blood had not been there, when the cops were searching his place. That much he knew for sure. Otherwise, he would already be in jail. So if it wasn’t his blood or hers, then whose was it? Dylan racked his brain and only managed to resurrect fragmented recollections. It didn’t make sense. He looked back down into the bloody sink and caught sight of his sticky fingers. There was blood caked underneath his nails. It was everywhere.
The metallic tang of blood on his tongue was beginning to nauseate him. Dylan felt his gorge rising, moved quickly to lift the toilet lid and started kneeling in front of it. He froze, staring down into the bowl. Was that an ear floating in the toilet water? Dylan looked closer, staring at it in horrified disbelief. Yes. that was definitely a human ear…unless he was imagining things. Maybe stress was causing his overtaxed brain to unhinge. Dylan closed his eyes, counted to ten and murmured a silent prayer, before opening his eyes. The ear was still there.