Drake wanted to be loved, but when it went unfulfilled, he fixed it.
The Stains of Purgatory
Drake's eyelids parted upon hearing banging on the front door downstairs. There was no need for him to see who it was. He already knew. Besides, he needed to review a few details again. The banging would end soon enough.
He found himself planted on the bedroom's carpeted floor, his back pressed against the side of the bed, and legs splayed out front. His eyes guided his head around the suite, first to the left, then back to the right, and back to the left again. Recollections of many shopping trips filled his mind as he scanned the bedroom's dor, each object perfectly situated in the ideal spot. But now, that precision, that order, had been sullied, pillaged, and abused, covered by irregular blotches and smears of crimson which sent bristles through his heart.
It was the sunshine which streamed through the window that exposed the depths of the insanity that had taken place earlier. But he noticed the window itself was amiss. What were those specks of black that stained his window? He didn't like the stains.
They shouldn't be there.
The window should be clean. He placed both hands down and pushed himself up. Lukewarm liquid squished between his fingers.
Once on his feet, he stumbled forward nearly falling. It surprised him at how weak his legs had become. He gazed at his hands, and what he saw was no surprise. He returned his attention to the window and with each step forward, he could feel every contraction and relaxation of his leg muscles, but it was the absence of pain which made him remain calm.
Those stains on the window shouldn't be there.
His knee bumped the nightstand. The lamp along with other objects crashed to the floor, but he didn't care.
Those stains shouldn't be there.
His legs gave way, and he tipped forward. He caught hold of the window sill. He was tired, so tired. He pressed his forearm against the window just above the stains and swiped down. Brightly colored, uneven streaks of crimson revealed themselves. He dropped his head and closed his eyes. He had fixed nothing, only made it worse.
As his eyelids parted, his bloody feet came into view. He twisted around and rested against the slim window sill. He was so tired. He dropped his head and spotted the portrait which had fallen off the nightstand. The glass in the frame had cracked right down the middle, right between the portrait of Stacy and himself. He recalled stopping to give her a deep kiss before taking that selfie while they hiked through Sequoia National Forest. She tried to push him away because other visitors gawked and smiled at them while on the trail. He noticed their stares also, but he didn't care. She returned his kiss, but her lips were stiff. He tried his best to soften them but soon gave up and asked her to face the camera. It was a lovely picture, a perfect picture. Just the two of them.
The memory dissolved, and he raised his head skyward only to bump it against the windowpane. His eyes roamed back and forth across the ceiling. Everything was in order up there! No stains. Only a white, textured wall. The art do fan sat frozen, its three blades a witness to everything that had taken place below a little while ago.
His eyes shifted over to the bed. There they were, two bodies sprawled one on top of the other, and his sword, the Samurai sword he'd purchased on his latest business trip to Japan. He'd always admired others who owned those types of swords, placing them on prominent shelves beneath halogen spotlights. A status symbol of the owner's avarice. Once his office gave him a chance to travel to Japan, it would be one of the first items he'd purchase.
He recalled the small Japanese curio shop sandwiched between a cellphone emporium and an electronics warehouse on the crowded Tachikawa street. It would have gone unnoticed except for the sunlight glinting off blades through the shop's windows. He entered the shop and gasped at their inventory of swords. Small blades and long ones, highly polished, and engraved with exacting artistry he never imagined. His mouth watered. The sheaths were just as intricate as the blades, decorated with historic Japanese figures and calligraphy. Their shellacked surfaces called to him. His choices were immense and so were their prices. Frugality came into play. He made a practical purchase: a set of two swords, one long and the other short, both with intricate dragons engraved on the blades and the sheaths. Their price made his sphincter pucker, but when would a chance like this ever happen again?
His prized long sword, purchased for display only, lay on the bed streaked with blood. The lines of the engraved dragon outlined in red. A pain stabbed his torso. It felt similar to the pain that stabbed his heart a little while ago. Why did Stacy do it and how long had she been doing it? Why didn't she just tell him she wasn't happy?
A little while ago, all he wanted to do was surprise Stacy at lunchtime. A very rare event. He worked hard on their relationship but didn't feel much in return. But it didn't matter. He was in love, and just like he did in Sequoia National Park, he would soften her exterior shell. He'd already played out the surprise in his head. He'd enter the house making as little noise as possible and call her name, but not yell. He didn't want to frighten her, just surprise her.
It would be perfect.
When he arrived at home, he noticed his nosey neighbor at her front window with her phone at her ear. He waved, but she didn't respond in kind. She and Stacy were always secretive, and he felt the two of them had knowledge about something they never shared with him.
To hell with her.
He entered his home and called Stacy. There was no answer. He climbed three stairs before he saw the stain. It wasn't there when he left. He leaned over, pressed his fingers into it then brought them to his nose. Wine? Looks like Stacy must have tripped while carrying a glass of wine. Then his ear caught a very familiar sound. It came from Stacy's lips, and he knew why.
He turned around and retrieved his swords. The heat which flowed through his veins hardened him like tempered steel. He tried his best to make her happy, but she had betrayed him just like his mother betrayed his father when he was eleven-years-old. Devastated during their divorce proceedings, he struggled with the thought of being shared between the two households. It wasn't right. All he desired was a nice, stable relationship, but now his desire had become unfulfilled and sullied. His brain erupted as he unsheathed both blades and climbed the stairs.
The door sat partly open. He peeked in. Stacy gave herself to the man on top of her. Drake's eyes captured the gleam from his blades. He pushed the door open and stalked them.
Drake plunged the long sword through the man and into Stacy. More groans and screams escaped. Drake took the short sword, pulled back the man's head and slit his throat. The noise coming from the room reduced by half. Stacy was next. With one quick stroke, the bedroom fell silent, but Drake wasn't done. He pulled the long blade out and plunged into both of them again and again. His mind became polluted. Adrenaline had altered his reality, but his frantic movements zapped his energy, and he pulled the sword's blade out one last time and set it at the foot of the bed.
His eyes traveled around the room. His pristine bedroom had become a place of bedlam now. A sight he no longer wished to see. He collapsed at the side of the bed and eyed the sunlight streaming through the window. He spotted the stains on the window.
They shouldn't be there.
He lifted the short sword in front of him, and with both hands, plunged it into his torso. He didn't move as his life spilled from his wound.
There was banging at the door downstairs. It became harder, then he heard a small explosion. Others had entered his home. There were footsteps downstairs, followed by more coming up the stairs. He was so tired. He opened his eyes to see the bloody handle of the short sword protruding from his abdomen. Footsteps approached his bedroom door, and he glimpsed uniformed persons clustered at his doorway before death took him away.
Drake's eyelids parted upon hearing banging on the front door downstairs. There was no need for him to see who it was. He already knew. Besides, he needed to review a few details again. The banging would end soon enough...