Her smile was a bit too wide, a bit too cheerful, considering the blood on the walls.
“What on earth is going on?” he asked, stepping through into the living room; his face a picture of shock and exasperation.
Lily was singing cheerily as she went about cleaning. It was the happiest he had seen her in the longest of times, but something about her did not seem quite right. The added blood only served to heighten his concerns. What dangerous or life threatening thing had she done?
Placing his suitcase down, slowly and delicately, by the living room door, he stepped toward her with caution. She simply turned and smiled at him as if her happiness, her light smiling face, were perfectly normal, as if something hideous hadn’t just occurred in their home.
“Darling,” he whispered tentatively, “Are you ok?”
“Just marvellous Honey”
“That’s great!” he squeaked, trying not to be too alarmed.
She giggled shyly, looked around at the empty room, as if someone may be listening in, leaned in closer to her husband and said “I’m killing him”
He exhaled suddenly, like he himself had been stabbed in the stomach. If it wasn’t for puddles of red staining their living room furniture, he would not have believed her.
Her words contained no sense of remorse, no sadness, no emotion at all. She said it so matter of factly.
Trying to remain calm he asked who she was killing.
“Him” she stated, looking at her husband as if he was being a bit slow. “The one who has been bothering me”
“Him” he stated back, hiding the panic and fear he held for his wife’s safety. “You’re killing him?” he queried, looking around at the magnolia painted walls, and sand coloured carpet, with their splashes of scarlet.
Leading her toward the sofa, and getting her to sit down, he gently asked her, “Darling, what happened?”
“Well, it all started this morning, after you had left for work. I felt relatively calm, like today was gonna be a good day. I’d made myself some breakfast and a cup of tea, gone for a stroll into the town, came back and had some lunch, then sat down in the living room planning out the rest of my day and started to think about how I may be able to go back to work soon. It’s all well and good that I’ve got this time off but, I need to be doing something challenging, and earning money again. And that’s when I saw him, sneaking glimpses of me from the kitchen door”
“Him” she continued, ignoring his ignorance, “the one I’ve told you about that is always bothering me. He always lurks at first, before pouncing full pelt at me, but today was different. It felt like there was a fire within me that said no, enough is enough. And we began fighting. I managed to grab a kitchen knife and stab him a few times. I’ve got him tied up”
And with that she got up off the sofa, leading her husband into the kitchen. Here, his eyes fell upon a big, dark, hairy beast sprawled out across the floor. His long fur matted with dried blood from the gaping stab wounds, his sharp yellowing claws showing signs of struggle, and his dark eyes still able to pierce the very soul of each person that looked into them.
“I didn’t know what to do with him” she uttered, “So I figured I’d just wait for you”
“This is what has been bothering you for so long?” he questioned.
“Yup,” she smiled, “that’s him. The one making me feel bad, making me feel exhausted; the one making me feel like a failure, like I’m good for nothing; making me hate myself; the one causing me to stare blankly and to shut you out.”
“It’s a black dog” he declared.