Maybe Just a Little Bit of Evidence

Bleach. Get lots and lots of bleach.

And gasoline.

No evidence. No evidence he was ever here. He’s too small time to flub this one up.

He takes his hands to the sink and throws both the knobs to full with his elbows. He scrubs until his hands hurt from the abrasion and burn from the water temperature. Good enough for government work.

Daniel’s body bled a lot. His heart was apparently the last organ to die and did so pumping. With a wound as big as his there was considerable room to spill out.

He goes back into the hallway where the body is. Blood everywhere; Daniel thrashed about in great heaves before he bit it. The scuffle got out of hand and he never saw that coming. A chair was overturned and one of its legs was smashed off. A vase shattered. Somehow the ceiling fan was missing a blade.

The broken glass in the sliding door. The hole in the drywall his head still ached from. All those dishes spilled. The hand prints. Finger prints. He can’t be sure he didn’t get some of his own blood about. That’s a big if. No evidence.

He looks around and realizes bleach will do nothing unless he pours it over his head like a shower. Unless he opens the flood gates into the house and coats it. Gasoline, then. He tosses the small bungalow for containers, finds a mop bucket and a fish tank.

The mop itself he tosses carelessly, it settles somewhere in the living room. Inside the bucket a sponge is crusting up. Gone.

The fish tank tips on one end and ten gallons of treated water, pebbles, gold fish and a deep sea diver splash on the carpet in a huge whoosh. A milk jug empties into the sink. Out to Daniel’s car.

The garden hose is cut to a proper length with his pocket knife and goes into the gas intake. He sucks until the fumes hit his mouth and he barely contains his gorge before he yanks the hose out and stuffs it into the fish tank. The vomit goes in the mop bucket. Lucky break.

After filling the containers he yanks the hose out of the car; it has to burn also. One by one they go back inside. He pours the fish tank on Daniel. The others splash about the house anywhere he thinks he’s touched. No evidence.

By the end he’s splashed too fast and too furiously. He is wet. His wounds burn like a sonofabitch. The stinging is almost overbearing. The stench of gasoline makes his temples throb. The pulse is severe. His soaked clothes stick to him. He can’t tell if it’s gasoline, blood or sweat. Probably all.

He won’t look in the hallway mirror as he passes it. Too afraid. This did not go the way he planned it. Not at all.

The house reeks of astringent fuel. He looks about and curses himself for not leaving a trail out the door he can simply light from safety. He considers siphoning more but in the end decides against it. The stinging wounds, throbbing temples make the decision. Not his smarts. He grabs a towel and dabs it into the carpet and it soaks up gasoline. He stands in the front door and holds his lighter to it. Throws the towel.

The ignition is beyond what he thought; dumb. So dumb. Stupid is as stupid does. This whole thing was a mistake to begin with. He never should have tried to kill Daniel with as wily as that fucker turned out to be. Sure, he died, but he took his pound of flesh with him. He earned a chunk of his murderer’s ass.

The great burst of fuel erupting into flames spits fire everywhere. He ducks and tries to lunge out the door but not before the dry, unused mop, lit aflame from the great gasoline heaving, comes flying along the heated burst like a flaming comet. It hits him square in his chest.

Still he clears the front door.

He’s outside, but he’s brought the fire with him. All over him. Suddenly the stinging of his wounds being nipped at by the liquid gasoline doesn’t burn so bad. Not in comparison.

Wicker man.

There will be evidence.



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