This Wicked Orb

I sat back down on my bed and Mike sat in the only other
acceptable place that was left in my room, a spot on the floor over by the
where the carpet got torn by the last tenant. There was a liquid stain on the
wood underneath the tear, and Mike stared at it for a while before he took a
deep breathe in, as if to speak. But he didn’t. He just stared at the stain. I
watched him out of the corner of my eye, pretending to look over a T.V. guide.
I don’t have a T.V. but whatever. Maybe the answer for 4 down was “Hoss”. My
fingers on my right hand hurt and the bandage almost needs changing. I thought quickly if I had
a pencil. Nope. Pen? Nope. Knife? Yes of course, but I couldn’t write with
that. Alone. Maybe I could just cut my finger a little bit and, yeah, I could
write the answer in with my own blood. I glanced down at my fingers on my left hand, then at the
page. Wait a minute; I don’t have any writing utensils, at all, in the whole
apartment. The crossword puzzle was already partly filled in with crimson ink,
and I don’t remember doing it myself so…

    I looked up and saw a gobbet of salty dysphoria trickle down Mike’s jaw

“What’s the matter Mike?”


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