From the Inside Flap
Sweat opened up on Brittany's face and scalp, her heart beat spiking.
No burglar did this but she didn't want to enter. She'd rather walk off a goddamn cliff than go inside her house. Brittany had seen things like this--sure--but never this severe. Never seen knives slash. Never seen drawings on their television. Never seen anything this fucked up.
Are you in danger? The question came unbidden.
Does it matter?
She walked in, leaving the keys and purse behind. She moved slowly, trying to come to grips with her house. She could see inside the kitchen from where she stood in the living room--disarray didn't describe it, neither did devastating. Plates on the floor, broken, with blood smearing some, already beginning to dry in other spots. Pans, knives, and silverware were scattered across the floor. The faucet poured water into the sink, flowing over the basin. All the drawers and cabinets stood open and the chairs to the kitchen table were missing. Someone (your dead husband, darling) had tipped the table on its side carved words underneath it--although she couldn't read all of it from where she stood.
She could see the word mine. Brittany didn't care about the rest; she only wanted to find Alex. She glanced around the living room again, seeing something new. The wall held knives in it. Seven butcher knives, all stabbed hilt deep into the white wall. They formed a smiley face, two knives for the eyes, and a semi-circle below with the other five. Blood dripped down the wall from one of the blades; it would reach the carpet soon (and that shit won't rinse out, honey).
Brittany could see a pile of clothes in front of their bedroom door. He was in their room.
Brittany moved down the hall, jogging now. She neared the clothes. Blood soaked through most of what she saw. She held her breath--the shirt could have been dipped in a washing bucket that held blood instead of water.
She stopped. The door to the room stood open and the only light in it came from inside the closet, outlining the closed door.
"Alex?" she called from the bedroom door.
A cry came from the closet--maybe from pain, maybe surprise. Brittany stepped inside, seeing the trail of blood from the clothes for the first time. Her husband was inside. Bleeding--and that became all that mattered. She ran to the closet, opening the door and finding Alex--the back of the closet, clothes pulled from hangers and strewn all around him.
Alex looked down at his left wrist; a knife poked carefully into the flesh and blood forming around the point. Skin stood flayed open on Alex's chest with blood running down to his bare groin. A deep, dark 'X' was carved into his body. The cuts began at his collar bone and traveled down to his ribs on both sides.
Brittany understood that wasn't simply blood; it was life leaving her husband--still pumping, trying to find veins to carry it home, but only finding gashes that forced it into the world. Even if she could get the knife away from his wrist, he would still die if they didn't get to a hospital, bleeding to death in this closet.
"Baby, put it down. Put the knife down." She walked inside, stepping on more clothes stained with blood. Alex looked up, his face dripping sweat.
"He's here, in the house," Alex whispered. "He's come for me now." Animal like fear radiated from him.
"No, no one's here. It's you, just you and me, sweetie. Put the knife down, put it down and I'll protect you--I swear to fucking God, honey."
He looked down at his wrist; his right hand tightened on the handle.
Brittany looked at his grip and simply swung her fist, connecting with her husband's temple. As he fell back, she reached for the knife, grabbing it by the blade, feeling the knife slice through her palm, sinking even deeper as she pulled on it. Alex gave the hilt up and Brittany flung the knife behind her.
She reached for him--both of them bleeding now--and pulled him close anyway.
Alex fell into her as a doll would, nothing holding him back. He wrapped his arms around her waist and tears blossomed.
Kneeling in front, Brittany put her lips to his neck and kissed. "I'm here now. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay," she whispered.