Blood Money

The motel room was full almost to the ceiling with blood and Mackebel floated in it, still wearing his suit and hanging onto his briefcase. He doggie-paddled the deep red liquid, just barely managing to keep his head above the surface. His hair brushed the dirty white stucco ceiling as he bobbed.

He began to paddle over to the vent but it was slow going. Eventually he got there and reached up, kicking in the blood to get a little higher, and pulled at the little metal lever. With all his weight on the lever, he yanked and splashed around, causing the cover of the grate to come off. He submerged for a second but paddled back to the surface, spitting blood, and pulled himself up into the vent, hair matted.

He wiped the blood from his eyes and crawled down the dark tunnel, dragging his briefcase along with him. He made a few turns in the aluminum passage and broke through another vent, looking down now into the laundry room. A worker girl stared up at him: glazed with blood and looking crazy. She screamed and screamed.

He lowered himself down into the room, smearing blood down the white wall as he went. The girl didn’t run, she just stood there and screamed. Mackebel opened the briefcase slightly and pulled out a wad of bills. He handed this to the girl, who stopped screaming and just stared.

Soon blood gushed out of the vent and she started screaming again but Mackebel was in the parking lot at this point, hotwiring a car, his briefcase on the seat beside him. He got it going and pulled out, wondering for a second if it was the girl’s car. He found some napkins in the glove compartment and wiped some of the blood off his face. He hit the freeway and drove.

Hours later he got too tired to drive and he exited, pulling over by the side of a corn field. He lowered the seat back and closed his eyes, his whole body feeling sticky from the blood. His dreams were terrible and torturous. When he woke up, the blood half-dried on his suit, he actually felt some sense of relief.

He hit the road again. Blood began to leak out of the glove compartment. Then ooze out from under his seat. Little by little, the car was filling up. He drove faster and faster but it wasn’t long before his feet were submerged. He pulled over, cars whizzing past, and tried to open the door but it remained locked. He tried to break the windows with the briefcase to no avail. As the car filled up with blood he tried calling to the drivers of cars passing by but they were oblivious.

When the cops finally found his car it was full floor to ceiling with blood. The sun was rising as they pried open the door and an ocean of blood poured out, along with Mackebel’s corpse, still clutching his briefcase.

The cops took the briefcase, split the money, and headed for Mexico, leaving the corpse and the car still oozing and oozing blood.

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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