ELUDE PART ONE -- Excerpt:
Yawning, he said, “I’m going to check the news on the computer and see what they’re reporting. I can tell you in the morning before you leave. Get some rest. I'm sure this will work out. You didn't do anything.”
He stated it as though it were a matter of fact, but his eyes asked the question.
Vic replied in a hushed tone, "Nothing." Then he raised his empty bottle with his own inquiring eyes.
“You’ll want to take it easy on those. A clear head is going to save you in the morning. Here, give me that backpack. I’ll throw those clothes in the washer. You never know what might be on them… College students are walking STDs these days, you know?”
Five minutes later, DJ called out from the back of the apartment, “Oh, hey! Are you hungry? I got some free pizza in the fridge.”
He chuckled, “They delivered this pizza here when you were in the shower, but I didn’t order it. The driver said his shift was over anyway and he was going to report the owners as a ‘no show’. So, he let me just take it.”
“Glad my luck is rubbing off on you.” They laughed together, but it felt forced and awkward. He was beyond exhaustion. The day's events were starting to hit home.
“JESUS, DUDE!” DJ cursed. There was sheer terror in his voice.
“WHAT’S WRONG?” Vic shouted back.
When there was no answer, he worked up his courage, afraid of what he might see and went to find his friend.
DJ stood next to the washing machine, the backpack spilled open on top of it. Nesting inside was a pair of pale white hands, butcher-cut at the wrists.
“I… No, this…” The beer lurched up in Vic’s stomach and he vomited into the corner of the room.
From over his shoulder, Vic heard DJ on his cell phone. “I’m at 1984 W Dunlap. I need a police officer NOW!”
He then put a hand over the phone and hissed through clenched teeth, “Do the right thing, man. Turn yourself in.”
Vic couldn’t look at him. His eyes were locked on the bloody stumps. The fingernails were painted in bright pinks and yellows with polka dots of blood.
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