A Death in the Building

Usually, I do the bulk of my writing in the morning. Early, quiet morning especially. But this is some nighttime writing. Maybe I’ll keep track and see if there’s any consistent differences when I write at night. It definitely feels different. More illicit, somehow? I don’t know.

CW: Blood, dead body

Blood pounded in Byron’s head, rumbled in his ears, and inched toward his shoe on the floor. He stared at the slowly approaching edge of the pool of dark red fluid, wanting to life his foot, meaning to, mentally intending to, but being unable. Drops landed in the pool, merging into the thick surface, dripping from the spiral stairs above the 

oh god, oh GOD 

body. A quiet wail bounded down the hallway behind him, growing quickly to a piercing score over the sounds of running footsteps, and the door right behind him flying open to CLANG against the conrete wall, vibrating the whole room. Another body, the one making the wailing, slammed into his back and he felt it tense for a few moments, then slump it’s owner’s weight against him. Finally, Byron managed to turn from the 

oh JESUS FUCKING GOD 

body and felt his mind and his senses lock back into sync with each other to realize of course it was Bren leaning on him, shaking softly now. He wrapped his arms around her, but she scuttled back away from him, pressing herself against the door, and snarled,

“Fuck off.”

“Bren—“

“No! We never should have come here.” Her eyes fell to the body again, drawn and held there as if by a gravitational force. Byron watched her face start to crumble as she took in the sight. Her body followed and she collapsed into an awkward sitting position on the floor, her eyes still glued to Patrick’s face. Byron took a cautious step forward and offered her his hand. Still, she continued to stare painfully at Patrick. Byron leaned forward to reach her hand and the moment he touched it, she snapped out of her trance and locked eyes with him. He saw the blankness in them transform, fury burning away grief. She slapped his hand away, gathered her legs under her and launched herself up at him, shoving him backward once, twice, and the third he tripped backward over the corpse and landed on 

him 

it. His hands slapped into the blood as he instinctively caught himself, then started slowly sliding backwards on the fluid. Bren let out a piercing scream that echoed around the tiny concrete box they were, crashing into Byron over and over from every imaginable angle. Byron leaned forward and managed to stand without putting his hands back in the blod. Bren’s gaze followed him as he rose and her scream faded as he stood. 

“Bren?” he said quietly. She simply shook her head slowly, over and over, eyes drifting back to Patrick on the floor behind him. “Bren, we need to tell someone what happened.” Her eyes snapped back to him again.

“Tell them what?” She croaked.

“Tell them…

“Should we tell everyone that something…” she choked, and tears appeared on her face, “something lifted him up,” she leaned her head back slightly, clearly watching it all happen again, “knocked him out, dragged him down a hallway,” her head moved to the side, tracing his “and threw him down a flight of stairs.” She paused. “Like a piece of garbage.” Her chest started to spasm and her eyes searched hungrily for Byron’s. She found them, and the spasms subsided long enough for her to take a single huge breath and slip under the surface of violent but silent sobs that shook her whole body. Byron watched her, afraid to touch her again, but needing to bear witness to her pain. Finally, her body seemed to relax and a ragged breath rushed into her nose. 

“You knew something.” She whispered, a harsh crackle. 

“Knew… what are you talking about?” Byron asked, and she fixed him with a narrow eyed glare. 

“You knew something was going on weird with this place.”

“I didn’t… I thought maybe…”

“What is it?”

“I’m sorry, I…”

“WHAT THE FUCK IS IT!” Bren yelled. “What did this to him?”

“I don’t know” Byron said, more firmly. 

“The hell you don’t.”

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