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I wobbled while standing in the giant pool of fresh blood. To my left was a scattering of broken glass. To my right... Dog shit. Runny smears of dog shit. The smell reminded me of the time my Great Dane, Rusty, had infected anal glands.

Don't ask how I got into this mess. It's not a pleasant story. I'll just say that my girlfriend had everything to do with it. 

I looked ahead of me. A clean spot on the hardwood floor of my dining room. About three feet away. Perhaps I could maneuver over to it, carefully inch my feet forward through the bloody mess. But I didn’t want to risk losing my balance and falling left, right or flying backwards and slamming my head on the floor. 

I slinked my hands down and placed them on my knees, thinking I could flop forward, blood be damned. Didn't care if I got blood on the front of my body. Better than dog shit, broken glass or head trauma.

Holding my breath, I flopped forward like a frog hopping onto a lily pad. The blood slapped up my neck and into my arm pits. It squished through my t-shirt and soaked into the front of my jeans.

Again, better than the alternatives.

I stretched my arms ahead of me and flattened my large palms on that bare patch of hardwood. I tried to pull myself forward, but I had blood on my hands. 

So I ran them through my hair.

"Jesus Christ."

Flattened hands back on the floor, my arm muscles tightened as I pulled myself forward. The blood beneath me acted as a suction cup, adhering me to the floor. I may as well be paralyzed.

Goddamn it.

I wasn't going to give up. I tried again and again, my muscles aching more and more with each agonizing pull. I moved inch by inch, but at least I was moving. 

I took a break when my chin reached the edge of the clean hardwood. My arms screamed in aching, burning pain as if I'd just completed an intense upper-body workout at the gym. The dank, metallic odor of the blood saturated my nostrils.

I looked ahead of me. At the other end of this room, in the shadows, I saw the body of my dead dog. The vet had made a house call and put Rusty to sleep because of pancreatitis. I was going to bury him in the yard, but my girlfriend, Jenna, had eviscerated him instead. That's where the shit and blood had come from. The glass was the result of a broken vase thrown in anger.

At knifepoint, she'd made me stand in the blood. Then she'd eased out the back door, smiling along the way.

As tears rolled down my face, I thought of why Jenna had done all this. How could anyone do something so maniacal to an animal just to get back at a human?

I knew the answer. I understood why. I couldn't blame her. 

What I had done to her had been exponentially worse.

I deserved it. And so much more.

The front door opened.


She stood near me.

We looked at each other.

Still sobbing, I closed my eyes.

With a roar, I rolled myself into the dog shit, it squished into the back of my shirt, my hair, and up into the waistband of my jeans. That sweet, putrid smell of excrement made me gag.

My arms tucked into my chest, I rolled back into the blood, then rolled into the broken glass.

Screaming, I felt shards of glass cut into the back of my neck, into my shoulder blades, my arms, both thighs. Deep pain, stinging pain, pulsing pain. All of it, all at once. 

I opened my eyes, looked at her. 

"Finished?" She asked.

"No. I think I'll stay here a little longer."


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