I don’t know what I expected to see in the shed. A workbench, maybe, with all the tools lined up in alphabetical order; a coil of garden hose, a freshly hosed-off lawnmower. I knew there was something darker inside, so only part of me was surprised when I saw a dead man sprawled across the wood plank floor.
The man had been gut shot. Kincaid spread an old bed sheet over the man’s torso, but what was once white was now a soggy maroon. If I had to guess, I’d say the man died roughly the time Kincaid made his telephone call to me.
Then I could see the trail of blood from the door to where the man now lay. I looked back and saw that Kincaid had roughly raked over part of the blood trail, masking it with torn grass and dirt. If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t notice. Now that I had, I couldn’t un-see it. It was pretty obvious the man had been dragged, and the trail started beyond the pretty fence that marked Kincaid’s property.
My crazy banker stood off in the corner of his shed, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He was shaking so bad I almost felt sorry for him. But I saw the gory mess of the sheet, how the blood was already congealing and how it made the room smell like copper and septic fluids. I’ve never been queasy about blood; I’ve dressed my share of deer and culled chickens straight from the coop. But a man’s blood is different. It doesn’t pour like a fine wine. It’s darker, thicker, and comes in a whole pallet of reds, depending on what tissue has been damaged. A wound as grievous as a belly wound… well, that’s the worst. That’s a whole assortment of organ meats served in a soup of purple and brown bits of anatomy. The smell is about as bad as you can imagine.
No, I didn’t feel sorry for Kincaid. I was mad. Mad and scared. What part of hell did he pull me into?
It was an accident, he said meekly. My boy….
Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome. Available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0
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