Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blurred Edges Chapter Five

“There we go!” Martin said, leaning back to admire his work on Claire’s swollen hand. The normally white and pink digits were an unsightly purple and green now, signs of bruising from the spider bit and “whatever you did to your hand,” as Martin had been saying the entire time he sewed her up. Now, with a line of stitches crossing her palm closing up the gaping wound that had been torn open, Claire still thought about the visage of the flabby man she’d seen in the bathroom. Was he real?

Claire didn’t dare speak about it to Martin. Over the few years they’d dated before he asked her to marry him, she’d had a nervous breakdown from voices in her head, something that resulted in her staying in a psychiatric ward for a time. The end results had been that Claire was schizophrenic and prone to audio and visual hallucinations; she took medication to deal with her problems, and by and large she rarely had an issue with the voices anymore.
But this had been beyond wild. She’d actually seen something, a man of all things, which attacked her. The doctors had warned her that during her “episodes” she could hurt herself or others, and the way her hand had been torn open, she could believe it. But just like with the whispered words on the wind out in the courtyard, Claire was beginning to worry that maybe her medication wasn’t doing a good enough job anymore.
No, she thought as she flexed her hand open and closed, I can’t have a breakdown now. This is our one good shot at making enough money to start a family.
Claire looked over at Martin from her spot on the bed. The lanky man was packing up the first aid kit, his hoodie pulled tight around his skinny frame. His wild mane of black hair sat in a permanent state of disheveled perfection while his steel-gray eyes shimmered in the low light of the dozen or so yards of Christmas lights he’d strung up around the bed, plugged into the generator he’d placed in the bathroom. He looked up at Claire and smiled, pulling a Ziploc baggie of medicine bottles.
Her medication.
“Best to take this now before we get you too drunk,” he said. Claire nodded slowly, reaching for the cold beer resting between her legs. Sitting quietly as Martin shook out her recommended dosages of her medication from each bottle, she couldn’t help but feel a slight chill run down her spine. Looking up and past Martin to the open door leading to the darkened hallway, Claire gasped as she saw a small dark figure move out of sight, like a dancing shadow one would expect to see from a campfire.
Holding her tongue, she took the medication happily and downed it with several greedy gulps of her cheap beer, closing her eyes as she felt the cool substance run down her hot throat. Sighing, she laid back in bed, the comforter now dust free after Martin had opened a window and whipped it a few times in the open air. It was a thick red comforter, with floral designs that seemed to make no pattern whatsoever; just endless loops of flowers sewn into the dark red cloth, as if this had been someone’s first attempt at sewing.
Nevertheless, it was thick enough to keep the chill of the mansion and the chill of autumn, from reaching her sock–clad toes, for which she was eternally grateful. Rubbing her temples, Claire took off her glasses and set them on the nightstand, allowing her tired eyes a moments rest from her clunky frames.
Martin closed the latches on the first aid kit with two loud clicks before sliding the large box under the bed. Looking up at Claire, he smiled. “So you think we can get some internet reception out here?”
Claire shook her head. “I already tried, no wireless signal. We’ll have to rough it with the movies we brought on DVD for now.”
“Damn, guess I’m going to miss the new episodes of Tattoo Master,” Martin said, a frown marring his face.
Claire laughed. “You can go a few weeks without that show, besides don’t they always play re-runs of it? Once we get the wireless up and running you’ll be able to catch up to the latest episode within an hour or two.”
“How long do you think it’ll take to get wireless out here?” He asked, sliding up to sit on the bed at Claire’s feet.
“I couldn’t say,” Claire said, moving her legs up so that Martin could rest comfortably. “I mean, we don’t even have electricity going to all the rooms in the house. We need to have an electrician come out and check the wiring while before we begin any other jobs inside. Can’t fix the place up just to have it burn down due to faulty wiring now, can we?”
“True,” Martin said, reaching out and snagging Claire’s bottle of beer to steal a swig. “I suppose we’ll also have to have a plumber come out and look at the piping after we figure out if there are any leaks in the place. According to Bill, the water was turned on a few hours ago.”
Claire raised an eyebrow. “When did you get a chance to talk to Bill?”
“Called him while you were cleaning your hand,” Martin shrugged. Bill was the accountant that Martin and Claire worked with when they were renovating a home; he managed the expenses and utility bills while also setting up accounts for the two to use for cleaning companies to come out, and auctions to sell old antiques for more liquid capital that could be poured back into a houses restoration.
“Did you tell him we would need a listing of the local art dealers?” Claire asked, grabbing her beer back.
Martin shook his head. “I figure you can mark what we’re going to sell before I call him up to get some dealers on the line. We got a few that have already inquired about certain pieces in the house already.”
“Really?” Claire said, surprised that the word had traveled so quickly that they were working on a new home.
“Yeah, apparently there are some really expensive pieces lying around in here that are of interest to the art community.” Martin smiled, kicking off his shoes.
Claire took a sip of her beer as she watched Martin slowly undress, his tribal tattoo crawling up his ribcage giving her a shiver of delight as it came into view. Despite being so skinny, Martin liked to sleep in the nude, and on cold nights like this, it meant lots of cuddling.
Something Claire never objected to.
Claire slid out of bed to begin getting her own sleeping attire out. An old Metallica tee shirt, faded gray after years of being washed, which reached her mid thighs, and a pair of lace panties that she liked to wear to “remind” Martin of when she was in the mood. This was nearly always, thanks to her medication.
Too afraid to go back into the bathroom, Claire undid her piercings and laid them out atop the dresser. Her nose and eyebrow piercing came out last, the twin dark blue stones set in the black metal shining brightly against the low lighting of the room. Turning to Martin, who was now naked and staring pointedly at her hind end, she smiled a Cheshire grin.
“Like what you see?” Claire asked, striking a pose, her hip cocked to the side.
“You know I do,” Martin said, eyes taking on a smoky appearance that sent shivers down her spine.
“Well I happen to be cold,” Claire said as she sashayed up to the bed, pulling back the covers, “why don’t you come and warm me up?”
Martin was only happy to do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment