Going Nowhere with Blood on Your Knees

The door open a crack, and silver eyes skimmed the kitchen before a lithe, black shape slithered into the empty space, eyes darting about as he searched for any sign of life. He needed to clean himself up before anyone found him, and his bathroom was past the three hungry snakes who would smell the blood on him. The kitchen was the next best thing, the big sink offering him plenty of room to wash the gore from his hands, face, and hair.

He turned the water on and grabbed the dish soap, pouring a generous dollop onto his hands and lathering them up. The water was almost scalding when he put his hands under the flow, but he ignored the sting in favor of rinsing all the red down the drain.

He pushed up the sleeves of his shirt, scrubbing up his arms, and was thankful for the all-consuming black fabric that hid the stains he knew were on his chest. With any luck his pets would ignore that much while he changed out of his filthy clothes.

His hands and arms now clean, he splashed the hot water onto his face and scrubbed with his hands, feeling the dried blood start to liquify and drip from his chin into the stainless sink. He wiped his face on his sleeve and grabbed the soap again, flipping his hair into the sink and dowsing it with soap and water.

He scrubbed at his scalp and hair, working his way down the long locks with care. He rinsed it a final time and shut the water off, squeezing the excess water from his hair. He quickly twisted it into a braid, hoping to hide how wet it was in case he ran into someone between there and his bedroom.

“Where have you been lurking, Mordecai?”

A voice from the dark made him jump, grabbing the counter for support as he spun around to see who was spying on him.

“Nowhere.” He replied reflexively, seeing the Librarian standing by the stairs.

“You have blood on your knees,” William arched an eyebrow, moving closer. “No one goes nowhere and gets blood on their knees.”

“I fell.”

“It is not your blood,” William started around the edge of the counter, coming after him, and Mordecai had nowhere to go. “Whose is it?”

He realized, between the time William came the rest of the way around the corner and his knuckles turned white against the counter, that he really should have taken his chances with the snakes.

“The neighbor’s dog was killing me, okay? Little pipsqueak would howl outside my window every night like clockwork. I couldn’t take it.”

William laughed, flipping on the overhead light, bathing the kitchen in a warm glow. “Good grief, you had me worried. Just a dog?”

“A chihuahua, to be exact. Don’t tell Dante, he’ll kill me.”

“No, no, I plan to keep this to myself,” he clapped Mordecai on the shoulder, winking. “How else will I be able to blackmail you later?”

“I hate your face.”

“As much as the chihuahua?”

More.”

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