A Ripple Effect

+++Daniel stood still in the doorway. He couldn’t stop staring at his hands. He knew what he did was wrong, but he also knew that it was his duty. Someone had to take responsibility, and he knew that they will always try and justify their wrongdoings.

+++“Danny? Is that you?” his wife asked, as she was coming into the kitchen. She froze when she saw him, covered in blood, and sighed; “Oh, Danny. Not again”.

+++Chrissy grabbed the closest washing cloth she could find, and started to clean his hands and face. “Let’s get you in the shower,” she said, while guiding him to the bathroom. “Just try to not get my floor dirty, okay?”

+++“Well, this shirt is ruined. I’m not even going to try and remove these stains,” stated Chrissy and looked at Daniel, annoyed, waiting for a response. But he continued to scrub the blood off his hands, without flinching. She then added; “Nothing to say? I don’t know why I’m even surprised. It’s not like you stand  a chance for the ‘husband-of-the-year’ trophy”.

+++Without missing a beat, Daniel immediately stopped what he was doing and glared at her. With deep anger in his voice, he said; “Don’t you dare start with…”

+++“Oh, please,” interrupted Chrissy; “I don’t even want to hear it”.

+++Daniel closed his eyes and dropped his head, while Chrissy continued on with her babbling. His knuckles turned whiter, as his grip on the bar of soap got tighter, and her voice faded into a whispered mumbling. He forced himself to take a deep breath, but his anger refused to give his lungs the freedom they wanted.

+++“Danny? Did you hear me?” asked Chrissy, with frustrated concern. “What did you do with the body?”

+++Daniel wiped the water from his face and answered; “It’s… It’s still in the car”.

+++“What?” replied Chrissy and added; “Why? Are you stupid? You know you have to get rid of it immediately?”

+++“I know!” said Daniel, as he slammed his fist against the wall.

+++“Let’s go then,” she stated and exited the bathroom.

+++Daniel focussed on the sound of the dragging body behind him, being pulled over the rough earth of the forest. Chrissy walked beside him, focussing on where she was about to step next and breaking the pattern now and then by glancing at Daniel with despair. With the last look, she stopped and said; “I’m sorry, Danny”.

+++Daniel stopped dead in his tracks and looked at Chrissy with surprise. “For what?” he asked. Dragging a body behind him in the forest, while his wife fought with him, has become somewhat of a ritual. But she has never apologised before.

+++“I know you have been going through a difficult time, but you have to stop this.” explained Chrissy; “You can’t keep killing women for no reason”.

+++Daniel knew an apology was too good to be true. He dropped the body and walked up to his wife. While looking her straight in the eyes, he asked; “For no reason?” and laughed in her face. “How convenient of you to forget what really happened”. After a slight pause, he screamed; “You are the reason! You betrayed me!”

+++Chrissy stared at him without emotion, as the tears started streaming down his face. “Why? Why did you do it?” he begged.

+++With her arms crossed, she answered in a monotonous tone; “Because he was better than you”.

+++“I thought you loved me?” interrupted Daniel.

+++“How could I? You are a monster,” she said.

+++Daniel could feel all of his emotions towards his wife go numb, as he stared at her. She showed no emotion towards him, or any feelings of remorse. It was like she was dead.

+++“Can you just finish what we came here for? I want to go home. It’s cold,” she said.

+++After getting all his thoughts together, he stood up to finish the job. He reminded himself that he was only doing his duty by stopping women like Chrissy. Someone had to punish them.

+++Daniel climbed into bed with a tired and heavy heart. He lay there, hypnotised by the glint of a light shining through the curtains, and fell asleep.

+++“Danny, I can’t sleep,” Chrissy whispered and crawled into the bed with him. Daniel suddenly woke up cold, clutching the dress that he buried Chrissy in; his hands still covered in blood. He then forced his eyes closed and clutched the dress even tighter against his chest.


© Ilka Steyn, 2016. All rights reserved.


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