Prick of a Thorn
by Christina Beal
Rose settled into the cool, soft leather of the desk chair. She pulled her knees protectively into her chest. The only illumination in the darkening room was the soft blue glow of flashing LEDs emanating from the electronics.
Her fingertips smudged the smooth desktop as she pushed her chair into a counter clockwise spin. She always moved in the comforting consistency of counter clockwise.
As the landscape of the room revolved about her, the image of Andrew sprawled on the couch entered and left her vision. The room, usually in rigid order, lay in disarray. The dirt of a tipped potted plant spilled on the polished oak floor. Files flung from North to South had fluttered to rest in random patterns across the room.
Circling back again to Andrew she saw him in a foreign drunken state. Dark shadows played across his face as he lay in quiet repose. His shirt, un-tucked, stained with drops of red.
Rose pushed and spun again, her eyes following the dark line on the floor trailing from the wine bottle and overturned goblets. A growing pool spread with each drip of dark liquid. As her chair slowed to a stop she raised her fingers gently to the growing swelling around her eye. Her breath shuddered and a tear slid down her cheek and landed among the splatter of red stains on her once crisp white shirt.
“It’s going to take a lot of club soda to clean this mess.”