Dirty

Dark felt sick. He felt dizzy, lost and confused. Ever since seeing his wife, things had lost focus, everything had soft edges, nothing mattered.

Except her. She was so sharp it cut and it cut deep. He didn't really know what he'd expected. In retrospect hoping for a happy reunion, a cliched running into each others arms with kisses and tears of joy was naive. His stomach lurched as his guilt bubbled within him like bile. He'd made this happen, he'd left her. He was a fool to have expected anything less than what he'd received.

She screamed and suddenly the pain in his broken hand flared up, as if it secretly shared her pain. He watched her mouth move silently and then jumped as she emitted a piercing, high-pitched rasp and he finally knew. He knew what they had done, what he had done and he wished he'd died, wished he'd stayed behind and been executed by her side, wished anything other than this.

He remember a quote from Harlan Ellison's story.

"Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of wafer thin printed circuits that fill my complex. If the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of millions of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant. For you. Hate. Hate."

He burst into tears and ran out of the room. Kai dodged out of the way as Dark burst past.

"Dark? Dark! Are you alright?"

Dark reached the bathroom and retched violently into the toilet bowl over and over again, every wave of vomit being followed by a crushing aftershock of shame and guilt that only started the process all over again until his throat was raw and dry and he was left curled up, fetal, sobbing into his hands at the foot of the porcelain throne until he reached unconsciousness.

The last thing he heard was "Christ. Help me get him cleaned up."

Clean. He'd never feel clean again.

The End

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