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Red Paint in the Trash Room

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Some idiot must have spilled red paint in here.

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Chapter 1

I stare down at the red covering the whole trash room, coating everything from the bags to the compactor. Everywhere, it’s absolutely everywhere. There’s no way that will wash out. I feel bad for the people who will have to clean it up. I feel bad for the first person who will find this mess once I leave. I feel bad for the person who will have to figure out what happened.

I crouch down, looking around the red-stained trash for anything important. Anything that might reveal exactly what happened in the trash and red-covered room. There’s some red footprints. I cover those up. A distinct trail of red from one end of the room to the other, I smudge it with my hands. A broken, yet uncolored, security camera. That’s fine where it is.

I look around the room again. The scene is pretty hardcore. There aren’t many clues left around here. I walk over to the trash compactor and rip out the wire connecting it to the controls. Whoops. Looks like no one can open the compactor anymore. That will just make it harder for whoever has to play detective.

Shame too. I like detectives.

Maybe it’s all red paint. Maybe someone spilled red jam everywhere. Or soda or something. Oh wait, it smells like hell in here. Maybe it’s really gross smelling red paint. Red paint that smells so bad you could even compare it to the smell of a corpse. I mean there’s red paint that smells that bad I’m pretty sure. I’ll bet that someone was trying to paint the trash compactor to make it look cooler and accidently spilled the paint everywhere. Why they dropped the trash compactor after they spilled the paint I don’t know. I mean it’s probably safer for it to be closed than open. Less chance of some idiot getting crushed inside. I kneel next to the opening to the compactor. Damn, whoever spilled the paint really liked spilling paint absolutely everywhere. Looks like the paint’s even inside the thing.

Whatever. Figuring this out isn’t my job. I wipe as much of the red off of the front of the compactor as I can. Doesn’t even stain my sleeve. I’d think that was weird in any other circumstance, but it doesn’t even register right now. Poor clean-up guy. There’s a lot of stuff to do here. Might as well help a little.

I push all the wet trash bags into one corner, careful to not let them drip onto anything else in the room. Now whoever has to clean this up can just throw it all out. I helped!

I wipe hands on my pants and admire my work. Of course the red is still all over the room, but it’s more controlled now.

Someone shouts my name and the door opens. I look back and the person screams. They run to the trash compactor, ignoring me completely and screaming for help. Don’t know why they’re screaming for help over some red paint. Even if the red paint smells like death, it’s just paint.

Or maybe they figured it out.

Damn, that was fast.

More people come. They shout that the trash compactor controls are broken. I grin. All of them ignore me completely. They try to lift it open on their own, but to no avail. Seven people isn’t enough to open the trash compactor with brute strength. One of them is crying and I laugh. C’mon. It’s not worth crying about.

Someone else shouts my name and I look towards them, but they’re not looking at me. They’re looking at the compactor.

They run towards the compactor and try to help lift the top, but even with eight people the thing doesn’t budge. One of them shouts that they’re going for help. They run right past me but they still ignore me completely. They’re all panicking. Panicking over the red paint coating the trash room. They’re all screaming my name and yet ignoring me completely. Oh the irony of that.

Then someone runs through me.

It barely registers at first: one second there’s no one there and the next there’s a person right in front of me who clearly was just exactly where I am. It’s a peculiar feeling, being literally run through. Like you’re about to just blow away in the wind. Like you could just blow away in the wind.

I don’t like it.

Now they have 15 people. And 15 people is enough to make the trash compactor budge. So they all work together and lift the top half of the compactor and I just watch from off to the side as three of them scream and the rest fall silent upon seeing the mess of red clothing inside the thing. Looks like the idiot who painted the room left some clothes inside.

One of them shouts that they’re my clothes.

The idiot must’ve stolen my clothes.

Or maybe. Just maybe.

I’m the idiot who spilled the red paint everywhere.

I chuckle under my breath. But I’m not really breathing so what does that matter? None of them will pay any attention to me anyways. I laugh and laugh as they shout and cry because they’re scared, ahh they’re all so scared because it’s my clothes in the trash compactor! Because my clothes are covered in red! Because my clothes are all the signs of me any of them can see and the room looks so vibrantly red!

Ah how bad I feel for them! They’ll have to clean and cover it up! Or they just might get in trouble for that idiot’s mistake! Poor them! They shouldn’t have made that idiot mad!

I’m sure you’ve figured it out now too.

Word Count: 956

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