Same Old Morning
Wind rushing through the air ruffled the pitch-black feathers. The obsidian eyes of the raven peered down, having its wings spread wide as to balance its body in the air, swaying itself gently from side to side. A small warehouse outside the city got caught in its point of view and the raven folded its wings close to its body as it dived towards it like a missile.
An electric mast was next to the small warehouse and upon reaching it the Raven spread its wings open again, stopping itself mid air, fluttering its wings as to perch itself on the thread where electricity streams through. It sat lazily on the thread next to a row of ravens, who stared off into the tiny window of the warehouse, studying it with unwavering, predatory eyes.
Heavy clouds got blown in their directions, covering the pink-golden sky in gray. Trickle of rain found their way to the ground, spotting it before the torrential rain got unleashed, turning the air humid. There were no trees with foliage that could serve as a canopy for the birds. Only weed decorated the ground where the storage with walls that were chalky and checkered as the old paint had been chipped off over the years existed on, giving it the air of abandonment.
The ravens persisted without giving up as the icy rain drops beat their feathers down, kronking to show their undying will. They wouldn’t give up as the intense smell of blood originated from the small warehouse got picked up by the chilly wind and infiltrated the nostrils in their beaks. Whatever was inside that warehouse was a fresh prey for the starved ravens who waited for the right moment to strike.
Meanwhile, inside the warehouse, a body cold and void of life lied on the embalming table. The body of the owner was unknown as the head had already been severed from the torso and placed in the garbage bag. The skin around the neck was jagged, as if someone forcibly ripped the head off the body.
A person loomed over the dead body with a scalp in their hand. Bringing the scalp up they twisted it around, reflecting their face, the lower part of their face covered with a surgical mask as they inspected the sharpness of the small blade before using it to slice open the ghastly pale torso from neck down to the underside of the belly. The person brought out the rib spreader and spread the torso wide open, revealing the inwards that were buried under the fat.
Gloved hands shoved themselves in the gaping wound, rummaging around, filling the air with squelching sounds to pull out a liver after severing it from the rest of the organs. Flushing it with preserving solution to then place it in a cooler box filled with blocks of ice.
Like that, the person kept removing an organ one by one until the body was completely hollow on the inside. Only bones covered in meat were left and the cooler boxes that multiplied over time in numbers were neatly stacked behind the person.
Having no use for the body anymore, the person brought out a chainsaw and turned it on for the jagged blades to whirl around like crazy. The saw was inching closer to the leg of the body, the sharp teeth about to graze it until rapid heavy knocks sounded from the door, forcing the person to stop with whatever he was doing as he released an elongated sigh. He didn’t even have to ask who was knocking as there was only one person who knocks that impatiently at the door and by the time he was done sighing; the door swung wide open hard enough to hit the wall.
Five tall men wearing black suits and black sunglasses waltzed in. Their polished shoes clacked against the cemented ground as they carried themselves to where the person wearing a surgical gown was standing. His back was still facing them as he didn’t bother to turn his head around and when he heard the footsteps coming to a halt few steps behind him he spoke.
“You’re late.” The man said in an even tone with a twinge of annoyance mixed in it as he wasn’t happy that the men were late for the appointment. Time keeps ticking, and he needed to be somewhere. The man who seemed to be the leader standing in front of the group of men had peppered black and white hair that was slicked back in a low mid-length ponytail, his physique sturdy. Letting loose some chuckles, he took a step closer to the moody person holding a chainsaw as he brought his hand to his face to remove the dark sunglasses that hid away his bright blue eyes.
The old man snapped with his fingers and the rest of the men moved on commando to the cooler boxes, carrying and bringing them out of the warehouse to load the white delivery van outside. “Sorry, we had encountered a minor problem on our way.”
Hearing the old man say that the person finally turned around with a slight glare in his eyes as he still was holding the chainsaw and the urge to use the weapon on the old man that spiked his blood pressure grew.
The old man felt the killing intent that was hidden behind the dull brown eyes and spoke. “I haven’t planned out my funeral yet, so could you kill me some other time? Don’t worry, our problems wouldn’t follow you home just like we promised.” Using the sunglasses in his hand, he gently pushed the chainsaw that was inching closer to him away.
Brown eyes narrowed themselves skeptically at the old man, but the young man kept his words in as he didn’t have the time to entertain the old man and turned back to the dead body. “If you’re done here, then get out.”
“Why the sour mood?”
“I’m sorry that I have difficulty finding my fake smile right now when someone put on a sudden ridicules request that forced me to work overnight.”
“You wouldn’t have to work overnight if you didn’t have to walk on eggshells around that girl.”
“Dean.” The young man’s voice came out tight, like a wire that was about to snap, and the old man immediately put his hands up, still wearing a smile on his face.
“How about grabbing some coffee together? I know a good place.” Dean offered as he came to stand next to the man half his age, wishing to spend some time with him. Blue curious globes wandered curiously over the dead body, unfazed by the grotesque sight.
“I doubt that there is a place open when even the birds haven’t come out to sing their tune.” The young man looked at the clock hung on the wall that read four o’clock in the morning.
“It is if it is my place.”
“I have somewhere else where I need to be, which is better than to tolerate your presence.” At the words spoken by the young man, the calm smile on Dean’s face broaden and he brought his right hand up to fumble at the scar on his right earlobe that itched whenever his eyes lingered on the young man. If this young man didn’t have a special place in his heart, he would have filled his skull with bullets. “I wonder how long you can live like this, Brandon.” The way he said Brandon’s name, as if it was a joke, was meant to garner some type of reaction and it worked as Brandon’s lips pressed in a thin line, turning his eyes away from the corpse to stare down the old man who was shorter than him.
Crow feet formed at the corner of Dean’s eyes as his smile broaden where even his teeth became visible. If you would have met him any other day on the street, you would have interpreted his expression as one of favorably. But Brandon knew the cunningness hidden behind those soulless eyes.
Dean patted Brandon’s shoulder before pulling out an envelope from within his suit. The envelope was voluminous and had a lot of weight to it. He threw it casually on the dead corpse, not caring whether it would get soaked in blood. Nodding at it, he said,
“This is the money of this month. Use it to take your wife somewhere nice. What are you going to do with the body?”
Brandon’s lips twitched. “I am going to give it to my other costumer.”
Before Dean could say something, one of his men came to tell him that they were done loading the van.
“Mr. Colburn, everything has been loaded.”
“I see.” Came the collected voice of Dean before shifting his gaze back to Brandon. “Lets leave this conversation for next time.”
“Be on time next time.” Brandon gave Dean a pointed look to receive only a smirk from him before he turned and walked away. He raised his hand up and waved Brandon goodbye without looking back, but even with his back faced to Brandon the smirk on his face never left him and Brandon knew he would be late again for the next appointment.
As soon as the door closes behind Dean, Brandon lets out a sigh as he shook his head. He pulled on the chain of the chainsaw to hear the motor run again. Throwing one last glance at the clock that hung on the wall, he muttered, exhausted under his breath, “Let’s hope that I’ll be home before Cherry wakes up.”
The orange pink glow in the sky faded to blue the more the sun rose from the horizon dying the area in the soft orange warmth. The warmth trickled through the white curtains, the beam of it precisely aligned with the closed lids of Cherry’s eyes as she laid on her side, her chestnut brown hair splayed over her pillow. Her mind was already aware that the morning dawn had broken through, but that didn’t wake her up, nor the sweet aroma of cinnamon that filled the air. It was the lips pressed on her left cheek that created a soft smile on her lips and fluttered her eyes open.
Her heart tingled and with a goofy grin, she turned her head around to meet the dark beer eyes that watched her affectionately. Watching Cherry’s eyes that were like polished amber under the first rays of dawn, Brandon smiled and descended to capture her lips, which she happily obliged to and she rested her back on the soft mattress before readying her arms to wrap them around his neck. But Brandon noticing that disconnected their lips earning a mewl of protest and he chuckled seeing the lips that he just had kissed forming into a pout.
“I would love to continue, beautiful, but then the cinnamon tea that I’ve prepared for you will turn cold.” He grabbed the teacup that he had left on the bedstand when he stepped into the room to wake Cherry up and gave it to her. Cherry sat on the bed to have her back rest against the headboard and received the teacup. She took a sip from it shyly, as she must have seemed too eager just now. But contrary to her thoughts where she berated herself for being too greedy for Brandon’s touch and worried that she may have put him off with it, Brandon really wanted to indulge himself in her presence. He wanted to ravish those cherry plump lips, to have his hands wander all over her body until she turns into delicious goo.
He had to bite the inside of his cheeks, drawing out some blood to still the fierce desire that was about to snap and turn him into a ferocious beast. He knows Cherry wouldn’t have a problem with it, but he couldn’t because...
His eyes flitted over to the parasitic bump taking place in his beloved wife’s stomach. Cherry had been pregnant for almost six months now and the bump had been growing steadily each day. Making it harder for them to be intimate with each other. The doctor had told them it should be fine as long as they were careful, but how can he be careful when she’s this alluring? He didn’t want to risk doing something harmful to her body.
He glared at the bump in distaste. The feelings that he held for the unborn child were lying more on the border of dislike. He never had the desire to have children to begin with, but to make Cherry happy, he would gladly create a soccer team with her if that’s what she wanted. The only thing that he wanted to do was to spend his life with her somewhere quiet.
Feeling Cherry’s eyes on him, the frown on his face was quick to turn into a smile, and he shifted his gaze to look at her before placing a kiss on her temple. He then, like every other morning, gave a fleeting kiss to Cherry’s round belly, the lips barely touching it, but it was enough to create those twinkles in his wife’s eyes.
The navy blue suit that Brandon had been wearing ever since entering the room finally caught Cherry’s attention. Especially the red crooked tie had spurred something in her and she couldn’t stop her fingers from what they were going to do; grab the tie and fix it.
As her nimble fingers skillfully untied the knot of the tie to readjust it, she spoke. “I missed you last night. Where did you go?” Her eyes that were focused on the tie briefly went to meet Brandon’s eyes before leveling back down to the tie.
“I had to work overtime.”
There was a subtle frown on her lips as she fastened the knot around Brandon’s collar. “You have been working overtime a lot lately. Maybe I should have a word with your boss.” She grumbled under her breath, smoothing out the wrinkles on Brandon’s shoulders with her hands. Isn’t it illegal to keep a worker until that late with no extra pay? Cherry mulled. This just didn’t sit well with her.
Brandon took hold of one of Cherry’s hands and placed a soft kiss on the palm. He caressed his thumb gently over her wrist and he could feel how her pulse stuttered at the action. “It was something really urgent, and they needed someone experienced to fix it.” If Brandon’s occupation was something ordinary, he would gladly have Cherry come over to his workplace to scold his boss for slaving him out, but that’s not the case. His workplace will cause his sweetheart’s fragile heart to crumble and faint on the spot.
Cherry’s gaze lowered down sullenly. How can her husband be so kind? It’s because of his good-natured attitude that she wants to protect him from people who want to use him. “Then they should just hire more capable people.”
“Hey,” Brandon hooked his index finger under her chin, tilting her head up so that she would face him. “Today I will be done with work early. How about I pick you up from work and take us to somewhere nice?”
“Really?” Cherry’s voice was filled with excitement washing away the sadness that wounded her heart. It has been a while since they went on a date and she really missed being with him at night.
Seeing the doe brown eyes lit with anticipation, Brandon couldn’t help but smile before seizing her lips with his.
“Really. So stop pouting already and come down to have some breakfast. How does omelet sound for the baby?” Brandon commented as the baby likes to express its distaste for certain food by having his wife introduce it back into the toilet. Like the little demon that it was.
On hearing what was on the menu, Cherry’s eyes strayed to her baby bump, but she didn’t feel the acid crawling up her throat and instead a rumbling sound came from her stomach. She looked back at Brandon and grinned. “The baby finds it an excellent idea.”