TUBE, Draft 1, Chapter 13 excerpt.
(Note: Since I'm not on the train anymore, I will post excerpts with hopefully lovely images I find online. If you want to read whole daily chapters, cough up $1 per month and you can read them on my Patreon.)
A delicate plop made Olesya look down at her phone. Her pale face reflected in the dark glass. A fat drop of dark liquid sat in the middle, jiggling, too thick to splay further. Olesya blinked, cold spreading all over her. Another drop joined the first one, splashing next to it in a glistening globule with a deep wine-rich heart. Olesya felt something detach in her and leave her numb, too tense to move, too horrified to look up. One more droplet, warm and sticky, plunked on the crown of her head. It trickled to the back of her neck in a wet line, and Olesya gasped involuntarily, slowly rising her eyes to the ceiling.
There, in the whitish plastic dirtied by the grime of years, ran a thin crack. It could be a crack in the skin of someone living, a crack you’d see on a hand of someone suffering from chronic eczema, only it wasn’t skin. It was a ceiling, and it oozed blood that seeped out, hung on the edges and, when overflown and dragged down by gravity, dropped on Olesya’s phone, her head, and now on her upturned face, on the her half-open lower lip, so that when she convulsively wiped it off, she tasted it.
Salty, salty like human blood would taste.
Olesya’s mind no longer belonged to any kind of reasoning. Sharp panic tossed her up from the bed and to the door. Thin rivulets of fluid made their way there already, squirting from the gap between the door and the wall. Gagging from revulsion, she slipped her fingers into the wet orifice that served at the handle and tugged. The door was locked. Fingers slipping, she drove the phone into her pocket and grappled for the hook that held on to the peg as if she locked the door behind her. She couldn’t remember if she did, and it didn’t matter. She couldn’t lift it—it was stuck as if glued.
The curtains on the windows sagged, absorbing the moisture that leaked out of the broadening fissures and spilled over the sills, swerving rivulets reaching the carpet and soaking into moist purplish spots. Within moments a thin film of blood covered every wall, slithering, gliding in sheets with wavy billowing edges that at points sloped over into glistening streaks.
Olesya gulped for air, suffocating, her fingers stained, whites of her eyes showing like that of a cow to be slaughtered, her voice making a hideous lowing noise, half-moan, half-cry. It never once occurred to her to pound on the door or scream for help.
(Photo above is by Greek photographer Vassilis Tangoulis.)