Craig Edmonds stared at hands sticky with darkening blood.
He held them away from his body and looked down at his chest in horror. Large, dirty-
Breathing in short, sharp gasps, he frantically examined his torso, looking for the wound. No cuts. No injuries. No holes where there shouldn’t be any. His chest heaved in relief. He wasn’t dying, after all.
But then, mid-
Even in the half-
He focused on the queen-
He swallowed, the acrid morning-
“Kirsty?” he croaked. Clearing his throat, he called again, hesitant but louder.
In the crushing silence, time stood still.
“Kirsty!” he screamed, as he dashed into the master bedroom’s compact, white-
Trying desperately to rein in his growing panic, he raced to the main bathroom. His wife wasn’t there either. Next room.
Out of breath, heart hammering, he reached the internal door that led to the double garage and opened it. The external roller door was down and his red Alfa Romeo and Kirsty’s silver Lexus were parked next to each other.
Gripping the door handle, he sagged against the door. He took a deep breath. Fought for control of his adrenaline-
Hands shaking violently, he somehow managed to turn on the cold water tap. He watched, mesmerized, as the blood from his hands, diluted by water, swirled in a pink eddy in the bottom of the sink before disappearing down the plughole.
Oblivious to the water dripping from his hands, he dropped onto the pine storage-
His memory of the previous evening was patchy, to say the least. He had a vague recollection of arriving home stressed after a late-
A series of short clips flashed through his mind. In one, he saw himself shouting at Kirsty, her throwing up her hands and yelling back. What had they been arguing about? In another, he was picking up his car keys, and…
Damn it! Why can’t I remember? he thought, glancing towards the door leading into the garage. It was then he saw the set of four smudged, rust-
Except he had a feeling the nightmare was only beginning…