Three long and hot hours have passed since she arrived home, the sun went down when I got here, but it’s done nothing to cool the air, it’s hot as hell and I’m sweating so bad that my shirt sticks to my back. I’ve been standing here like a Goddamn statue, resisting the urge to grab a piece of two by four and cracking the skull of the creep drinking my scotch, on my couch, with my wife. You spend three years fighting a war, and another three in some Goddamn Jap Hellhole and you have to come home to this? I had been MIA so long the Brass assumed I must’a gone the same way as the rest of my squad, ‘missing presumed dead’ they labelled me, forgotten I would’a called it. Hell, I might as well be dead; I thought I’d surprise her, return the heroic War Vet and she’d fall into my arms and screw my brains out right there on the floor. Funny, one of the few things that kept me going was the thought of that bombshell screwing me, I guess now she really was, life isn’t without its irony.
I feel like thunder claps around my head as she turns out the light and I see her lead him upstairs, silhouetted against the porch light, my vision goes blurry and my hands have made the decision before my brain, I gently slide the window open and creep into the house and I can hear their laughter clapping off the walls. For a moment I stand quietly in the darkness, looking at all the dust that has sits where our photos used to, I look around the house some and it seems like the bitch has spent the last three years trying to erase me. I hear the bed creak and I feel a cold thing sink into my stomach, something I haven’t felt since the war, it’s as cold a mortuary slab and just as welcoming, I make my way upstairs and hear more laughter, I can’t help but feel like I’m the punch-line.
Upstairs the bedroom door is open just a crack, the light from inside cuts a sliver across the landing separating them from me, I steel myself and walk to the door, I peek in and for a moment all I see is red as her dress falls to floor in front of me. I adjust my view and I can see his slime-ball hands all over her, and she’s lapping it up like a real classy broad should, I felt like punching a hole in the wall, in my mind I was tearing the house apart, breaking furniture, smashing windows. I was grabbing the table she kept her flowers on and smashing it into the guys face, sending broken teeth and blood spraying up the wall, I was stomping his knee caps and I was busting my knuckles turning his face into a quivering mass of blood and bone. I could’a grabbed her by the throat and released 6 long years of demons and torment in one horrific, maddening torrent, and then only finish them off when I got tired of the screams.
But instead I just stand here, listening to her ecstasy in the next room, feeling each moan as another knife to the back, that’s when I caught a glimpse of the ghoul in the mirror. He was standing in the dark outside the room, peering in, his hair was gone, and his sunken eyes gave me a penetrating stare that revealed something twisted and ugly. I didn’t recognise the creature staring back at me, looking at me with an expression that was at once disgusted, and afraid. I turned my back to him and crept out of the house the same way I came, I didn’t look back; instead, I just kept walking, like a creature in the night.