Droplets of Blood (Short Story)

Emelina Brown

Droplets of Blood


Droplets of blood speckled Ophelia’s hand-knitted sweater cardigan, adding to the ever-growing list of things she would have to clean up today. The man at her feet was currently at the top of that list. Ophelia glanced down at the oozing, nauseating, scarlet gash in the man’s abdomen, wrinkling her nose in disgust. The scent of metal and sweat wafted through the air, juxtaposing with the fresh, dewy aroma of the new day. If it were not for the rotting corpse, the scene would be rather beautiful, Ophelia thought. The jaw-dropping sunrise­—complete with a stunning array of sapphire blue, light pink, and burnt orange gossamer clouds—truly enriched the already picturesque and quaint meadow. Ophelia could not help but feel that it was quite a shame she could not stay to enjoy the view. Instead, she began searching for a creek or pond to dispose of the body in.

After a wide sweep of the surrounding area, Ophelia spotted a glistening pond hidden under a couple of grand, bright green willow trees. Releasing a squeak of satisfaction, she rushed over to the dead man and grabbed hold of his booted ankle. As she began to yank the body toward the water, she thought back to the events of the early morning. Ophelia replayed how she had spotted her prey in the saloon amidst the games of chess, spittoon, drinking, and love, and how he had looked so charming in his dusty, Western hat while sitting among an assembly of giggling, boisterous women. She remembered how she had sashayed over to him, winking, and how he had winked back, a self-assured smirk across his hardened, bearded face. She recalled the gesturing and the sneaking and the flirting. But the part Ophelia remembered best was after she had lured him out to the cow meadow behind the bar, the part where right as the man was leaning in to plant a wet kiss on her, she had sliced out with the blade previously hidden in her ostentatious skirt. Ophelia perfectly recalled the weight of the man as he sagged against her, the overwhelming smell of bourbon making her gag. A hint of a smile crossed her lips as she remembered the final time his labored breathing rattled out, warming her exposed neck.

The sparkling pond that Ophelia now neared reminded her of a large, rare diamond. Oh, how she wished she did not have to defile its beauty with her kill. Alas, utilizing the last of her strength, Ophelia shoved the man into the water, watching until his body could no longer be seen. Then, she dusted off her grimy hands, started back to town, and dreamt of a hot kettle of tea.