By Larry Tyler

If I were clear, instead of red, this wouldn't take so long. I would go right over to the paper, surround it, and destroy the evidence. Yes, I would soak it, soften it, and when it was mush, no one would ever know.

By tomorrow, if I were clear, my job would be all done and I could enjoy my success. But I'm red. And I suppose in some ways that's better. Although I'm slower than I would be if I were clear, I can mingle with the ink, I can blanket the evidence, and tomorrow my work will be done, all the same.

I can see the note in front of me, inches away now. I'm coming. I'm coming to get you. The heart has stopped propelling me, but I will get there just the same.

I must slip around the name written on the carpet, slide away from the finger that dipped into me and used me for ink, and wrote the name, "Carl."

I see words now on the paper in front of me, the words that Carl dictated, the suicide note he forced the hand to write before he fired a shot and released me onto the floor.

But the note will be mine in another moment, and the lie will be concealed. And only I will be here tomorrow when they come to check. There will be only be me, the body I sprang from, and the name, "Carl," written in red.

Copyright 2000 Larry Tyler