She woke up cold, though sweat seemed to be dripping from every possible pore. The lamp on the bedside table was still on and she could remember drifting off after a long session of staring at the ceiling.

She had fought with him for the majority of the night and yet he still went to bed next to her. After fights like this, he usually slept on the couch. He fell asleep almost immediately, making that gross little sound she had come to know so well. It plagued her how easily he was able to shrug everything off when she still had so much to say. The thoughts boiled inside her head and made it feel as though she could explode at any moment. And that was where she stayed until sleep came, despite her best efforts to keep the seething alive within her.

She looked to her left and saw that his side of the bed was empty. She checked the alarm clock, glowing red on the shelf. It was 3:35 AM, far too early for him to be getting ready for work. She looked a few feet past the edge of the bed to see the bathroom door closed, light beaming out from underneath, but…that was strange. It was so quiet. No toilet flushing, no sink running, no footsteps.

She waited. Staring at the door, she waited for something, anything. Minutes crept by and there was nothing. Not a sound. Now she was scared. She remembered being a child and not wanting to move when something frightened her. Especially when the house would make funny noises in the middle of the night. She would just lay in bed, stiff, clutching the blankets to her as hard as she could. The feeling was the same now, but she had to get up. Something was wrong and she couldn’t let fear hold her back. There was a big difference between being 9 and 32, and cowering in fear under the blankies wasn’t part of adult life.

She slowly pulled the blankets off and immediately felt a chill run through her entire body.

“Jesus” she whispered to herself. There was something terribly wrong. She felt it now more than ever. She sat up on the edge of the bed and put both feet on the floor, half-expecting someone to grab her ankles from underneath. She paused again and stared at the light coming from underneath the door, desperately praying for it to open and to see his face. She stood up. Her legs felt weak. Maybe from sleep, maybe not. It took her 3 steps to reach the door and she gripped the doorknob. It…it was slippery.

She held her hand up and out of the shadows. The bedside lamp cast enough light to show the blood that was covering her fingers. Then it came to her. There was blood on the doorknob, but it was also in the sheets. It was where she had been laying. It was where she had gripped the blanket to throw it off of herself.

She flung open the bathroom door and saw him laying on his back in a giant puddle of his own blood. It reeked of urine and feces. And his face. Oh god, his face. She remembered now. He had cried and begged after she shoved him into the counter, hitting his head on the corner. He was on the floor screaming like a woman when she took the scissors to his face, carving him up like a pumpkin. She remembered thinking it slightly amusing how much emotion she was able to extract from him after his display of coldness following their argument.

She stood there, looking at his pathetic, mangled body, and smiled. She smiled so deeply that it brightened her eyes and spread warmth through her entire body.

She stood there for a while, then slowly, easily turned and got back into bed. She reached over and switched off the bedside lamp. She stared at the ceiling for a long time, her eyes wide and wearing a strange smile. Then, very slowly, her eyelids closed and she slept.

I keep in touch with my dark side pretty consistently. I write stories and articles, draw comics and cartoons, and eat lots of cheese.