Man of science, man of faith

“This is an imaginary story… Arn’t they all?” -Alan Moore

A bunch of blood splatter on a parchment.
Courtesy of DianaraSHERRY

This tale I heard while I was eating at a friend’s house. Fireman acquaintance. House was warm and ancient and the muted tv spread a blue light across the dark walls, as would have some occult fires. It was a winter night and my friend, being somewhat old school waited for the women to go bathe his only child before asking:

“You know what happened?”

A bottle of Corona glistened in his hand.

“Tell me,” I said, trying not to sound too avid, for I knew his story was to be both gruesome and work-related.

“So, this family hadn’t heard of one of their loved ones for quite a while. 52, cancer researcher, single. We get phoned in: “Boys, could you take a look at this poor chap’s apartment?” they ask. Three of us get into the truck and off we go. None of us really doubts guy is dead. Aneurysm or something. It happens.

“So, we get there, we knock and, of course, there’s no answer. We expected none. So, we decide to break down the door. One, two, three team trashes the whole thing and… And there’s blood everywhere. Gallons and gallons of black splatter. On the floor, the walls, the f… damn ceiling! Hand prints, bare feet marks having skidded over the blood underneath.

“At this point, we really certain our guy’s dead. And we find him. Delta. In his bathroom. The sink he tried to grab onto is blackened and reddish like some satanic altar. You don’t get it. Through the brown smudges, you can follow the poor guy’s trajectory. From his bed to his phone to the bathroom. Meaning our man tried to get help, panicked from the quantity of blood he was letting out, panicked and stopped being rational. Became scared to death as he was well… dying. Pretty much.

“What I think about is the fact the blood is black and, man, there’s so fucking much of it. Do my job long enough, you learned this some digested blood. Meaning our Delta? He awoke during the night choking on his own blood, starts vomiting pretty much everywhere. Tried for the phone, wanting to get some help but when he started to slip through his own blood, he got to the bathroom, hoping to empty himself in the sink. Hoping it would stop long enough for him to be able to phone. Dude puked almost all of his blood then fainted and then he was dead.

“No, you don’t get it. I never seen shit like that. Fifteen years a firefighter and I never witnessed some like it. Asked the doctor who came to pronounce our guys’ death what the fuck would do such a thing. He said our cadaver, right here, probly had some hidden ulcer. Shit burst in his stomach and drowned him in his own blood. But that got me thinking. You ever wonder why people created stories of possession and all that? Imagine having no medical background and stumbling, or worse witnessing such an event! Like you’re in bed one night and here comes your dad or your wife, puking blood by the fucking gallons, spreading blood as dark and sour as petroleum across the furniture which binds your whole life together. Gargling, gulping for air. Rational or not you bound to think of something fantastic to explain whatever the fuck happened.

We both got silent and stayed silent well after his story. The women, when they came back, certainly wondered what we had talked about. The tv was still on.

Muted.

Next week we may well be speaking about Dissection!

--

--

--

I write about the history of artmaking, I don’t do reviews.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Patrice Brown’s Clothing is Not Being Judged, her (Black) Body is.

We Should No Longer Be Taking Attacks Against Women In the Public Sphere for Granted

How Technology Shapes Social Revolutions

When Youth Departs…

Black People are Not Jason Bourne

The ABC’s of Diversity Could Use a Few More Letters

Reclaim Juneteenth

Emergence

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Basile Lebret

Basile Lebret

I write about the history of artmaking, I don’t do reviews.

More from Medium

The Missing Springfield 3

The Strange Unsolved Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Murder on the Beach

Dead man lying down

Teen Girl Disappears While Running Nightly Errand After Work