It wasn’t red-red like in the movies. And it didn’t smell or taste like pennies like books said. It was a shimmering vermilion heavy with grease. Too many fries, not enough spinach. Its smear across the pockmarked concrete was already disappearing, slurped up by the thirsty stone floor, and I stepped over it without concern. There won’t be enough left to identify by morning.
It was sticky, though. On my hands and in my hair. My gait was slower by microseconds because of its weight in the cotton threads of my clothing. It would never wash out. Of anything.
The work was done. I could rest if I wanted. No one would discover what happened for days, maybe weeks. I was suddenly tired. I longed to let myself meld into the concrete with the last of the broad, crimson puddle. Let it absorb me, too. Dissolve into base fluids or evaporate in a fine mist until nothing remained of me but pale, twisted meat on the bone.
I envied him in that moment. He was free. But I couldn’t stay. The rising stench of rotten meat, invisible to human senses, caressed the animal inside, running its hand backwards up my spine, and drove me on. Away.
I had to go home — to change.