Self Depredation

“Dave, how do you explain this? This terrible stain on your trousers?”

He had to go into the laundry room to see what Holly was yelling about.

“That’s burger juice. I was eating it while driving and it fell apart in my lap.”

“And this one?”

“Enough with the questions. Just wash it.”

He walked out. The stain was a smear of dried blood. He hadn’t been careful enough when taking off the Tyvek coveralls. Now she was going to start asking questions.

Time passes.

Dinner was over. David was chasing the last of the gravy around his plate with a piece of bread.

“I know what dried blood looks like.”

“It was mud.”

“I soaked it. Mud doesn’t colour the water like that. Whose blood is it, Dave?”

Time passes.

Holly carried the folded towels upstairs to the closet. The shelf where they belonged was full of toilet paper. The whole goddam closet was full of goddam three ply toilet paper and that scared her.

Time passes.

For two more days she managed to keep her mouth shut. Then it got to where she couldn’t look at the closet door when she walked past.

Time passes.

“We got enough toilet paper?”

“You noticed? It’s not all ours so go easy on it.”

“Where did you get it, David?”



“I meant Costco.”

“Bullshit. We’re not members. You’ve got me scared, Dave. I’m worried about people busting in here looking for it or the cops showing up.”

“No-one’s busting in and the cops haven’t got a clue. We just have to stay cool.”

“Where’s it from, then?”

“We hit one of the armoured delivery vans, okay? Cleaned it out. Except the single ply.”

“And the blood on your pants?”

“One of the guards didn’t want to let go. Eddy hit him.”

“He must have hit him pretty hard.”

Opened him right up. But he didn’t tell her that. She didn’t like him going away overnight. Looking at twenty-five years to life would break her.

Time passes.

To get Holly’s mind off it he popped a bottle of champagne. The French stuff sitting in the garage. Top shelf vintage shit. He kept the bottle in the fridge and told her it was Californian. She liked it so much they had to open a second. It was nice. Like when they first got together—sitting close, talking, watching tv, drinking, making out like teenagers.

Time passes.

He woke up with a sore head. Hers was sore, too. And all that talking, talking. He could feel it in his throat. Neither of them wanted to get out of bed.

“That’s your phone.”

He groped for it. It hurt to focus on the screen.

“Who is it?”


“Eddy’s wife? What does she want at this hour?”

“It’s 11am. It’s Eddy. He’s in the hospital with corona.”

He opened that guy right up.

David swallowed hard. It hurt.