As blood pooled slowly on the white marble dining room floor, I kept my head down and focused on each drop. They exploded on impact and sent ripples outward through the scarlet puddle. It struck me as a good metaphor for my life: I was that drop of blood, sending shock waves through everyone, and everything, around me.
A normal person would be terrified. Here I stood, surrounded by people I didn’t trust, watching a pool of blood only I could see. A pool of blood that would disappear as soon as my guardian did. Fear, the guardian in question, smiled thinly at me and tucked his necklace of razor blades back around his neck. I had never asked why he did it, the cutting; it only happened in situations that would make any normal person run.
That was my fleeting instinct as the man named Mr. Bain watched me from the head of the long dining room table. The black he wore seemed to swallow up the light around him. The arrangement of white orchids in the middle of the dining room table looked wilted, even twisted, against the outline of his dark presence. He leaned against the lone chair at the head of the table- my father’s chair, no one else ever sat there. Amber eyes with flecks of red sought mine and attempted to pin me with them; attempted to fill me with desolation and despair.