Chapter 1 Thick dark blood - and lots of it
George Keegan opened his eyes. His head hurt. His mouth was dry and tasted strange. At first he had no idea where he was. He turned his head. It was 7 am. There was a clock on the small table beside the bed. His clock. His bed. His bedroom. He was at home. His head continued to hurt. He closed his eyes. Then suddenly he opened them again. OK, he was in his .at, in his own bed, but he felt terrible. Why? What had happened last night?
George lay on his back, looking up. He tried to remember where he had been, or who he had been with. He thought hard - but he had no idea. A party maybe? A night out with friends? He remembered going to work the day before, but that was all. Slowly he began to realise that his hand felt wet. In fact, the bed felt wet. Not wet
with water, but something thicker. He took his hand out from under the sheet and looked at it. ‘My God!’ he shouted. It was blood, thick dark blood - and lots of it!
George sat straight up and threw back the sheet. What had happened? He was still fully dressed - dark blue trousers, pink shirt, socks and shoes - but there was blood everywhere! George jumped out of bed and immediately started pulling his clothes o.. As he did so, he checked his body. Where had the blood come from? Had he fallen? Or cut himself? He seemed OK - except for the headache.
Thirty seconds later George stood, with no clothes on, in front of the bedroom mirror, looking at himself. He was tall and well built, with wild red hair. There were no cuts on his body, so it wasn’t his own blood. But whose blood was it? There was so much of it. It wasn’t just on his clothes and his sheets. There was some on the carpet, too. Was it only in the bedroom?
Quickly George made a tour of his .at. It wasn’t big – a bedroom, a sitting room, a bathroom and a kitchen. The bathroom was clean, but there was blood in all the other rooms. In the kitchen there was blood on the floor, on the table and down the front of the cupboards. In the sitting room it was on the carpet and there was a little on the sofa. The bedroom was the worst.
‘My God!’ George said again, his hands shaking, as he stood in his bedroom looking round. ‘Whose blood is this? What’s happened?’ He looked down at the blood on his hands.
‘First things first,’ he thought to himself. ‘I’ve got to get clean. I’ve just got to get clean.’ He went back to the bathroom and got in the shower. Ten minutes later he
felt a bit better. Eight minutes of hot shower, soap and shampoo, then two minutes of ice-cold water. His body began to feel more normal, but his hands wouldn’t stop shaking. He dried himself and put on clean clothes – black jeans, a green Ireland rugby shirt and trainers.
What should he do next? ‘You should always wash blood o. quickly and always use cold water,’ George’s mother used to say. ‘Always wash blood o. quickly.’ He knew he wasn’t thinking straight, but he couldn’t help it. He didn’t know what to think. He couldn’t think! He put his bloody clothes and sheets in the washing machine
‘Blood,’ he said to himself. ‘Cold wash. Cold water to wash o. blood. Thanks Mum.’
He started the machine.
George’s mouth was dry. His head still hurt. It hurt badly. He needed aspirin. And a drink. He made some tea, then found some aspirin and took two. He sat at the kitchen table and looked at his hands. He looked at them hard until they slowly stopped shaking. Then he began to think. What should he do? Call the police? Probably – but not just yet. Not right now. He needed to know more first, more about what had happened.