"Sir ...I have to leave for a second in order to call. Do you understand?" I made a move to hold his hand and reassure him of my return, but I remember the stub of hand left over from his attacker (to think that someone could do so gruesome a thing as to hack off fingers and scoop out an eye!) and decide to pull my hand back to safer, dryer shores of flesh. I pat his shin, which is covered by a fine, seemingly expensive pinstripe pant. My skirt is soaked. For an irrational moment this provokes rage, but I brush it away and get up to leave the elevator. I really need to talk to a therapist about my rage problems.
You sure do, bitch. What? Who is that? Who is that! "No, please!" The voice calls out. My voice. It's my voice! My voice! Help!
What's wrong, you can't help yourself? Are you angry? What happened? Did your boyfriend break up with you? Huh, bitch? HUH BITCH? DID YOUR BOYFRIEND FUCK SOMEONE ELSE? IS THAT IT? IS THAT WHY? "No. NO. That's not it! STOP!"
I grab at the snake, but it snatches up muscle, still twitching in its nakedness. Spurting blood, I crumple to the floor and quiver wetly. My skin - bits of it - lines the blue gum-squares of the floor. Everywhere. Like the Dough Man's fingers, they are everywhere. They're moving! There they are, moving, like worms, inching their way away from me. Please come back! Don't go! The snake whips around my face, still clinging to the side of it, burrowing deeper into the fiber, into the heart of my words, their movement. I get up to leave the elevator and there is blood all over my skirt. I wonder why there is blood all over my skirt? I inspect it and see that my right hand is clenching and loosening over something shiny. What is it? What? A ...knife? I ...
that's it, that's it. You see now, do you? You see? That was you, you. YOU. YOU KILLED HIM. "I didn't kill anyone!" Yes you did, bitch. You DID. Look down. See him? He's still whispering a little. What's he saying? "Don't... please, stop. Don't hurt me. don't... " He's on his back now, his voice is hoarse, and he says it again. DON'T ...HURT ...ME! See? Oh, look what you've done now. "No!" I hold the remainder of my face up and crouch to collect what wriggling skin-worms I can. They bite and slide away from me, quickly away from me. They hide underneath the sink. They giggle like children at me. WHY? I see him on the bathroom floor. His face is wan and dried up like a husk. I reach out to him with trembling fingers and he groans. I scream at him; he smiles, he says something inaudible. What is he saying? His shoes are singing, his pants are singing, my skin is still hiding underneath the sink, giggling. I peek over my shoulder at the door and it's no longer a door but a vast maw with rows and rows of metal teeth.
You ran away from him, left him to bleed out. It took no more than fifteen minutes, perhaps twenty, to bleed out and die. He was staring up at the ceiling, the roof of the elevator, and thinking about nothing, nothing at all. What were you thinking about? Revenge? Where did that get you? What did the doctor say about revenge? It's useless. Oh, oh - the voice croons into my ear for an eternity as I lay my face against the cold surface, as I run my fingers along the tile. I did leave him. I remember that much. I remember I did this to several others. I remember I fell and scraped my knee and it got infected. I remember hearing about the Dough Man on the news. I remember he had a pussy-tickler mustache and missing teeth. I remember he had a squat nose, like a pig; and how much like a pig he looked! I remember staring at his picture and wondering again, as I did when I woke up in the elevator, who could do such a thing? And who could? I could. I did. Just like the neighbour, and Margaret - and Cindy, that cunt. I slashed her up too, didn't I? I can remember her face, her pale face looking at me, asking me why? Why? Because you pissed me off, Cindy, that's why. And Trevor. Ha. I got him up with my pretty knife. It's a good knife, and it never dulled. After all these years, it never dulled.
The snake is dead. It's not a snake, I see. It's a knife. I'm losing my fucking marbles. It's right there, and all this time I thought it was a snake. And it wasn't a snake; it's a goddamned knife. Fucking shit. I did this. I know that now. I did this to myself. I fucked myself over.
It's so cold. I'm shivering. The Dough Man is gone. He was never here. The doctor knows best. The doctor told me these things aren't real. You believe me, right? They're not real. I'm not really losing my marbles. I'm just tired. I just need to go to bed right now. I just... it's so cold. I need to get up and... god, is it cold in here.
HOLY SHIT, MY FACE IS FUCKING - HOLY FUCKING SHIT! HOW THE FUCK? HOW? WHO THE FUCK - I need to go... but it's so cold. Doctor... I need... but... goddamn, all this blood! I don't feel so good...