#90 Margaret’s Revenge

by Jaymes Logan

“It’s got to be red. We’re likely going to die in this house and I don’t want that putrid color to be the last thing I ever see.”

“It’s just an old home. It’s part of its soul. You change the color, you change who this house is.”

The thirty year-old argument reverberated inside Arthur’s head as he lay on the cold tile floor. He was bleeding to death. Of course he was. A man his age shouldn’t be bounding up and down stairs every day, but Margaret wasn’t there to nag him anymore, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to be a slave to the architecture. That staircase was a dragon, and for thirteen long years since it took Margaret, the old warhorse had defeated it triumphantly every day. He stared up at that dragon, with its enormous, black-railed jaws unhinged and prepared to devour him.

Warm liquid oozed through Arthur’s flannel shirt and stained the pea-green ceramic floor. As he painfully craned his head upward, he saw his blood along the stairs, dripping into a puddle beside him from the vile beast’s red, carpeted tongue.

Arthur couldn’t help but smile what little smile his worn, fading muscles could muster. The dragon won, but he knew that was inevitable. Compared to human beings, dragons live forever. No, this wasn’t the dragon’s day-- it was Margaret’s. She had won, in the end. Margaret always won. The floor was red for as far as the eye could see.

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