She’d Expected to See Some Blood by Steve Campbell

Zoe pries out one of his eyeballs with the tip of a screwdriver and rolls it between her thumb and forefinger. His good eye stares blankly out at her. She’d expected to see some blood. She moves to plunge the screwdriver into it, to see what will happen, before changing her mind and dropping the orb it into her pocket to play with later.

She trims back his eyelashes with a pair of scissors, careful to keep the eyelids neat and tidy. Some of the lashes ping up and stick to the back of her hand. She slaps at them, annoyed that she’d forgotten to put her gloves on again. After cutting off his clothes, making sure not to look in places that she knows that she shouldn’t, she vents her frustration over the gloves and hacks rough clumps out of his hair.

‘Zoe!’ The door rattles it in its frame as Tommy bangs on it from the outside. ‘Zoe. Open the door.’

Zoe gathers up the clothes and hair and, after throwing one of her t-shirt over him, she bundles him underneath the bed.

She keeps the scissors held tightly behind her back as she slides back the bolt to unlock the door.

‘Where’s my G.I Joe?!’ Her brother shoves his way into her bedroom.

‘How would I know?’ She shrugs, a sneer scrawled across her face.

‘I know you’ve taken it.’ Tommy stamps around the room, moving books and throwing back bedsheets in search of his toy. ‘I’m telling Mom.’

‘Telling Mom what?’ Zoe asks, closing the bedroom door and snapping the lock back in place.

Steve Campbell is writer from Birmingham, UK.