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Blood Red

The mission today went bad. A bloodbath, but thankfully, the blood had belonged to the other side.

I'll have nightmares for months about today.

When I got back to Section, I took off my mission gear and went in to the showers. There was blood on my skin. It had managed to seep through my clothes and now it was dried in to my pores. I mopped it up the best I could with my towel and the hot, steaming water. And now, that towel was in the bag I had taken home with me.

I dump out the bag. The towel falls on to the pile with the other white towels. The white towels with the red blotches on them. Filled with other people's blood, occasionally mine.

I no longer have a single towel that isn't stained with nightmare. With the stamp of Section upon them. They wouldn't come out. I had even asked Walter for a solution. But it was too much. Too much blood. Not all of it would come out. Some of the nightmare still clung to the fibers.

And now, those stained towels were littering around the apartment. The nightmare continued to spread.

Though weary, I knew I wouldn't be sleeping until I took the blood of others, of people now dead, out of my home. It didn't belong here. My home was Section given, but it was my own haven. Even despite the occasional surveillance, it was still the place I went to get away from all of it. I could almost pretend I'm a regular, ordinary person here. Section didn't belong. Neither did it's missions.

The people I killed shouldn't be able to follow me home and haunt my slumber.

I put all my towels in a trash bag, then lug them downstairs to the curb for garbage pick up. The sooner they were gone, the better.

Come sunup, I find myself standing in a store. I can't really recall why I came.

I haven't slept in days.

My dry, cracked skin aches. The wound on my hand opens back up when I try to rub away the pain. Bright red blood starts to seep out, and before I know it, it's dripping off my hand.

Grabbing a tissue from my bag, I quickly mop up the mess. When I'm through with my hand, I survey my surroundings, where I dripped.

Or at least, I think I dripped. There doesn't seem to be any blood noticeable.

And then I see why. Red towels had absorbed the blood. And it didn't even show. It was like there were no trespassing liquid upon them at all.

I grab as many as I can hold in my arms. With these, I can at least pretend that in my unsurveillanced haven, there were no blood upon my towels. No terrorists haunting my sleepless nights. They were just ordinary, red towels. Like anyone else's who shopped here.

There would always be missions. I'll always have to deal with the aftermath of them. But at least I can lie to myself just enough to get through another day.

Survival is never very pretty.