“What’s that filthy-looking liquid you’re pouring on the carpet?” demanded Belle during the cocktail party.

“It’s what’s left of my soul,” Ron replied, eyeing the fluid, and the watery ice cubes that fell on the avocado-colored shag carpeting.

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic,” said Belle, lifting her finger to signal white-suited minions, who hurried in and began an extensive scrubbing operation, using brightly-colored sponges to remove the stain.

“The pink in the liquid is residue of my brain, and the runny red is my blood, sweat, and tears you have wrung out of me in our relationship,” Ron added as Belle supervised the scrubbing operation.

“Do you ever look at this from my perspective? Do you know how much work I do to keep things on track?” she queried as one of the minions moved from the carpet, and began scrubbing the toes of her white plastic boots.

Prone on the carpet, Ron drifted into a dream, encountering his identity from a past life:

“I’m Roy, I run the neighborhood hardware store on Saturday mornings and beyond. I have sharp, penetrating eyes, but a friendly manner. I have been here forever, and will remain here throughout eternity. I chain-smoke and fantasize about committing bizarre sexual crimes. ‘Yes, a radio transistor, sir? Right away.’ I live in a faded yellow house in our respectable tree-lined neighborhood. I fix the neighborhood’s bicycles and kites, with a bright sparkle in my eye. Why are you judging me?”

In the past life, Belle’s earlier soul had been Roy’s 9th victim.

Ron licked Belle’s white boots and she kicked him in the teeth. He slathered around on the heavy fabric, looking for molar remnants, and she kicked him some more, spilling blood onto the carpet.

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