Excerpt | Blood Orange: Meridian
He liked women but he never married. Meridian would sit in speakeasies and drink scotch, listening to small talk amongst the drunkards and the lost. He found that most only wanted a warm body to wake up next to in the morning, the desperation in their voices reaching only the ears of those they thought suited for such a task.
Sometimes, he would follow them back behind closed doors and watch them, waiting until they fell asleep in each others’ arms before whispering them into a frenzy. They would wake up and wonder where they were before cutting their eyes out and bleeding to death. The others would panic and jump from rooftops and Meridian would laugh and laugh.
That’s when he stopped wearing shoes. He liked the way the world felt on the bottoms of his feet.
It was 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A couple he had followed home were nearly ready to die after slicing themselves up with the knives they had received on their wedding day and making love amongst the blood and severed fingers. Meridian took them up to the rooftop and told them to wait until they saw him down below before jumping to their deaths. They smiled and nodded, barely able to stand.
He rushed down to the street where he took off his shoes. They looked over the edge and saw him there, smiling up at them. They shared one last kiss before hopping over the brick wall.
The couple made a terrible sound and quite a mess, their blood leaking between the cracks in the street while Meridian licked the blood from his lips. He stuck his feet in their insides then and worked them around before pulling them out and spreading them across the pavement, to see how they moved under his calloused soles.