The children were still, beyond all reason, bouncing off the walls when Ted brought them home from their trip to the zoo, Baskin Robbins, and the park afterwards.  Ted was completely exhausted, and thought the children should be as well, but years of parenting had taught him better.  Heaving a sigh and dropping his windbreaker unceremoniously over the back of the couch (an action sure to raise his fastidious wife to the heights of annoyance), Ted headed to the modest bar in the dining room, where he fixed himself a strong drink.

     “Daddy, it’s too cold in here,” came an indignant voice from waist level.  Ted turned, rubbing his eyes, and looked down at his daughter.

     “Your mother probably just opened the windows to air the house out.  It was a nice day,” Ted explained, feeling the cool draft through the house.

     “Well, it’s cold now.”

     “I know, dear.  Go put on a sweater.”  He spoke louder so that the slightly older boy could hear in the next room, “And then I want both of you to sit down at the table and do your homework.”

     “Where’s mommy?  I wanna show her Mr. Teeth!”  The girl said, holding the new stuffed tiger up so daddy could see.

     Ted could hear water running upstairs.  “It sounds like she’s in the tub.  I’ll go up and tell her we’re home and that you brought home a real tiger.”

     A dirt-and-sand-covered  boy came into the kitchen, “Ewww!   You’ll see her all naked!”

     “Eww, yuck,” Ted said, “It looks like you’re the one who needs the bath.  How do you manage to get so dirty?”

     After a handful of minutes, Ted managed to get the children to sit down and pretend to do their homework.  When he thought they were going to sit still for more than two minutes, he picked his drink up from the counter and headed up the stairs to say hello to his wife.

     The large house was built into a hill, so that the master bedroom’s rear wall was on a ground level.  Large bay window and a patio looked out onto a nicely landscaped back yard with a clean blue swimming pool.    The bedroom door was propped open with a large stuffed bear against the draft from the open patio door.  Ted stepped in.

     “Honey?” he called, “We’re back.”  There was no answer.  Ted doubted he could be heard above the running water, and assumed that his wife was dozing lightly in her scented bath bubbles.  Ted sat down on the bed and stripped off his socks and shoes, and tossed them in a pile along with his pants and shirt.  He was getting up to take his bathrobe from his closet, drink in hand, musing over sentimentally tacky things to say when he entered the bathroom, when he noticed a set of light muddy footprints leading in from the patio door. A similar set, wetter and streaked randomly with red, led out again, spaced further apart, as of someone running.  They appeared to be boot prints, large ones.  It didn’t make any sense, and Ted followed the first set of prints with his eyes to the large dresser behind him.  He noticed for the first time in the dim evening light the half opened drawers and jewelry scattered on the floor around it.   The muddy prints were smeared here.

     His entire being tensed as he strode quickly across the room to the connected master bathroom.  The door hung ajar, and there were vague wet bare footprints leading out, which ended in a shuffle off mud and dampness.  The door was splintered along one edge, and there was a hole at face level in the center of the door.  All of Ted’s frivolous thoughts of sex were replaced by a suffocating dread.  The sounds of the children downstairs and the birds singing in the crisp spring outside were drowned out by the sound of blood rushing in his ears.

     Drink long forgotten, but still in hand, Ted pushed the door open.  The bathroom was large and carpeted, with a large skylight above, large mirrors, and polished brass gleaming on the sink faucets.  The large bathtub was separated by a wall and frosted glass door.  Ted moved through a haze to the door, sweating now, too frightened of what he was going to see to call out to his wife.  He was dimly aware of the water still gushing behin that door.  The carpet in front of it was soaked black with water.  After an eternity approaching the door, his bare feet making squishing noises in the cold drenched carpet, he placed his cold hand on the handle, fumbled it as his sweaty palm slid across the brass, and finally managed to push the door open to the usually pristine, shining condition of the bath area.
    One step into the roomy alcove, the glass slipped out of Ted’s hand.  He didn’t notice it, as his mind raced, taking in the scene before him.

     The huge mirror behind the pocelain shelf on his right was shattered in a sinister spiderweb from a smashed, small hole in the center.  There were streaks of crimson across the shelf, smeared across the dozens of jagged prisms of the ruined mirror.  On the oppposite wall, both wooden towel racks were broken.  One hung on is fastenings in two jagged pieces, the other was splintered, and missing the dowel.  The wall was punched through in several places, a few fist sized, more looking as if they’d been made with a length of pipe or crowbar.  Two more bullet holes glared at Ted like eyes from the wall.  There were two handprints of blood on that wall.  One, slightly larger than Ted’s, just below shoulder height, as if a man had leaned against the wall.  The other, lower and smaller, was streaked downward, ending near the tub’s rim.  The floor sat under an inch of pink water, which flowed around Ted’s feet as the roaring tub continued to overflow.  The water was freezing.  Some part of Ted’s mind told him the hot water must have run out quite awhile ago.  The toilet was destroyed.  The tank was punched through with what looked like one more gunshot.  The seat and lid were ripped half off, and sat askew, overhanging the rim of the bowl, which was cracked in one place.  There was a splattering of blood across the rim, thick and dark red.  Blotches of red hung dissipating in the bowl’s water.

     Directly in front of Ted, the bathtub was the last place his eyes passed over.  The tiled wall was chipped and smeared in places with blood.  The shower curtain was hanging by one ring, torn violently and thrust aside.  The curtain rod was bent in the center.  Small streams of water were shooting from the shower head, which had been hit with some force, and was bent at a sharp angle toward the ceiling, which itself was darkened with water.  Drips of plaster fell from it, danced in circles in the tub, and flowed in little white currents toward Ted’s ankles.  The meticulously polished brass of the taps and the tub’s faucet were tainted with more of the taunting red.
    Ted allowed his eyes to drift along with a clump of soap bubbles toward his wife.

     The drink glass impacted the edge of the counter beside Ted, bounced, and spiraled downward again, its amber contents flying out of it in strings of drops to sprinkle Ted’s legs.

     The soap bubbles reached Ted’s wife, and he stared at something he wouldn’t really see for several seconds.

     She floated in the still blood-darkened pool of her bath, naked.

     You’ll see her all naked! His son’s voice banged and echoed through his head.  Her lower back was across the tub’s rim, her legs spread out at strange angles, one foot propped on the remains of the toilet tank.  Her thighs were cut and bruised, stained with her own blood and something else Ted didn’t want to admit to himself.  Her head rested in the back rear corner of the tub, eyes open and staring blankly at a point behind the toilet.  Her hair clung to her face, and was matted around a large gash where her face had been slammed into the toilet rim.  The missing towel rack dowel floated near her right hand, and the towel she’d had wrapped around herself when she’d come out of the bathroom was draped over the rim on her left.  There was a messy line of blood leading up from the back of her head, some of her hair clinging to it.  A bullet hole was centered with it just at her hairline.
    The event flashed through Ted’s mind uninvited.  The horrific scene told its own story.  Quiet bath alone, getting out of the running tub to get a book or a cigarette, the screams and shots after the discovery in the bedroom, and the final fight, rape and murder, all these things rushed through Ted’s mind’s eye.

     The glass smashed on the floor, its remains dancing in the currents of Ted’s bride’s life.