Was it a severed ear? Or was it all that was left of him?
A few days ago, asking himself that sort of question would have been, well, out of the question. A lot had happened since then, and Harry jabbed at the bloody, disembodied lobe with the toe of his shoe.
It could be Carl.
Only one of his ears was pierced.
Harry couldn’t remember which. And he was struggling to work out if this one on the floor was a left ear or a right ear. Short of picking it up and placing it to his head like some macabre jigsaw … he mimed doing it.
It was a right one.
And again, there was no way of telling, was it all that was left of him, or was Carl elsewhere, blood soaked, hair matted, gasping in pain?
Harry took a few steps further into the room. There was an odd metallic smell in the air. It was a familiar smell, but he couldn’t place it. Sort of iron like.
The lights were off, and silver moonlight was streaming in through the half open window. He could hear the lazy drone of late night traffic hundreds of feet below. He recognised this room, from a few days ago, but that’s all he remembered. Nothing was coming back to him. The black void in his memory was still there.
The last thing Harry remembered was the flash of blinding light as the machine exploded. Since then, it was like he had been fragmented through time. In different places all at once. Now in the hotel room, moments ago in a car screeching away from a fireball.
And it seemed like Carl had been fragmented too.
And there was his other ear.
Tucked under the couch, it’s single metal stud glinting in the silver moonlight, sitting in a pool of jet black ooze.
Harry knew it wasn’t black really. That’s just the way it looked in the light.
He also knew what had happened now.