114 - The DVD

In the new Crowfoot Public Library, there is an extensive collection of DVDs that can be borrowed provided you have a card. One of these, which nobody seems to borrow, is inside a blank case that inevitably seems to get lost between shelves or reshelved in the wrong section. The disk inside the case is unmarked as well, although it isn’t a DVD-R. Attempting to borrow the disc will earn you a strange look, but no strong protestations.

Take the disc home and do not watch it until after dark. Put the disc into your player at one in the morning and press play exactly ten second later. The screen will crackle to life in media res, the action already unfolding by the time the camera comes on. The scene depicts the murder of a man named Nick Maharis, gutted like a fish on the platform at Sunnyside Station, his intestines spilling out onto the concrete. The camera is dropped after he hits the ground, and the killers leave.

The camera remains focused on Maharis as he bleeds out, watching the slow progress of his abdomen emptying onto the ground. Strangely, the pattern formed by his entrails differs every time you watch. He will make eye contact with you at the moment he expires. The disc is of no use to you unless you are skilled in haruspicy. If you are, you can see reflected in his innards the current future of the war.

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