I cleaned the offending spot and put the towel in the hazardous waste bucket. The ink isn't hazardous but I didn't want a colleague to worry that blood had somehow been discarded into the normal waste stream. That would be a serious Biosafety violation.
Antietam, blood of my enemies; I thought of those things as I initialed documents, batch records, and quality assurance forms that morning. I was using a Lamy Vista demonstrator pen and the fine cursive italic nib was laying down crisp bloody lines on the crappy paper we use in our laser printers. It seemed somehow fitting that a clinical scientist would use an ink resembling dried blood to mark-up documents. The color is distinctive, dark, and saturated, and it reproduces well in the copier.
Writing with the blood of my enemies. The phrase seems poetic and horrific. I wouldn't be surprised to find it in the Game of Thrones or a horror fantasy novel. The phrase and the ink appeals to the writer in me.
Backstory: Antietam Fountain Pen Ink
Nathan Tardif, the founder of Noodler's Ink likes to create commemorative and classic ink colors for his company. Always on the lookout for new ideas, he purchased a vintage 1800s inkwell and rehydrated the dried ink to discover a brown-red fluid that looked like dried blood on the written page. Nathan reproduced the color using modern ink components. Because of the color, he named it Antitam (see below).
The behavior of Antietam fountain pen ink is variable depending upon the paper type and the width/amount of ink applied to the paper. The ink feathers on cheap paper, producing a dried blood appearance. Broader nibs produce more shading as the ink absorbs and dries. This characteristic is valued by writing and drawing aficionados. On less absorbent papers, the ink has a more unified, red-brown coloration.
Fought on September 18, 1862, the battle of Antietam was single bloodiest day in the history of the United States. There were 23,000 casualties and at Burnside Bridge, the casualties were so high that survivors said that Antietam Creek ran red with blood.