Cancer – Painting

Phew. Been working on this one for a few months. A put out a smaller version a while back, then realized it had more potential. So I added, a lot. And made it huge. I’m proud of it. There’s a lot of little details that are easy to miss, especially when it’s shrunk down like this. (If you can find the negative space crab, I’ll be impressed.

I still need to clean up a few things (especially the lips and the transition to the waterfall). But I think it’s on track to be one of my most complex pieces.

 

94×73 inch digital painting

Cancer

copr Blu-art and Arktic-ink 2018, all rights reserved.

Wallpaper cut:

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More Cover Art!

A collaboration project with an old art buddy of mine. Been working on it over the past month or so and I think it’s coming along nicely. It’s primarily a digital painting but there are composite elements in the largest flower and the famous building I’ve forgotten the name of (both were free photos from unsplash.com that we reworked into the composition). The subject was also based on a photo which I masked over and painted/re-textured. That’s essentially the equivalent of tracing something, but it is still painted and I think she turned out well.

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copr Blu-art and Kochre. 

I moved away here from my normal hyper-textured/realistic style primarily because there isn’t enough skin to make it work. Most of the composition was just black…so we worked in little Easter eggs from the story.

I’m especially proud of the eye re-texturing I did specifically for this piece.

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Here’s a closeup of the most recent addition. There’s some smoothing out to do still, but I’m rather fond of how it turned out.

Capture

 

Here is a close-up of the hands alongside a few of the more complex transitions:

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I know it seems needlessly bloody, but the character depicted loses a finger during the act this heads, which is what it references. Furthermore, I did a questionable job on repainting the contour of the hand and messed up the skin color a little. The blood helps cover up the mediocrity.

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The artwork displayed here is copyrighted and not available for any type of reproduction without explicit written permission from me. I’m pretty open to letting people use stuff as long as they pass along credit, so don’t be afraid to ask!

My Portfolio: https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My Deviant Art: https://arctic-ink.deviantart.com/

My Design by Humans shop: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/

2

Finding Happy: Chapter 3-To Normal

Ignorance is a bliss that most fail to appreciate. Truly, sometimes not knowing, forgetting, is the purest mercy life can deal you. How knowledge can taint an otherwise euphoric reality. 

Enjoy!

Start at the beginning, if that’s your thing: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/13/third-degree-part-1/

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III

To Normal.

Casey had regained control of her emotions by the time her mom pulled up, twenty or so minutes later. I still can’t get up…The pains only grown sharper. Her mother nearly tripped as she raced out of the car. Her hand covered her mouth, tears flowing, as she flew to her daughter’s aid. “Baby, what happened to you? Oh God! Sweetie, you’re bleeding. Can you stand up? We need to take you to the hospital!” Bleeding?

Apologetically, Casey muttered, “I can’t walk…my stomach feels like it has a hole in it.” Pale and distraught, her mom wrapped her arm under her daughter’s knees and back, lifting her with a wordless grunt. “I’m really sorry, mommy. I went to a party last night. I know I was drinking, but I don’t know what happened. The last thing I remember is being in the hot tub with…” Best to leave that out.

“With who sweetie? With who?”

Lying, Casey said, “I…I don’t remember.” Straining, her mom managed to open the old VW’s passenger door.

“Don’t worry about it sweetie. Everything’s okay now. I’m not mad, don’t worry baby.” She said as she lowered Casey into the VW’s shabby and torn faux-leather seat. She’s always mad when I do bad things, why not now? I almost like it better when she just yells at me.

Casey pulled out her phone to check the rest of the messages as her mother started the engine. She tabbed to Matt and read:

‘Hey, Casey! I got the drinks and came back to the tub, where’d you go?” Where did I go, anyway? I just remember waiting and thinking how he was taking forever. ‘Hey, kinda worried, these parties can get pretty crazy, hope you’re okay <3’ Damnit. Now I feel even worse. I probably ruined his night, too. ‘Hey I’ve been looking around down here for like thirty minutes. If you headed home or something, I just wanna say how great a time I had with you. I know you think I’m a bit of player or something, but I’ve never really had a real girlfriend. Like I’ve gone on a few dates but I’ve never really connected the way I did with you there. Oh goodness, look at me getting all cringey. Sorry about that, but I mean it!’ He’s so sweet. I felt that too, though. ‘Alright I’m heading back with Jacob now, he drank wayy too much lol, I’m good to drive though, so don’t worry!’ I hope he was… ‘Hey, I made it home safe, hope alls good on your end <3’

Casey jumped, yanked from her reverie as her mom said, “Just a few more miles to the hospital, Casey. Hang in there!”  

Casey looked back down at her phone as it vibrated twice, indicating a new message. It’s from that same unknown number…It read ‘You get my msgg, bitch?’ Furrowing her brow in confusion, she tapped the new message notification and looked at the previous message, an ill-lit still frame with a play-symbol in the center. What the fuck? An ominous wave of anxiety surged up and down Casey’s sore limbs as she tapped play.

The video was black and void of detail, aside from two guys laughing softly. Is one of them carrying something? It’s so hard to tell with the piss-poor quality. Where does this dick get off calling me a bitch anyway? Wait…Is that someone? It looks like a body…The camera moved erratically and she heard someone whisper, “Take the camera so I can fuck the bitch.” What the hell is this? “Turn the flash on, dumbass.” Casey’s eye’s widened as a light illuminated what looked like a corpse on the bed. She’s not moving, what the fuck is wrong with these people!? No…The man who’d handed off the camera got on top of the girl and started to touch her.

Casey’s hands started to quiver, silent realization paralyzing her, as if she’d kissed a train that had somewhere to be. The man–the coward–pulled his large frame off of Casey’s limp body and started to undo her shorts. Broken, she held the power button, letting her phone die. Her entire body started to shudder, in shock, as the excessive vasoconstriction stole her viscera’s light, their liquid life. Again, the tears fell, but no sound left her gaping mouth. As the pain started to ravage her fast-fading willpower, she shut her eyes tight, let out a quiet choke, and leaned her fore-head against the back of the raggedy front-seat. In a vain attempt at stealth, she bit down hard on her tongue, and tasted crimson-iron. Why?

Noticing, Casey’s mom screeched, “What’s wrong, are you okay?! Casey!” Casey couldn’t respond as naked and utter despair washed over her sense of self. Failing at suppressing the pain, she let out an agonized, blood-tinged, wail.     

 

Saving Hadley: Chapter 19

The continuation of chapter 16, and Simon’s decent into revenge and anger, a shadow of his former self. A disheartening chapter, as it really illustrates how far he’s fallen from the kind and altruistic nature he displayed in Act 1, before the accident, before the suicide.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

 

XIX

May 25th, 2017-Simon

                As Simon finished compressing his largest syringe, he looked to Clifton. The man’s face was sullen, empty, resigned to his fate. His sweat and feces had fused into one, with a hint of red introduced by the tears of blood streaming from his left eye. He smells about right. Simon approached Clifton, smiling, and asked, “You look strong, Clifton. Do you work in construction?”

Confused, Clifton replied, “I’m a personal trainer. I work in a gym thirty hours a week.”

Simon made a show of nodding, feigning interest, before saying, “Well, you did work in a gym thirty hours a week. You might find moving difficult after this next one.” A shadow of fear fell over the man’s face. “You see, the problem with large muscles, is that they become stronger than the supportive organs and tissues surrounding them.” Clifton’s working eye opened wide and his lips began to quiver. Simon got onto his knees, leaned forward, and brought the syringe to his victim’s right quadricep. Clifton frantically struggled away from the needle, only managing to gain an inch. Pausing, Simon whispered “Relax while you can, Clifton, you’re about to get a workout.” He cut a small hole into Clifton’s pants using a large hunting knife.

Whimpering, Clifton rasped in response, “Please, don’t, man! Just please, I get it man, I get it!” Simon forced the large and unwieldy syringe deep into the muscular tissue of the man’s middle thigh. After forcefully injecting about half of the neuro-muscular toxin, he withdrew the needle. Clifton’s leg began to slowly spasm as Simon rapidly injected the rest of the solution into Clifton’s right glut.

Simon stood, stepped back, and watched as the muscles in Clifton’s legs started to spasm. Like tectonic plates shifting, the defined muscular tissue bagan contracting, pronating, and extending randomly. Clifton was screaming again, but little sound left his frayed vocal chords. A large crack filled the quiet air, as Clifton’s own quadricep broke his knee against the restraints. Impressive, Tibia’s aren’t soft bones. No longer held back by skeletal restraints, his legs movements grew more erratic, and tore skin from bone. A moment later, a small pop radiated through the quiet barn, as Clifton’s upper quadricep tore, shooting violently towards his patella. Unfortunately for Clifton, his hamstrings, antagonistic to the quadricep, remained intact, and kept firing. Disgusted, Simon spat, and said, “You really should have stretched more, looks like your hamstrings are a little more flexible than the other parts of your leg. Stretching really is important for body building, you know.”

Clifton’s head fell backwards, eye closing, mouth gaping, as his Hamstring dislocated the proximal end of his Femur, where it met the hip. Well shit, he’s going into shock. I suppose he’s losing a little bit of blood with the bone sticking out like that. Simon stood there a moment, letting a wave of sick euphoria crash down his spine blackening his sweltering heart, and allowing the twisted ice to spread, erasing the pain. Regretfully, Simon left the perverted reverie, and said, “Okay buddy, I know it hurts. Don’t die on me now, Dr. Sheffield has exactly what you need to keep that heart ticking.” He doesn’t appear responsive. Simon rushed to his briefcase and pulled out a small solution comprised of adrenaline and type-two vasoconstrictors. The solution would keep Clifton alive while reducing bleeding and increasing pain. Carefully, he drew a generous dose into a small syringe before compressing it. He moved towards the listless man, and said, “This might sting, just a little.” He brought the small syringe to Clifton’s neck with his right hand, using his left to palpate the common carotid artery. Finding the weak pulse, he released the solution into the major artery.

Simon stepped back and waited for the disheveled man’s consciousness to return. After about ten seconds, Clifton gasped for air, breathing harshly, and his hands began to quiver; good eye darting back and forth in confusion. Delirious and crying, Clifton asked, “Dad, is that you? Where am I, why does my leg hurt so much.” That’s right, Clifton, experience the confusion, the pain, she felt. “You…You’re not my dad, help, my…my leg. It hurts so bad.”

Cruelly, Simon sneered, and responded, “No, I’m not your father. I’m your god, and your soul is mine. You did a bad thing Clifton, this is divine penance.”

A haggard shadow of his former self, he murmured, “I’m innocent, you’ve got the wrong person. I haven’t done anything!”

“Shh… it’s almost over, Clifton.” said Simon, walking to his briefcase, and taking a surgical scalpel in hand. “You’re close to peace now, just a little bit more, and you can rest, forever. Would you like that?”

Crying, again, Clifton responded “I…I don’t want to die.”

“But you don’t want to live, not like this? Do you?” he countered, moving towards Clifton with the scalpel.

“Not like this…no.” Clifton whispered, choking.

“Then let the good doctor set you free, just a few swipes, and it’ll be over.” responded Simon, tears welling. Simon pinned Clifton’s right arm, making a quick and clean horizontal cut at the base of his wrist, beneath his palm. Clifton cried out, voice cracking, and Simon moved to the left arm, repeating the cut. Silent now, the bleeding man hung his head, giving up.

As Simon moved back to Clifton’s right arm, Clifton whispered, “I’m so sorry about your son, and about your wife.” Simon paused, jaw tightening, suddenly numb as he cut about seven inches vertically along the radial artery. Across the woods, then down the river. To hell and back we roam.

Coolly, Simon responded, “Not…good enough.” Simon moved to the left arm, repeating the cut. Feeling empty, he dropped the scalpel, backed away, and watched his wife’s murderer die.

As Clifton grew still, the bearded man, still standing near the barn’s entrance, called out, “Well that was something, wasn’t it?”

Finding Happy: Prologue-3: Torn

A major tonal shift from the first two chapters serves to mirror the alcohol’s progression. A lot of the prior details come into play in this, and the next chapter. Foreshadow’s Chapter one’s malicious and disassociated style.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/13/third-degree-part-1/

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Prologue-III

Torn

 

Sighing, Casey stood, nearly falling as a head a rush blackened her already-distorted vision. It’s been like four minutes or something stupid, how long does it take to get drinks? Guess I’ll have to go find him. Lethargically, Casey walked up the hot-tub steps and headed towards the towel rack. Better to not track water on those expensive carpets. Reaching the rack, she took one of the course, white, towels and dried herself from the legs up. She wrapped the towel around her waist to help the shorts dry faster, before walking towards the now-open sliding door. What time is it? I swear, there were not these many people when we got here. Okay, made it inside. Where are the drinks, anyway?

Casey tried to squeeze past the coagulated party-goers, but stumbled, accidentally knocking the drink out of some guy’s hand. “Damnit! I just waited five minutes to pour that shit.” She ignored him, pushing through the crowd as an unwarranted anxiety gripped her chest. I don’t feel so great, another drink will help take the edge off. Where are you Matt? I can’t handle these many people. As her eyes started to ache, she blushed in embarrassment. Come on Casey, this is supposed to be an awesome night. First big date, first big party, don’t go and start crying, please. I’m enough of a nerd as it is.

She couldn’t help it though, as the crowds overwhelmed her, so did the alcohol-corrupted tears. I don’t know these people…Spotting an empty part of the wall, she pressed her back against it, breathing deeply in a vain attempt to quiet the burning tears smearing her dramatic eye-liner.

“Yo! Casey, you alright?” asked a voice she recognized but couldn’t place. Frantically, she looked around, wiping her eyes. Casey’s throat fell into her stomach as she spotted the source. Just my luck. Jacob pushed through the crowd before continuing, “Don’t cry! What’s wrong? Where’s Matt? He seemed real self-important about lookin’ after you tonight.”

Voice cracking weakly, Casey answered, “He went to get drinks. He was taking a while so I came to find him. Was a mistake, obviously. I hadn’t realized how many people were here.”

“Uh yeah, that wasn’t the best idea. These parties get real packed. Glad I found you though!” He smiled, obnoxiously. Is it a scientific fact that polo-shirts make you look like a fucking douchebag? “How about you go wait for him near the top of the stairs, I’ll do my best to find him for you and tell him where you are. Here, take my drink, you…you need it more right now I think.” Okay, maybe he isn’t as bad as I thought.

Casey took his drink and smiled, slightly, before replying, “Thanks, Jacob. Sorry for what I said in the car, I guess I wasn’t being fair.”

“Ah no worries ‘bout that! I figured you were just joshing around. Besides I like a little fight in my girls.” Nope. I was right. Just grin and bear it so he finds Matt for you, Casey. Feigning a laugh, Casey thanked him for his help and started towards the crowded steps. She took a sip of her liquid courage before tackling the masses again. She managed through the crowd without pissing anyone off this time around. Alcohol really does fix everything, I guess. Christ, I’m not looking forward to discovering what a hangover feels like, though. She turned right and climbed up the stairs, noting the ‘Do Not Enter’ rope at the top. What’s the worst that could happen? I’ll just sit at the top and wait, that way no one will bother me.

Casey nearly tripped on the penultimate step of her booze-soaked journey. She sat down and took another gulp as her vision started to swim. Is that normal? I didn’t realize alcohol made you so dizzy. Ugh, my stomach doesn’t feel good all the sudden…I don’t want to barf on the carpet. There’s gotta be a bathroom around here. She finished the drink and struggled to her feet, grabbing the wall as her towel fell to the floor. Shit. Oh shit, I can’t see right. What’s happening? I feel tired. Turning the corner, Casey headed for what appeared to be a bathroom. It’s hard to tell though, my vision is swimming. What’s wrong with my legs?! It’s like walking through deep water. About ten feet from the white-tiled restroom, Casey’s legs buckled, and she hit her face against the carpet. She painstakingly managed to push herself onto her knees before she noticed the bright red stain on the white carpet. Slow and steady. It’s just alcohol, you’re young, you’ll be fine.

Crawling now, she worked her way to the toilet, cold tile harassing the frayed nerves of her knees and hands. The nausea passed, but I can barely move. Somethings wrong with me, what was in the drink? Her arms failed her and she crumpled. She tried to call for help, but her throat was as useless as her muscles. Stay…Awake…Plea…

 

Saving Hadley Chapter 16

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

XVI

May 25th, 2017-Simon

 

Simon waited, nervously tapping, for the car to arrive. In his left hand, he held a stuffed paper bag, in the other, a reinforced metal briefcase. After much thought, he’d decided on a black T-shirt, dark cargo pants, and black leather shoes. He also wore dark rimmed sunglasses under a black and orange cap. They’d picked a small and isolated road in the boonies to make the exchange. Simon checked his digital watch, 7:12 PM. He’s two minutes late. Did I get the location wrong?

A moment later, a black Sedan with blacker windows turned onto the country road where Simon had parked. Simon’s pulse quickened, his tapping sped, as the car slowed to a stop in front of him. This is it. An older man in a navy-blue suit stepped out of the drivers-side door. Gracefully, he slipped around the front of the Sedan and opened the back-passenger door, and motioned for Simon to get in. Eagerly, Simon walked forward, ducking to get into the Sedan. As Simon sat, securing his belongings on his lap, the driver closed the door.

A man sat to Simon’s right. He looked rough with his long beard and black pin-striped suit. I may have underdressed. Without looking to Simon, the man asked, “Do you have the cash?”

Simon handed the man his paper bag and said, “Yes. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, all unmarked.” Simon felt a wave of anxiety as the man took the bag without response, opened it, and took out the money.  I suppose it’s natural for him to want to count it.

Two minutes later, the man greedily stuffed the money back in the bag before saying, “Good.” He gently rapped the divider twice and the Sedan started to move. The man opened his small briefcase, stored the money inside before looking to Simon, “Your mark has been prepared, as per your request. Currently, he is sedated at a small farm-house within two miles of this area. I will, as we discussed, remain at the location with you to dispose of the corpse once you are finished saying what you need to say, Mr. Sheffield.” Smiling, he continued, “Please don’t hesitate to let me know if something is out of order.”

Meeting his gaze, Simon responded, “I’m sure I’ll find everything to be in order.” Simon turned away from the man. This is so casual to him. It’s like I’m buying a car, not a person. Unnerving. The pair rode in relative silence for another three minutes before the Sedan came to a smooth halt. Simon and the bearded man both got out of the car. Simon examined his surroundings. For miles, all he could see was meadow-like grass and weeds, uncouth life flourishing in the warm summer sun; infecting his resolve. How can such beauty and horror collide? And no one will notice. In front of the Sedan was a red barn. Behind the barn was a fence that stretched for at least three acres. A few large horses were running from one side to the other, as Simon walked towards the entrance of the barn.

The bearded man, walking ahead of Simon, reached the barns two, large, sliding doors. Looking back, he smiled enigmatically, before theatrically sliding the doors apart. This is the circus my life has become, apparently. Stepping back, he motioned Simon forward, not unlike a sales man emphatically revealing his product. Simons jaw tightened as he saw the limp form of Bud Clifton. The fires ignited Simons senses, all trepidation slowly trickled from blazes embrace, freezing or dying as it was caught in the blackened and glutinous soul-fire. Simon walked into the barn, liquid rage distorting his vison, frost exciting his nerves to the point of numbness, as he pictured Hadley’s cold and limp frame on their bathroom floor. This is the man who ruined my life.

Clifton was bound by leather to a wooden chair with an ambiguous IV trailing from his right elbow to a saline-bag. Low dose anesthetic. Time to wake him up. The entire floor of the barn was covered in two layers of material. The bottom was an opaque white, while the top was a clear, thin, and unapologetic plastic. Simon moved to the small, wooden, table to left of Clifton’s IV stand. Clifton was a short man with a muscular build. He looked to be in his late twenties and had a handsome face. He can’t be older than me. He looked older on the news.

Rumbling, a deep voice whispered, “He’s the one, his age is irrelevant. He must be made to pay.” You’re right. I can’t falter, I’ll do this for Hadley, for Adam. Simon set his reinforced metal briefcase on the wooden sill, unclicking each latch before opening it. A shiver of dark anticipation chilled Simons back, fraying his sense of self. He moved to where Clifton’s IV stand and cut the flow of the sedative. Just a few minutes now. A chorus of voices whispered sub-audibly, encouraging Simon’s dissociative haze of vindictive-lust. The briefcase contained several chemicals, neurotoxins, nerve agents, and laxatives.

Smiling, Simon grabbed both laxatives and placed them beside the briefcase. The vials were labeled  and .  Next, he grabbed a mid-volume syringe with an oversized needle. Simon opened each tube of laxative, then drew half of  into the syringe. I do love this one, if the math is right, and it is, his large intestines will reabsorb around 700% more water. That’s roughly equal to taking six medically effective doses of MiraLAX. Carefully angling the syringes needle into the air, Simon compressed the laxative a tad, too much of  could kill a person, so it was important to get the dosage right. Simon drew approximately four milliliters of  before compressing the rest of the needles volume and checking for air.  was a bulk-forming laxative that ensure Clifton’s discomfort would be maximal. By combining the two laxatives, Clifton would almost immediately empty his entire bowel, solidly, and be forced to sit in his own filth. He may also vomit shit, a nasty side-effect. Intestinal spasms are a bitch. He’ll be fine though, as long as I keep him hydrated enough to keep the shock away.

As Clifton began to stir, Simon went to loosen his restraints, syringe in hand. Not so loose that he could escape or wreck his IV, but enough to struggle. The bearded man called out “What are you doin?”

Annoyed, Simon shouted over his shoulder, “Remember when you told me to tell if you if anything was out of order? Please stop commenting.” The bearded man didn’t respond as Simon pulled Clifton’s shirt over his head. He palpated Clifton’s abdomen, feeling for the duodenum of the small intestine. Cruelly, Simon forced the large needle into Clifton’s skin until he felt the intestine rupture. Carefully, he released the solution as Clifton groaned, starting to stir. As he removed the syringe, careful not to damage Clifton’s intestine further, Clifton began to shout in pain and confusion.

Smiling unkindly, Simon pulled the smaller man’s shirt down before taking three slow steps backwards and observing his prey. Clifton looked at Simon, eyes wide, and half choked, “Where the fuck am I? Who are you, what’s wrong with my stomach? It hurts!” Simon felt an unapologetic rush of euphoria, reveling in his own perversion. “Ugh, my stomach, what is that feeling?”

“Well, that’s a lot of questions, Clifton, how about you answer some of my questions first, then we can consider yours, I think that’s fair.” Simon responded, flatly, eyes dead, and lips snarling.

Desperately, Clifton said, “I’ll answer anything you want me to answer, man, I don’t know anything though.” Clifton suddenly screamed in pain. “My stomach, help me!”

Shaking his head condescendingly, Simon said, “You do, actually.” Clifton blushed as he released a large amount of gas, violently soiling himself. “Does the name Adam Sheffield ring a bell?” Clifton’s face froze, suddenly stoic.

Jaw tight, he responded, “Yeah, he’s the kid that lady buckled into the car seat wrong.” How dare you.

Simon spit on Clifton and shouted, “You ran the red! Your blood alcohol content was point two-six percent!” Clifton shouted in agony as another stool passed. “You killed my son, Clifton…You can’t even take responsibility for that? My wife slit her wrists because of what you did!”

Shaking in fear, Clifton stuttered, “So…wh..what are you going to d..do to me?”

Scowling, Simon answered, “I’m going to teach you how resilient the human body is to death.” As Clifton started screaming at the bearded man for help­–Help that will never come–Simon moved to his briefcase, removing a small vial of an augmented muscular neurotoxin he’d labeled . Simon set the  on the table before removing his smallest syringe, the one with a child’s needle attached. He drew exactly point three milliliters of the  into the syringe before compressing the syringes remaining volume. Clifton had quieted considerably after the first thirty seconds of screaming for help. He hung his head in a mixture of defeat and exhaustion as Simon approached.

Pleading, Clifton said, “I’m sorry man, I fucked up, I shouldn’t have been driving. I never meant to hurt anyone, I had a problem.” He suddenly looked up to Simon, eyes wide. “It was my friends twenty-first and we were showing him a good time, you…you gotta believe me, I never meant to hurt you or your family.” His eyes were streaming tears.

Simon’s mouth curled into a disgusted grimace, as he spat, “Now if only you’d told the court that, you wouldn’t be here, would you?” Simon walked around the right side of Clifton’s chair, syringe in hand.

“What are you doing, please man don’t hurt me!” Clifton shouted, struggling against his restraints.

Chuckling, Simon said, “If you keep struggling like that, Clifton, you’re going to hurt yourself more.” Simon grabbed Clifton’s under-chin, forcing his head backwards, and brought the syringe to Clifton’s left eye. Clifton, understanding, stopped his wild movements, and screamed as the needle entered his iris. Unapologetically, Simon injected the neurotoxin, before removing the needle. Simon walked back around the chair to get a better look as Clifton’s eye started to dart in random directions. Clifton was still screaming, his voice cracking as his chords chaffed. Now he understands what he’s done. A thin stream of blood started to trickle from Clifton’s spasmodic eye.

Four minutes later, Clifton’s eye had slowed its seizure-like spasms. His screams had dwindled to scratchy gurgles, his voice near death. Shivering, he looked to Simon and pleaded, “Please, just kill me now.” His right eye was looking, pleading into Simon’s eyes, while his left eye had rolled down, ceasing any coordinated movement.

Grinning malevolently, Simon responded, “But, we’ve only just started. And to be honest, I paid good money for our appointment here today. You still have to experience at least two deaths to make up for what you’ve done.”

“You’re fucked!” Clifton screeched, mournfully. I know.

Daily Blog 9/15/17

Had to take another day off because of school, work, and volunteering. This chapter kicks off Act 2 as we find out what happened to the drunk driver. It’s a very symbolic chapter, in that we see Simon outside of his happy-go-lucky state. He’s descending.

Enjoy!

 

XIV

February 22nd, 2017-Simon

 

The funeral had been a quiet affair. Simon’s extended family had come to Adams funeral, leaving for their respective states a day or two later. They were all so, terribly sorry they couldn’t make the trip again, not for Hadley. The excuses had all been the same, I can’t take off work, I can’t afford another plane, can’t you have it closer to us? Each call, each message, had reinforced the icy fire, a brutal tyrant reigning over Simon’s esophageal cavity. The ice festered outside the tyrant’s region, pulling its tentacles into every part of his being, erasing any emotion that previously resided. The fire, well the fire never left his throat. It burned, slowly consuming his soul, his thoughts, his mind.

Simon stood, alone, over Hadley’s open casket. He wanted to cry, he couldn’t, not anymore. She’d left him, sparking an ever-growing void inside of him, a void, that was winning. Softly, Simon asked, “Is this what you felt when Adam died, Hadley? Is this why you did it?” Moving closer, Simon took her right hand in his, turning it over, examining the scar. “You know, they really did try to clean you up, but you didn’t want that, did you? You needed to do something, anything, in retaliation for what had happened to Adam. You needed to send a message, I’m sorry I never listened, never understood. But I do now. You see, I need to do something too.” Leaning down, Simon brushed her cold cheek, softly kissing her ice-dead-lips before standing back up. “I’ll make him pay, for Adam, for you. I’ll make things right, no matter what.”

Simon closed Hadley’s casket. For a moment, he stood there, letting the fire deepen its roots. Simon turned towards the small mausoleums entrance, and walked. This…hate. I’ll use it to make things right. Simon nodded to the short coroner, signaling Hadley’s decent into the cruel and murky earth. As Simon walked toward his black McLaren, he flipped open his family phone. There was a new voice-mail from his brother, Tom. The verdict of the Bud Clifton trial was set to be reached this morning. Chest tightening, Simon pressed play, and listened.

Tom’s sullen voice played over the phones small speaker “Simon, not great news. They hit Clifton with the DUI and revoked his license, but the jury bought the defenses argument. Their claiming that Adam must have been in his car seat incorrectly, the way it flew forward.” The fire raged, pulsating like a malignant tumor that’s found its way into the lymph, fraying Simon’s nerves. “They used Gia’s survival against us. He’s not going to prison, Simon. They’re going to let him off. I don’t understand it. I’m sorry.” The fire, metastasized, consuming Simon, utterly. Immolating, Simon roared, throwing the phone into his car. World turned red, he punched the passenger side window of his McLaren, shattering it. His hand bled, but the ice numbed the pain. It was nothing, not compared to the blaze.

A voice whispered, we need to take matters into our own hands, the court is useless.

Another voice chimed in, let’s hurt him, bad, like he hurt Hadley. Let’s kill him, like he killed Adam!

A chorus of voices, now, we need to isolate him, torture him, hurt him like he hurt us, we will teach him that actions have consequences, choices have meaning, teach him what pain is.

Feeling empowered, Simon walked around the front of his car, opened the door and got in. Flatly, Simon whispered, “Bud Clifton, I find you guilty of murdering my son, and driving the one person I loved more than life to suicide.” Simon turned the ignition, and sped out of the parking lot, tires screeching as drifted right onto the county highway. “May whatever god you put your faith in have mercy on you, because I won’t.” The voices egged him on, feeding the vindictive, sullied, blaze.

Daily Blog 9/12/17

*Violent, disturbing, and graphic content. Bad language.

The aftermath of chapter 10, and the first chapter of Act 2. Revenge, no matter how much someone deserves it, isn’t gonna fix what they did.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

 

XIII

October 30th, 2021-Nessa

 

Nessa watched Ben fight for every breath. She’d desecrated him, like he’d done to her. Unfortunately, the euphoria had been short-lived. Ben’s white golf-shirt was now a satin-red, his small wound had four and a half feet of his intestine trailing from it. She’d removed his testicles, where a steady flow of blood and other unsavory liquids continued to flow. His screaming had stopped five minutes ago, at which point he’d started to choke up a mix of blood and vomit. His eyes were wide open, flicking from one end to the other in shock. He’d defecated, messily, off the foot of Nessa’s bed.

Nessa watched him die, not because she enjoyed the suffering, rather, she had to see him pay. She was waiting for the moment when she’d suddenly feel what she imagined justice was supposed to feel like. The longer she watched Ben pathetically struggle for air, drowning in his own vomit, the more she feared that the feeling wouldn’t come. Then the guards would come, and they’d beat her, maybe rape her, and kill her. What was it all for? What’s the point of life if all that exists is cruelty. Cruelty that can never, truly be paid for. Does justice even exist?

                Frustrated tears welled rolled down Nessa’s cheek and onto her blood-stained nightgown. Anger welled deep in Nessa’s core, igniting every synapse of every muscle. The rage built, bursting to boil. Ben gurgled. Pig!

Nessa walked up to Ben and screamed, “Why did you do it you disgusting shit-stain! What? Did it make you feel powerful?! Does the pain, the suffering get you hard?! Because I don’t get it, I get no satisfaction for doing to you what you did to hundreds of little girls, you sick fuck! You hurt people who can’t fight back, all so you can stroke your fucked-up ego!” Nessa hit his forehead with the hilt of her hook-knife. “Come on! Fight back, cunt!” She hit him again and his eyes rolled back, exposing his jaundiced whites. “Don’t you die, coward, fight back!” She hit him a third time, a bloody hole appearing on the spot. “Not so strong now, are you!” As she hit him again, the hilt of the hook-knife broke through his skull with a loud and sickening crunch. Nessa tried to pull the hook-knife out, but it was stuck. “Give it back, you’ve taken your share!” she screamed, struggling to get her weapon free. “It’s mine–BANG!”

Turning towards the noise, Nessa froze. Two men with ski masks and automatic rifles stood at the now lockless door. “On your knees!” the man on the left shouted. Nessa got on her knees, abandoning her knife. The right man moved forward, quickly, keeping his gun pointed at Nessa.

Noticing the mess on the bed, he whispered, “What the fuck.” Calling back to his partner, “She’s massacred him. What should we do with her?” The left soldier moved forward to examine the mess. Just as quickly, he backed up, audibly gagging. Pussy.

“Take her in.” Said the soldier between retches. “Those were the orders. I can’t though, not with that smell.” The sickened soldier left the room. One down.

                Amused, the remaining soldier said, “Well, you’re a sick little fuck, aren’t you?” He lowered his weapon. “What’d this guy do to you anyway to deserve that?” Nessa stayed quiet, assessing her situation. Obviously, I won’t win in a fight. Especially with no weapon. Maybe if I do what they say I can escape at some point. “Well, I didn’t really want to know anyway, he probably deserved it. Turn around, gonna cuff you.” Nessa did as the soldier asked, lowering her hands to her lower back. The soldier got down behind her and cuffed her left hand with a “SNAP”, before doing the same to the right.

Daily Blog 9/10/17

So I took yesterday off for the most part. A good friend of mine was visiting from Illinois and we saw It. Was a really solid take on the book. It is one of my favorite King books, so it was cool to see such a well produced movie in that universe.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

Anyway, Enjoy!

XII

Present Day-Silgan

Silgan pushed the syringe down as fast as he could, but it was a thick solution. Nessa, still screaming, began to convulse after about half of the solution had been infused. As the last drop was pushed into her circulation, Silgan removed the syringe and set it on the metal counter near his open briefcase. Her screams were shrinking, less force being exhaled as the seconds’ past. Hurrying, he opened the outer pocket of his briefcase and removed the tracker gun. He pulled the release on the gun to check if it was loaded, it was. Turning, Silgan placed the gun to Nessa’s lower neck and pulled the trigger. Dropping the gun to the floor, he brought his right middle and fore-finger to Nessa’s external carotid artery, just under the right side of her neck. The pulse was slowing. Please, fight.

Silgan heard the door to his back slam open, followed by quick, heavy footsteps. The angry bass of the giant radiated, “What the fuck are you doing, chemist!? You can’t kill her yet! We’ve just started!”

Still feeling her pulse–twenty beats–Silgan, in a condescending tone, said, “I don’t know how many marks you’ve worked buddy, but she didn’t know anything. I was saving us time.”

Taken aback, the large man shouted, “The boss is gonna here about this one, I don’t care who you think you are, arrogant son of a bitch. It doesn’t matter how good you–ten beats–are with your little mixtures, blowing a job this important could get us all killed!”

Smiling, slightly, Silgan responded, “If Governor Haskell has a complaint regarding my ability, I’d be happy to field his–three beats, constant–constructive criticism. An ongoing dialogue tends to produce productive results on both ends. For instance, maybe I can instruct him how to pick marks that aren’t useless little children.” Silgan removed his fingers from Nessa’s neck as the large man left the room, muttering inaudibly. Okay. This is not how we expected the morning to go, but we aren’t dead yet. Just play it close, Simon, play it close.

Silgan closed his briefcase, assuming a flat, innocuous expression, lips parting. Breathing deeply, Silgan turned, and headed for the open door with his briefcase in hand. As Silgan passed the guards, he half expected to be hit in the back of the head with the butt of a shotgun. He wasn’t. Alex and the large man were standing close to each other as he approached.

Silgan paused, as the large man said, “To be clear, the only reason you’re not dead right now is because Alex here swore up and down you know what the fuck you’re doing. I trust another veteran over some doctor any day.”

“Really? You’d kill me for doing my job efficiently? She’s dead, isn’t she? I don’t know when I became a glorified veterinarian.” Silgan responded, callously. As the large man shook his head, chuckling, Silgan looked to Alex, “Let’s go.” Alex, face blank, nodded, following Silgan towards the exit lift. Alex was silent as Silgan swiped his card. Somethings wrong. The pair stepped into the elevator. Alex pressed the ground floor button and the doors closed.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Silgan?” whispered Alex, broodingly.

Facing forward, Silgan said, “You know what’s wrong with me. Besides, she didn’t know anything. Just saved us some trouble by ending it early.”

Eyebrows raised, Alex turned to Silgan and asked, “So how come her screams sounded so…fake, after you injected her.” Silgan’s blood ran cold. Fuck, he knows. “Look, Silgan, I didn’t want to hurt her either, I ain’t like that, and I get why you’d put her out of her misery. What I don’t understand is why you’d place a tracker in a dying girl. Now, I got your back, and I thought you had mine, so, please tell me how the fuck this don’t end with a bullet in both our brains.”

The elevator opened, revealing the disheveled and time-worn lobby of the old mill. The pair stepped out and started towards the glass door. A dim-blue morning light illuminated Silgan’s anxiety-torn face as he responded, “That giant couldn’t tell what I’d done. Her pulse should be averaging around two to five beats per minute. Her eyes won’t blink, via the muscle relaxants stacked with the anesthetics. She’s conscious, but barely, she won’t be able to respond to external stimuli for at least three hours. All goes well, I find her body, get her out, set her up with a new ID, SS number, and send her on her way. I couldn’t let that poor girl suffer, let alone die in that place, not after what she’s been through. You saw the fucking scars and bruising, didn’t you?”

They were outside, the cold morning pecked at Silgan’s face. The driver wouldn’t have expected us so soon, he probably wouldn’t be back for another five minutes or so. Silgan turned to appraise his partner. Alex’s face was stony, his glasses hid his eyes, but the surrounding skin was contorted in a way that suggested they were closed. As Silgan averted his gaze to the cold earth, Alex swung his tool box violently into Silgan’s stomach. Gahh! What the hell.

Silgan doubled over, dropping his suitcase. Angrily, Alex shouted, “Don’t you ever do something like this without telling me first!” Alex kicked Silgan’s face, hard. “Don’t you ever play games with my fucking life, without even giving me a chance to fucking help you self-important prick!” Alex stomped on Silgan’s left hand, digging in with the steal plated heel.”

Silgan cried in pain, gritting his teeth, as he struggled to respond, “I’m sorry Alex, I should’ve told you!”

“Fuck you, man.” Said Alex, coolly, as he removed his boot. Silgan, struggled to get up, failing and falling back down. “God damn it. Too late to turn back now, chemist, clean yourself up.” Silgan managed to push himself onto his knees, before wiping the blood from his lip. Alex reached his hand out, Silgan eyed it, warily. “Well Christ on a cracker, take it before I change my mind, you death-wishing ballsy motherfucker.” He took Alex’s hand, who pulled him to his feet before continuing, “Besides, that plan of yours was pretty fuckin sly. I don’t know how you whipped up such a complex solution on the spot.”

Smiling, Silgan responded, “It was luck, I’d brought plenty of relaxants and anesthetics. You were right about the painkillers though, couldn’t have done it without a psychoactive opiate.”

Shaking his head, amused, Alex said, “I shoulda known you could do even more damage with those lil pills outside you than inside you.” Alex pulled out a small blue pen and a check book as the black sedan pulled around the corner. “Look, Silgan we gotta meet after we get dropped off. Gather what you need and go to this address.” Said Alex, scribbling on the back of an empty check before handing it to Silgan. What have I gotten myself into?

 

_____________

Thanks for Reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/11/daily-blog-91117/

 

Daily Blog 9/8/17

*Contains detailed depictions of Self-harm. 

This is a very sad, very dark, chapter. I post thoughts on it later, editing it put me in my sad place.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

 

XI-I

February 8th, 2017-Hadley

Hadley read the old Digitex clock on her nightstand. 7:12 PM. She had forty-eight minutes until Simon would be getting home. I’ve put this off for too long as it is. Forcing herself out of bed, she headed to the bathroom. The room was dark, blinds and curtains drawn to hide the fading summer sun. Halfway to the bathroom, Hadley lost her footing and fell, hitting her face, hard, on the carpet. Dazed, she sat up, feeling foolish, realizing she had tripped on a pile of clothes that had grown into a mountain over the past weeks. Hadley groaned, pushing herself to her feet. She walked the last few feet to the bathroom, and reached around the corner to fix the lights. She set them to a dim, comforting glow. Walking past the sauna, she turned left, reaching for the drawer to the right of the sink.

She opened the top drawer and briefly searched through the various pillboxes. Pausing, she considered her choices and decided on the oxycodone and ibuprofen. Clumsily, she opened the oxycodone, taking four pills out of the pillbox. One extra. Might help. She turned the sink on, putting two of the pills in her mouth, she bent down and took a gulp of water, easily swallowing the pills. She repeated the process for the second two, choking on the water this time. Hadley picked up the Ibuprofen, staring at it in a daze. She could already feel the oxy getting to work. This will save me.

Hadley dumped the ibuprofen on the counter. She counted out eight two-hundred milligram tablets and took them, one at a time. She turned to face the Jacuzzi. Stumbling, she walked up the two steps, and tripped as she climbed down into the tub, slamming her head on the nickel-plated faucet. Blood dripped from her nose and forehead as she reached down to stop the Jacuzzi’s drain. Hadley cranked up the hot water all the way until the tub was nearly full, topping it off with cold water. Needs to be hot. The water burned her skin at the meniscus as she stepped into the water. The burn felt good. Perfect. She sat down and laid back, letting her meds kick in. A little better.

After a time, she sat forward, reaching back to stabilize herself on the Jacuzzi’s side and stood up. She struggled to step over the Jacuzzi’s edge, almost losing her balance, light-headed as her blood pressure plummeted. She stood up and gazed in the mirror, blood slowly dripping from her forehead to her left eye.  She’d lost more weight. Last she’d checked, she was down to ninety-three pounds, and that was three weeks ago. Her baggy tank top, now soaked, hid much of her skeleton figure, but her legs and arms were a reminder, a morbid template of what she used to be. What she could have been. Her green eyes, which she’d always been proud of, had faded to a dirty olive. Maybe it’s the drugs. But if my hair can turn to grey, why can’t my eyes lose color? How did I let this go on for so long?

Smiling, Hadley took a few steps forward, and grabbed the pink razor behind the sink. She removed its head, and took out two of the blades. She turned around, steadier now, and walked to the Jacuzzi. Effortlessly, she swung over the edge, wading again into the scalding water. The pain felt good, it felt peaceful. No more conflict. This is it.

The drugs made Hadley feel safe, made her feel at home. The running water became muted, all she could hear now was she and Simon laughing, back when they were whole. Setting the back-up razor behind her head, on the side of the tub. She held her left arm in front of her face, bracing herself. She cut her left wrist from left to right, slow and deep. It stung, a manageable pain. Carefully, Hadley switched the razer to her left hand, cautious to keep the wound out of the hot water. Not yet. I need to deepen the cut. She repeated the cut from right to left, on her right arm, but it wasn’t deep enough. She went over the cut again, twisting the blade back and forth, grimacing in pain. Tears welled up in her eyes. It’s too late to quit now, this is the one thing I can’t let myself fail at.

As a new wave of pain hit, Hadley dropped the razer. She cursed herself for not taking more of the oxycodone. Struggling to stay awake, she grasped the other razer with her right hand. Holding her left arm out again, she dug the razer into the base of her palm, screaming weakly as she slowly moved it an inch towards her inner elbow. Panicking, Hadley’s bladder released, her breath quickened.

She pictured herself with Simon, kissing, the day he’d brought her Silgan. For a moment, Hadley thought she heard Simon call out to her. It’s the delirium. Renewed, she sliced through another two inches of flesh, whimpering. Her wrist now formed a cross of sorts. Her tears shifted to laughter and back again as tore another inch. Struggling to keep her eyes open, she moved the razer to her left hand, and dug the blade into the same spot below her right palm, twisting back and forth to compensate for the lack of strength. Again, she thought she heard Simon call out to her.

This time, as she struggled to make the cut she screamed “Simon!” in agony.

 

Another inch she gouged “Mommy!”

 

Another inch she lacerated “Simon!”

 

A final inch she gained “Adam!”

 

Crying, Hadley looked at her arms, she’d done it. Now all she had to do was let them fall into the water. She would finally be free. Smiling, she saw her mom tucking her in when she was young. She saw Adam, being born. She heard Simon, call out to her, stopping her from getting on the plane, so he could get on one knee, to prove he loved her. Her arms fell into the water, which quickly turned pink. She heard Simon call to her again, she saw his face when she’d told him she was pregnant. She saw his eyes, as the water turned red. Hadley heard her husband call out “Hadley where are you?! Hadley!” A moment later, the bathroom door slammed open, it was Simon. No! He wasn’t meant to see me…like this.

As the water turned a muddy, blackened red, Hadley whispered “Simon, you’re…early.”

____________

Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/10/daily-blog-91017/