Finding Happy Chapter 1: Asunder.

This is technically the fourth chapter due to the three prologue chapters before this, and I’d recommend reading them before jumping in.

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

I should start off by noting that this novel is about recovery, overcoming a horrible and unfair situation. There are heavy mystery, drama, and horror elements throughout. This chapters is one of the reasons I’ve waited so long to start posting “Finding Happy” sections. I really wanted to make sure I understood every bit of what I wrote, and that I did it in a way that accurately reflected this terrible thing that real people go through every day in America.

This is an extremely dark chapter that introduces one of the primary conflicts of the novel. It is uncomfortable and is intended for a mature audience. This was very hard to write as an author who cares deeply for the character they have created. It made me feel sick. I used an allegorical method here where Casey fades in and out of consciousness due to the drugs. The scenes in the dream are analogies for the hell she endures. In this regard much of the graphic nature inherent to “date-rape” is not explicitly described, but there are waking bits that can only be described as cruel. It’s a bit of an extreme contrast to the happy and hopeful tones of the first few sections, and is well within the veins of the psychological terror/horror genre.

*Trigger warning: Contains implied and actual depictions of physical and sexual abuse as well as victimization. Contains extreme and demeaning language.

________________________

I

Asunder.

 

Casey faded in and out of a half-reality. Who’s moving me…It’s so cold–

Casey stood on her grandmother’s porch, looking out over the dead cornfield, shivering. A storm was approaching, uncanny for a Colorado winter, to see so much lightning against snow. Thinking aloud, Casey said, “I always thought that you needed rain for lightening. Snow is so dry, in comparison.”

The rug…It burns. I can’t move. Why is it so dark. Where is everyone. She tried to scream, only managing to part her fragile jaw an inch before fading into oblivion­–

Turning, she unzipped her heavy jacket, simultaneously opening the withered old door. “This place was never the same after Nana passed. Gramps stopped tending the field, too. Stopped caring. Stopped tending to the life of the farm-stead. Stopped tending to his own life. As withered as the door.”

Ugh. I’m floating…No someone’s carrying me. Casey felt a dull and winded pain as she was dropped onto a soft surface. Too dark to see–

Thunder roared as the storm converged on the farm-house from all directions. “How is that possible? It’s just a storm. A break from the bitter and dry winter-air. That’s all it was supposed to be, just something new, I didn’t ask for this!”

–Don’t touch me…no! Casey was paralyzed as the darkness was interrupted by the light of a smartphone. Whoever was there waved it back forth, as if to mock Casey’s listless form. What do you want? What did you do to me? Her eye’s silently streamed tears as the stranger began to touch her. This is a nightmare…Wake up! Casey made a small grunt in a pointless attempt to scream. The stranger laughed, stood back, and fiddled with the phone. Suddenly, he arced the phone behind his head, allowing the screen to illuminate his masked face, showcasing Casey’s vulnerability. He’s taking a selfie…

The man turned and muttered something inaudible. There are more? The man held out the phone, and a tendril from the darkness accepted it, held it up, and laughed cruelly. A few seconds later, the phones flash illuminated Casey’s pale and limp body. Please don’t film it…What did I do to deserve this…I…I can’t–

Casey ran upstairs, calling out, “Mom! Where are you!?” At the top of the stairs she hung right and crashed through the first door. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to lie! Please, mom help me! Where are you?” The room was empty, decrepitate and decomposed. Her old bed, the one she’d always slept in while visiting her grandparents was cracked, desecrated with something…something evil. The sill where her Nana would lean, reading her Mr. Toad stories. That warmth was gone, shattered, like a black mirror seeking a comfort it will never reclaim–

–The man was on top of her, his considerable weight suffocating her in silence. He sloppily kissed her lifeless lips while violating her chest with his disgusting intentions. Dead tears rolled down her chemically-frozen cheeks. Stop. Matt, where are you? I need you, Matt. He rolled off her, snickering, and said, “This will teach you to be an uppity bitch and embarrass me in front of my friends, whore.” He grabbed her still-damp track shorts and pulled them off, exposing her panties. “Man, it’s like you weren’t even trying to get Matt to fuck you! Worst. Lingerie. I’ve seen. Better fix that.” Coward. Gutless coward. I’ll kill you if I ever find out who you are. I will kill you. Callously, he tore her panties off and began to roughly finger her. Casey’s anger ignited as the sharp pain radiated from her groin to her intestine. I promise, I will kil–

Before Casey could reach the second room, the storm blew a hole in the roof. The now-red tempest solidified into a necrotic hand, fingered lesions splicing in and out of its dynamic skin. Casey backed away, consumed by anxiety, terror, and regret.

Just think of the good times. Dissociate. Focus on your friends, Mom, that time you won the science fair, anything besides this. The masked man had started to rape her, she didn’t know when or how long it had been. What she did know, is that it hurt. He panted with a disgusting vigor as he penetrated her, stole from her with each passing second, blood acting as the only lubricant. “Take it whore, this it what you get for being a cunt! That’s all you are, trash, a sperm-dumpster. Better that you learn that now. You ain’t going nowhere, you jus’ act all smart and shit. You ain’t nothing but a filthy cunt.” The man recording with the smartphone laughed at his compatriot’s cruelty. You too, I’ll find you. You think you’re strong, but you’re wea–

The hand emit a thundering wave of force, tearing Casey’s childhood home, her life, to shreds. Disparaged everything she’d been taught to believe. Consumed her purity, her freedom, her choice. With an electrical explosion, Casey was flung through the window’s glass and out near the long-dead cornfield. An icy-pain spread as her broken and shattered bones sent SOS to her brain. She tried to move, but couldn’t, and the world she knew, ended.

Saving Hadley: Chapter 18

An interesting chapter, I had fun re-working some of the subtler mechanics here. It introduces some of the first adventure elements in the story, something that’s more salient in Act 3. I think the chapter would be very dark without the elements of comic relief. It has a bi-polar structure in a lot of ways, and it experimental in that regard.

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

Enjoy!

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XVIII

Present Day-Silgan

            Silgan locked the apartment behind him, anxiety high, as his thoughts raced for a solution. Where do I go now? The Governor and the Police are going to be on my trail once they find out about Harold. Silgan had forced Harold’s limp body into the industrial-sized freezer near the back of his room, neglecting the blood-stains in the kitchen. He’d also grabbed Harold’s house key, which he now used to open Harold’s apartment. The room was huge, and disgusting. Old clothes, pizza boxes, soda cans, and ambiguously stained porno-mags littered the floor. I need to find the phone he was using to communicate with Haskell. If they used a text-based channel, I can throw Haskell off my trail. Silgan only had forty minutes to meet Alex, and an hour and twenty minutes until Nessa would, hopefully, awaken.

Hurrying forward, he examined his surroundings, scanning for loose electronics. Harold’s bed was a luxurious looking king-size, disheveled and blood-stained. I don’t want to know whose blood that is. There was a ladder in the back corner of the room, leading to a small loft. Silgan set his briefcase and duffle down before climbing the ladder. Reaching the top, he found a small desk with an intense looking desktop PC. Probably has crazy specs. Approaching, Silgan noticed that Harold was still logged in. Hurrying, he sat at the computer and looked for any open communications services. All that was open on the desktop was an amazon shopping cart, filled with differently colored knives and an unsavory looking pornographic film from the nineties, entitled, ‘Rubber Ropes’. The fuck, Harold. Using the dark web to buy porn? Disgusted, Silgan closed the tor browser, navigating to the “advanced search bar” where he unchecked all of file types aside from the common note taking extensions. Then, he typed “Password”. The first result popped up as a notepad file labeled ‘Passwords and sht’. Harold, you always were a dumbass. Silgan clicked the file and reopened dot onion browser. Choosing the “maximum mirroring” option, Silgan opened his personal email server, before clicking back to the file. There were eight different passwords:

“Sinusoid2Rhinodick”

“RobertEL33reborn” No surprise there, I knew he was a supremacist scum-bag.

“BiglilBrain1969”

“569142”

“HaggardHaroldDomYourSub” You wish, Harold.

“ElvisKilledTupac1996”

“PickleRickReturns2019”

“Passwordword”

Amused, Silgan drafted an email to himself, and clicked ‘browse for files’. He searched “Passwords and sht” and attached the file before pressing send. Closing the email server, he shut down the computer. Getting to his knees, Silgan crawled behind the desktop and under the desk. Shame, it really is a nice computer. Silgan reached into the open system and unplugged the hard-drive before removing it entirely. He secured it in his pants pocket for the time being. I’ll destroy it later.

Crawling back, Silgan stood, and turned to the ladder. Carefully, he lowered himself onto the small, wooden ladder, before climbing down. Next, Silgan walked towards a small night-sill to the right of Harold’s ominously stained bed. A green Digitex alarm read 8:20 AM, but the rest of the sill was empty. Silgan reached down, opening the sill’s drawer. Oh, come on, man…fuck. The drawer was filled with various sex toys, male and female, two of which had dark-black blood-stains. Silgan backed two steps away, kicking the drawer closed. Looking to the bathroom, Silgan thought of places where he’d hide an important phone. Do I really need to see what Harold has in his bathroom? Nobody deserves that kind of exposure. Maybe later. Decidedly, Silgan moved around the foot of the bed towards Harold’s three-drawer-dresser. Opening the first drawer, Silgan ruffled the clothes around, searching for any solid objects. Nothing. Silgan closed the drawer before opening the middle. Rummaging, Silgan paused, suddenly grateful for his latex gloves.

There were sticky pictures of a young woman Silgan didn’t recognize. Could this be the woman he mentioned? Turning through the photos, Silgan started to feel sick. The photos, clearly amateur, clearly predatory, and clearly taken without permission. The first was a shot of the small, brunette, woman through what was presumably the window to her kitchen. The second, pictured the woman, smiling, surrounded by other people in an outdoor hot tub. The point of view of the photo was disconcerting, as there were trees creeping into the side of the frame. He was stalking her. The next three photos were like the first two. The sixth, however, showed the poor woman sedated, retrained in an upright cross-like position. The seventh, from the same scene, pictured her awake, clothes torn, tears streaming, and blood gushing from several small wounds. Silgan had to put the pictures down after the eighth, in which the woman, still on the cross, was screaming as a small blow torch was being held to her breast.

Silgan tore the sick, darkroom style, photos to shreds before throwing them into the nearby trash, where they belonged. You sick and perverted bastard. You really did deserve to die, no regrets there. Moving back to the wardrobe, he opened the final drawer. Ruffling the clothes, he found nothing besides a few boxes of cigarettes. Turning, Silgan headed to the bathroom, directly across from the wardrobe. As Silgan approached, he noticed the lights were on. Interesting, all the other lights were off. Why leave the bathroom lights on? Apprehensive, Silgan pushed the door, letting it swing open. Christ be spared the cross…There were towels covering the entire bathroom floor. The showers curtain was drawn, a pale hand protruding from out behind it. Silgan noticed a phone on the bathrooms sink. Moving forward, he grabbed it, and stashed it in his left suit-pocket. Do I even want to know what’s behind that curtain? No. Creeping forward, Silgan grasped the curtain, and pulled it aside.

The blaze returned. How could he do this to a person? In the tub, rested the remnants of the woman from the photos. Her midsection and legs had mostly dissolved in the corrosive acid. Probably a mix of hydrofluoric and fluorosulfuric acid. The bubbling gives it away. Her face had a permanent expression of fear and disdain on it, as her upper body sank lower and lower, dissolving. The right-hand Silgan had seen, was detached from the body. The acid had eaten through the bone of her forearm before she had sunk low enough to pull the rest of the hand into the tub. A large, diamond, ring remained on her slight, young hand. Poor girl.

Crestfallen. Silgan left the bathroom and opened the burner-phone. It was locked. Quickly, remembering the password list, Silgan pulled out his smartphone before opening his email app. The smartphone quickly downloaded the notepad file. Glancing over the list, only one password could be entered, because the burners animated keyboard had no alphabetical input. Holding his breath, he typed: ‘569142’. He smiled as the phone played a small unlock animation, leading to the home screen. He navigated to the phones history, which contained texts to a lone number.

Interestingly, any reply from the number was either deleted, or nonexistent. Well, that makes things simple, doesn’t it? The most recent sent message read, “He’s just left the room” dated today, and sent at four thirty AM. Silgan typed out a quick message, similar in style to the previous messages “It sounds like he’s gone to sleep.”

Saving Hadley: Chapter 17

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

A brief chapter, but one that provides both context and an introduction to one of the major antagonists of Act 3.

Enjoy!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

XVII

November 1st, 2021-Nessa

            They’d strapped Nessa to an uncomfortable chair after giving her a clean set of clothes. The room had an obnoxiously bright fluorescent light that accented the concrete-mirror structure of the room with something that felt like despair. From one prison to another, at least these clothes are comfortable, I suppose. After the soldier had knocked her out, she’d woken up in what appeared to be a hospital, but the presiding doctor wouldn’t answer her questions as he performed his various examinations and blood tests. Apparently, something in her tests had made whoever these people were decide to keep her alive, for now.

A few moments passed before the white painted door opened. A man in an expensive looking black suit walked in, smiling. His strong jaw was accentuated by grey eyes, grey-black hair, and a grey five o’clock shadow. Enthusiastically, he asked, “So! What’s it like being the daughter of the infamous Donovan Sullie!”

Confused, Nessa said, “Who? I don’t have a father, sir.”

The man looked up, pursed his lips while jutting his jaw forward, feigning a thoughtful expression. Looking back to Nessa, he said, “Well, you seem polite, but I’m not sure I believe you. Obviously, you were in quite the predicament when we found you, but I still can’t believe Sullie would sell his own daughter without a good reason. What’d you do to piss him off?” Who the fuck is this arrogant piece of shit?

Annoyed, Nessa repeated “I don’t know a Donovan Sullie. Where am I?”

The man’s smile curled, cruelly, as he said, “As a whore, strapped to a seat, do you really think you’re the one who gets to ask questions? Now I’m going to have my best two boys down here tomorrow morning to get the truth out of you, no matter what you say now. Honestly, I just wanted to meet you to see if Donovan would even want you back, which he clearly, does not.”

As the man turned to leave, Nessa shouted, “You act all posh, but I know you, you’re just another fucking coward, hiding behind money while you abuse children, pretending you’re a real man…Scum!”

The man paused, and called over his shoulder, “Now I know how that gutted corpse got in your room. I like that fiery spirit, do me a favor, never lose it, Nessa. You may refer to me as Governor Haskell, of the state of Massachusetts.” What the fuck?

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 9/16/17: Chapter 15

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

Silgan returns from the appointment to gather his materials per Alex’s request.

*Explicit language and gore. 

 

XV

Present Day-Silgan

 

Silgan hurried into the apartment lobby, the fluorescent nightmare had diminished in response to the morning light creeping in through the many windows. Ms. Caldwell, Lauren, was still working the front desk. Noticing Silgan, she smiled, flirtatiously, and asked, “Rushing like that, Mr. Sheffield…might give a girl the wrong impression. You trying to dodge me?”

Silgan paused, embarrassed, and returned her smile. Indignantly, he explained, “Me? Never! You know you’re my favorite, Lauren. I’m in a hurry for something related to work and I need to meet an associate in about forty minutes.”

Blushing, she caressed her bottom lip with her left thumb, and said, “I hadn’t realized we were on a first name basis, you know, there’s a lot of things you can do in forty minutes. I’m sure your friend wouldn’t mind if you were just a little late.”

Taken aback, Silgan stuttered, “Any other day, Ms. Caldwell, but this could be a matter of life and death.”

Pouting, Lauren said, “Well, I mean, move your pretty little ass if it’s really that important. Besides, you know where to find me.” She winked coyly before turning back to her ledger.

Relieved, Silgan said, “Take care, Lauren.” as he turned towards the elevator room. Silgan walked past the first two, public, elevators, and swiped his RFID on the old management elevator. The old gate opened slowly and Silgan stepped in, turning to press the button that read “13”. As the elevator began its sluggish ascent, he shuffled his feet, fretfully. Okay, we need to clear out everything I can’t easily replace.

“That’s seventy percent of what’s there, dumbass.” The voice of an elderly woman mocked.

Then we can booby trap the room, as a precaution.

Cackling, the woman’s voice gained power, “So you can piss off Haskell even more than you already have? Quite the headache he must have, pondering how to deal with his star extractors insubordination.” Silgan’s spine tingled with anxiety as his right hand started to tap his suit-pants to the tune of staying alive. “I bet he’s already got a man waiting for you up there, no time to prepare now. See what you’ve done? You’ve fucked over all of us, all your friends, we, he guided and supported you when you needed a push to do the right thing.”

Does torturing an innocent woman qualify as the right thing? The elevator came to a halt and opened. Silgan walked out, turned right and headed towards the narrow hallway. At the intersection, he turned left, walked five more steps, and inspected his tan colored door, marked “1304” in silver lettering. You do raise a good point though, I need to make sure no one’s waiting for me on the other side of the door. Silgan set his briefcase down, opening the side pocket opposite to where he had stored the tracker gun. He pulled out his customized 220 Sig Sauer and slotted the chamber back. Loaded. Turning the safety off, he leaned down to examine the doors lock. It’s scratched up. Fuck. Expecting the worst, Silgan took out his key and slowly inserted it into the lock, Sig Sauer loose in hand. Slowly, he turned the lock, and heard a click. Leaving the key in the slot, he stood back, tensing his quadriceps and gluts, preparing a kick. With his left hand, he pulled the handle down, pushing forward slightly. His hands were perspiring, his breaths came shallow and fast. With a small grunt, he kicked the door open, quickly recovering his balance, and raising his pistol. Looking through the holo-sight he started forward, scanning back and forth rapidly. As he walked through the doors small frame, he could hear a quiet movement. It was coming from behind his bed.

“Hey, come out, I see you!” Silgan shouted, snarling in his rustic baritone. Abruptly, the rustling stopped. Silgan felt light headed, as his vision became hazy. Realizing he’d forgotten to breath, he gasped for air, trying and failing to keep his aim steady.

“Worthless!” the woman’s voice mocked. “Can’t even aim a pistol without nearly passing out, you’re going to get all of us killed, Simon.”

Shut up!

Biting his lip, he moving forward. He could hear a pathetic whimper, a forlorn moaning. It reminded Silgan of the time he’d hit a deer, getting out of his car, only to find the deer dying, struggling through the door to its next reality. Moving quickly around the foot of his bed, Silgan shouted, “Hands up!” He lowered his weapon, mouth parting, eyes widening in horror.

“I’m trying Simon, my arms, I can’t move them.” Wailed Hadley, with deep crosses cut into her wrists. Her skin wasn’t right, it was cracked, a dark and hallowed green. She’s not real, Simon, she’s dead…you buried her. Taking a deep breath, Silgan stepped back from Hadley. Hadley’s eyes grew desperate as Silgan backed away. “Please…Simon don’t leave me here, it hurts baby, it hurts so much worse than when I did it. I’m so sorry, help me Simon!”

Tears welling, Silgan responded, “I…I can’t help you. I failed you, I’m sorry Hads. I miss you every day.” Silgan turned away, forcing himself to look his cabinet. Focus. Productivity, what will help you survive. Grabbing a small duffle at the foot of his bed, he walked to the cabinet, set the Sig Sauer on the cabinets counter, and zipped open the duffle before throwing it back onto his small bed. Opening the cabinet, Silgan suddenly felt overwhelmed. There must be two-hundred separate ingredients here, how the fuck do I decide which ones to bring? Christ, I have room for fifteen or so. If that. Silgan cringed at the terrible moaning as he reached for a case of empty dart-syringes. Ignoring Hadley, he put the pack into his bag, eyes darting across the various chemical labels.

Silgan froze, as the woman’s voice returned, “You’re going to let her die, again? You coward. And for what? So you can turn tail and run?”

You’re right, I am a coward. But why show me this, I know I can’t save her. But I can save that poor girl, Nessa, and that’s what I’m going to do.

Suddenly determined, a wave of clarity drowned the wails and Silgan realized the chemicals he needed. Quickly, he grabbed a fast acting spasmodic, a cyanide potassium solution, and three cryo-contained vial of , or mustard gas. He packed each vial in a rubber stabilized mold before setting them next to the darts. I only have one more pressure resistant mold, I need to pick carefully. A moment later, Silgan grabbed two clear and unlabeled solutions, and packed them into the mold. Hurrying, he reached for two small vials of adrenaline, a small tub of batrachotoxin–he’d scraped it off the backs of poison dart frogs himself–and a cryo-vile, containing VX. He’d have to be careful not to be caught with the VX if he traveled, as the UN classified it as a weapon of mass destruction. The worlds stockpiles had been destroyed twenty-five years ago, but it was relatively easy to synthesize. It was essentially a liquid nerve agent that had a low boiling point, making it an easy to use gas.

Silgan packed the rest of the vials into the rubber chassis before gently resting it in the duffle. Finally, he ran to his chemical work-bench and retrieved three gas masks, as well as a few extra filters. He packed these into the side pockets of the duffle, carefully mounting the valuable bag over his shoulder.

Turning to the cabinet, Silgan picked up his Sig Sauer and turned the safety on before holstering it into the specially stitched pocket in his suit coat, hidden by his left lapel. Just the pills now. Moving to the kitchen drawer, he wiped some of the lingering dirt off his white dress shirt. Silgan opened the small drawer before rummaging for his painkillers. He removed the oxycodone, Vicodin HCL, Secobarbitol, and Compro, before setting them on the counter. He unsaddled his duffle and set it on the counter, then stashed the Vicodin and oxy in the duffle’s left pockets. Those are less conducive to performance than the Compro. Silgan opened the Compro, took two pills, then closed it, before stashing it next to the Vicodin. As Silgan opened the Secobaritol, his shaking hands jerked unexpectedly, causing him to spill the pills on the floor. Shit, my nerves are frayed. He fell to his knees, gathering the pills back into their container.

Freezing, Silgan focused on a small black circle on the bottom of the counter. It can’t be…was someone in here after all? Moving closer, he squinted at the black smudge. A transmission mic. I’ve been bugged. A nauseous anxiety spread from his core as he finished picking the pills up. He left one out, and dry swallowed it. “Eh, Silgan everything alright in here?” asked a voice he couldn’t quite place.

Turning, Silgan saw his neighbor Herald looming ominously in the door-way. “I’m good Herald, did I make too much noise or something?” asked Silgan, ambivalently.

Smiling easily, Herald stepped forward, and said “Nah mate, I mean I heard you talking to someone, you sounded upset.” Herald leaned forward examining the room, looking back and forth. “Musta been on the phone though, it don’t seem like nobodies here right now, besides me that is.” Herald chuckled at his joke. He wore a dirty T-shirt and torn jeans. He was probably in his early fifties, though his voice was clearly smoke damaged and made him sound much older. While his facial structure was handsome, his meth-cracked skin and teeth were not. His eyes were jaundiced, his nose was the kind of red that only twenty years of binge drinking could lend.

“Yeah, I was fighting with my brother, a financial matter.” Lied Silgan.

Laughing loudly, Herald responded, “You know, Hadley is a weird name for a brother if you ask me. But my parents weren’t too creative either. Coming up with Gerald than Herald, I mean who rhymes their kids name?” He must have been the one who planted the bugs.

Face hardening, Silgan asked, “Herald, I don’t suppose you know anything about who might have tampered with my lock there, do you?”

Herald tensed, responding, “Eh, what you tryna say, bud? Man ought to be careful about accusing a co-worker of something like that.” That face, no way in hell it wasn’t him.

Silgan’s muscles tensed, anticipating a fight, as he said, “You know, it’s the funniest thing, I just found a small microphone glued to the bottom of my counter, right before you walked in, Harold.”

Harold sighed, relaxing, and said, “You got me Silgan!” raising his arms above his head in mock exclamation. “It’s not like I did it for fun though, order came from Haskell himself, just a few hours ago. He wanted me to keep an eye on you.” Harold paused, smiling cruelly, he continued, “So imagine my surprise when I hear you, one of our most skilled laborers, over my lil radio talking to your dead wife. I don’t suppose Haskell would be happy to hear you’ve lost your fucking mind, eh bud?” Harold croaked loudly, laughing as Silgan blushed and looked down. “Don’t feel bad, bud, you know I kinda miss that girl I got pinched for assaulting. Sometimes I talk to her too, mostly when I got a whore up here who’s willing to act though, you know.” Haskell already suspects me, it’s now or never.

“I’m going to give you one chance to get out of my way, Harold.” Silgan said, flatly, meeting Harold’s eyes. Harold looked amused, and took a step forward.

Closer now, Harold whispered, “A’ight coach, what you gonna do? Cry to your bitch an’ tell her ol’ Harold’s given you a tough time?” Harold shoved Silgan, hard. Croaking again, as Silgan stumbled, Harold followed up with a wide right hook which landed squarely on Silgan’s left cheek. He fell hard, head hitting the floor with a crack. He shouldn’t have done that. Silgan reached for his concealed Sig Sauer, clicking the safety off with his right thumb. “That all you got big man? You a fake bud, can’t even take a punch.” Rolling onto his back Silgan aimed the Sig Sauer’s holo-sights at Harold’s face. “Oh shit! What the fuck man, it was just a tussle.” Harold raised his hands, desperately murmering, “What? You gonna shoot me with that thing, unsilenced? Whole buildings gonna hear it mate.”

Silgan pushed himself back to his feet, keeping the firearm trained on Harold. Quietly, Silgan said, “I’m crazy, remember? How about you apologize for calling my wife a bitch, scum.” Harold stayed silent, smiling slightly. Moving forward, Silgan grabbed Harold’s dirty T-shirt and shoved him up against the wall. “Say…you’re…sorry.” He set the guns point to Harold’s left jaw.

“Man she musta had a vice grip on your tiny balls, I’d never let a bitch–BANG!” Harold’s eyes twitched wide in surprise as the lower half of his face was torn off by the Sig Sauer’s blast. His broken jaw dangled from what remained of its right hinge. Bleeding heavily, he slid down the wall, and let out a hideous, gurgling screech. Silgan stepped away, letting him fall, letting him struggle. Harold’s tongue waggled back and forth wildly, finally coming to rest near the base of his throat as he fell to his left. Blood quickly pooled. Silgan felt sick. What did I just do?

                “Well I can’t say I approve, but at least you’re showing some initiative now.” Said the woman, malevolently.

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.

WinterSmith (Updated)

Karl Wight felt a smile creep across his face as the orderly undid his restraints, moving to open the old iron gate. Today’s the day. Freedom. The wind flew into Karl’s old bomber-jacket with reckless abandon, needling his flushed cheeks. This is what the world feels like. Alive. The old gate complained loudly as the orderly struggled to push it open, muttering “Damned frost…Just had this thing fixed last week.”

Karl liked the frost though, reminded him of the good old days. God, I miss that old farm. Preparing the fields for every harsh winter was more fun than harvesting ever was. The cursed, familiar, tightness choked Karl’s Heart. He’d felt it, craved it, every night he spent in Bridge-Brook Asylum. Nostalgia. He’d been trained to forget the old days, encouraged to destroy the memories by his physician, Dr. Crest. Flashbacks of Crest’s office started to seep into Karl’s periphery. Hand’s shaking, he pushed the bad thoughts away, looked forward to the orderly motioning him out the gate, and walked forward. What now?

Karl knew how Crest would answer that question. He’d speak sternly, executively, trying to hide the fact that Karl disgusted him. Karl heard Crest’s voice echo “Now Karl, you must simply move forward. What happened in the Great War is over. Your friends will never come back, and to accept this truth is to be cured. These harmful delusions are crutches, a bridge to a past we must burn, together.” But I don’t want to lose my friends, lose the good times. They make me feel, something, anything. But Karl had nodded, accepting Crest’s words,

accepting Crest’s pharmaceuticals,

and accepting Crest’s apathy.

Anything to feel the breeze on my face, just one more time. Two years of swallowing Crest’s orders had led to this day. Was it two or three? No matter, I’m out now. The January forest surrounding Bridge-Brook was breathtaking. The leaves, long dead, had vacated their summer homes. Leaving the simple, frail, and beautiful skeleton of each monstrous tree to dream alone. Thousands of branches hibernating under a viscid coat of fresh snow, layered over older, frozen snow. That old snow, frozen into long and perilous icicles, could fall at any moment. When will I fall? Have I fallen, just now rising?

A brown flash of movement caught Karl’s eye as he continued down the snow-caked drive. A lone fawn? Poor thing. Where are your parents? Who cares for you now? As quickly as the fawn had appeared, it retreated into the icy kingdom, leaving soon-to-be-filled hoof-prints. How can something so beautiful, this Winter-gust, be so destructive? You, who designed this crystalline palace, what was your aim?  The asylums drive widened as Karl continued, revealing a little-traveled county road. The village lies beyond. I’ll go find a phone, dial my Pa. Tell him the good news, let him know his son is better.

Karl paused, examining the small village before him. It looked near-deserted, a thick frost enveloping most aspects of the village. The modest homes had the same layers of snow and ice. It’s different though, this human forest can never compare to nature’s. But, I suppose human creation is a type of nature. Karl continued his walk towards the village, setting his sights for a small tavern at the top of a hill, near an elaborate Victorian-style church. Something just feels different about it, the layers of snow resting on the trees, were beautiful, natural. Here, it screams death, life-lost, cold. It was cold before, but it was ordered. Now it’s attacking these homes, imposing its icy-reign. Is that the point, WinterSmith? Do you hate Humans, do you wish to desecrate our hovels, the way we desecrated your sister-summer? Maiming your trees, hunting your denizens to extinction?

Karl reached the log-built tavern, hesitating outside the door, anxious. What do I say to him, say to mom? They left me here, said they’d come back. They didn’t, but I understand, I forgive them. Will they want to talk to me now…now that I’ve been fixed?

Karl steeled himself, and swung the carved-oak door wide, exposing himself to what lay beyond. As Karl walked in, one of the two men at the bar looked up, scowling, before quickly averting his gaze. No surprise there. Karl studied the homie interior of the pub, looking for a phone. The hostess approached Karl, and said “Hey, you’re going to have to leave. Your kind ain’t welcome here.”

Karl nodded, responding “I’m sorry, I really need to use a phone, I’m stranded out there.” The hostess bit her lip, looking Karl up and down, before nodding to her right towards a small payphone. Karl smiled, gratefully, and turned to the phone. Karl checked his pockets, pulling out two nickels. Reaching the phone, Karl inserted the two nickels, picked the phone up, and dialed his father’s land-line. (843)732-1228. Karl shifted away from the patron giving him a dirty look as he listened to the phone ring.

On the fourth ring, a man picked up, asking “Hello?” That’s Danny. He sounds…older.

“Hey Danny, it’s Karl. I’ve been released, was hoping I could talk to Pa, if he’s around.” Danny started, stuttering, and falling silent. “What was that? Is Pa there, Danny?”

Slowly, Danny responded “Pa’s dead, Karl, he’s been dead for six years, you know that.” No. Six years? No, he can’t be dead.

Burning tears welled in Karl’s eye’s as he asked “Danny, I don’t remember that, how…how did he die?”

Karl could hear Danny stifling tears over the line, “Karl, you locked him in his shed, the frost got him. Remember? That’s why you went to Bridge-Brook.” Danny’s voice faded, cruelly morphing into a dial-tone.

The man from the bar called to the hostess, shouting “Look, that Negro ain’t even talking to nobody, I can hear the dial-tone from here! He’s probably one of those Bridge-Brook nutters, escaped or something! Kickem out, I can’t stand the smell of them.” Karl dropped the phone, before falling to his knees, tears falling. Why…WinterSmith?

The hostess approached, wearing a concerned, not un-kind expression. She helped Karl to his feet, ushering him to the tavern-door. Face flat, tears streaming, Karl said “I’m s…sorry. Thank you for your kindness” before exiting. The hostess closed the door behind Karl, as he looked around, assessing his options. Freedom isn’t as easy as you’d think. Eyes fixating on the dense forest to the right of the village, behind the old cathedral, Karl walked.

Half-way to the forest, Karl’s tears froze, mouth parting into a small smile. It’s not so bad. Pa’s still up in heaven looking down on me. WinterSmith couldn’t have meant to hurt me, he wouldn’t. Smile widening as his face numbed, Karl walked past the first set of trees, admiring the kingdom’s gates. Every part of this forest, every detail, is perfect. If only I could have been perfect, like this. Teach me, WinterSmith. I know you won’t leave me. Karl sat against a large oak, then, unzipping his bomber-jacket, letting WinterSmith’s frost enter him, engulf his senses. He looked up, examining the dense web of snow-layered branches, forming an indescribably complex pattern. Not even Michelangelo could make sense of that pattern. It’s the ultimate painting, the only reality. Today is the best sort of day.

Then, the world shattered. The sky shifted from painted blues to a deep, malevolent, purple and black. A half-smile crept from the left corner of Kurt’s mouth as his eye’s widened in anticipation. He’s here. Karl heard thunder to his right, turning in surprise, he shuddered, taking in the gigantic husk-like creature pulling itself out of a tree. It was at least twelve feet tall, with tight metal horns curling behind each of its long ears. Thick and glossy wood-ice veins traced up and down the creature’s skinless frame. As it struggled to free itself from the tree’s bark, blood-stained white fur started to grow, covering its wounds. Freeing itself from the tree, it roared, mouth opening unnaturally wide, cracking, as its eyes folded into themselves. WinterSmith…you came!

 Suddenly, as the creature turned to Karl the forest grew eerily quiet. Silently, it’s long legs covered the twenty-meter distance in a few strides. Euphoric, Karl pushed his knees under his core, looked up to WinterSmith, and let his arms fall limply to his sides. Reverently, he asked, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” WinterSmith’s dolichocephalic skull fell left, resting on his left, bulbous, shoulder. Am I good enough? Is he judging my sins? WinterSmith’s arms were now covered in the beautiful and glistening snow-colored fur. He raised his left arm, extending his long and pointed claws, and gently rested them on Karl’s shoulder.

Abruptly, Karl’s elation morphed to a rotten, scathing, pain. What’s happening? My…my bones…they’re moving! Karl let out a scream accented by tears and a clawing agony, as his insides started to re-arrange. The pain blinded Karl, as his ribs expanded, inverted, and broke through his burning flesh. Thick brown fur started to replace his gouged and broke flesh as his heels extended and became one with the balls of his feet. The pain stopped, momentarily, and Karl rested on his back, looking up at the portal-like black sky. Is this what you needed, WinterSmith? Okay. Karl convulsed as all ten fingers simultaneously broke and started to shift forward, elongating. The bones pushed through his finger-tips, forming sharp points, as his jaw unhinged, shattering. Make me the instrument of your will, please…

 

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Thanks for reading, part 2 and original artwork coming soon!

Daily Blog 9/11/17

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

All published chapters are archived under the Saving Hadley menu at: https://bluebeard-art.com/

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*Contains graphic, accurate, and disturbing depictions of self-harm and emergency medical procedures. Also has naughty language. If any of that stuff bothers you, please don’t read this. I also suggest you go here to get the good feels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zidiWe9yq88

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Simon’s perspective of what happened in chapter 11-1.

Enjoy!

XI-II

February 8th, 2017-Simon

 

Simon had left work sick, not that he was sick. Not in the traditional sense. The urge to slip drugs in that setting was simply too much for him to handle right now. He was barely holding on, and Hadley…Hadley wasn’t holding on. He’d caught her going through their old store of painkillers two nights ago. Simon had tried to stop her, but she had threatened him with the dull metal scissors on the counter. He’d had to distance himself that night, sleeping on the couch. I’ll talk to her about it, get her help.

Simon went over what he’d say as he pulled into the large driveway. I hate what happened to Adam, but we’re still here, we’re still young, we can beat this, together. Parking, Simon opened the driver’s side door of his Audi, and got out. Closing the door behind him, Simon walked towards the side entrance. He pulled the key out his pocket, put it in the lock and twisted. Things are going to be all right, we’ve been to hell and back together. I just need to stop being so damned distant all the time. I’ve never been good at handling emotions. Hadley had recently theorized why Simon had made a good ER doctor. He remembered the sting he’d felt as she’d said, “It’s because you don’t care when the patients die, and you can just tell the family then go have a fucking cigarette.” She’s right, though. I need to be more available. I’m going to settle this. Walking into the kitchen, looking around, Simon yelled “Hadley, you up?” It’s nearly 7:30, don’t tell me she’s still in bed.

As Simon walked towards the stairs, he heard a muffled noise. What was that? Simon paused momentarily, listening. Not hearing another noise, he called out a second time “Hads! You okay?” while starting up the bannister. About halfway up the steps, he heard another noise, a scream. No…no. Simon rushed up the stairs, skipping a step with each stride. “Hadley! Where are you?” he rushed towards the master bedroom. The door was closed, he tried the handle. Locked? Oh shit. Voice cracking, Simon yelled “Hadley!” as he kicked the door. It didn’t break. On the second kick the doors frame concaved slightly.

He heard Hadley scream “Simon!”, she sounded in pain. What is she doing?

Panicking, as the door failed to cave after the third kick, Simon shouted “Hadley! I’m here, hold on honey, I’m here!” On the fourth kick, the lock broke and Simon rushed into the dark bedroom. Hadley was still screaming, but Simon couldn’t see, fumbling for the lights he called out, “Hadley I’m here, don’t worry, you’re okay!” Finding the lights, he realized Hadley was in the master bathroom. Simon barreled into the bathroom. The lights were dim, looking around his heart sank. Small pills were scattered about and there was blood all over the floor, and the Jacuzzi…the water was a dark, lifeless, red. No.

Simon rushed into the Jacuzzi as Hadley mouthed something, he couldn’t tell what. “What did you Hadley, what did you do. Lovely, what have you done.”  He wrapped his arms around her, picking her up into her arms. He left the Jacuzzi and set Hadley down gently onto the cold bathroom floor. My god, her arms. No. It can’t be. Not like this. Panicked, Simon ran to the second bath, turning the shower on and stopping the drain. She’s too warm. I need to stop the blood-flow. Returning to Hadley, he picked her up gently, making sure her wounds faced up. Grunting, he carried her to the shower, setting her down carefully with her back against the glass, letting the cold-water wash over her. “Hadley! Wake up Hadley!” Simon cried in desperation as her eyes fluttered. She was still mouthing the same, inaudible words. “I can’t hear you, honey, stay with me, I need you Hadley, I need you to stay here… to stay with me.” He could feel her pulse, a wave of relief shot down his spine. It’s weak, I need to act quickly.

Turning, Simon got to his feet and walked to the sauna’s towel rack. He opened the sauna door, grabbed two towels and threw them inside before setting the heat to max and shutting the door. He grabbed the other two towels and ran to Hadley. Why is she smiling at me like that? Simon wrapped the first towel around her left arm, tying it off, and repeating the process on the right arm.

Hadley’s eyes had opened again. Quietly, she murmured “I love you.”

Stricken, Simon responded, “I love you too, Hadley, you’re going to be fine, stay with me.”

Eyes closing again, Hadley whispered “Let me…go.” Never. Hadley fell limp, blood soaking through the towels. How did she cut so far up the arm? Simon ran back to the sauna, grabbing one of the now-hot towels. Turning back to Hadley, he draped the hot towel around her famished midsection and turned the cold-water stream off. Too cold and she’ll go into shock even faster. Her pulse felt weaker than it had a few moments ago. She’s lost too much blood. Simon ran to the medical cabinet adjacent to the sink. He grabbed a high-volume syringe and a tourniquet. Quickly, he wrapped the tourniquet around his left arm, found a vein and drew blood as quickly as he could without blowing the vein. Damned anxiety is constricting my vasculature. Stay calm, Simon, or Hadley will die. After about thirty seconds, he’d managed to fill the syringe. Now comes the tricky part. Her arms are completely shot and I don’t have an IV.

Moving to Hadley, Simon paused, looking for a vein on her inner thighs. I’ll worry about infections later. Hands steady, Simon pushed the syringe into Hadley’s Femoral vein, pushing slowly but steadily before retracting the syringe and moving to Hadley’s greater saphenous. He switched back and forth until the blood in the syringe was gone. The injection sites aren’t bleeding, low pressure, not good. Simon checked her pulse, it was gone.

Tears streaming down his face, Simon ran back to the medical cabinet and found a small bottle of adrenaline. Come on, just another ER shift…Keep it together. Grabbing a new, lower volume syringe, he drew half the adrenaline, hands shaking. Rushing back to Hadley, Simon pulled her left tank top strap down over her arm. He palpated the area, feeling for a break in the ribcage. This has to work. It WILL. Finding the spot he was looking for, he carefully pushed the long needle into her chest, until he felt a break in the resistance. The heart. He injected the adrenaline, pulled the syringe out, and threw it aside. He maneuvered her cold, limp body so that she lay on her back, arms to the side. Getting on top of her, he started compressions. His arms and face had gone numb from the anxiety, making it difficult to keep going. Must…keep…going, I have to save her.

Crying, he shouted “Come back to me, Hads, come on baby, you’re okay, everything’s going to be fine!” After about a minute of compressions, he felt Hadley’s ribs break. Slowly, defeated, Simon slowed his compressions. Leaning back, he cried out in agony. I’ve failed.

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Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/13/daily-blog-91217/

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?

 

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Thanks for Reading!

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