Sleep came with difficulty to Silas that night and he tossed and turned until the early hours, when unconsciousness finally forced itself upon him. He woke up. It was dark. Again. He shrank back towards the wall, pulling his duvet around him for protection as the door creaked open once more. The grinning man entered his room, this time he wasn't flanked by the creep with the torch, holding a brazier himself.
“Good evening, Silas Marsden,” His voice was full of power, yet barely more than a whisper
“Who are you?” Silas spluttered, “Go away! Leave me be! How do you know me?”
But his visitor only grinned harder and motioned for his hooded companion to enter the room. Silas shivered, shouting out in fear, but he took no notice, moving his hands as he approached. Silas, once again, found he could not move and his protective duvet was quickly drawn away from him by a cold, clammy hand. The scalpel flashed once again, this time cutting a deep furrow across his chest from left armpit to the top of the right shoulder. Even more than the wounds he'd received last time this slash burned with pain, so much that he couldn't even scream, merely writhe in agony until he fell off the bed. He tried to pull himself forwards into a corner, but a foot landed on his back, applying more pressure to the wound and immobilizing him once more.
The grinning man helped the hooded one pin Silas to the wall and then began to force his fingers into the wound, ripping the flesh from the bone until the ribcage showed, gleaming white in the pale torchlight like ivory, the blood applying a red sheen to it. Anson began to scream once more.
“We'll need to silence him,” The hooded one rasped, “His wailing is distracting me,”
The grinning one stopped grinning, settling for a grimace as he eyed his companion, “Is it really necessary?”
When he received no reply, he merely sighed and nodded reluctantly. Not that Silas heard any of this, he just continued screaming. What were they doing? Why? Why hurt him? He didn't even know them! The grinning one stepped back a pace to let the other get closer. He whipped out a needle and thread, as he had done the night before and began to sew Silas' lips together, perforating the flesh with the needle several times, leaving his mouth covered by a number of criss-cross patterns of thread – sealed. He then grabbed hold of his throat and ripped out the voice-box, silencing his victim. Then the hooded figure stepped back, allowing the grinner to examine the rib-bones individually, one by one. He shook his head critically and then began to snap them. Silas watched in disgust and utter terror, hearing the creaking of his bones, then the clean crack as they were rent in twain. Suddenly, though, there was a commotion behind the door. Silas heard Hettie's sweet, melodious voice call out for him.
“We've overstayed our welcome,” the rasping voice of the hooded one pointed out, “It's a shame, but we'll have to patch him back up tomorrow night.”
The one who grinned looked critically at his captive, “I hate to botch a job, but you're right, we don't have the time now.”
Silas' eyes drooped with fatigue as he watched them slink away into the darkness, finally closing as the door slammed shut...