Not for the faint hearted, a love story of sorts with a quick paced aggression. Deals with violence and rape. Please don't let your children read this story.
The Bleeding Chair
Stephen used to always look deep into Jessica’s eyes when he told her how much he loved her. This time he was too focussed on the nine inch nail protruding from between the ring and middle finger on her clenched left fist. He didn’t feel the tight bonds anymore, his arms tied awkwardly to the back of the splintering wooden chair didn’t give off their usually angry, twisted complaint as he bucked against the acidic burning in his shoulder. Sat in the dark damp pungent cellar, unable to move, shoulders contorted so awkwardly, with blood seeping through his rib cage and sliding down his withering naked frame onto the cold stone floor, he would have expected to go into shock. For Stephen, the adrenaline injection he had been given afforded him no such luxury.
Her angry growl signified that Jessica wasn’t entirely satisfied with his answer, but he couldn’t make her believe it anymore, there was not even an infinitesimal moment left before the candle flickered with the wind of her swooping arm, bearing the nail toward the right side of his hip. The puncture was swift, but the pain was at its most chronic as she ripped it out and prepared to plunge again.
‘I love you Jessica I always have.’ His words slurred and wavered as he desperately sought to convince her. ‘I love you.’ He repeated over and over; his mind pleading with his voice to be convincing, daring his eyes to look into hers. Preservation and panic frenziedly trying to replicate a look of lust and need, simply just to stop her from hurting him must have been little more than futile as she swung for him again and again. His body was no longer able to separate the painful blows, all the pain merged into one, every blow an echo of the last, every burning scrape the serrated metal pulled from within his skin became one infinite scream beneath his withering shell.
I love you became a soft mantra as the adrenaline wore off and the viscous black blood dripped audibly on the hard stone. He wasn’t even sure that he hadn’t heard Jessica echo his desperate sentiments back to him before his tired mind pulled him into warm inky blackness and let him rest.
He remembered a time when he loved her, and she loved him, and everything was so simple. He was standing there on the beach as her silky soft plump lips reached for his. Wind gently rising to a crescendo and slinking back like an invisible wave of salt all around them, he could even remember the taste of the ocean on his tongue just before they kissed. This moment would always be timeless, a place of comfort for a couple who would always be in love. Here beneath the azure summer skies, amongst the shrieks of elated children and the whisper of the ocean, he would always be here when it called him.
Her almond eyes looked deep into his soul as they always did, and once again he knew that he’d exist forever at ease as long as she could see him, and he could see her, and nothing would ever change. This was the day when he held his beautiful new wife, this was the canvas they would paint the rest of their lives upon, this the skin that their love would forever tattoo, and the road leading to forever began at this very blink of the suns warm eye. Idyllic and misty he would have remained here eternally, but reality was calling him back.
Five days earlier
As far as Octobers usually go, the day was glorious. The slick bustling streets of South Carolina and the serenading vehicle horns were ordinarily an irritation to Stephen Freeman, but today, they provided a blanket of comfort and familiarity. Having never really liked America, Stephen would have ordinarily grumbled as he weaved between the oncoming rush of stampeding businessmen, vindictive school children, and mothers with malevolent pushchairs, all brusquely barging their way through life to get to whatever tedious destination awaited them. On this day Stephen felt anesthetised to the blare and the blast of the discourteous American streets, his mind automatically wove him through the lines of bickering women and arrogant men. It wasn’t elation or joy that drove him ignorantly through the deprecating decadence around him, simply determination. He had someone to hurt today, but for the very last time.
Although Stephen was a tall, sturdily built man, he generally faded in and out of crowds. His opinions always internal, boat rocking kept to a minimum, and life outside his work just washing around him ignoring his presence. That is exactly the way he liked it. He didn’t need to be attractive and noticeable, his worn white pumps, faded blue jeans and nondescript black t-shirt sufficed. Stephen’s clothes were comfortable, and comfort was all he desired from life. Appearances never meant anything, he cultivated a small beard on his chin and made sure his spectacles were never bent, sprayed his favourite deodorant every morning, but from that he didn’t care. No interest ever in expensive designer fashions, the smell of America would befoul it all anyway. Stephen is exactly as he wanted to be, a ghost gliding comfortably through life, and since he had met Cadence, life was good.
Ah Cadence, the last kiss every morning before he bundles his awkward frame off into the world, the beatific face that serenely greets him every morning on the cool edge of his pillow. Unsure if love is the accurate emotion that he feels but, he surmises, it is as close as you can possibly imagine. Every day he swathes his long gangly arms around her slight frame and kisses the top of her head and wonders if love actually exists. Having felt love before, it makes him wonder why he feels different this time. The feelings are stronger, there is a far more urgent need to look upon Cadence, but the locale of sensation had changed. With his wife, when he had loved her, his chest reacted with every touch, flipping and palpitating every time he saw her. With Cadence it was his stomach. Butterflies and cartwheels, backflips and flying kicks were performed underneath his prickly skin whenever they touched. With Cadence he was sure it was love, but then what had he felt before? Was there a classifying scale of emotion on which you compare how people could make you feel? Was it simply that his wife could never begin to understand him emotionally?
A strident horn grazed angrily against his ears reviving him from his philosophical ruminations. Scornfully Stephen glared at the source of the noise. He watched without any rapture as a bespectacled revolting man razed the air with obscenities and inventive profanities at an as yet undetermined opponent. South Carolina, the palmetto state; the state where dreams always end in a flurry of audacity and anger. There was no amount of blasting sunshine, butterflies and cartwheels that would ever change the one inimitable fact, if you live in South Carolina, you will die in South Carolina. The Palmetto State indeed. The ‘Depleted Morals’ State, perhaps, The ‘Ignorant American’ State for sure. My how Stephen wished he had never left England with his wife. Fair enough, he wouldn’t be making half the amount of money back in his treasured Blighty, but they would have survived. Maybe it was South Carolina that prised them apart. Should he blame America for the disintegration of his marriage? Should he curse South Carolina for the divorce papers he had clutched in his left hand as he strode through the precipitated pedestrian world around him? The musings never stopped swimming through the haze and heat until he reached his old house, where within resided his wife, and his soon to be buried past.
Being set away from the suburbs, the house was inert in the baking sun, detached from the rest of the world, a dusty brick sanctuary that was easy to overlook as the busy world strived and oppressed its boorish way through life, half a mile from the grey, dry-mud encrusted porch from where he stood. It was easy to love the beguile and tranquillity this home volunteered, sitting in the shade of three large southern red oak trees, the jasmine scent released by the small herb garden, and the cracked crazy paved marble and granite path leading in a very slightly curved path past the swinging chair and to the steps before the house, all cast a hidden warmth. A small pang of guilt swept through Stephen as he stepped into the slightly overgrown vegetation that lay beneath his large feet. There was a longing about his old house, the wispy tendrils of leaves reaching from the bonsai shrubs, long untrimmed or maintained swayed in the gentle breeze, reaching for his ankles pleading for him to stay, make this broken house whole again. The trickle of the brook lying just south of the large bay windows, sounded almost like tears of hankering as he swept by, and even the Chipping Sparrows fell silent, bating breath until he announced that he was home, and everything could become beautiful again.
Jessica was singing in the kitchen to the back of the house. Stephen had always loved her voice, a serendipitous chime blended with dulcet simplicity. Tears would come soon he was sure of it, for a moment he wanted to hear her sing, for this would be the last time he would ever get to feel the pain and power of her, the last time he would afford to let her voice affect him.
‘Baby think twice, for the sake of our love for the memory.’
And now the tears came. Just a mournful trickle, drying instantly in the sweltering parched air. Although the blinds were down, he could see her singing in his mind. Her long blond hair reaching those slender shoulders, her small frame swaying and lurching hypnotically as each belted note left her porcelain throat, Jessica closed her big green eyes as her pale smooth skin shone in the light trap kitchen.
‘Babe I know it aint easy when your soul cries out for higher ground, cos’ when you’re halfway up you’re always halfway down.’
Stephen wept for his angelic wife behind the shades. The timid woman that he loved and desired for eight of his thirty years, decanting her pain and emotion out through the words of a sombre Canadian, still affected him. His sylphlike seraph finally fuelled her last wracked note with melancholy before he dried his tear-saturated cheek against his bare hairy arms, and rapped the door firmly.
The music stopped and skipping feet tapped and rattled on the linoleum hallway behind the ochre door. The handle began to turn as Stephen exhaled a long deliberate blow of breath. But something was wrong, he could feel some different kind of energy behind the door, just something in the air, maybe a sound, a smell, but something alien and unfamiliar struck him deeply, a disturbing prophetic shiver slithered violently through his body as the door swung open. There she was. Jessica, but not the Jessica he would have remembered.
This Jessica was almost a projection, an imposter, a new macabre pallid and cold Jessica. Her long blond hair replaced by ebony and silk, a sharp black metal spike protruding from beneath her bottom shadowy glossed lip. Her large oval eyes painted charcoal, her irises crimson, and the eyebrow mottled with pinpricks of midnight beadlike piercings. Where she used to wear a graceful silver swan around her neck hung on a chain of fine thin loops, a spiked indigo dog collar gripped her throat. Flowery dresses discarded and a purple and black corset seized her torso. The disparity so incomprehensible that he simply stood, his jaw locked stupefied. It wasn’t that he disliked what he saw, nor was he frightened, his elfin wife had become erogenous, and he found himself aroused.
‘Are you just going to stand there gawping Stevie, or you coming in?’ Jessica giggled childishly obviously aware of the effect her new image was having. She loved her femme fatale persona, and in the year long absence of her husband, Jessica had flourished with confidence. Her introverted defensive stance was replaced by an alluring swagger; her nervous laugh became a seductive giggle. Jessica broken from the shackles of marriage, and the stigma of the put-upon English wife had become something new. This Jessica was in control; oh this Jessica was assertive, macabre and sensual.
‘I…er…yeah. Sorry Hello Jess, it’s just…wow, I…’ Stephen swallowed and shook his confused head. “You look great Jess.”
‘Thanks Stevie, you look the same as ever.’ Jessica turned from the door, her long black lacy skirt sweeping a large arc through the air revealing purple ripped tights on her slender legs, and large buckled black boots on her feet. Stephen stepped through the doorway into his old home mesmerised by the hypnotic, rhythmic, carnality Jessica oozed, simply as she walked. So much had changed, it had been a long time since his wife had aroused him so completely; Cadence and her whispering words left simmering deep in the back of his consciousness, Jessica’s new image was shouting above all of Cadence’s words. Maybe that’s why he decided to rape her.
There was no plan, no forethought; just a long profane argument about selfishness, morality and personal disgust. Stephen slammed a relationship full of languid, sanguine misadventure in her shocked face. Jessica probed and prodded with manipulative quips about iniquity and selfishness into Stephens' gaping and open insecurity, and more, and over, and louder, until the conversation became a torrid scream that nobody could listen to anymore. That was when the inflamed magnolia house was silenced by Stephen kissing Jessica.
At first she responded, slinking her tongue into his mouth, clicking her piercing against his teeth, gripping the back of his head with a longing hand before pushing him away.
“We can’t Stephen, you came to divorce me.” Jessica shrunk back, the first flash of the old Jessica reflected in her pallid face. Large eyes swayed and retreated to the floor as she stepped away from him.
Stephen stepped forward, a film of sweat glistened on his flushed brow. Somewhere in his own mind, he was bawling at himself. Something else was controlling him, a reptilian urge had taken over his core, blocking out external reasoning, isolating the moral part of him and ignoring his internal pleas of loathing. No longer could he compute her cries, the empty mobile husk encasing him could no longer turn her animated cries into words. Stephen tried speaking, but a base growl was all that his cotton throat was able to release.
Her husband had always been a large man, always had the capacity to be powerful and dominating, but never before had Jessica felt suffocated by this demonic behemoth now reaching to her throat with a claw-like, talon. Even his eyes were unrecognisable; lightless orbs central to his gnarled, grinning, salivating face. No manner of obscenity or plea was awakening her husband.
Stephen grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into the white plaster walls and pressed his face up against her neck. His breath felt hot within his mouth, and as he licked her exposed throat he felt his tongue cooled by her skin. A malevolent chuckle escaped from his chest as his left grabbed her skirt and reached up for her crotch.
“Please let me go Stephen.”
“I know what you like, I remember what you like.” He could smell coconut mixed with sweat from her body, he could taste her perfume on his sandpaper tongue as his fevered body sought moisture.
“I know what you want Jess, I always knew.” In the ear of your mind you would probably expect to hear a guttural, rasping voice cutting the very cells of your blood into screeching garlands, but to the contrary, his voice sounded so very controlled, dulcet and sensitive. Underneath his silken tone Jessica still writhed and twisted, feeling his clammy hands pull at the crotch of her panties, pinching the skin beneath the thin cloth like a shuddering lobster, no longer in control of its pincers. There was pain, sporadic and exaggerated with every clumsy lustful clutch, and his smell had changed, emitting a dire acerbic odour from his body.
In a swift movement Stephen threw the waiflike beauty, no longer recognisable to him as another human, to the cold hard floor. As his body followed hers to floor Jessica raised her knee sharply meeting his crotch, over balancing him sending him crashing headfirst into the plaster wall. As he rolled clutching his head, sense came swimming back to him. The real Stephen rose from deep within the animal cage in which he had been bonded, his swirling vision suddenly caught her silhouette, she was moving toward him holding a long object. He couldn’t focus on the poke, not even as it crashed brutally across his brow switching all lights off.
It was midnight back in England; the height of summer still left a hazy warmth to the air, their ears filled with the soft changing of the tides, a swooshing, swelling, serene sense of serendipity clung to them as they waltzed together across the sands in a drunken clinch. The moons effervescence lifted her blond hair in a luminous graceful salsa with the breeze, sporadically wrapping its velvet tendrils around his neck, caressing him tenderly. Never had two people ever been so more in tune with each other, maybe it was the tequila, maybe the oysters, or maybe this was genuinely the first time he had ever felt that fabled sensation of love. But would this be the first time he’d vocalise it? He guessed not, he wanted to envelope himself in sensation for the rest of the evening, mellifluously sheltered within the cherub on the sands, two people enjoying the ebb and flow of their own personal tides. The salt air fizzled around them as they melted into one another, if love was ever made, this would be the method, all encompassing, and every sensation felt as if a hammer drove a nail in to their senses. He never wanted…….
Snapped awake, the real Stephen was here to accept the retribution of the monstrous Neanderthal that had encompassed him however many hours earlier. His vision swirled and swooped for a minute, not comprehending his surroundings, he tried to lift a hand to wipe his brow but found it locked by unseen bonds. Flickering light caught his attention and panicking he snapped his head up and surveyed his surroundings. To his left a blank stone wall painted blue, its regular brickwork pattern interrupted by the poorly crafted shelves that one summer he had attempted to install. An abandoned workbench holding two large sallow candles, fluttered and throbbed in the lambent light, spilling random pools of light over the dark stone floor beneath it. To his right, a clutter of old boxes casting eerie gambolling silhouettes over the unloved, unwanted wicker rug that Jessica bought in a jumble sale three years ago. The slimy walls stagnant and nervous seemed to sway and revolve where the inadequate light couldn’t quite reach, like an imp resting just beyond the shadows of sight, licking it’s lips in anticipation. Ahead of him a shadow moved. At first he thought he was still dreaming, in this dank repugnant room, a small naked woman appeared from within a shimmering silhouette. Stephen tried to move again but found his legs tied from beneath him, he was contorted and prone twisted unnaturally, positioned in a manner that gave him severe cramp throughout his whole body. Although he was fascinated and intrigued by the naked woman striding toward him, he felt he dared not look, as if medusa herself had arisen from the cocoon of fable and myth, slowly presenting herself to his trapped and desperate eyes.
After a long time unconscious, sometimes different senses take longer to reboot. Stephen suddenly became aware of sound, a high pitched ringing was replaced by a rhythmic thud, an alien tone gradually elevating until the entire air was pulsing and tearing before him as a voice suddenly screamed from behind a nasty guise of distorted guitars and intense crashing drums. His sense of smell returned next, a barrage of fetid odour assaulted his mind in a putrid rush of abhorrence. At this moment he realised why his seat felt warm and wet. Once again he tried to move, but found that even his torso had been bound to the chair on which he was sat, in truth he was sat in his own faeces and completely unable to move.
“Like a hole, like an open bleeding sore.”
He had never heard these words before, scanning the room for the CD player he realised the depths that his wife had let her taste sink. Not only did she dress like the seductive dead, her music had become a sadomasochistic representation of her new abhorrent self. Still not comprehending his position he tried to speak, uttering one mere syllable before her fist came crashing soundlessly into his agape jaw.
“Then you’ll have bled like I’ve bled. Then you’ll have wept as I’ve wept.”
A strobe light of pain flashed before his newly accustomed eyes. Spitting as he felt his mouth fill up with blood, he choked on the stale air, tasting what he had expelled in his unconscious state.
“Suck me down it’s time to rock and roll.”
Jessica walked behind him as he shook his head and looked down momentarily he noticed cuts at the bottom of her legs. Long and curved arcs of dried blood decorating her ashen calves and leading infinitely higher up her legs. Another blow to the face stopped him looking. The throb in his left cheek was interrupted as a sharp sensation in his neck battled to the forefront of his mind. He spasmed rigidly in his chair, involuntarily fighting the bonds as his back tried to arch, heart pounding like a violent bass drum though his ears. All sound and sense was drowned out by his increasing heartbeat. A low raucous growl came from within his throat and out into the pulsing air.
‘Adrenaline, rocks your world just lovely doesn’t it my little lamb?’ There was nothing left of Jessica left in her voice. Her childish giggle had become a churlish cackle. Being her little lamb never sounded so sardonic before, it used to feel warm and comfortable, but now he felt like an explosion waiting to happen. Jessica walked around his right side to stand directly in front of him. As he lifted his head and looked at her bile began to rise in his throat; palsy began in his tense arms, shepherding virulent rivers of macabre fear through his body. She was sliced from the back of her legs in long deliberate cuts, up over her buttocks, a long scathing scab forming from her left kidney up to just beneath her right shoulder blade, branches of hard blood snaking away from the main cut giving her back the impression of a road atlas in black and red. She turned to face him, nude in full gothic glory and Stephen vomited spasmodically over his own knees, unable to stomach what his beautiful angel had become. In any other circumstance he may have felt pity, but she was laughing at his reaction, screeching and gagging with unequivocal hilarity. My god she was proud of her appearance, her mutilated depravity was some deliberate act of lust. Stephen thought he was going to be sick again.
‘What’s the matter Stephen? Is there something on your mind?’ Jessica knelt in front of him and flashed a brilliant white smile in his eyes. She looked down at his manhood involuntarily growing.
‘Ah the adrenaline is beginning to work, soon be time to have some fun. Well it isn’t pure adrenaline, epinephrine to be accurate. It increases the heart rate and constricts the blood vessels, a slight overdose gives you one or two oh so beautiful side-effects.’ She nodded her head as the involuntary reaction between his thighs gained prominence.
“That will be of some use to me in a few minutes believe me little lamb, but first you will listen.” There was a fruity smell to her warm breath; Stephens’ eyes were closed as she breathed a loathing steam of hate into his face.
‘You could have had this body anytime, but you left; you left it and set me free. I have spent the past year telling myself that I hate you, and that I don’t love you, and that I never loved you; but guess what, I still love you, you snake. I decided that you could have this body again whilst you bled on my linoleum, but on my terms.’ Jessica put her mouth over his erection and flicked her tongue against it. Standing up straight she punched him hard in the face again. Cackling she stepped back as Stephen spat out a mouthful of claret once more with a grating sick sound.
‘Don’t you speak you parasitic freak. Do you know what marriage is? In our case it was your excuse to legally rape me whenever you wished. I was doomed to years of sex without any gratification. Lying down and letting you have your way, selfish self-centred amoeba, I was nothing more than a form of masturbation for you. Not one orgasm, not one in the whole time we were together, well now you have absolutely no choice. You think that you could take what you wanted one last time, well my little lamb take a look at where your selfishness got you.’ Emphatically Jessica waved a cut arm in his direction hard enough to send a small wind into the candles spilling a black and yellow strobe of light and dark temporarily around the room.
‘Being a Nurse has its benefits, Argolax and Phenergan are a crazy combination for keeping people asleep whilst emptying their putrid contents my little lamb, and of course now the course of epinephrine that I am putting you on means you are mine. It has been too long, I want sex my little lamb, but I want you to love me. Make me believe that you love me.’ Jessica moved towards him, her motion regained its earlier seduction. It seemed a rancid juxtaposition to witness the macabre sliced monstrosity walking toward him with such fevered sensual vigour. The oxymoronic mix of Gothicism and allure brought more bile to his throat; he couldn’t move, wanted to leave but was tense, afraid and far too alert. Her hips hovered over him momentarily, swivelling, taunting, erotic and heinous, before simultaneously crashing down on his hard penis and swinging another feverous fist into his left temple.
Stephens mind temporarily lost control; bright lights of various colours blocking his vision, a high pitched whining integrating with the screaming metallic music echoing around the open stone room. As reality faded back in, all sensation began hammering at him compulsorily. His eyes perceived the brutal bouncing of cut flesh, his legs began to ache and throb as Jessica jumped up and down fitfully slapping sweaty flesh against his soiled legs. Her breathing rapid and anxious building up after what seemed like hours into a disturbed scream of elation, eroticism and pain. Stephen felt sick as she dismounted him, stepping back slick with sweat and grease, lathered in his excrement over her groin and thighs. Cackling she ran up the stairs in front of him into the house.
He sat there panting and retching, his shoulders ached again still warped out of position. The music had changed with the absence of his beloved tormentor. A song he finally recognised from his time when Jessica didn’t need debauchery and torture to get off. Mouthing along with the words trying to gain a sense of normality, he found his voice and let the music wash over his psyche, trying desperately to block out the nightmare.
‘I don’t wanna think about the bad times. Oh anyone could have a bad year.’ Louder and louder he sang desperately trying to get a grip on a slowly unravelling reality. ‘Don’t ask for answers that you do not want to hear.’ Even though the funky guitar and upbeat vocals ricocheted around him tears began to start forming and he let out a sodden shriek. Sobbing and praying that the ordeal was over he screamed and squawked against the pain, and the mental images that whacked his fragile character like a detestable fusillade of panic. Barely audible above the sultry voice and bouncy instruments there was a thumping and thudding on the floor above his head. Something told him his ordeal wasn’t over; there was an overture to this macabre torrid choreography. Heart still beating he kept his eyes on the stairs, squinting in the dimming flickering light. Maybe minutes, maybe hours later a cleaner Jessica appeared at the top step wearing a silk black kimono carry a long thin green tube. Swiftly she disappeared cackling again through the rectangle of yellow high above his head back into the kitchen. There was no time for confusion because moments later the thin green tube spewed a torrent of clear crisp water. Soon the water came out like a jet firing the hose around like an angry snake at the top of the steps.
Jessica hurriedly reappeared and gripped the hose, jumping the stone steps two at a time she aimed the high pressure water at Stephen. It was cold. An icy blast swathed his prickly skin, gouging at his eyes, forcing its vicious itinerary down his open throat. His entire skin slapped by glacial fluid. When it stopped he sat slumped and coughing.
‘Please stop Jessica. I love you, I promise I love you, you can stop now.’ Each word separated by a screeching inhalation. Jessica smiled, knelt before him and kissed him softly before pulling a syringe out of her kimono and injecting him again. Within seconds he felt his heart slow and his eyes get heavy as he drifted away from her smiling wet face.
The white curtains flapped in the breeze as the sounds of children playing in the street filled the empty room with the anthem to every movies idyllic summer. Jessica bent down in front of him, a cream and red floral dress hovering an inch from the floor revealing the white sole of her pumps, in a graceful motion she placed her bags on the floor of her new home. The cool air hummed and throbbed with the fragrance of jasmine and camomile, Stephen smiled, this was definitely home. A million miles from the smoggy fug of London, South Carolina hugged his inner child softly greeting him, welcoming him into the arms of the fabled American dream. Jessica grabbed his hand and led him to the door of the cellar just beyond the kitchen and led him buoyantly down the steps. It was empty save a single solitary brown chair that reminded him of his school stools. It had obviously seen better days; its thin back had a large crack…its thin back had a large crack…its thin back had….
Stephen snapped awake, the last few days had been brutal. A series of injections and rapes, punches and medicated persuasions to make him love her again and again and over again had drained him of so much blood. Hoses, nails, a fish slice for God sake, even the kitchen utensils had a place in the hellish foreplay, he was emaciated fed only soup and made to swallow dry bread. His torso covered with scratches, holes and wounds of various indescribable shapes and sizes, all itching or pulsing with pain. He remembered the memory from his haze. The chair has a large crack on its thin back. He looked towards the door, it was pitch black. Was it the middle of the night? Was she out? It was deadly silent, no music playing, not even the drip of a tap to be heard. He began rocking gently to and fro; the clack of wood against stone echoed and amplified in the stone room stopped him abruptly. Frightened his eyes waited for the light on the door to snap on and bring his tormentor down the steps to him fresh with more supplies to increase his pain and her libido. Not a sound, no light, no movement; Stephen exhaled and resolved to escape.
As he threw his body backwards the chair toppled and the back smashed completely, as did the rear legs. Manipulating his body swiftly he managed to lift the remaining legs, still tied to his ankles. The splintered wood dug into his Achilles tendon as he pulled the wood free. Stephen clenched his teeth against the pain. Flicking sweat from his eyes with a deft shake of his head suddenly, gave him a vivid sense of vertigo, a swirling dizzy sensation swimming around him in the opaque black atmosphere. He could taste salt and metal as blood mixed with sweat at the back of his mouth. He lay panting a few minutes before he could move his legs through his arms like an awkward skipping rope and finally begin to stand for the first time, arms in front for the first time, and a plan for the first blessed, saccharine sweet time. Limping brusquely to the stairs, he began a pained ascension towards the yellow rectangle of light. When did that come on? It was dark? What is that silhouette hurtling forward toward Stephen? What is she brandishing?
Stephen curled into a ball and lurched forward to protect himself, but a strange thing happened. Jessica released a strangled yelp and toppled over him. A series of dull thuds complete with a retorting crack echoed up towards his ears. The pain in his body began to subside as the blackness came again.
He had loved he was sure of it. He craved her body.
Lights and bleeps faded in, men with green masks. A large clear bag with tubes going somewhere.
Her breath warm against his back as they lay beside the pool in Barcelona, the smell of chlorine rising from the never ending pool.
A room with a mirror, a screaming Policeman. Something about throwing your Wife down the cellar steps. Bonds, marks and cuts on her body. Recent sign of penetrative sex, Stephens DNA. A sense of confusion mars Stephen’s mind.
Twirling at their wedding, dancing to that song they loved. They kissed eagerly and passionately. They looked deep into each other’s eyes knowing that this would be forever, this marriage, and this woman.
...”Will commence again tomorrow at 0900 hours for sentencing” The words sounded as though from a distance, the evidence was damning. His sex games gone wrong, the constant torture he had put Jessica through, his scars insignificant to the murder he had committed. The prosecution lawyer had been so convincing that Stephen nearly began to believe that his wounds were self-inflicted, he was an adrenaline junky and a sexual deviant. No matter how much he shouted and pleaded the jury were oblivious to his words.
Her naked frame rising and falling as he was strapped to the chair, sticking her nail into the palm of his hand.
”We will have old sparky all juiced up for him tomorrow morning.” The man in the strange blue suit grinned his familiar toothless grin.
Swimming in the ocean with Jessica, letting the salt water soothe…
A long black corridor…
A curtain opens and Jessica’s parents crying behind glass
Singing to Stephen's guitar…
“As I walk in through the valley of the…”
The chair with the crack in…
The hooded man with his hands on the lever…
Stephen was a boy again. Stephen was an adolescent. Stephen met Jessica. Stephen holds Cadence. Stephen walks through South Carolina. Stephen meets a familiar Goth. The hose. The Nail. The Music. The sex. The dark. The court. The priest. BLACK
Cadence left the visiting area of the prison for the last time, holding the hands of a small chestnut haired boy, tears trickling down her porcelain face, sliding off her chin and into the wind. She kept her head high so that her son could not see her weeping. Jake Freeman was a quiet boy, very bright, but took everything to heart. He couldn’t bear to see his mother crying, he barely understood that his father was going to die for a crime he didn’t commit. Jake was eight years old now, all his life his father had been in prison for the murder of his wife. For years he sat and watched as his mother tried to piece together futile appeal after ineffectual appeal so that he could come back and be a proper father, a real family. He had often spoken to his father, through the clear plastic dividers at the prison, he never understood, until now, the ironic wisecrack his dad proffered every visiting time.
‘It started with a chair Jake, and with a chair it will all end’