In lieu of Halloween, though a day late, here is an excerpt from a novel I’m currently working on. I hope you enjoy.
“‘The kind of character produced in American democratic society cannot be counted on to isolate its citizens from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority.’”
A bloody scream filled the decaying operating room. The peeling walls resounding the yell, and the damp air insulating the pain.
His nerves tingled with pleasure as he shoved the large hook deeper into his victim’s chest. “That came from Stanley Milgram in the early sixties when he did experiments on human obedience. I like that particular statement because it admits that humans won’t save each other from evil when malevolent authority dishes the inhumane treatment.”
Greg Jackson quivered. Sweat covered his face. Blood flowed across his torso. He looked at his captor, eyes pleading for mercy. Then an asthma attack hit, causing him to cough and wheeze. Causing more pain to his punctured chest.
He leaned next to his victim’s ear. “I am that malevolent authority. And you cannot count on anyone to come save you.” He tightened the leather straps on the man’s wrists that kept his arms spread-eagle. Made sure the chains holding the slab, made of two operating tables crudely welded together, were secured on the adjacent walls. “I ask again. Do you know where they’re gathered?”
The helpless man shook his head. He attempted saying no, but the only thing that came out of his mouth was a gush of blood.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that. It was supposed to be no, wasn’t it?” He studied his victim’s eyes. “But I can tell you’re meaning the truth. You honestly don’t know. They never let you in their precious loop, did they? What a pity. For your truth, I can guarantee a quick death. There’s no need to torture an honest man. I value truth, you know. It’s what separates me from the monsters.”
His silent feet carried him to the wrench at the beginning of the metal slab. Oh, how much fun this was. His eyes remained on his target while his hands subconsciously turned the crank. At least he was being merciful.
With his feet locked on the table, Greg’s upper torso stretched with the retracting chain and hook. The weapon grinded through muscle, caught a rib. Strained screams and coughs echoed.
Cranking harder, his visible right eye lit up. His chest tightened with delight. The more his victim yelled, the more he enjoyed himself. This was what he did best. Even if he didn’t consider the barbed hook a means of true torture. Only a more painful death.
The ribs crunched in half, and the hook caught the collar bone.
He was far too into it. He continued cranking harder until the weapon tore all the way through the man’s body. Only seconds before the victim bled to death. The one who relished in others’ anguish sighed. Nobody held up like they used to. He cocked his head, studying the dead. “I did say you couldn’t rely on anyone to save you. But anyways,” he strolled to the door, motioning to the slab. “There’s your feast.”
Three shadows gliding along the wall came alive and submerged the body in darkness.
He left them to their spoils, hanging a sharp left out of the room. Continued down the hall without falter. “I know you’re there. You can stop wasting your time trying to scare me. You know that never works.”
A fourth shadow emerged from the hall behind him and took a physical form. Caught up to the human. “He’s been visited.”
“Oh? By someone intriguing, I presume. Since you’re here.”
Shadowy fangs emerged. “Yes. By the Messenger.”
Here he paused. “Again?” He took a moment to mull it over. “Have they made contact?”
“No. The Messenger simply scoped out the place. But it is apparent he’ll make contact upon the next night.”
“That is interesting. Return to your post and see what plays out.” His eye narrowed as confident steps carried him onward. “I’ll see what needs to be done about this…unfortunate development.”