Stupid woman. It serves her right for flagging down his car and hanging through the window with her raunchy proposition. He hooked Sarah Maplewood’s wrists and ankles with zip ties and secured them to the corners of the table. From one of the hooks on the wall, he dragged a cloak, slid his arms in the sleeves, flipped up the hood, and tied the sash around his waist.
Granted, it was a bit much.
Looming over the whore, he cocked his head. “Why do you fear me? Is it the blade, cool against your cheek? The evil you think you see in my eyes? Or the way I scooped you off the street where you believed you had the upper-hand? Will you scream for me? Oh, how I love it when they scream.”
“Ahh, thank you.”
Ms. Maplewood thrashed in the restraints, but the altar didn’t budge. Superb construction. If nothing else, the men he’d hired had solid carpentry skills. Shame, really.
“Lemme outta here, you bastard. Help! Can anyone hear me? I’m down here!”
“Good girl. Really belt it out.”
The woman quieted; her lip jutted and quivered.
“Oh.” He faked a pout. “Is that it?”
“Just get it over with already.”
“So you give up? Your life isn’t worth the hassle of trying to talk your way out of a difficult situation? See? This is what’s wrong with the youth of today. Your parents raised you to be self-absorbed and lazy. I’ve got news for you, Ms. Maplewood. No one will hand you the keys to the kingdom. Perhaps this isn’t the time, nor place, but my point is, with every breath you take there’s a miracle waiting to happen. Apply yourself. Convince me why you deserve to live, and I may set you free.”
“How terribly sad.” Shaking his head, he tsked his tongue. “Well, I gave it the ol’ college try.”
Tears washing her face, she cried harder, her words incoherent, inconsolable.
“All right. Shh…it’ll be over soon.” He spun on the blow torch’s gas. A blue flame shot from the tip. When he lowered the flame to her skin, she let out a high-pitched scream that even startled him for a moment. First the chest, then the face. The burns must be precise in order to achieve the correct overall effect. One by one he scorched her skin in spots, deep enough to singe several layers but not so much that he erased her identity. Having her ID’d was crucial so they would know what was coming.
“Please, stop! I’ll do anything you want.”
He chuckled at her ridiculous proposition. Filthy woman. The world was better off without her kind. “Your death is important,” he explained. “You should be thanking me for this wondrous gift.” Again he lowered the torch. This time, to her arms. Not too much. Best to concentrate on areas a few inches apart.
Once Sarah Maplewood passed out from the pain, he was free to create without her thrashing, which made his job so much easier. Her death would kick off the beginning of the end, and it was his duty to do her right.
The stench of burning flesh crawled through his sinuses. Putrid aroma, but a little uncomfortableness was necessary.
There. His mission was almost complete. In a few days, she’d be perfect. Until then, keeping her alive would take a serious commitment on his part. Good thing he was up for the challenge.