“I’m going to ask you again, where is she?”

The thrall in front of me calls himself Mitchell. He’s been coming through and beating me every day, every hour? I’m not sure how much time has passed. I can’t see the sun, sometimes the light flickers on and off. Occasionally a woman named Meagan will come and hook me up to an IV, probably to keep me alive. Mitchell comes more frequently, he beats me, asks where Destiny is. I don’t give him an answer, because I don’t know. I’m not sure if they’re coming multiple times in the same night, or I’m just going insane. They’d probably like if II went insane, a savage animal to use as they please.

“Man, I keep telling you, I don’t know anything.”

“You know, the next guy they send in isn’t going to be as nice as I am. I just hit you because it’s my job. I don’t get any joy from it.”

“Then get a new job,” there’s no reason to be cordial with him.

“That’s funny. You wouldn’t understand all the things this family has done for me. That’s why I do this even though I dislike it.”

“You had choices.”

Mitchell runs removes the leather gloves he had been wearing and runs his hands through his hair before leaning against the wall. He checks his cell phone and seems to be pondering for a while without speaking or even looking at me.

“You’re right,” he finally speaks and puts his phone into his pocket. “We all have choices. My choices led me here the same as yours did. You can pretend to be better than me, more righteous. Yet, my choices let me feed my family and your choices have you strapped to a chair being beaten every day, sometimes more than once a day. You should just tell me where this woman is at. I’ll let you go when I have the answers, you’re just a pawn. Cathy is coming in next and she’s only in it for the joy,” he almost seems frightened as he speaks of her.

“I keep telling you, I don’t know where she is.”

“Then I hope you bleed out quickly. Try to bite through your tongue, it’ll be hard but pretend it’s a carrot,” Mitchell shakes his head as he exits.

Nobody comes to interrogate me for a while, at least it seems like that. I can’t seem to do anything but fight against my own thoughts of mortality and sleep, no pass out. Megan comes in with the IV four more times, but Mitchell doesn’t come again. Have I been here four days? No, an IV is used for extreme cases, they wouldn’t need to use it every day. Are they just trying to mess with my mind?

The door opens fully and I get my first glimpse of sunlight, bright enough that it almost blinds me. The light above me turns on and the door closes. In front of me stands a little old lady, white hair, wrinkled pale white skin, a floral dress with a pink shawl. This is someone’s grandmother. This can’t be the Cathy that Mitchell had spoken of with such fear. Suddenly in front of this little old lady I’m aware of the fact that I’ve been forced to use the bathroom in my pants for however long I’ve been here. I probably smell terrible and look just as bad.  

“I don’t know where she is,” I say to her.

“I didn’t ask,” she swiftly removes a knife and cuts along my forearm.


“1 of 1001 cuts. I’ve never gotten past 873. I hope we can break the record today.”


“Don’t bleed out.”

All I can do is sit helplessly as she cuts away the remains of my battle worn clothing. Soon I’m sitting in just my soiled underwear, at least she allowed me some decency. As she starts to make cut after cut I can’t do anything but scream. I try not to scream as these are no deeper than papercuts, each one only bleeding slightly as she cuts randomly. Cut 19 is the one that forces me to yell as she slices between my big toe and second toe a deeper cut.

“You don’t bleed very much. This isn’t going to be fun for me.”

“It’s no theme park for me either.”

“Do you know what a Lycan Autopsy is,” she asks as she digs in her bag.

“I take it you’re going to cut me again.”

“Yes, then I’m going to have a look around inside you, and sew you back up, all while you watch.”

I don’t have a chance to respond before she jams a knife into my stomach. I star to scream, and she only drags the knife further. My flesh peeling back from the white fat is enough to make me vomit. I dry heave as she laughs knowing there’s nothing there. Slowly she saws back and forth at the muscle. I almost pass out from the pain, and she shocks me with her hands. The quick jolt of magic keeps me awake through the process. Soon elastic tendons start to burn as they shrink back into my body.  

She starts to poke through and toy with my intestines. The heap of blood and flesh covering my stomach, her laugh, the muscle shrinking I can’t take it. I promised myself I’d hold out until I got my chance to kill Justin, but I can’t do it. I bite down on my tongue, but my teeth won’t go through. I bite harder, I can taste the blood, but it stops me from going further. I mimic her sawing motion, using my teeth to saw through my tongue.

“329, 330,” the old lady counts.

“What the hell,” I’m back in the shack, torso featuring some new cuts but no autopsy.

“You woke up? Most people just die in there, but you got through the illusion?”

“What illusion?”

“Magic, I put you in a little world of my own making. I’m impressed.”

I try to regain my composure, but the fresh cuts aren’t allowing me to think straight. Why am I trying to think straight? Nothing about this situation is straight. Why did she stop cutting me? I need to get out of here. I’ve lost some weight but I don’t think the straps are loose enough. Maybe if I can sweat enough to slide out. I only need one arm free.

“I have a reward for you,” she comes back with a large black bottle.

“I don’t need a reward.”

“Since you like hanging out with vampires, I thought I’d give you a taste of their life.”

She holds the bottle to my lips, but I don’t open my mouth. I can tell from the smell; the bottle is filled with blood. She squeezes my cheeks and forces the bottle in. I don’t swallow, but she holds my nose. With an extra shock to my jaw, I’m forced to swallow. The blood doesn’t stay down long as soon as she moves the bottle I vomit. I’m not a vampire, I don’t love the taste of blood. At least it doesn’t burn like regular vomit when it comes back up.

“Well, we’re just going to have to try again,” she pulls a second bottle from her bag.

“I don’t know where Destiny is.”

“I told you, I didn’t ask.”

The second bottle doesn’t go down any easier than the first, nor does the third. I consider biting my tongue again, really killing myself this time. But she doesn’t go for a fourth bottle. Instead, she stares at me in amusement.  

“Well, you don’t bleed enough so cutting you is boring, you broke out of my illusion, and you really can’t stomach blood. I’m going to have to find something more creative for you. Unfortunately, my time is up, but I’ll be back the next day, and the next day,” she gleefully smiles as I start to pass out again.


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