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| There Ain't No Justice |
| #85 |
Live and Let Die
- by Arifel -
`Fantasy is the ultimate reality, to which we all
retreat at some stage.'
- Black Rose, from the
`I can already tell that it's going to be a
characteristically useless, senseless death,
but then I'm used to the horror. It seems
distilled, even now it fails to upset or bother me.'
- Brett Easton Ellis, from
We, personally, are usually quite content to live and let live; if
a total stranger came up to us on the street and tried to pick a
fight, we'd more than likely try to ignore or avoid him, cross the
street. But this had been going on for almost four years, now! He
wanted us to stop seeing his ex-girlfriend; we did so, and yet he
still subjected us to harassment, phone calls late at night,
following us, calling bulleting boards that we called and filing
copies of messages we'd written (we knew he did this, because some of
them later appeared in affidavits). He was obviously some kind of
Even though we'd never met him in the flesh, we knew him, possibly
better than he would have liked. Something else he wouldn't have
liked is just how linear, how predictable he appeared to us. Knowing
him this way, we decided rather than go out and find him, we'd lay a
trap for him, have him come to us. It wasn't hard; we simply parked
the car a few streets away, went back to the flat, turned all the
lights off and waited. He came by our flat regularly, and if he saw
that no-one was home, he would try to break in and steal any
documents he saw lying around. We knew that he'd broken in once
before and had stolen the phone-number file from our terminal
program, along with the passwords to the local systems we called. It
might take a few days, but he would pay us a visit. He couldn't help
We were sitting in a corner of the bedroom, out of view of the
window, the blinds raised slightly to expose twenty centimetres of
evening sky. We'd been sitting here for three days, listening, not
answering the phone, not sleeping, visiting the toilet to eliminate
liquids every thirty hours or so. No lights were on, no sign that
anyone had been home for some time, and we were beginning to wonder
if he was going to disappoint us just as a faint scratching sound
came from the window-ledge. It stopped, and came back louder a few
seconds later, followed by a pinging sound as he filed through the
hinge. The window half-fell in, and seconds later a tall, thin
figure eased in silently, pointing a pencil-torch beam around the
room. The light passed right over us, huddled inside what we called
our Someone Else's Problem field; he didn't see a thing. He stalked
out of the room, the light darting about, and silently, we rose from
where we crouched and followed him, a six-inch length of broom-handle
in one hand. It was connected to a similar piece of wood in our
other hand by a low E acoustic guitar string, a metal-wound piece of
nylon about a millimetre thick.
We followed him into the kitchen, one step behind him; he bent down
to pick up a sheet of paper, and when he straightened, we slipped a
loop of guitar string over his head, down around his neck and pulled
back hard, our knee in his back. He threw himself backwards
violently, pushing us up against the kitchen door; thrashed about,
trying to kick us in the shins, but bent over backwards over our knee
as he was, he couldn't quite reach. His hands tugged at the wire as
it bit into his throat, no sound coming from him, his head moving
from side to side; he slipped down to his knees, and our knee was
pushing between his shoulderblades when he slumped down. He had been
without oxygen for little more than a minute; we waited, the broom-
handles pulled back behind his ears and sure enough, almost two
minutes later, he gave another violent shove, as if realising that we
wouldn't fall for his playing possum. We waited for another six
minutes and decided it was safe to release the wire only after his
bladder released. He dropped to the kitchen floor with a hollow
Feeling his neck, we detected a very faint pulse, so we turned him
over and wrapped the guitar-string tightly around his wrists, binding
his hands together. We lifted him off the floor by his hands, his
arms bending back at the shoulders with sufficient pain to revive him
slightly, a weak, wet cough signalling the restarting of his
interrupted respiratory cycle. We lifted and dropped a him few
centimetres, making him squawk with pain. Before he recovered
sufficiently to start kicking again, we tied his shoelaces together
then dragged him into the bathroom and dropped him, face up, in the
tub, sprawled awkwardly on his bound hands. We lit a candle that
stood on the sink and regarded him as he slowly worked his way back
to full consciousness.
`You can scream as much as you like. No-one is going to hear you.'
we remarked, the unemotional rasp in our voice making us think of
Hannibal Lector and Patrick Bateman, of John Wayne Gacy and Ed Gein;
then we remembered that we didn't do this for fun. It was more like
debugging a program. We weren't restraining this person because we
got off on that sort of thing; we were correcting a social error. He
gulped, cleared his throat, licked his dry lips then croaked,
`You won't get away with this.' We inclined our head slightly, and
`Possibly. But by the time we're finished with you, it won't make
any difference.' We reached up, found the razor that was sitting
next to the candle, swung it open, lifted his head up by his long
hair and, no anger, no memory of the way he'd made a mess of our
life, no recollection of the emotional anguish he'd caused, we
reached down with the intention of carving a deep V in the front of
his throat. Something stopped our hand bare millimetres from his
slowly pulsing jugular. We felt that strange body-within-our-own
feeling that we ordinarily associated with out of body experiences;
one of the others wanted control. After a brief moment's reflection,
we allowed it; surprisingly, it was one of the quiet, normally
reticent female segments. She put the razor back, her hand shaking
with repressed rage, and went to the bedroom. She came back with an
armful of devices from our `toy-box', but she stopped short, as
another of the collective requested control and gained it. This one
was more direct; not bothering with the cattle-prod, it found an old
electric shaver cable, sliced it open with the razor and exposed the
wires. We watched idly as our hands plugged the cable in, turned it
on and brushed it against his neck. The reaction was extreme; he
bucked and screamed, almost throwing his bound body out of the tub.
We felt the muscles in our face arrange themselves in a tight, rigid
smile, and our hand jabbed the wires at him again and again, playing
him like a fish, briefly experimenting with sending jolts of
electricity through the wet patch in the crotch of his pants, which
lent a shrill kind of desperation to his screams. Our hands turned
the power off and tugged at the ends of the wires, pulling the
plastic-coated strands apart until there was about a metre of give
between the ends. The power was switched back on and we spend an
entertaining ten minutes running current between his crotch and his
mouth, touching the wires to his shaking body in rhythms, jerking him
into the air and allowing him to almost relax before hitting him
again. Towards the end, he was held there, back arched like a
bridge, the current bending him over backwards in tight spasms. He
grunted as we released him, and this sound triggered something deep
inside us; another portion surged to the fore and took control,
laying down the wires and fetching a tape recorder. We examined the
cassette, labelled `Throbbing Gristle: Mission of Dead Souls', wadded
some tissue paper and stuffed it into the no-recording tab. We
propped the machine up on the sink, picked up the wires and a soft,
feminine voice spoke from our mouth:
`Scream for me.' The wires went up his nose and he howled like a
demon. A few minutes of this was enough; when he'd run out of breath
to scream, we stopped the tape. We could sample those sounds, later;
maybe even include them in a MOD file.
Enough playing. Resuming control, we retrieved the razor and with
one motion, opened up his throat. He bucked like someone undergoing
electroshock therapy, his blood - black in the half-light - spraying
over his shirt. We let his drop back into the bath; he choked,
gurgled and made bubbles for almost two minutes. We believed that he
was till alive when we turned the light on and began slicing his
clothes off in long strips. The bloodstained clothing went into a
grabage bag; his watch, wallet and pouch of house-breaking tools went
into the sink. We'd throw them down a drain in the city, later.
Using the straight razor, we hacked slices from his neck until we
reached the vertebra. As the muscles and tendons were severed, his
head flopped from one side to the other, fluids oozing from various
tubes until we could lift his head free of his body, surprisingly
light. We set this aside for later, ignoring random thoughts from
the peanut gallery in the background - `aren't you going to squick
him?' `hey, remember that scene in "American Psycho", where Bateman
stuck his erection up the wind-pipe of the victim's severed head?'
`don't eat his brains - you could catch some terrible disease'...
`Quiet, please.' We murmured, carefully slashing strips of flesh
from his naked body, separating his arms and legs from his torso,
slicing open his stomach and trying to ignore the smell of his
intestines, the result of a vegetarian diet. Working through the
night, we divided him up into dozens of small pieces, the rank fluids
draining into the plug-hole. We fetched a pile of newspapers and
began wrapping the pieces, placing them in garbage bags, half-filling
each one. The morning sunlight was shining through the window as we
washed the last of the blood down the drain and lifted the head up to
the mirror, smiling as we held up the camera and took a photograph.
Seconds later, the camera spat out the photo; we wrapped the head in
newspaper and placed it in a separate bag, well padded with
scrunched-up paper to disguise the shape.
We examined the photo; us and the head, us smiling amiably, he
staring in two different directions, his tongue protruding slightly.
We thought for a second, then unwrapped the head, forced the jaws
open and hacked out the tongue. We wrapped it in cling-wrap, placed
it in a padded postage pouch with the photo, addressed it to a
certain post-office box. She'd know who it was from, and she
wouldn't tell anyone.
We spent the morning driving from one municipal tip to another,
dumping two garbage bags at each. The remains would vanish with the
rest of the rubbish. It was mid-afternoon before we'd finished, and
we could find a public phone box. We consulted a list of phone-
numbers; her number wasn't listed, but could be extracted from the
fifth digit of seven of the numbers on the list. The voice that
answered was faint and hesitant. We put on a cheery air;
`Good afternoon. You can rest easy, now.'
`What do you mean?'
`We killed him.'
`Who?' We laughed.
`You know who. You don't have to worry about him tapping your phone
any more, or about him finding you. He's incapable of harming
anyone... being chopped up and stuck in garbage bags will do that for
a person. Probably'll give him a new perspective on things. Heh.'
`You're kidding. You wouldn't dare.' We allowed that early-morning
Cenobite rasp back into our voice.
`How much would you care to bet on that?'
And there was silence.
. . .
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