village press

A Maniac Scattering

Catherine Lebrun felt pain before she heard distant voices, whispering, echoing somewhere behind her in the room. Movement was impossible; arm and leg restraints cut deep into her flesh, a broad leather strap held her head down. That alone would have been enough, but she knew the butterfly valve leaching pethidine into her veins had already robbed her of the ability to move.
At the foot of the bed, an Arab boy swam into view through the mist blurring her vision. He smiled, fastidiously picking his teeth with a cocktail stick. Seconds later, deep, sickening pain arced Catherine’s body as he drove the stick under her big toenail. Another smile, and he repeated the punishment on her other foot.
Despite the pethidine, Catherine tried to scream, failed. As the pain rose again, she lost control of her bladder, biting back bitter tears.
A second, olive skinned, face joined the Arab.
“ Catherine...don’t cry so. Youssuf will leave us now.”
The boy vanished, the pain remained.
“ Fat Man popped today Catherine. You know what that means don’t you? Oh so bright...oh so pretty...oh so many dead. And all your fault Catherine. Do tell us what we need to know, and the killing stops.

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