“I wish to weep
but sorrow is stupid.
I wish to believe
but belief is a graveyard.”
― Charles Bukowski
Time ticked by. Seconds, minutes or hours, that was a mystery. Hela had woken up from her unconscious slumber, but had never woken up from her nightmare.
Lifeless eyes stared at her, a dead body left at her tied feet. Blood had pooled around Dave’s head and had reached her bare feet. She tried to move away from the cold blood, but her weak attempt only made it worse. Now blood trickled down her ankles, and her feet had turned scarlet. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and waited. She concentrated on the pain in her mouth and the metallic taste of her own blood, but she still saw his body, felt his blood on her skin.
The door creaked open and Nicklaus entered the basement. It smelled of dead bodies and blood. He wrinkled his nose in disgust and ordered his guards to take the dead body away.
Hela did not dare look how they dragged the body away, blood trailing behind him. Instead she stared at Nicklaus. If looks could kill, Nicklaus would’ve choked to death in less than a second.
His steps echoed around the room as he walked towards Hela. “I’ll ask you one last time: Where is the compound?”
Hela said nothing. She did nothing when Nicklaus grabbed her chin and yanked it upwards. She just glared at him with a neutral expression carved on her face.
Nicklaus sighed and let go of her chin. It had left his fingers bloody, but he didn’t mind. His hands would get filthier very soon.
He walked towards a big table at the corner of the room, where countless torture tools of every size and form were displayed. He ran his fingers over them with a smirk on his face. He halted when he reached a whip. Instead of being made of leather, it was made of metal. Four spiked silver strands were connected to a black handle. He carefully raised it from the table, the metallic strips scraping the table.
Hela had never seen such a whip, but knew it would be quite painful. She was ready to endure it. She would never crack. She would die silent if need be.
Nicklaus slowly made his way towards her with a devilish smile plastered on his face. He swung the whip onto the floor, the screeching of the metal strands against the floor piercing the silent room.
He walked behind her and the bindings around her wrists and ankles fell onto the floor with a metallic thud. Before she could do anything, Nicklaus pushed the back of her head forward with such force that Hela collapsed to the bloody floor.
She clenched her now bloodied hands into fists. She was pissed off, alright. Cold blood dripped from her face as she painfully lifted her body.
“No, no,” he tsked, “don’t stand up. Stay on all fours.” Nicklaus towered over her. “Now be a good girl and lick the floor clean. Lick every single drop of blood.”
Hela raised her head slowly and looked up at Nicklaus. His lips were parted into a smirk and you could tell he was enjoying every single second. She would not obey. She had a choice, so she chose.
The whip made contact with Hela’s bare back. A loud crack echoed across the room, like wood breaking. Pain soared through her body, and she felt hot liquid trickle down her back and onto the floor. It was hard not to scream or writhe in pain, but she kept silent.
“I said, lick the blood,” he ordered.
Hela just stared at him, and kept silent.
Whip after whip brought Hela excruciating pain, her grunts and winces growing louder after every whip. Nicklaus continued to smirk, watching how weak she seemed on her knees, slowly bleeding to death. He liked how the snake inked to her back writhed each time the whip snapped against her back.
Soon she will start to scream, he thought.
The blood pool grew as the whipping continued. Hela focused on the blood under her crouched frame, moving slightly after each sudden movement. Hela tried to keep count but after 20, her mind became fuzzy and everything was a blur. All she could feel was pain, all she wanted to do was scream, cry.
Do not scream. Whip. Do not cry. Whip. Do not scream. Whip. Do not cry…
She repeated it as a mantra, until she could no longer form words. Nicklaus’s smirk receded. He wanted to hear her scream, beg him to stop, but nothing came out of her mouth. He snapped the whip harder on her back. Her skin was raw, blood gushing out.
It was difficult to breathe. She started to cough on her own blood. The next lash drove the air out of her and she could only gasp. She began to cough and gasp at the same time and for one terrifying moment she thought she was going to choke on her own blood.
With everything she had left, she lifted her head, blood and saliva drooling from her mouth. Her eyes bore into Nicklaus’ before falling in a pool of blood. She let the darkness consume her, numbing all the pain, bringing her a sense of peace, of emptiness.