Dark Valley

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chapter 10



Calmness. Must stay calm. The stakes had been raised now and the emotional distance was no longer there. Now we were personal. He had taken my wife. I watched as he had grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the back of the car. He was not a big man but he was clearly far more powerful than she was. He seemed effortless in his movement and yet she was struggling wildly. He had swung round and grabbed her by the throat as she had bent down to help him in the road. With smooth fluidity he had got to his feet and grasped her with his right hand by the hair. She was a rag doll flailing weakly in his grasp. He strode to the passenger side of the car. Her struggles were ineffectual as he opened the back door to push her. He released her for a second as she stood in the angle between the door and the body of the car.

I willed her to run, to do something, to take the fight to him. To kick him in the bollocks. Almost as I willed her to she swung her right hand and punched him square in the face. I saw his head rock back and I hoped she would be able to escape in the second that he would be dazed. So fast he hit her back. He punched her once with his left hand. A short straight punch that struck her straight on the point of the chin. My vision seemed to slow down as I watched her legs straighten then collapse as they refused to take her weight. The punch had knocked her unconscious. As she started to fall forward he stepped towards her and caught her in his arms. She was limp and could no longer resist. My heart sank as he stepped forwards and put her into the back seat of the car. He pushed her across the seat and then folded up her long and shapely legs to get her into the back of the car.

He calmly walked to the driver’s door and got in. He sat in the driver’s seat and adjusted the mirror. The man was so calm and collected he moved the seat back.

I considered the rifle. I took the range finder from my pocket and checked the range to the car. Five hundred and sixty seven yards, a very long way. I took my phone from my pocket and programmed the range into the ballistics calculator. The bullet would drop a little over nine feet and take nearly a second to reach him. The bullet would still have plenty of energy to kill him cleanly but I could not take the risk. I felt desperate but remained calm. I couldn’t panic and take a risk. I could easily kill her by mistake if I was not careful with a misplaced shot or if she suddenly sat up whilst the bullet was on its way to its mark.

The car started to move. Slowly it edged round the corner and out of sight. My stomach turned over and dread washed over me in a wave. If he took her away I would have no way to follow. I picked up my gear and ran back to the house. Once inside I put the rifle on the table in the kitchen and put my HTC one phone beside it. I opened the GPS tracking app that we had both downloaded the day before. The signal was weak and it took long seconds to connect to the satellite. Whilst I waited for the app to open I took off my jacket and wiped my face on a tea towel, I left long streaks of camouflage cream on the tea towel as I dropped it on the floor where it lay, thrown down.

I must stay calm. I need to track her and then find a way to get her back safely. I took a large glass of water. The dehydration would be stop me performing if I didn’t drink. I put my hunting knife on my belt.

The app had opened and it indicated that she was at Janus and Ivy’s house.

SMS Conversation

Me: let her go

Jan: she is mine

Me: I am coming for you

Jan: She will be dead when you get here

I planned the best way to get to his house. I could not go straight up the track. He would be watching that and would watch me come along that track long before I would have a chance to get on terms with him. I could not go directly down the field and across the river and through his yard. He would also be waiting for me to take that route. I needed a way that I would be able to get close enough to see into the windows and hopefully shoot him dead without being seen. There was another way, an unseen way that would take me to the back of his house. I would need to cut round the woods to below the old quarry and take the steep sided route down to the river. It would take longer, but if I wanted a chance to get in position to rescue her this is the route I would need to take.

I started to grow more desperate inside. Time was against me. I knew how long it would take to get the police into situ. I knew she would be dead by then. I had to move quickly to get into the river bed and ready to take the shot.

I started across the flat fields to the back of the house towards the old mine workings so I could drop down into the valley. The sun beat down upon me as I ran. I had stripped down to t shirt and trousers. I carried the rifle, knife and my pouch with the seven rounds. I covered the ground easily and economically. I was always a strong runner but the years had not been kind to my ankle and whilst the speed and distance were good they were a constant landscape of pain. I ran through it, it built with every step and pounded into my lower leg, each impactive step forcing pain into my shin and into my calf. I knew that the fluid from the joint acted hydraulically and forced its way into my tibia.

The wood line approached quickly. My breathing had evened out and I had got into a comfortable zone. I had planned how I would deal with this in my mind. I would run down the river bed and get myself in a position overlooking the back of Jan’s house. I would put myself into a firing position that overlooked the back. The first time I saw him I would go for the shot. Once I had Fleur out we would discuss how we could clear up the scene we would leave.

My pace had to change as I entered the steep descent into the woods. The sun shine stayed out in the open fields and in the valley there was only shadow. I needed to pick my way carefully through the woodland. One slip and fall and I could be injured or the rifle could be jarred seriously effecting the accuracy. That might prevent me from rescuing her. The paths through the wood that had been cut by deer and sheep followed the natural contours pretty well and I was able to make pretty good ground in the woods. Sweat ran down my face and dripped from my nose and chin onto my t shirt. I started the mental preparations for the shot as I ran. I mentally rehearsed the clicking off of the safety catch and the controlling of the breathing. I pictured, in my mind’s eye, the cross hairs on his chest. I visualised the bullet release and the path it would take on the way through his body. I visualised the bullet expanding, smashing through his spine and blasting an exit hole in his back big enough to put your fist in. Smashed and shredded tissue and bone would be blasted out and spread into a forensic smorgasbord all around where he stood. I was not concentrating on the footing and path way under foot. The descent was hard on my ankle and as I approached the river below I stepped on a small piece of flat stone. It shifted under my weight. I did not fall but I turned my bad ankle, the sharp dagger of pain shot into the joint. I stopped for a second and took a breath. Gingerly I placed my toe on the floor and tried it with some flex and weight. I was quite happy that it withstood both. The pain was excruciating, but I knew it wasn’t broken or too heavily sprained. I would be able to continue. I admonished myself for allowing this to happen.

“Come on, Pol, you know the score. You fuck up- she dies” I said to myself.

I got to the river. The game trail I had run down headed off across the river and up the other side of the valley towards the higher ground.my path lay in the river. There was no running this way. The large uneven rocks were slippery and wet. Every footfall must be accurate and on the spot. I worked my way down the river at a walk. The most part wading down the center of the stream. Occasionally walking on the small beaches of small stones. Before the steps of my heavy combat boot small fish darted, showing their silvery flanks, for the cover of the banks and tree roots. The cold water of the river invaded my boots and combat trousers. The water was refreshing and cleansing as it reached my knees. The cold was a relief to the screaming pain in my ankle.

Doubt started in the back of my mind amongst the pain. Its voice was small and indistinct but present and increasing. It must have been thirty minutes since she was taken. How long does it take to kill a woman? I was scared that I would be too late and that there would be no chance of finding her alive. The voice of doubt grew and became the wail of desperation. I felt it start to build and envelope me. My throat contracted with emotion. I know that if I allow this emotion to creep into my mind and calculations then I would be losing the calm and collected mood that would enable me to execute my plan. It was crucially important that I could contain this and overcome my doubt.

I stopped. Seconds were slipping away from me. They slipped from me and flew straight to his advantage. I was approaching the edge of the wood and my intended shooting point. I needed to be clear and focussed. The wisps of doubt still lingered and I needed them gone so that I can be at my best.

I calmly and slowly took the rifle off my back where it had been stowed during my run. I put the bipod legs down and stood the rifle on the ground beside the stream. The movements were slow, accurate and planned before executing. This was to get my mind back into the mechanical and relaxed state that I needed to be in. I controlled my breathing. Each breath on slowly through my mouth, held for five seconds and slowly out through my nose. This enabled me to control my heart rate and I consciously bought that down to its normal resting state. The calming of my system allowed the adrenaline to start to dissipate. The pain above my kidneys after adrenaline had flushed came and went. I had always had this pain. No one else I knew did. But it was a sign that the adrenaline was leaving my system. With the adrenaline gone I would be able to focus and perform fine motor skills with accuracy. I crouched in the water. Splashed some water over my face and washed the sweat from my face and hair. I didn’t want it to run stinging into my eyes at the crucial moment. I turned back to the rifle on the bank.

As I looked at it a butterfly fluttered down and landed on the scope. It just caught my eye as it rested on the scope. Its wings folded up and closed above its back. It opened its wings and displayed its fabulous beauty. The unreal blue shimmered iridescently and with, with almost, a light of its own. The purple admiral waited for just an instant. He then flew into the woodland leaving the clack and stainless steel rifle on the bank. The rifle possessed its own beauty. A beauty of perfect functionality. Deadly by design and engineered for one purpose only.

I picked it up, opened the bolt and checked the round still sat in the chamber ready for use. I looked over it. It was all in order. I checked the muzzle was clear from any sort of muck or obstruction that could damage the accuracy or cause a dangerous breach explosion. It was ready.

I carried it in my hands. The scope covers were off, a round chambered and the safety catch was on. I started to move forward towards the edge of the woods. The sun had left the valley floor now and the shadows lengthened. My doubts had gone. My mind was clear, I walked carefully and steadily forward. I need not be as cautious as when I was stalking through the woods to hunt him. I knew he was not there. I was still silent and smooth as I slid through the birch and hazel thicket.

The edge of the wood was marked by an old sheep wire fence. I crawled to the fence and was able to see the roofline of the house. I had got my positioning wrong. I would have to close further and cross open ground. This was not what I had planned. There was no cover. I had no form of camouflage. I would not be able to cover that amount of open ground without being compromised. I got over the fence and got on my belly. The open field was easy to crawl on. As I moved forward I could see the house more and more. There was a small ridge in the field and once I crested that I would be able to see it all. Every movement forward revealed more and more. The upstairs windows were now visible. There was a light on in one room, maybe the hall way, and the doors were open through. This let me see that there was no movement in any of the rooms. One of the windows had closed curtains and a still light from within. There was no movement, no silhouette. As my vista changed I was able to see the downstairs windows. I could see straight through the kitchen and into the yard through the front window. Our car was there.

The back door of the Y Dyffryn Tywyll was open. I could see into the house. The lights were off. I checked every room in turn through the scope. I could see no one inside. I decided to give it a few minutes to see if he revealed himself. Because the lights were off in the house the rooms were in shadow. I could not see clearly in. I saw movement in the lounge. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. It was just a shape, just a shimmer of deeper shadow than the shadow that surrounds it.

I slipped the safety catch to the off position and started to work on my breathing. I watched the window and waited for the chance, as I had rehearsed in my mind’s eye. I waited for the second in which I could sent the bullet on its way. There was no more movement. I didn’t see the shadow again.

I heard a door shut in the house. I was close now, there was no mistake someone was in the house. I heard them. Time slipped away, through my fingers. Fleur’s life might be in that time slipping away through my fingers.

I knew it was time to act and do it now. I picked up the rifle and sprinted across the field and to the back of the house. I stood with my back to the wall beside the door. I had done this years and years before in the army. But in them days I would throw a grenade in and then shoot anything in the house still moving. This was different. I had no grenades and the woman I loved was in the house.

Slowly inching movements I looked round the door frame, the kitchen was empty. Controlling my breathing I edged up the door frame and slid into the room, I immediately saw the mat in the hallway was rolled back and could see the cellar door. I was a little surprised, very few of these houses had cellars, they were built on rocky ground ad digging a cellar would be a big undertaking. I stayed low crouched in the shadow for a second or so listening, the house was quiet and still.

I collected my thoughts as I crouched, hidden, in the shadow. I looked around in the kitchen for any clue as to what had happened to Fleur. On the big old oak table I saw a mobile phone. I made my way to it and picked it up in my left hand. It was Fleur’s. She had been here, she might still be in the house somewhere. I placed it back on the table in front of me, exactly where it was.

Looking at the stone floor I could see my wet footprints, he would see them and know I was there. But there was nothing I could do about it. I would have to check the house quickly. I slung the rifle across my shoulder and drew my hunting knife. The five and a half inch Swedish stainless blade was razor sharp. Not an ideal shape as a fighting knife but broad and strong with a wickedly sharp tip it would be more than capable of what I wanted it for. I carried it in my right hand blade down with my wrist bent so that the blade was concealed along the inside of my forearm.

I padded as gently as I could down the hall way, remaining n shadow and keeping low, stopping for a couple of seconds every now and then listening for any movement and sign of activity. I passed the cellar door hatch, keen not to tread on it and allow it to creak, although in previous visits I had walked over it and never even detected the difference under my foot fall. The first room on the right was the dining room, the scene of several very nice meals with the Masons. Always cautious of the stairwell that ran back against the hallway I got silently to the ground and very, very slowly peeped round the door, I only needed a look in there to see that the room was empty. I recontrolled my breathing and carried on my slow and meticulous search of the house.

The next room was the large full width lounge. This room would be more demanding. With the furniture there was a host of hiding places where anyone could hide, behind the sofa, behind the armchair. There was also the fire place tools including a steel poker, logs near the fire place, a dresser with a decanter of fine malt whiskey. All of these weapons could crush my skull and then could spell disaster for me and the end of Fleur. But despite these risks the room was empty. Still there was no sign of anyone. This was like waiting for an explosion you know is on its way. A cursory check of the study and bathroom showed them to be empty.

We had never been upstairs and didn’t know the layout. Unknown dangers lay round every corner in my mind. Each step was taken as stealthily as I could, one creak could compromise me. Upstairs the first two smaller bedrooms were made up as guest rooms, clearly unused for a while. Beds made up nicely and in a sterile non-committal magnolia. The bathroom required a glimpse round the corner.

The last room was over the lounge, this was the master bedroom. This would be the room from which the light was visible. This was the last room of the house. My heart was beating fast, I controlled my breathing, brought down my heart rate and sorted out my thought processes. Keeping my calm and my head clear would be an advantage for me. I reached forward with my left hand, slowly embraced the door handle with my fingers and prepared to open the door. I spread my weight over both feet and flexed my knees ready to spring into fighting action if I needed to. The door latch opened easily and lightly and I stepped through the door and round beside it in a second. I was in the shadow. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to what was in the room.

The king-size bed was covered, not in a bed spread or duvet, but in a black rubber fitted sheet. The furniture was not like bedroom furniture. This wasn’t a bedroom, this was a bondage dungeon. Mounted on the wall were two large steel rings. The rings were high on the wall near the ceiling. Running between and through the rings was a chain the chain hung from each ring by about a foot and each end was a single handcuff. The Handcuffs were not soft lined ones that I expected. They were heavy stainless steel handcuffs. The links of the chain were heavy. On the bare wooden floor there were all sorts of accoutrements for bondage, domination and sado-masochistic sex. The source of light that I had seen from outside was a large flat screen television that was bolted to the center of the wall like a shrine. I looked at the screen for a second. It took me a few seconds to understand what I was seeing portrayed to me. The video was on a loop, maybe twenty seconds long. The same images circulated over and over again. As I started to watch the images it dawned on me that I was not watching a Hollywood or Hammer horror picture.

There was a chair like a dentist’s chair. It was in the middle of the screen in the amphitheater that was created by the stainless tables around the edge of the room. The chair had a clear plastic sheet covering it and reflecting the bright overhead lighting array. It appeared to be a medical room. Maybe a treatment room somewhere. On the chair there was a young woman. Her feet were nearest the camera. She lay naked and exposed. I looked over her skeletal body. Her thighs, no thicker than my bicep met at her hip bones stood sharp and harsh against her skin. Monuments to the woman she wasn’t. On one hip there was a dark red blotch. I had seen this before. This type of wound. The woman was a drug user, a junky. The red blotch was an abscess caused by a broken needle or just constant injections with a dirty, diseased needle. Her breasts lay flat against her ribs, they were flat pouches. The nipples lay flat against them like a patch of discoloured skin. Her shoulders and arms were correspondingly thin and damaged. But her fingernails grabbed my attention, painted red and manicured. In stark contrast to the living decay that hosted them. In her left foot she has a cannula from which a pipe runs to a medical machine nearby. Two figures appear in the picture. Both of them wearing white paper suits, I have seen the scenes of crime officers wear them time after time. Both with hoods and masks. The figures are clearly a man and a woman. As the woman’s white suite pulls tight over her breasts, although she also is small and petite.

I try to drag my eyes away from the screen, but I know I can’t do that. I have to watch the unfolding drama. The woman walks round to behind the woman in the chair. She moves with a sure dexterity and purpose. There is a small trolley beside the top of the chair and on the top of it is an old white enamel kidney bowl. She reaches her hand into the bowl and from the bowl she picks up a long steel tool, like a screwdriver but with a stainless handle. She lifts the eye lid from the bound woman’s eye and places the tip of the tool underneath. The woman in the chair is clearly conscious. Her feet twitch and her jaw moves. The rest of her is heavily restrained with straps. The sound is down, I don’t know if she was calling out. The woman in the suit quickly reaches back into the bowl and pulls out a small hammer. Like a ball peen hammer but stainless all over. With a swift and easy stoke she hits the end of the tool. The impact drives the tool straight into the bound woman’s head. My jaw drops open and I catch my breath I was not ready for that. The woman reaches back into the kidney bowl and grabs another tool. I realise now that they are lobotomy picks. She drives the other pick through the other eye socket of the woman.

I know this is how lobotomies are performed but I did not think they still happened. The bound woman was twitching. She would still be alive. Her frontal lobes disconnected from the remainder of the brain. The woman in the white overalls grasped the tools in each of her hands and paused for a second. She looked into the camera with her ice blue eyes. With both hands the pulled the handles of the lobotomy tools towards her simultaneously. The shafts of the tools pivoted on the eye brows of the restrained woman and at the other end of the shaft the tips swept through the delicate tissues of the brain. The bound woman stiffened her legs. A trickle of dark urine ran from her and off of the plastic covers of the chair as her bladder let go. Her life ran out of her. The two people standing behind her head turned and looked at each other. They pulled their masks off and their hoods down. I recognised them instantly. It was Janus and Ivy. Ivy had killed the woman. The couple closed with each other and kissed deep and hard.

The loop started again.

This is what was going to happen to Fleur. I made my way down through the house. Knife in my hand. There was only one place left in the house to check. I didn’t know if I would be able to open the door to the cellar without making any noise. I suspected if it had been installed by Janus it would be well made, well maintained and oiled. I was less stealthy now. I knew that the race was on and the prize for that race was the life of Fleur. I stopped at the trap door into the cellar.

My finger slid easily under the brass ring to open the door and I slowly lifted it from its housing. He could be right under that door waiting for me to come crashing in knowing that I was coming. Waiting to plunge one of the lobotomy tools into me. The door lifted soundlessly and smoothly. Below me was a flight of recently made concrete steps. White tiled walls extended down each side with flush fitting fluorescent tubes providing strong shadow less light. There was nowhere for me to hide in here. No shadow to spring from and no cover to be had. At the bottom of the stairs stood a door. A simple white gloss painted door with a stainless steel handle. The hinges were not visible. The door opened inwards.

This would be the room on the video. What horrors awaited me in here? I grasped the door handle lightly and gently in my left hand. I knew that the second it was open I would have to explode into the room. I would have to apply all of the power I could to whoever was in there.

I felt the latch open and I sprung into the room the second my feet landed on the floor I darted to the side. The weight of the rifle on my back was no handicap to me. I couched in the corner in a fighting stance. The knife concealed up my right forearm still.

This was the room from the video. Clean white and sterile. The chair was in the center like an altar. The stainless tables to one side and the small stainless trolley carrying the kidney dish stowed to one side. I had expected to find Fleur in here, she was not. Janus was in the far corner from me. He was curled, naked, on the floor in a foetal position. He was muttering to himself. Carefully I moved towards him I skirted the chair and moved so that I would be between him and the kidney dish and it’s all too deadly cargo.

“Where is she?” I asked him.

“We have her” he replied.

“And you can’t have her anymore” he continued.

“Where have you put her?”

“Where she belongs, away from here” then “We have her now, we will cleanse her”

“Janus, tell me where she is right now or I am going to hurt you bad.”

We won’t tell you, we will never tell you”

He remained in the foetal position but he now turned his face to me. His eyes were blood shot and angry, veins stood out on his forehead and spittle dribbled from his mouth. His face was red and distorted I had never seen him like this before.

You can fuck off, you cunt”

As he had curled up and drawn his knees to his chest his balls were visible near his arse. I kicked them, and I kicked them hard with my right foot. The contact was solid. As soon as the kick landed he was on his feet. I expected him to howl with pain but it was as if he was impervious to the smashed testicles.

I am going to kill you now and then I am going to kill your fucking whore”

He leapt towards me but landed cleanly on his bare feet. I stepped to one side as I had seen him launch. He fired a punch out at me which struck high on my cheek bone. The impact sent my ears ringing and the blood ran from the cut he had opened he had hit me hard.

How do you like that, you are going to get much more than that.”

He started to laugh. He was laughing hard as I circled crouched to my right to try to protect the injury. He swung a left handed punch at me and I just managed to ride it across my chin. I dropped down and threw a short straight punch into his right side with my left hand. I felt the wind leave his body with the shot and I was able to back away from him. I expected him to drop to his knee. He didn’t.

She will be crying now, not as much as when I get to her she will be crying then when I fuck her”

“Where is she?” I asked again.

On her way to whores hell, where I am going to send her.”

He rushed towards me and as he did so struck me hard across the face with his right hand. I was going to lose this very soon. He was going to beat me and kill me then kill Fleur.

Like the taste of blood do you? Prick”

I could taste the blood in my mouth. I knew my nose was gone. I could feel the blood running burning into my throat.

He came towards me again. This time I was ready and as he came forward I pivoted on my back foot and as he passed dropped down and for the first time revealed the knife as it flashed across and cut his hamstring tendon on his left leg. Blood ran freely from the gaping wound as he struggled to maintain his feet with his now weak left leg.

I am going to rip your cock off”

“No you won’t, you are going to tell me where she is”

Like fuck”

I moved towards him, low crouched, chin tucked down. I needed him to tell me where she was, I didn’t want to kill him. Using the outside of my left foot I kicked straight across his now weakened left knee. I knew the impact was true as I heard the crunch of the snapping bone. He dropped to the floor. He was still laughing. He showed no pain. His horribly disfigured left leg now lay out to his side. Blood was running from him and pooling all around. I needed him to be alive.

She will be dead now, I won’t go to hell on my own, she will come with me and I can fuck her arse for ever”

I aimed a kick to the point of his chin and hit it firmly but not hard enough to kill him. Hard enough to knock him senseless though.

He slumped back onto the floor. He lay in an ever expanding pool of blood. It was flowing heavily from his broken leg. Maybe the bone had ruptured a major blood vessel in his leg as it had displaced.

He would bleed out quickly as he lay there. I needed him alive. Glancing quickly around I saw the medical machines that I had seen in the horrific video in the house. One of them looked like an old transistor radio but with wires coming from the front. I grabbed the wires and yanked them hard from the machine. The old machine fell to the floor amongst the blood and smashed into shards of old plastic and wires. The white cover splashed with the rapidly congealing crimson paint of Janus’ blood.

I took the flex and made a tourniquet which put around his thigh. I tied it off and using one of the lobotomy tools from the kidney tray I twisted the wire tighter. It tightened into his thigh. The blood stopped. He would lose his lower leg after this. The knee was smashed, the ligaments ripped and the blood supply choked off. But he would be alive.

I thought about his life. It lay balanced in my hands. I could easily and quickly take his life and let him bleed out. If anyone deserved to die, he was the man. I choose to let him live. But I will never let him hurt another person. I planned what I would do to him.

I needed him conscious. I hoped he wasn’t too weak or injured to speak to me now.

I knelt beside him, my knees in his blood. I cupped the back of his neck in my hands.

“Janus, wake up” I tapped his face gently and he started to stir slightly. There was a slight blueing of synopsis around his lips and eyelids. He had lost a lot of blood. I could feel it on my leg. The smell of hot spilt blood was strong in my nostrils, coppery and strong.

“Janus, I need you to wake”. Come on Jan, fuck, I need you awake.

He murmured lightly and it appeared that he was regaining consciousness. The venom seemed to have gone from his face, he looked more like himself.

“God… oh god” he said as he opened his eyes and focused. His pupils sharpened and he saw it was me.

“Pol, Pol I am so sorry”

“Where have you taken Fleur?”

“It was them, it was Erebus and it was Ivy, they have taken her” he quietly said.

“Who is Erebus?” I asked. Was this another accomplice? My heart sank at the prospect of having to fight another person. I was tired and I hurt, my face and body bruised and battered by the recent confrontation with Janus.

“He is me and I am him” replied Janus. “He has taken possession of my soul and he is evil. I can’t keep him out”

“Tell me where they are and I won’t kill you”

“I want you to kill me, I am done with this, the killings, the insanity of it all, Erebus, I am damned – damned to hell now I need you to send me.” He wept as he spoke, emotion thickened his voice and ran deep.

“They have taken her to the treatment room at the hospital”

“Is it in the old part of the building?”

“Yes, now kill me, release me from this” He implored, looking into my eyes.

“There is no heaven, there is no hell. I am not going to release you and absolve you from what you have done. You will pay the price.”

I grabbed him under the arms and lifted him out of the blood. The blood strung between him and the floor. Tendrils of his own death trying to pull him to the floor. He was not heavy but still a struggle to pull him up face to face. He was in pain the leg was bad. I maneuvered round so that I could place him on the chair in the middle of his home made charnel house.

“What are you doing?” He struggled to speak clearly. His leg flopped over the edge of the chair and pulled him down. I thought it would pull him off of the chair. I reached down and grabbed it by the foot and placed it back on the clear plastic foot cover of the chair.

“Sending you to your own hell” I spoke without emotion. I took the two steps through the treacle thick blood to the side and picked up the kidney dish.

I turned back to him and turned him onto his side. There was a dark black angry bruise over his ribs where the earlier punch had impacted. I suspected he would have a few broken. His well-toned body enabled me to easily pick out the lumps of his vertebrae between his erector muscle. I placed the point of the remaining lobotomy tool between two of the spurs of bone and at a forty five degree angle into his spinal cord. I took the small hammer from the tray and with a sharp well aimed knock I was able to drive the pick through the skin, through the layer of muscle, through the tough cartilage of the spinal disc and through the fragile spinal cord. I grasped the handle of the tool and twisted it. No more nerve signals would pass below this point. I had chosen a point below the diaphragm. He would not die of this. I pulled the pick back from his spine and dropped it on the floor. Into the puddle of blood. He had made no sound when this had happened to him. It was as if he had not felt the steel enter him and take away all he had been. A single drop of blood wept from the quarter inch wound.

“When I have finished doing what I have to do I will come and take you to the hospital, I don’t want you to die. I want you to live a long time” I whispered in his ear.

I left the house. I don’t think that I had been in the house for half an hour.

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