Chapter Eight: Possibly a Pure One?
Simin was at John’s desk bright and early.
“How’d it go last night? Did you get to taste the tartness of the Lemon Witch?”
John looked up at Simin with a grin, “You’re a meddling detective, Simin.”
“A detective’s job is to meddle. Did you give her a good night kiss?”
“I gave her some nunya,” he said.
“What’s nunya? Some witchcraft?”
“That’s the prefix for nunya business. Let’s just say it didn’t go bad.”
“I’m a female detective. I have to know all of your juicy details,” Simin said.
“I can tell you about Ogre Mom at Eduardo’s, but that’s about it.”
“I read last night’s blotter of the incident. A Brecken Miller was crying like a little baby yelling for forgiveness to his mother with a broken arm. I figured with the strangeness of the report, you two went for Italian last night. What did Anezka do?” Simin asked.
“Oh nothing, just manifested Brecken’s greatest fear of his mom as an ogre after he slapped his girlfriend. She broke his arm, and disappeared. A typical night with Misses Kranz, that’s all,” John said.
“I know she confirmed she could do that when I saw it on the news, but you were actually there. And you’re not freaked out about talking to a woman who can keep you in line by doing that to you?”
“That gift is involuntary in a defensive situation, and she can do it at will when you make her mad. I’ll never hit her or make her angry with me, so no, I’m not nervous. If I get my arm broke, it’s my fault,” he said.
Simin began to shake her pointing finger at him. “You like her, don’t deny it, John. You really like her. I already know you kissed her by your defensive admiration for her.”
“You’re assuming, Simin. That’s bad for a detective, remember?” he asked by hitting his point with a heat seeker.
“You’re going to use that against me because I told you not to assume. I can’t contest you, but I can mess with you. Since you told me not to assume, I‘ll call Anezka to confirm my speculations. We’re still friends, John. I’ll find out my details weather you like it or not.”
John just looked at her. ”The S.O.P. states not to fraternize with your co-workers, but I guess it doesn’t say anything about dealing with a prying co-worker. Just remember, Simin, I can still shoot.”
“I used to live in a little town called Qom where everybody knew everybody. Kind of like your Mayberry over here. Getting into another’s business was my business since I was little. I can’t help it so don’t try to change one of my inherent traits. Don’t worry, I use my powers for good.” She smiled at him.
“Yeah, like a toddler with a rocket launcher. Just don’t shoot yourself,” he said.
She put her finger to her nose, and left for her desk.
Marvin captured another couple. It was a young man with his date. They were on gallows over monitored pits with nooses around their necks. Marvin had placed sacks over ther heads.
They were about to go out on a date, and Marvin was behind their car. When they walked out of the house, and went to get in the vehicle, Penelope Prissy jumped out, and shocked them both with a stun gun.
The two awakened standing with sacks on their heads strapped to emergency stretchers. All they heard was the ominous dripping, and smelled the mildew in the air.
“Rob? Are you here?!” the woman asked in a panic.
“I’m right here, Shell, wherever here is!” Rob yelled through his sack.
That was Marvin’s cue to show them where ‘here’ was. He came to the main room, unstrapped them both from the stretchers, and took off their sacks. He said nothing, and went back to the other room. He began to talk through the speaker.
“You are in a precarious position. You and your mate are in gallows. Underneath you are rabid rats in a pit that can jump higher than you will hang by your neck if you do not execute. If you look above your head, there is an aquarium filled with poisonous insects. Black widows, scorpions, malaria infected mosquitoes, and for pains sake, African fire ants. If you look up, you can see them crawling in the aquarium. You have an executioner’s lever in front of our unbound hand. If you pull it, you drop all of those poisonous insects on your partner’s head, saving you from a certain painful hanging with excruciating rat bites before you die. You have two minutes to execute this action when the siren sounds.”
Rob was surprised he was in this with Shelly. She was just something to do for the time being. He was nowhere near in love with her. He was going to dump her within a week anyway. She was boring to him, and going with her to fabric shops didn’t help.
“Why are we here, Rob?!” Shelly desperately asked him.
“I have no idea, Shell. We were walking to the car for a fun night out, got shocked, and wound up here,” he said.
“Do you have your cell? Mine is gone.”
“Same here. This truly sucks.”
“Do you think this is all bull? I mean who goes through all these lengths for a couple of strangers?!” she asked with that same bewilderment.
“I don’t think any of my friends would go this far, and my ex’s are too stupid to pull this off,” Rob said.
“After a year, I finally got what I wanted, and now we are in the ultimate unwinnable test,” Shelly stated.
The horn blared.
“One minute, fifty eight seconds. Pull your lever to poison your partner,” the menacing electronic voice said.
Rob decided this wasn’t a test he wanted to take. He had pop quizzes in college he wasn’t prepared for, and he didn’t like those either.
“Sorry, Shell. No hard feelings, but it’s either my life or yours, and you’re not important enough for me to die over you.” He pulled his lever.
The aquarium above Shelly tipped in a deadly angle. Shelly closed her eyes, and screamed. Instead of those ravenous insects crawling all over her, biting, pinching, and stinging, water doused her. It was a magic trick so that you could perceive the poisonous insects. There was a second aquarium inside of the one with the bugs in it filled with water. She was very wet, but unharmed.
Marvin walked in the room with a remote device in his hand. He walked between the two.
“That didn’t even take the two minutes for your terror. You did it, Robert. You saved your own life. That would have been commendable for you because you followed with the correct choice, but alas, your final statement wasn’t very commendable to Shelly. Was it, Shelly?”
Shelly was spitting out water, and rubbing her eyes.
“I-I thought this would be longer than three weeks, Rob. You threw me away the first chance you got. Although this was life threatening, that was not cool.”
Marvin turned back to Rob, “Not cool indeed, Robert. You have been tainted by the dirt of this nation. You are the type of person I am trying to save the masses from, you are the main problem. If only you didn’t say what you said with quickness. You may not want Shell for a life partner, but she still is a human being which would never pull her lever, would you, Shelly?”
Shelly looked at Rob with anger, “No I wouldn’t, but after what just happened, and what you said, Rob, I wish I would have done it first!”
Rob stammered, “Baby, I knew this was a joke…”
“How?!” Shelly screamed the question. “You didn’t know I would be drenched in water! You thought I would be convulsing, and choking on my own bile while your ass was saved! How could I have been swooning over you for a year when you’d kill me in under two minutes?!”
“At this point, Robert, I think all of your answers wouldn’t hold the water all over Shelly. I would just stop, and realize my arrogance if I were you. This was a test to find a pure individual in your nation. A person to save. You were quick in passing your execution, but also quick in failing your compassion. I’m sorry Robert. Your words will hurt… severely.”
Marvin walked over to Shelly, and gave her the remote device.
“Robert decided your fate quickly. He wanted you agonizing in burning pain just to save his own life. He did it with no remorse or respect for you. He just discarded your life for his, and told you how much he cared for you before he did it. Now you have the power. The button on that remote releases Robert’s door to his gallows. He will hang until he’s dead, but not before receiving rabid bites from crazy rats. This one’s up to you. If your acrimony is justified by pushing that button, push it.”
Shelly contemplated what she was going to do. Rob looked at her thinking.
“Aw come on, Shell! You won’t push that button! You can’t push that button! That would be murder!”
Marvin interjected, “murder is the label the authorities give you. I have been doing this for a while, and the authorities have no clue about this place so they can’t label you if they won’t know of you. Pushing that button would be justice. Again, it’s up to you. Robert will die anyway. The reason I do not get caught is because I do not waiver from my intention, and my cause sates I kill you both if I can’t find a true person in this scenario. If you do not execute this task then you are not true, and will have to be killed along with Robert. You have two minutes to push the button. If not, I will have to continue my cause.”
Rob became desperate about Shelly’s reasoning.
“Think about this, Shell! You’re not a killer!”
“Penelope said you were going to die anyway. You pulled your lever for survival. I guess now the shoe is on the other foot, Rob. I have to push the button to save my own life. The one you thought wasn’t as important as yours. I’m thinking, and I think I’m saving my life, you arrogant bastard!” she screamed, and pressed the button.
Rob’s floor gave way, and Rob plummeted deeper into the rat pit with the rope halting his downward progress by tightening on his neck strangling him! The rats were alerted by the sudden sound of the violent action, and hungrily jumped on Rob’s legs. They began to painfully chew at his calves, and thighs through his jeans. He tried to tighten his neck to stop the strangling rope, but his body weight, and those ravenous rats disrupted his concentration. As he gagged while trying to keep his neck flexed, the rats continued their feast on his legs while others climbed to his face, and went for his juicy eyes.
Once the rats punctured his eyes through his scrunched lids, the pain made him give out. He finally released into dark oblivion.
Both Marvin, and Shelly witnessed Rob’s heinous death. Shelly was terrified while Marvin was smiling. They saw his death through monitors placed behind his gallows. Shelly didn’t realize she had her own monitors behind her gallows. Marvin wanted to enhance the horror of one of them by having them watch what was going to happen to them directly after the other was hanged. That plan was augmented by Shelly. Shelly probably wouldn’t have pulled her lever so actually Rob augmented Marvin’s actions.
In Marvin’s mind, he wasn’t psychotic, he was a vindicator. Shelly completed her task, so he had to return her.
“You did what you were supposed to do, Shelly. I will not kill you, and no one will know you killed Robert. After you have been cleaned with bleach, and you clothing washed with industrial detergent, I will return you to your house. I will see your nakedness when I wash you. I will alleviate your awkward nervousness for that action in a minute.”
Marvin went upstairs leaving Shelly with her guilt. She had never wanted to make a life decision for another. She just wanted to go to the movies with her boyfriend that evening. Her predicament hadn’t sank in yet. This situation, no matter how terrifying it was, opened her eyes to being so wanton to a guy who really didn’t care about her.
Marvin came back with the stun gun.
“We can do this one of two ways. I will wash you without any lust, but you will be naked. I can either tase you now so you won’t witness your perceived disgust, or I can tase you after I clean you. Either way, you will be shocked unconscious, and drugged. Pick your time, Shelly.”
Shelly knew Penelope was serious about the shock. She knew it would be coming, and she also knew she didn’t want to see his hands over her body. He was right. That would’ve been disgusting to her.
“You better hit me now, Penelope. I just killed my selfish ex-boyfriend. I don’t think I could handle you washing me,” Shelly said.
“Maybe you’ll get over your nervousness one day, Shelly, but for now, I understand.”
Marvin fired the needles into her chest. She felt the intense burning sensation, and passed out.