The moment he stepped through the door, Diana’s guts went sub-zero. His hair was matted down and wet and he smelled like pencil lead laced with a badly wiped ass.
Today he wore his stupidest grin, the one where he looked mentally challenged (though Diana knew full well he wasn’t), along with dirty jeans that could probably stand up on their own and a Texas Chainsaw Massacre T-shirt.
“Big night tonight,” he said, breathing heavily. Something was wrong with his lungs. He always sounded as if he’d run a mile, even if he’d just been sitting around for hours staring at the TV. She kept hoping it was something fatal, yet here he still was, labored breath expelling tuna and gingivitis in her face.
Diana eyed him coolly.
He lifted a plastic yellow shopping bag.
“It’s double feature night,” he said, chest puffing up.
God, he loved double feature nights.
“I even got popcorn and Mild Duds.”
Diana stared hard into his stupid, anxious face, wishing she could be like one of those people in that movie he loved. She thought it was called Scanners. The one where they could blow your fucking head up with just a thought. Now that was a super power she’d give both legs for. She might even thrown in one of her arms just to know she could splatter his greasy, bowling ball head all over the wall.
His shoulders sagged, the bag dropping onto the coffee table that had more rings than twenty Saturns.
“Don’t you even want to know what they are?”
Diana took a deep breath. “Not particularly.”
“Come on, take a guess.”
“Is it Howard the Cum Stain Kills Himself?”
The smile faltered and his right hand balled into a fist. He hated when she said his name. That she called him a cum stain, not so much. She guessed he was pretty comfortable with his pathetic station in life.
He rushed her, ripping off her panties. She tried to squirm away when he stuck his rough finger inside her, but the duct tape held her down like Satan’s flypaper.
First, he brought his finger close to his eyes, and then he sniffed it, finally popping it in his mouth.
“No, you’re not getting a visit from Aunt Flow,” he said. “So why are you so mean today?”
“Go to hell…Howard.”
Spinning on his heels, he walked to the steel plated door and smashed it with his fists, the new dents pounding over the old. Grunting with each punch, he wore himself out after a spell, collapsing on the ratty couch.
“Milk Duds are your favorite,” he said, huffing and puffing, his face red as a monkey’s ass.
“My favorite is not being tied to this chair and being forced to watch sick movies with you.”
He reached into the bag, took out the box of Milk Duds and tossed them on her lap. His knuckles were bloody and swollen.
“I can’t help that we were made for each other,” he said, looking down at the floor. “I…I found you for a reason.”
Found was stretching things. It was more like stalked and kidnapped. Diana was in no mood to resurrect that argument.
“And since you grew up in the ’80s, I ordered these movies just for you. They came in the mail today.”
Recovering from his anger, Howard took the movies out to show her. They were battered VHS copies of Pieces and The Funhouse.
Not Pieces. No, of all the goddamn movies.
“I even got a kind of waterbed,” he said, running outside like a kid heading under the Christmas tree.
He came back with a red kiddie pool, cute animals shapes plastered all over it.
“I’ll just fill it with some water and throw some plastic bags over it. I know it’s not a real waterbed, but it’ll do just fine.”
Diana was too sick, too tired to speak.
Pieces was the first movie Howard had made her watch. She didn’t know how truly sick his needs were then. They’d only gotten worse over the year she’d been held captive.
He loved the scene with the waterbed.
Diana stared at the pool, barely registering Howard bringing in jugs of water. He’d donned a black trench coat, leather gloves and a fedora.
Howard didn’t just like to watch horror movies.
No, for Howard, they weren’t complete unless he could act out his favorite parts.
Act them out on her.
She’d given up willing herself to die. Her body was in perpetual pain thanks to Howard’s ministrations. All she was to him was a meat puppet, a means to exorcising the twisted compulsions that overtook him when he watched horror movies.
We were made for each other.
If that were true, Diana wanted to meet the bastard that had made her and show him or her a thing or two she learned from Howard and his movies.
He popped the movie into the VCR, the auto tracker working hard against the static image. The tape was in real bad shape. She hoped it was too bad for Howard to see. If he couldn’t see it, he couldn’t replicate it.
“I paid thirty dollars for this piece of shit,” he said, more to himself. The music warbled and the horrible dialogue was hard to make out. Howard got on his knees before the TV and fiddled with the tracking buttons. Unfortunately, he managed to get things better.
“There,” he said, proud of himself. “Milk Dud?”
When she didn’t reply, he popped one in his mouth, along with a heaping handful of popcorn. He chewed with his mouth open, dripping chocolate and popcorn shards on his lap and floor.
“Did you see this in the theater when it came out?” he asked, eyes never leaving the screen. He practically bounced in his chair as the gory movie played on.
She knew what was coming. The cells in her body cried out, a billion tears of anguish.
And there was nothing she could do about it.
The waterbed scene. It was coming.
Her heart raced. It was so hard to swallow. Her vision wavered.
“Almost time,” Howard said.
He grabbed her roughly, cutting the duct tape from around her wrists and ankles. It would be the perfect moment to escape or hit him with something heavy, but her feet and hands were completely numb. He had to hold her up before securing her face down onto the makeshift waterbed.
“You don’t have to do this,” she whispered, mad at herself for letting him see fear.
He patted the back of her head. “You know I do.”
She watched in horror as the woman on the screen was chased by a man wielding a butcher knife. He threw her onto a waterbed and began stabbing. Howard straddled her. She could smell the funk coming off him, hear his wheezing breaths.
The knife felt hot as a poker as it slid into her back.
Diana snapped her jaw shut, refusing to show pain. The scream boiled in her throat.
She braced herself, because she knew what was about to happen.
Howard silently grabbed her hair and jammed the knife in the back of her skull. Diana’s world went white, her ears buzzing as if filled with a thousand bees.
The sharp blade pushed through her mouth, bisecting her tongue, scraping her teeth as it exited her mouth.
Howard grunted and groaned, his hardness grinding against her back. Her blood spilled into the crimson pool. Her mouth was jammed wide open as she choked on the blade.
Die, you bitch, die!
Her body was just like Howard the cum stain. It never listened to her.
“Oh, sorry,” Howard said.
She heard as much as felt the knife slide out of her mouth, squishing as it exited her skull.
Her body went limp, her skewered brain seeking retreat.
So much blood.
The pain was excruciating.
Still, she hadn’t made a sound.
She’d tell him to fuck himself if her mouth hadn’t been split in half. The hinges of her jaw had splintered. She saw chips of her teeth in the pool’s soupy mess.
Diana’s view shifted as Harold lifted her back into the chair and taped her back down.
“You’ll like The Funhouse,” he said, balling the bloody trench coat. “The monster looks really cool. You ever go to a funhouse? I did, once, with my friend Kal. It was kind of corny.”
He blathered on and on until Pieces ended. Twenty minutes into The Funhouse, he fell asleep, snoring loud enough to rattle her bones.
Diana wept only when she knew he couldn’t see her tears.
She could already feel her tongue stitching itself back together. Her head throbbed, tickling as bone started to grow back.
By the morning, she’d be as good as new, only the pain never quite went away. It was just another layer of torment.
Howard would leave her alone for a week. This ‘kill’ always wore him out.
But he’d be back. Maybe with a knife. Or a chainsaw. Or a branding iron. Or just plain gas and fire.
Whatever death scene thrilled him the most, he’d bring it to her.
Diana would suffer it, and be there for the next time.
Because they were made for each other.
~ Hunter Shea
© Copyright 2017 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.