Authors: Bill Carson
John Kane’s mobile buzzed as he was putting the finishing touches with some black paint to his newly refurbished bedroom – except now it had absolutely no resemblance to a bedroom at all. It had been transformed into some kind of hideous black chamber.
“Hello, is that Mr Kane?”
“Oh, hello, Mr Kane, this is Nigel from the
estate agents and I’ve got some good news for you. I wanted to tell you that all of the paperwork has been completed, and Dolphin Cottage has been sold for the asking price.”
“OK, so you have the cash with you now then, I take it?”
“Yes, the buyers were a little taken aback by the request for cash, but yes, I have it right here with me now, safe and sound packed into a briefcase under my desk. When can you come and collect it?”
“I‘ll be there tomorrow at noon.”
“I was hoping that you would come up today, Mr Kane, I don’t like having such a large amount of cash on the premises.”
John thought for a moment and checked his watch. “OK, I’ll be there this evening then, but I don’t know what time. Probably around six o’clock, something like that.”
“That would be fine. I have some work to catch up on anyway, so I’ll see you this evening then. Thanks, Mr Kane, bye now.”
I didn’t think it was going to sell that quickly. Oh well I suppose it’ll get me out of the house
, thought John, as he locked the black room’s door
. I don’t think that old van’s going to make it
I wouldn’t trust it over another long run like that. So, it’s the bloody train, then. Well, at least I’ll be able to have a pint and actually I think I deserve one. Right, I’d better get cracking
It was a dry but bitterly cold evening, and all was very quiet in the small village. Shortly after five o’clock Nigel decided to close the shop for the day. He left some of the lights on in the window and turned the ‘closed’ sign around on the door. Then he sat at the back of the shop and surfed the web while keeping one eye on the black briefcase at his feet.
An hour later, a dark figure tapped on the window.
“Oh, it’s you, Mr Kane, you scared me!” Nigel said out loud. “I was miles away. Please come in.
“Hello, Nigel, right, I won’t keep you. One briefcase, please?”
“It’s over here under my desk. I haven’t let it out of my sight all day.”
“That’s great, but if you don’t mind I would like to have a quick count before I leave.”
“That’s fine, please go through to the back office. I have a receipt for you to sign once you have finished, Mr Kane.”
After ten minutes John had established that all the money was there. He was pleased with the outcome and thought that Nigel had done rather well.
“Now then, Nigel, thank you for securing the deal. Here’s a little gift from me to you as a thank you,” John said, as he handed Nigel ten crisp twenty pound notes.
“That’s very kind of you, but I couldn’t possibly accept as it’s strictly against the company’s policies, Mr Kane.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what. I won’t say anything if you don’t, and I’ll leave the money on the table and you can donate it for me to a charity of your choice. How’s that?”
“Ah well, in that case that would be perfectly acceptable, Mr Kane, and on those terms I agree to your generous donation,” Nigel said.
“Right that’s it then, and thanks once again,” John said as he grabbed the handle on the front door.
“You’re welcome, Mr Kane, and best of luck,” Nigel said as he closed the door.
He quickly turned on his heels and scooped up the brand new notes that John had kindly left, and stuffed them into his trouser pocket; a Chinese meal and a big bottle of chilled wine suddenly popped into his mind. He quickly closed down the computer, turned out the lights in the window and grabbed his coat. As he slotted the big brass key into the lock, a gloved hand pushed against the door and a man’s shoulder gently forced the door open. Nigel stepped back a couple of paces, and the small dark figure of a cap-wearing man in a raincoat stood on the threshold before him.
“Ah, I’m sorry, sir, we are closed. If you would like to come back in the morning at about nine o’clock, I would be happy to help you,” Nigel said with his tried and tested false smile, but to no avail as the weird figure in front of him wasn’t listening.
Without a word, the man reached over, closed the door and locked it behind him. Nigel was utterly petrified, and a sudden rush of blood drained from his face which turned it a sickly, ghostly white as he backed away from the strange intruder.
“Now just be quiet, there’s a good fellow, and go through to the back and sit down, will you. I want to have a little chat with you about something which is of the utmost importance,” Harold said, as he gestured toward the room at the back.
Nigel was frozen to the spot, and Harold quickly shoved the barrel of his Colt 45 behind Nigel’s ear, seized him by the scruff of the neck, and frog-marched him into the small office. Harold kicked the door shut behind him and dumped the petrified young man into the chair.
Nigel was stiff with fear, and was totally and utterly at the mercy of the man as Harold quickly slipped a cable tie around each wrist and strapped both of them to the arms of the chair. He then pulled the cable ties tight in one quick, painful, jerky movement. He then repeated the process with Nigel’s ankles, and then from his inside pocket he pulled out a rolled-up piece of green canvas cloth which he unfurled across the desk in a rather dramatic fashion, acting like a magician preparing to perform some kind of macabre trick or illusion. But this was no act or illusion. This was all too real, as inside the canvas tool roll were a small set of shiny medical implements which were not unlike something you might see in use at the dentists. Nigel’s eyes widened with terror as he clocked the array of vicious looking implements, which consisted of a pair of pliers, two long probing tools with sharp needle-like ends, and several scalpels with various types of vicious curved blades.
“What’s all this about? What do you want? What are you going to do with those?” cried Nigel, his head twisting violently back and forth from Harold to the implements of torture, and then back to Harold for an answer, which he didn’t get. Harold said nothing and just put his index finger to his pursed lips, while he methodically examined the assortment of stainless steel tools.
“If you cry out I’ll kill you where you sit, do you understand? Now, my inquiries have led me to you and you will answer my questions and if you answer my questions correctly, you may even survive the ordeal.” Harold said, as he laid the Colt 45 next to the tools.
“OK, OK, yes, I understand, but what’s going on? Please just tell me what you fucking want,” Nigel said, drenched in sweat.
“Oh dear, now that is unfortunate. Foul language is one thing I simply can’t abide, a failing common to the youth of today, and impatience is another failing,” Harold said as he pointed at Nigel, and then from the corner of his eye he noted an open box of Earl Grey teabags on the side board.
“Do you mind if I have one of those, as I’m feeling a little parched? Silly me, you’re not exactly in a position to refuse, are you?”
He calmly filled the kettle, and then took a cup from the cupboard and held it aloft and examined it closely under the light bulb. He turned toward poor Nigel, and shook his head and
as he pointed out the staining around the rim of the cup.
“Profanity, impatience and dirty crockery – the unholy trinity. This is not going too well is it, my friend?” he said, as he scrubbed the cup thoroughly and made himself a brew.
Harold started the interrogation by asking a single question which was about Lynda and Terry Jackson and the man she lived with. He simply wanted to know everything Nigel knew about these people. He genuinely believed that he knew something and was determined to get it out of him, and torture was the only way he knew of getting the right answers. The only problem was that Nigel knew absolutely nothing about Terry or Lynda Jackson, having never laid eyes on them.
Harold unsheathed the pliers from the pouch and placed the jaws of the pliers either side of the second joint of Nigel’s little finger.
“Now, in your own words, tell me all you know about Lynda Jackson,” Harold said.
“I’ll tell you everything I know, honestly I will, but you have to believe me when I say that I have never heard of her.”
Nigel began to beg for mercy and his heart was pounding out of his chest. Harold slowly removed his large cap and turned toward him, and Nigel was now fully acquainted with his tormentor. Harold was completely bald apart from a few strands of pure white hair which were flattened across the top of his skull, which sported a huge crevasse running from front to back. It looked as if his head had been smashed in with an iron bar. His entire scalp was covered in crusty peeling flakes of dead skin, and a number of large, shiny red pustules had sprouted from the diseased head. He just stood and stared at Nigel with his spiteful, merciless eyes.
“Unfortunately for you, I think you do know something, and now we will find out what that might be,” Harold said, as he twisted half a dirty tea-towel deep into Nigel’s mouth. He then proceeded to crack Nigel’s little finger like a walnut; so powerful was the bite from the jaws of the pliers that the end of the finger was completely cleaved off. The rest of the fingers on the same hand swiftly received a similar fate. After a few minutes he slowly unfurled the gag from Nigel’s dry mouth and Nigel managed to blurt out a few words.
“You’re evil, pure evil, please no more, please have mercy, I don’t know who she is, I swear to God I’m new here. I’ve only been here for two months,” Nigel muttered, as Harold reached for a scalpel.
“God will not be able to help you here, my friend. Now I am going to ask you another simple question, do you know the whereabouts of Terry Jackson?”
“I’ve told you, I’ve never met him and I don’t know him. The only Jackson I have on my list was a Lynda Jackson whom I never met, and her partner, John Kane.”
“John Kane?” Harold said, as he tossed a cup of cold water into Nigel’s face. “You’ll need to tell me more about this John Kane,” Harold said, as he screwed the dirty dry tea towel back into his mouth, he then slowly began to slice Nigel’s ear in two. “It’s the cartilage, you know. It’s the gristle, that does it, it’s always a very stubborn substance. Ah, there we are,” Harold said, as he sawed through the last piece of sinew of Nigel’s ear.
He briefly showed the ear to his victim and placed the severed lug onto the table next to the tools. He waited for the excruciating pain to wear off a little and for his victim to regain consciousness, calmly sitting at the table sipping his tea. He checked his watch. After five minutes he pulled the gag from Nigel’s mouth and held the scalpel an inch from his eyeball and waited for an answer.
“John Kane, you want to know about John Kane. He was Lynda Jackson’s partner. You’ve just missed him. He was here a few minutes before you came in, you must have walked right past him.”
“Really?” Harold said.
“Yes, he was here, I swear, he came to collect his money from the sale of his cottage.”
“What did he look like?” Harold asked, as he tugged at the victim’s other ear, sizing it up ready for the chop.
“Quite tall with dark hair, he’s well built. He had a dark jacket and jeans and he’s carrying a black briefcase. Now please let me go, I’ll say nothing you don’t have to worry. Please.”
“I saw that man. Where was he heading?” asked Harold as he neatly removed one of Nigel’s eyebrows. He wasn’t doing this for any interrogation purposes. He knew now that his victim knew nothing of Terry or Lynda Jackson and he was now torturing the man for his own twisted amusement.
“I… I don’t-know, London, I think,” Nigel murmured. He glanced up, and one look at that monstrous sneering face from hell and he knew that he was not going to make it out of there alive.
“Well, I must say, you have been a most helpful young man and even though it was a bit of a shaky start. You answered all the questions most eloquently,” Harold said, and then put a silent round straight through Nigel’s eyeball. He gathered up his torture implements, had a quick tidy up and turned out the light. He quickly slipped out the back way and set off in pursuit of the man with the briefcase.