Authors: William Todd Rose
Tags: #blood, #murder, #violence, #savage, #brutality, #serial killers, #brutal, #splatterpunk, #grindhouse, #lurid, #viscous
William Todd Rose
Shut the Fuck Up and Die!
Copyright © 2010 by William Todd Rose
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She had quickly learned to keep movement at a
bare minimum; even the slightest jostle sent flares of agony racing
through her hands and coaxed beads of sweat from the pores on her
brow. As long as she sat perfectly still, however, the pain was
nothing more than a dull throb that pulsed in time with her heart.
She choked back the waves of nausea that flooded her mouth with
bitter, stinging acids and kept her breathing as steady as could be
expected. She was beginning to get cold, though: chills crept over
her naked flesh and she felt the little muscle in her jaw quiver
like a frightened animal. It was only a matter of time before her
body was wracked with shivers; and with these involuntary movements
would come fresh blasts of pain, a Hell that radiated from the
palms of her hands and raced along her arms like fiery serpents. So
she tried picturing a beach: the sun sparkled on the blue expanse
of water, warmed the sand that stretched in either direction as far
as the eye could see; overhead, a gull cried out and that salty
aroma in the air was nothing more than the waves leaving traces of
foam as they pulled back into the ocean. Nothing more than
saltwater. Certainly not the lingering tang of blood or . . . .
Why don't they just kill me and get it over
She opened her eyes and looked, for
what must have been the thousandth time, at the rusty spikes that
had been hammered through her palms. The flesh puckered around the
metal and the inner edges were crusty with congealed blood; her
skin had become so pale and shriveled that it looked as though
she'd been washing dishes for hours and this made the dark scabs
seem as if they were floating just slightly above the wound. She
knew better than to wiggle her fingers, but fought the urge to do
so anyway. Part of her mind insisted that those couldn't be her
hands, that they were nothing more than some thrift store gag
hands would never
be nailed to a heavy, oak table;
hands wouldn't look so small and old . . . .
And they definitely wouldn't just lay there with upturned palms as
if praying to some cruel god in supplication.
This sort of thing simply didn't happen to
people like her. She was just Darlene Honnicker, ex-homecoming
queen of Beaverly High and head cashier down at the Shop-N-Go. She
lived a boring, predictable life that involved doing inventory on
beer and smokes, watching TV in the evening, and occasionally
splurging on the latest Barbara Kingsolver novel. No. It had to be
some sort of a dream, some nightmare from which she'd bolt awake
with phantom pain still tingling in her limbs. She wouldn't even
care that Chewie had slipped onto the forbidden bed at some point
during the night or that the mutt was infesting her grandmother's
quilt with fleas. She would hug him so tightly that she'd feel the
need to sneeze as his coarse fur tickled her nose and his breath
would gust like a rancid wind as his tongue left a trail of warm
slobbers down her cheek.
Yeah, that's what you thought yesterday. And
the day before. And the day before that, too . . . .
Darlene glanced around the room even though
the details had burned into her memor. The fake wood paneling
looked as if it had been hung by a child and bits of yellowed rag
stuffed gaps where the flimsy material should have lined up flush
with the next section. These walls were covered with random
rectangles and squares where the grain was lighter, as if pictures
had hung there for years before being removed, and she'd come to
the conclusion that the inset shelving had once been a window that
had since been boarded over. The hardwood floor that felt so cold
against her bare feet bowed slightly toward the center of the room
and the entire space had that musty smell of time and age. If not
for the butcher's block table that her hands were nailed to and the
chair she was perched on, the entire place could have been mistaken
for an abandoned house that hadn't known the warmth of a living
soul for decades.
Nailed to, oh my God, my hands have been
nailed to the table, sweet baby Jesus, they've been nailed,
somebody please please help me, anybody, please . . . .
Darlene's heart fluttered with demon wings of
panic and she wanted to scream, to run, to pry her tortured hands
free, and fight tooth and nail until she was out in the fresh, cool
air of winter again. She would thrust her fists into drifts of
snow, let the cold freeze away the pain, and her voice would echo
through the muffled silence of the woods like the wail of a
banshee. Someone would come. They would hear and they would come
with trucks and dogs and guns; they would wrap her in blankets as
steaming cups of coffee were lifted to her lips, whispering that
everything was fine now, that she would be okay, that it was over .
. . .
Through the cheap wood of the door behind
her, she could hear the old woman whistling. It was some happy
little ditty that tweeted and chirped like birds at dawn and
sounded slightly familiar. It may have been one of the songs
Darlene's mother had used to hum before the cancer had claimed her.
One of the snippets of tune that she'd clung to over the years,
that she'd tried to excavate from the trenches of memory like a
precious jewel. And here this old woman was, bastardizing it. If
she managed to get free, she'd rip that cunt's tongue right out of
her mouth, would tear long strands of lip with her teeth if she had
to. She'd make that bitch suffer and regret the day they'd ever
zapped Darlene Honnicker with that taser.
Who the fuck are you kidding? You ain't
getting outta here, you're never getting outta here. Just look at
the damn table, girl . . . .
She willed the frightened little girl in her
mind to shut the hell up. Anything was possible, right? If she
could just deal with the pain without passing out, maybe she'd be
able to grab the spikes between her teeth and yank hard enough to .
. . .
Her faded, blue eyes betrayed her by flitting
to the scarred tabletop. The wood was gouged with dozens of holes,
each spaced approximately a hand's width apart and surrounded by
dark, inkblot stains.
That's blood. Fuckin' blood! You think they
haven't done this before? Look how many holes there are, damn it.
She squeezed her eyes shut so tightly that
her teeth ground against one another and tried to take long, slow
breaths through her nose.
Please, God . . . .
From behind her, the door creaked like a
sound effect from a horror movie. Feet shuffled across the floor
and the room was flooded with a scent that smelled as if a garden
of lilacs were growing in a bed of baby powder.
The whistling was directly behind her now,
making her eardrums seem to vibrate with the high notes.
No, no, not again, please, no . . . .
The song came to an end and Darlene could
felt the old woman's presence looming in the darkness before
Open your eyes, girly.”
The voice was thin and raspy but sounded as
if it had spent a lifetime having its instructions followed without
hesitation or question.
Darlene raised her eyelids and looked at the
woman standing on the other side of the table. Her hair was as
white as the snow covered ground and, as always, was pulled into a
bun so tightly that it almost seemed as if the bitch were punishing
her scalp for some unknown trespass. Her skin looked as thin and
wrinkled as tissue paper and she wore a yellow sundress today which
made her normally pale flesh look jaundiced and sickly. At the same
time, it also threw her eyes into sharp contrast: behind the
wire-frame spectacles, they looked as hard and dark as two chunks
There's a good girl. You wouldn't want
to make Mary mad, now would you? No, of course you
Darlene glanced at the paring knife the old
whore clutched in her hand and her eyes immediately darted to her
own arms. Once, her skin had been as smooth and creamy as any
fashion model's; but now the flesh was crisscrossed with wounds.
Some of them were crusted with scabs, but others still looked like
lipless mouths that had somehow appeared on her body. If she flexed
her muscles, they would pucker and blow kisses to her, revealing
dark crags of meat within.
Please, Mary, just let me go. I won't
tell anyone, I swear I won't. Just let me go home. I'll . . . I'll
bring you a replacement!
She looks just like me, I'll lead her here and let you have
her, just please, please, please let me go.”
The old woman frowned, pulling shadows into
the creases of her wrinkles.
Let you go? Why in tarnation would I
want to do that? No, I like you just where you are,
The room wavered in and out of focus as hot
tears welled in Darlene's eyes.
Now, why do you girls always start
a'crying on me? This will all be over soon..”
The old woman raised the knife to waist level
and took a step toward her prisoner.
Mary, please . . . don't . . .
Shhhh . . . you hush now child,
Darlene tensed as her heart spurted
adrenaline through her system; the movement exploded her hands with
a napalm run of pain, white-hot agony that engulfed her arms and
raced toward her shoulders. A scream strained her vocal chords,
made them feel as if they were being stripped away with glass, and
she wanted so badly to pull away, to just shrink back into herself
until nothing was left.
Now, you cut that foolishness out
right this minute! I could always sew that pretty mouth of yours
shut. Is that what you want?”
Darlene whimpered and shook her head so
vigorously that tears were flung from her face. She bit her bottom
lip as her chest heaved with suppressed screams. Her breath escaped
through her nostrils in rapid, staccato bursts and her wide eyes
darted about the room as if searching for the appearance of some
No, I didn't think so. Now you just be
a good girl and this'll all be over quicker 'n the lights go
The old woman placed the cool edge of the
knife against Darlene's arm and smiled.
I need this, you see. I reckon you
know that by now, don't you?”
Darlene closed her eyes again, squeezing out
tears like water from a sponge.
Her eyes snapped open again and she felt as
though she were about to throw up. Cramps wracked her stomach and
her legs shook so badly that the floor below vibrated in
The old woman smiled again, but there was no
joy or mirth reflected in her dark eyes. In fact, she had the same
hungry look that possessed Darlene's father after the month's
welfare check had been pilfered away and the empty bottle of Slo
Gin mocked from the trash can.
Without so much as a flinch, the hag pulled
the blade across Darlene's arm with a quick yank. There was a flash
of pain as the honed edge severed nerve endings and blood oozed
from the wound as if fleeing from the sting. A spark of excitement
flared like an ember in the old woman's eyes and she slashed again,
opening a new furrow that quickly filled with crimson liquid.
Darlene tried not to whimper or scream, but
instinct pulled her body away from the gleaming blade. She jerked
back and a sickening torment erupted from her palms. And she did
scream now, her throat raw and burning as the sound rattled from
Rather than reprimanding her again, Mary
replied with another slice. The old woman's mouth had formed a
perfect O and her head was thrown slightly back, like a freeze
frame from some geriatric porno. She held the pose for what seemed
to be an eternity, but then burst into a flurry of movement:
slashing, cutting, slicing, the blade opening her prisoner's
too-frail skin time and time again. Cuts overlapped one another and
long gashes formed bloody patterns, like the letters of some dark
alphabet that had long been purged from humanity's collective