I want you to go on a little adventure with me. We are going to delve into your imagination. Let’s do a bit of conjuring. Are you game? Good. Now close your eyes. No peeking! Clear you mind of everything. Here there are no worries. All of your troubles are gone. Take a nice, deep cleansing breath. Let it out slowly. Next, let’s get those tight muscles unwound, shall we? Start with your toes. Feel each individual one, the shape and texture of your toenails, the curve of your arch, the gently slope of your heel. They should be light as a feather. I want you to be aware of your legs. They are becoming weightless. The sensation spreads up through your hips to your stomach, down your arms and into your fingertips.
Lastly, your neck and your face becomes ever so light. You are completely relaxed and carefree. The only sound you hear is my voice. It is hushed, almost silky in your ear. This does not arouse you nor does it cause you to be alarmed. You are perfectly at peace. Your breathing is even. You feel like you are going to drift to sleep. Go, but only halfway. Yes, right there.
You are ready for your adventure. Before we can set off, we need a destination. Where in the world are we? Remember, that the only limit here is the one you place on yourself. Every time and place is fair game. You can conjure up anything you wish. Be creative. Dare to dream! Right now, all you see is darkness. Go ahead. I dare you to change it. Ah, yes. I am starting to see a faint light in the distance. Make it grow. Bring it into focus.
“Wake up Goldilocks! There will be no more sleeping for you this day. No, today we break your spirit. Drag this piece of meat onto his feet.” A blurry figure roars through the fog that is your brain.
A pair of arms grabs you on either side and hoists you rudely to your numb feet. Your knees buckle under your weight. The gruff looking men jerk you upright once more. Your head is pounding, doubling your vision with each thrum of your beating heart. Your ears are ringing. The sound makes it even more difficult to think clearly.
“Walk maggot! I don’t get paid to carry your sorry ass!” A voice yells in your left ear sending pain shooting through your eyeballs.
Stumbling on legs still too unsteady to fully carry your weight, you do your best to walk unaided. Every time you begin to collapse like a used tissue, you are yanked forward and upward. The air is stale. There is a distinct smell that you can’t quite place. Your head is still too foggy to discern much about your surroundings.
You are stopped abruptly. The thug on your right grabs you by the throat and tosses you onto a wooden table. The back of your head bounces off its surface so hard that bright sprays of twinkling white light cascade across your field of vision. You try to moan but your tongue feels too big for your mouth and is glued firmly to the roof. All you can manage is a whoosh as something hard careens into your torso, forcing out the air in your lungs. On the upside, your tongue is no longer stuck, but it feels gritty as if you had eaten a mouthful of sand.
Just as your breath returns, bone chilling water gushes over your entire body, stealing your breath. The shock of the water clears your head as your body starts to shiver uncontrollably. You try to turn over to avoid the deluge, but the torrential downpour follows you even as you roll off the tabletop. When you strike the floor, and audible snap drowns out the sound of the water. This is greeted by a white hot flash of pain down your left side. Rolling onto your back, you try to scream out, nearly drowning yourself in the process.
“Get him up before he kills himself!” Someone yells. At this point, you cannot tell who and do not care either.
Once again, you are picked up by your throat and tossed back onto the table. Everything hurts so you don’t notice the second knock to your head. The pain in your shoulder and arm are so great that you feel yourself drifting off. Someone slaps your face hard enough to snap your head to the right, scratching your cheek on the table’s surface.
“Wake the hell up, jackass! I already told you that there was no more sleep for you. Ungrateful worm.”
You roll your head over to try to see the owner of the voice. The cold water ceases washing over you as you locate one of your tormentors. Before you is not a beast of a man with terrible facial scars and thickly callused hands. To your surprise, he looks ordinary, even plain.
Another voice barks at you from your left, “What’s your name, you pus covered bag of mucus and bile?”
You try to speak but the only sound you can manage is a reedy croak. This is greeted by deep belly laughter from the trio of men.
“Sounds right to me. You have no name. You have no identity. We own you. Remember that. String him up.”
The two brutes who drug you out of your cell grab your arms and yank them up over your head. You notice that they too, are ordinary looking. They might even be called handsome if the pure hate in their eyes did not twist their features, distorting them. Two iron cuffs enclose your wrists, biting into the tender flesh. Your broken arm screams like a furious banshee in terrible pain. As fresh terror starts to grip your soul, you swim down into the blackness, your path ahead only the darkness knows.
The story of The Butcher continues with….