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   Chapter 19 All Things Wicked

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 8558

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:21

I smelled death before I opened my eyes. I tried to move my arms. The rustling of metal chains chimed above me-- I turned my bruised eyes up and saw my wrists hanging from the ceiling. Beside me, another man had been left in the same position. Arms over his head, chains keeping them in place. The only difference between he and I was life and death.

My dry tongue scratched the roof of my mouth, blood seeped between tiny cracks in my lips. I was dehydrated and weak. My head pounded, I could barely keep my legs straight. The room was dark save for thin needles of sunlight piercing the broken blinds over the windows. The corpse beside me was not the only dead thing in the room. This was also where they kept the heads and other inedible parts of people they killed. I remembered their teeth necklaces and skull masks. This is where they kept the materials. Flies and maggots revelled in this place. I knew vomiting would only make things worse, I did my best to keep what little I had in my stomach from flooding out.

Gunner walked through the door with a smile on his face, one that was quickly obscured behind a bandana. "You haven't puked-- good thing I'm not a betting man, certainly would've lost that wager." He held a can of beans in front of me and shook it. "Care for a bite?" he asked. The hunger tightening my stomach mixed with the repulsion from the body parts made my head spin. "No? Okay, I'll eat it later." He put the can aside and moved closer to me. "You've been through this before, you know the drill."

"The drill? The last interrogater I had, I killed, " I said.

"Yeah, we were pretty sad about that. Tamara was a good lay. But there are always others to fill her place. Like you... okay look, this doesn't have to be a whole dramatic thing, just tell me where the other group is and you can go hang out with your friends, tell stories, sing songs. Really, we won't bother you."

"I wanna talk to her, " I said. He leaned down close to me.

"You're talking to me."

"No, " I replied and looked him in the eye. "I'm done talking."

"Oh yeah?" He meandered to the window across from me and lifted the blinds. Annie and Camden stood in the middle of the street, both shivering in stained white t-shirts, two men holding them in place.

"We talked to the others, well, talked is a loose term for it. But they told us these two are new, said they came with you."

"They'll freeze!" I said, I could see Annie's rattling chin as her whole body shook from the cold. I watched Camden's eyes as he tried to understand what was

t the girl. That's what happens when you lie to us. You get lied to. What's fair's fair."

The men dropped Annie beside me, she immediately jumped up, going after Camden. More of them appeared from every side, all armed to the teeth. Gunner grabbed Annie's throat. "She better heel, I'm giving you a gift here, " he said, pushing her to the ground. Camden cried in his arms.

The others pushed the hollow barrels of their long rifles down to us, fingers on triggers. I reached for Annie and held her as she screamed and tried to pull away. It took all I had to keep her from running free. "I won't do it in front of the girl, how's that for kindness?"

"No!" Annie screamed, her voice scratching out her throat in a shrill howl.

"Please don't do this--" I begged.

He looked down to the crying Camden in his arms. "It won't hurt, I promise." Gunner walked into the woods behind us. One by one they followed him.

"Annie!" Camden finally said as they disappeared behind us. Annie scratched and yelled. She tried to pull herself off my arms but couldn't. "Let me go!"

"They'll kill you!" I said behind a mask of tears.

"I don't care! Let me go!" she screamed. I held her close.

"I'm sorry, " I said.

"No!" her own tears began to fall. They rained from her face, dripping onto my arms, coating everything in their path.

"I'm sorry, " I repeated.

Her heart beat as one long vibration beneath my wrist, like a hummingbird's. Slowly, she stopped fighting and all I could feel were the heaving jerks her chest made as she breathed in and out between cries. I turned my swollen eyes to the sky as the gray clouds broke, revealing the fierce blue which had for so long been hidden away.

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