Extraction. Short Story.

Jacob circled her, checking that each of the knots were secure. They were. She had woken up some time ago, but so far he had not spoken, nor had he removed the blindfold. He went to his tray of tools, slowly he caressed them, running his fingers over the cold metal, watching them glint and gleam in the bright light. There were so many to choose from, he wasn’t entirely sure where to start. He had plenty of time though. Finally, he picked one, the smallest, he would work his way up, build on the pain. He gripped her hand tightly, pressing it against the armrest then with careful aim he moved the needle towards her finger tip.

He stood back, she was sobbing, he closed his eyes, savouring the sound. She had broken very quickly, the screams came almost as soon as he began the first insertion. The ten needles were secured for now, he thought over it for a moment, pull them out slowly or leave them? After a seconds hesitation he decided he would leave them, for now at least. He circled her again, as he passed the back of her he grabbed a tuft of hair and ripped it out. He carefully put the hair into an envelope, bits of flesh still attached. Proof was always good. He went to the door of the room and stepped outside. In the hallway three men waited.
“So, how’s it going?”
“Well, I’ve begun. She hasn’t seen me, nor has she seen any of you. I’m just getting started, though I don’t think she has a whole lot of information.”
“That’s ok, you can have your fun, just as long as she doesn’t die.”
“Oh, that won’t be a problem at all.”
“Also, try not to leave permanent scars.”
“I can’t make that promise.”
“Well, try to avoid the face at least.”
Jacob nodded and passed over the envelope.
“Just the hair for now?”
“Yeah, tomorrow we’ll send one of her fingers. Maybe a toe.”
“Why not both of them?”
“He’s stubborn. We might run out of digits at that rate.”
“Well, there’s plenty of things I can send him.”
“True, but I think less will be more in this case.”
“I’d say toes then. Easy to hide, won’t remove functionality from the hands.”
“Ok, start with the toes.”
Jacob grinned, “No problem.”
he turned from the three men and went back into the room.

The room itself was brightly lit and had everything he needed, from all his tools to a drain in the floor and a hose for easy clean up. She was still crying, though the sobs had stopped. She looked a little too comfortable for his liking. He moved beside the chair and started moving a small crank. The crank would raise or lower dull spikes in the chair, he raised them, not too much but just enough. He paused beside her fingertips, beads of blood were forming and dripping from them. He grabbed a needle and wiggled it slightly, as he did she whimpered, then with one pull he wrenched it out of her hand, eliciting another scream. Perfect.

He removed the needles one by one, some quickly, some slowly. When they were gone, he looked over his tools, what would be next?

Jacob stretched, it had been a long day, even if it was fun. He had been right, she didn’t know a whole lot, but she knew more than she thought. He was able to glean a few useful titbits from her. The rest of his time was spent playing. Most of what he had done wouldn’t leave any permanent marks and most of the wounds would heal with minimum scarring. Still, tomorrow was another day, and he had a toe to take.

Jacob sipped his coffee and stepped into the room, he was well rested and he felt pretty good. He turned off the blaring music, some kind of death metal, and silence fell over the room. He studied her for a moment, wondering if she had fallen asleep at any point, she probably had, even if for a few seconds. He took another sip of his coffee, it was hot, much too hot for him to enjoy properly. Carefully he removed the lid as he approached, then with one swift movement he upended the cup over her head. She let out a shriek, Jacob tutted, it was hot, but it wouldn’t burn her that badly. He turned on the tap and picked up the hose, he turned the spray onto her, making sure to cover her entire body. After all, was just being kind, everyone knew you should run your hand under a cold tap if you burned it so surely this would be much better.

When he turned the hose off her she was gasping for air and shivering. Good. There was work to be done today and that would help to keep her alert. He didn’t want her to black out at all during the procedure. Later perhaps he would give her something to ease the pain a little. Of course if he did that he would have to do something to make sure it would feel so much worse once it wore off. Decisions, decisions.

He rinsed the blood down the hole, occasionally giving her a quick spray for fun. The toe was already boxed up and on its way elsewhere. There were rumblings that they weren’t going to get any payment, Jacob hoped that was the case, if it was she would be his new play thing for a while. He could even make a game of it, see just how far he could push her. Perhaps, when all was said and done he would dump her somewhere, still alive but scarred and deformed. Could it be considered a good life if he removed her tongue, eyes and hands? Technically she was still alive, but there wouldn’t be a whole lot she could do. Then of course there was the question of what to do with her ears, leave them where they were so she could hear the gasps of horror and screams as she walked down the street, or remove them so she would be completely cut off from the world.

He kneeled beside her, looking at her ankle, there was a small tattoo there, it was quite pretty, a water colour butterfly. He suspected she paid a lot of money for it. He hummed to himself as he cut it off her body, it was only something small, even if they let her go she wouldn’t miss it all that much, he wanted to add it to his collection. When he stood he patted her on the head, they were having such fun together, of course it could end at any moment, once he paid the money she was gone, but he would enjoy it for now. The recordings would be sent soon, so her father could listen to her screams. He was the one who devised that plan. Sneak in, hook it up to his home speaker system so when her father gets home he gets the full experience. Jacob smiled as he carefully stretched out the skin, now, no matter what happened, he would always have a part of her to look at, to remind him. When he was done he turned back to his tray of tools, fingers gently moving across them. Her toenails did seem to be getting a little long, it wouldn’t be very nice of him to leave them like that. He picked up the pliers and knelt down, he would solve the problem, after all your toenails couldn’t be too long if you didn’t have any to begin with.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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