Saxon’s Distortion by C.A. Rene
The house looks decrepit, even while shrouded in the darkness of night, with no illumination to highlight the details. Such as: the shutters hanging from their hinges, the windows lined with aluminum foil, and the paint peeling from the vinyl siding. The driveway is lined with cars missing tires and rusted with disuse, and the front lawn is littered with beer cans. The air hangs stagnant around the structure, heavy with the scent of ammonia.
I walk up to the front door and turn the knob, huffing out a breath when it swings inward. There’s a TV on somewhere in the house and the scent of something akin to cat piss is even stronger here. I pull my balaclava over my mouth and nose and wander deeper inside. The staircase is to my right and the stairs are littered with garbage, a thin path cleared in the center to move up and down. I take the steps to the second floor; it’s best working from the top down.
The smell is a little diluted up here since they cook the shit in the basement, but there’s other foul scents making my stomach roll. Feces, rot, and mold. Tugging down the balaclava, I nearly gag at the unfiltered stench. I wouldn’t even have touched this place with a ten-foot pole, but the three men living here have done some unforgivable shit. Selling drugs wasn’t one of them.
A little girl by the name of Carla Johnson was riding her bike and ended up on the wrong side of the tracks. Last known witness to see her was a neighbour a few houses up the street, they described the pink tassels on the handlebars of her bike perfectly. Her body was found two days later in a ditch, completely naked, and completely defiled. She was eleven years old. The police know who the most likely suspects are, but without proof; there wasn’t much they could do. They’re still investigating but the case is now six months cold, and Uncle Emmett says unless a witness comes forward linking her to this house, there won’t be much more happening. So, it was my turn to step in.
The first room reveals a body strewn across the bed with a needle sticking out of his vein. Torturing them would be ideal but when they’re practically comatose already, there’s nothing I can do, unfortunately. I pull out my Día de Los Muertos knife and slice open the thin skin of his throat, cursing under my breath when it sprays onto the arm of my sweater. Then I leave the room, shutting the door behind me.
Cupboard doors bang downstairs and then a loud curse; I smile knowing there’s at least one person to have fun with. The next few rooms are empty save for stained mattresses with piles of garbage overflowing from the corners of the room, needles left sporadically all over the floor.
The next door I open is a bathroom and there’s a man lying in the filled tub, his leg hanging over the edge. He’s stoned out of his mind but when he sees me, his eyes widen just a fraction.
“Who…” he tries to get up but the water sloshes over the side as he slips back in.
“Having a nice little soak, are we?” I kneel by the tub and see the inside is stained nearly black. He’s staring wide-eyed at my face, and I can only imagine what my face paint is doing for his high.
“Who…” I flick water at his face, making him sputter and cutting him off.
“Who am I?” My grin widens as my face closes in on his, “Carla Johnson sent me.”
“You’re a demon.” He sputters and tries once again to get up out of the tub and fails.
“Sure, call me Black Slaughter.”
“I never wanted to hurt that little girl,” he begins to shake in the lukewarm water, “but my brothers can’t be stopped.”
“But you did hurt her? Right?”
“I was forced to do it!” He’s now sobbing and the sight of the thick snot sliding over his top lip is disgusting.
“Would you like to say sorry to Carla?” I swirl my gloved finger in the bath water.
“Yes,” he nods.
“Great,” My hands steeple under my chin, “dip your head under the water like you’re being baptized, my child.”
He closes his eyes and lets his head slip beneath the surface of the water, the ripples skate across the top toward the edges of the tub. When he’s about to come back up, my hand rests gently on his head to hold him down. At first, he lies there, waiting for when I’ll let him up, and when he realizes that’s not happening, he begins to struggle.
The water rushes over the edge and soaks my clothes, but I don’t dare release him. Eventually, the struggle lessens and the grip he has on my forearm slips away. I hold him down an extra minute and then release him to stand.
I shake off the excess water on my gloves and leave the bathroom, not bothering to shut the door. There’s still banging coming from downstairs and I’m excited to finally have a bit of a challenge. The other two were way too easy.
My boots squeak on the worn floorboards as they leave behind my watery footsteps. There’s no point in masking my heavy footfalls this time because I long for a fight, something to release this energy pent up inside of me. I bound down the stairs and the third asshole doesn’t even flinch when my wet boots sound on the kitchen’s linoleum.
“Listen, the next batch ain’t ready until Saturday,” he looks up at me and cocks a brow, “it’s Halloween?”
“Listen,” my voice mocks his, “I killed the two guys who were baked upstairs, maybe it is Halloween.” I wait for some sort of recognition, not surprised when his face remains blank, “Halloween?” I huff, “the slasher movie?”
“You better be fucking joking!” He bellows, his mouth opens wide, and not one single tooth is left in his blackened gums.
He tries to storm by me, but my gloved hand catches him by the throat and lifts his scrawny ass in the air, slamming his back to the floor. He grunts with the impact and the air expels from his chest in a rush. His leg comes up to kick at me, but my work boot stomps it down, the snap it makes as it connects with the tiled floor makes him scream out in agony. Bending over, I slip my gloved four fingers between his toothless gums; the digits digging into the roof of his mouth as my thumb grips his nose, then I haul him across the floor.
His rubbery gums dig into my fingers as he attempts to bite through my gloves and flesh, but it makes me fucking laugh.
“Should’ve looked after your fucking teeth, you filthy fuck.” I continue to laugh as he struggles to get my hand out of his mouth.
I get to the stove and turn the two front burners on. It’s fucking caked with grease and God knows what else, and the smell of ash instantly permeates the room around me, making me pull the balaclava back over my face. Smoke rises from the coils, and its lengthening tendrils hold me captive as the fucker struggles around my hand. I snap out of it when his hands come up to grab onto the sleeve of my sweatshirt, trying to pull himself up to standing.
“Here,” I say sweetly, “let me help you.” Yanking him up to his feet, I laugh again when he stumbles on his bad leg. Pulling my hand out of his mouth and gripping his chin, I ask, “Do you know why I’m here?”
He throws a weak punch to the side of my head and my vision vibrates with red rage. I slam my fist into his nose and then grab onto his chin again. “Answer me, fucker.”
“To rob us! My brothers better not be dead!”
“Nope,” I shake my head and hold up my finger, “one more chance, and I would use it wisely,” The heat from the coil hits the palm of my hand.
His eyes finally notice the coils alight in red and he shakes his head, “I don’t know.”
“She was eleven years old; did you know that? She liked panda bears and pancakes, at least that's what her mama said at the vigil.” His eyes narrow, but it’s the only reaction he gives. That’s fine, pain is usually the best way to make them talk.
Pushing his face toward the element, the tips of his greasy hair sizzle and burn as it touches the coil. He throws his hands to the stove top to prevent me from shoving him down further, his left hand landing on the other reddened burner. He screams and pulls his hands back, making his face fall. His right cheek hits the coil and the smell of burning flesh replaces the ash.
After two beats, I pull his cheek off the element, and watch as the skin left behind burns into a blackened crisp. He’s moaning and crying as my hand grips his chin, my fingers digging into the bone. “Do you know why I’m here now?” I want him to say her name, to acknowledge her life, and hopefully she’s here somewhere, watching as her death is avenged.
“I don’t know her name.”
A tsk escapes my lips as I force his face closer.
“No wait,” he screams, the sobs growing louder, “Carla!”
“Good.” I praise seconds before I’m shoving the side of his face back to the burner. This time the sizzle is louder and rivals the sounds of his wails. When his face is pulled back off, a chunk of flesh sticks to the element, burning quickly. I turn off the stove and let his body fall to the floor, it smells like bacon in here. My stomach grumbles with hunger and I promise myself a breakfast sandwich from Timmie’s after this.
“Please, no more.”
“Did she beg like that?” I crouch in front of him, and glare into his eyes. “Did she cry to go home?”
“Yes.” He cries harder and I take my knife out of my pocket.
“Her cries will be the last thing you remember.” I growl as my knife stabs into his chest, once, twice, then three times.
My gloves drip with fresh blood and I run my fingers along the wall. It’s like leaving a bit of myself behind, something that says Black Slaughter was here. My fingers glide along the plaster finish and… nothing.
My fingers are dry, and a curse tumbles from my mouth, “seriously?” I mutter to myself and stalk back into the kitchen.
The junkie rapist is lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood as I grab his hair and drag his body back to my masterpiece.
“Didn’t anyone tell you about the whole ‘say no to drugs’ or ‘drugs aren’t cool’ talk?” I berate him, “now my masterpiece is fucked because your blood is too thin.”
He makes a final gurgle and I roll my eyes; I hate when they die mid-rant, it’s fucking rude. With a shake of my head, my fingers scoop into his watery blood and my attention continues on my finger painting. The activity unearths a memory of me and Ivy when we were kids. We used to love finger painting with Dad and then Mom would flip out when we turned it on each other. Actually, Ivy would be the first to do it because she was such an asshole kid.
Stepping back from the wall, I kick the junkie and notice the thin blood running down the painted surface in a few spots. Shouldn’t it be getting thicker by now? But even with the running drips, it still looks amazing, and I grin at the sight. It’s a half-skull and not the sugar skull my mother uses, it’s a real skull. This is my own branding for Black Slaughter, making it my own.
I just gave this meth house in downtown Toronto a makeover and there’s no one to appreciate it. The police have had their eye on this place for years, but I never understood why they left it standing. Mom says sometimes police leave the smaller criminals to help catch the larger ones. That’s fine, they can do what they want, and as long as the cops stay out of my way, I’ll stay out of theirs.
I leave the house just as the sun begins to rise and I’m startled slightly by the sight of it. How long was I in there torturing that guy? Hours has been lost to bloodlust and the thought is slightly satisfying. I whistle the rest of my walk back to my blacked-out Mercedes Benz, it’s an older model car that belonged to my mother, and now it’s mine.
I start the car and reach into the back for the pack of baby wipes. I begin to clean off the blood and face paint, while turning on the radio to the local station. The voices sound frantic as they discuss an incident that happened while I was playing Halloween with a junkie.
“The University of Toronto needs to up the security, two rapes in a week is outrageous!”
“It certainly is Betty,” I murmur and continue to clean my face. I don’t know if her name is Betty or not, she just sounds like one.