To nail his point home, he made sure the other man could see him caress the edge of one of the dull blades he’d placed among the tools intended for Marshall’s demise.
“Angus,” Marshall said in his sincerest tone, “I never meant to break your trust in me. I’ve been your friend—”
Marshall paused. Angus didn’t consider them friends. He had to choose another word.
“—acquaintance. I’ve been a reliable and faithful acquaintance for years. An honest associate in all our dealings. Does that not earn me a solitary pass for my unintentional transgression toward you?”
The fact Angus was still listening to him and not separating his limbs from their host gave Marshall a small bit of hope. Perhaps he could make it through this alive.
“Please, Angus, sir. Allow me to prove once more I am still that man.”
The doctor turned and regarded the man. Marshall never felt more stripped of all defenses as he did now. The doctor’s eyes felt like they not only penetrated the darkness but through his soul. Marshall had never been a godly man, but in those quiet, deciding moments he prayed for Angus’ mercy.
“You seek my forgiveness then?” Angus finally responded.
“Yes. Yes, please. I will do whatever you ask.”
Angus smiled. A gesture made more sinister with the animated shadows of candlelight dueling with the darkness on his features. It made Marshall’s heart leap into his throat.
“Then let’s discuss penance.”
The doctor was already moving forward as he spoke and Marshall’s bowels watered. He could not imagine in his worst moment what horrors the doctor could conceive of to atone for his fall from grace.
But he knew he was about to find out.
Watching the mad doctor approach, Marshall could see the short, curved blade glistening in the candle light. Angus brought one of the candlesticks over and displayed the sharp edge.
“Are you a man of your word, Marshall?”
Marshall’s jaw chattered despite his efforts to maintain a level of calm.
“Y—Yes, sir. I am.”
“That is good,” Angus purred out in a slow drawl.
The doctor passed the blade over the tiny flame of the candle, heating it up.
“I demand recompense for what you’ve done,” Angus announced.
Marshall’s eyes opened so wide they ached. He watched the other man move along the table he was strapped to and stand by his ankles. The doctor observed his helpless prey like a hungry wolf, true to his surname. Marshall tried not to whimper or let out a cry, but it filled his throat regardless of his effort. Each movement Angus made was slow and deliberate so Marshall could follow along without missing anything. The doctor then extended his arm way back facing the tip of the blade toward the ceiling.
“Are you going to give it to me?” Angus asked.
Marshall’s prayers turned into screams of silent fear within his thoughts. He willed his muscles to obey and give a convincing performance. If he was lucky, Angus would give him a few cuts and be done. The longer the blade hovered above them both, the more his panic grew until finally Angus brought his blade down in a swift arc slicing through Marshall’s britches. The material fell away, exposing the man to the cool air around them.
The merchant let out a cry of anticipation and terror. He felt the precision of the blade skate along his outer thigh barely nicking him. The momentum of the blade’s direction caused Marshall’s pant leg to flap away from his skin.
Angus stood in silence for a moment. He wanted Marshall to process everything he did. When Marshall stopped screaming he was panting. With his hands still tethered he jerked down at the rope wanting to protect his groin. His eyes were wide and wild as he thrashed about. When he calmed down Marshall realized there was very little pain. He let out a groan, and his head fall back to the table with a heavy thud.
Angus remained quiet and patient. He waited for the mental process to take its toll. Marshall began to sob then laugh until he became hysterical. When Angus’ patient was adequately distracted, the doctor gripped the other man’s testicles. Marshall’s laughter came to an immediate silence. Staring up into the abyss of Angus’ eyes, he watched as the doctor lifted his arm high above his head and brought the scalpel down, carrying with it the sting and tear of his scrotum. Shock held his scream a prisoner.
The skin of Marshall’s scrotum split open and with a firm squeeze of Angus’ fingers, the meat within the sac was extracted to the chorus of Marshall’s released screams and violent retching. Vomit flew from his lips like a fount while the doctor continued his vice-like grip, ensuring the man didn’t bleed out. A few splashes of spittle stained the apron he wore but he was never bothered by it. He seemed to have all the time in the world.
In the meantime, Marshall flopped and twitched on the table in his own excrement and bile.
The doctor finally lifted the bulbous prize to show Marshall and watched victoriously as the man choked on his sobs. Marshall flailed against his binds and tried to reach out for Angus, but it was no use. Marshall strained his neck, trying to pull his body off the table’s surface; the chords on either side of his throat were stretched to their limit, and his abdomen burning in pain before his head fell back.
The exertion of all his strength induced a wave of fatigue. He had no fight left within him. Docile as a lamb, he continued to cry in utter silence until he slipped into the oblivion of unconsciousness. Angus let the testicle drop inside a small bowl at his side with a wet plop. Then began the tedious task of stitching the man up. Angus used several rags from his tool table to mop up all the blood between each suture. When Marshall came to again Angus smiled at him.
“There, see? It was not so painful, was it?” Angus asked in a soft whisper.
Marshall’s jaw was clenched so tight he thought he’d break all his teeth.
Speaking through gritted teeth he hissed out, “You’re fucking mad!”
The pain washed over Marshall immediately causing his head to fall back yet another time.
Angus nodded and shrugged non-committedly, “This could be true, but you should remain still so I can continue to stitch you up correctly. You don’t want to pop these, believe me.”
By design, Lisa Vasquez creates horror with vivid, dark, and twisted words and images that not only drags the reader in between the pages, but onto the covers that house them, as well. When she releases her grasp, readers are left alone to sort through the aftermath those images leave behind; each one becoming a seed that roots itself within the soft confines of their psyche. She takes this passion for writing horror and uses it to mentor other authors and she also volunteers as the Publisher’s Liaison for the Horror Writers Association. In January 2016, Lisa took her commitment to the next level by opening an independent publishing house, Stitched Smile Publications.
Her work can be found in several anthologies, and has a new novel called, “The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride” available now. Her debut novel, “The Unsaintly” is being re-edited and will be published late in 2017.
For more information and updates on Lisa’s work, you can find her at: www.unsaintly.com or on Facebook, Twitter (@unsaintly), Instagram (unsaintly), or her Official Facebook Fan Page.