“Every stitch off, now,” Kimberley said, still staring impassively at the man standing two paces from her. Brett was still staggering, bent forward and holding his bleeding nose and mouth with one hand, while he reached out with his other hand.
“You want me to strip?” Brett said, lifting his blood-covered hand away only slightly. As he straightened and looked at his assailant, his eyes squinted and his head shook slightly as he tried to understand.
Kimberley said: “You’ve got three more seconds to start, or you’ll be hampered by a bullet in your leg.”
Brett fumbled at first, but once he got started, he noticed that the barrel of the pistol never left its aiming mark, just below his waist. He also noticed that his captor’s expression remained impassive. His jacket and shirt were thrown to land on a nearby hard-backed chair. He stumbled as he pulled off his pants and socks and stopped with only his boxers remaining. When he looked at Kimberley, she nodded slowly and he reluctantly removed his final piece of clothing.
Kimberley said: “Face the wall.” She was obeyed instantly. As she crossed the basement, she kept glancing over her shoulder. The item she wanted was the wooden hard-backed chair on which Brett had thrown his clothing. Kimberley upended it, dislodging the garments onto the floor.
A glance confirmed that most of the seat had been removed, leaving a crisscrossed set of four narrow wooden bars which enabled a person to sit, albeit uncomfortably. It turned her stomach as she realized the simple arrangement was to allow access to the occupant from underneath. She lifted the chair close to the beds to face the area where the two dead girls lay.
“Turn around,” she said, “and sit on that contraption.”
Brett turned, and looked at the once innocent piece of wooden furniture. He and his cronies had adapted it, like everything else in the basement, for their perverted pleasures. As he stepped forward and sat on the bloodstained chair, he heard the metal cuffs clinking, and he remembered the last time he’d taken pleasure when one of the girls was manacled to the chair. He glanced at the woman with the gun and then sat with his hands on his knees.
Kimberley said: “Secure your ankles to the chair legs and then sit up.”
Brett looked at the woman’s hard expression. The realization that he might not survive this situation was starting to feel like a real possibility. He leaned forward from his awkward sitting position and his face throbbed from the injuries to his nose and lower jaw. His gums still bled and he found himself occasionally spitting out blood. He secured one ankle and then the other to the handcuffs that were fitted to the front legs of the chair and then he sat up.
His lips parted as if to speak, and then they closed again. There was no mercy in the woman’s eyes so the only time Brett parted his bruised lips was to allow his tongue to play over them again, and again. Some teeth had gone and a couple of others were loosened.
Kimberley said: “Now reach behind you and clip both of your wrists into the cuffs on the back of the chair.” She watched and then walked around him to ensure it was done, keeping out of reach as she did. While standing behind him she wiped the tears that had started again. Her tears were prompted by her wild imaginings.
She stepped forward, squatted and picked up the journal from where Brett had dropped it on the floor. Kimberley then went around to the front of the chair, tucked her weapon into the waistband of her jeans and opened the book. She glanced at the journal and then looked down at her captive. His loud breathing was beginning to irritate her, but she knew he had no choice but to breathe with his injured mouth open.
“The ground rules are as follows,” she said in her flat tone. “I will ask you questions. I expect an answer within five seconds. If I don’t get one, I’ll put a bullet in your dick.” She watched as he looked down at his own nudity and then straight up at her, his lips parting further and partially closing, silently, trembling. Blood continued to drip from his mouth.
“It’s not much of a target,” Kimberley said without humor, “but I’ll get close so I don’t miss.” She looked into his wild staring eyes before she continued. “If I think you’re lying, I’ll put a bullet in your dick. If I think you’re playing for time ... well, I think even you will have caught the general theme.” She paused and looked at the journal and then as an afterthought looked at Brett again.
The man blinked several times and swallowed hard, but he didn’t respond. It was nearly impossible to stop his tongue locating the large socket where three of his teeth had been until her knee removed them. He would show the heartless bitch he had guts. He was sure she was bluffing and this was a test, and he’d come through it.
Kimberley said: “In addition, if you cry out, plead for your life, ask me a question, or bore me, you’ll get the same punishment as for everything else.”
Brett watched her expression in silence and he began to realize she was deadly serious. This was no test. He was manacled to a chair in a basement with a crazy woman.
Kimberley said: “This is a journal of what was done to my sister and some of the other girls. It explains in detail what was done and by whom.”
Brett moved his lips as if to speak, but then he thought better of the idea. He remembered the rules. The first questions still threw him off balance.
Kimberley said: “What age are you?”
“29, going on 30,” he said.
“What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a butcher,” he said and swallowed. “I work in the meat market some days and in the college on other days.”
“Do you know how many people are on this list?”
“If it’s people who came down here, two of them work at the college, two of them are police officers, and there is one I met when I was in prison.”
“Why were you in prison?”
He swallowed hard again and cleared his throat, seemingly unable to respond. He lowered his head and slowly shook it from side to side. As he looked down at his shriveled manhood dangling through the base of the chair he caught sight of the pistol moving forward until the end of the suppressor was three inches from his dick.
“R ... r ... rape,” he stammered before swallowing hard again.
“Who was the victim?”
“A neighbor’s kid,” he mumbled, keeping his head down.
“It was a 14-year-old girl,” he muttered, staring down through the base of the chair.
“Lift your fucking head up,”
Brett lifted his head slowly, and as soon as he was sitting up straight the business end of the suppressor was pressed against his forehead. When he focused on the handgun at such close range, he urinated and the trickles drummed on the wooden floor.
Kimberley moved the end of the suppressor to press it alongside Brett’s left cheek.
Brett’s face screwed up and his eyes became slits. He tried to look left at the gun.
Kimberley squeezed the trigger and a ‘phutt’ sound issued from the end of the long black barrel. Most of Brett’s left ear disappeared and left tattered bleeding flesh. He yelped and started crying openly as an acute pain shot through the useless flap of skin and cartilage.
Kimberley said: “Did you know these two girls?”
Brett saw the woman’s lips move but he could only hear the continuing loud buzzing in the inner ear on the left side of his head. He stared and turned his head to hear more clearly with his right ear.
“I said; did you know these two girls?”
“One of them lived here,” Brett said, “and the other was a hitch-hiker who was passing through.”
“How did the hitch-hiker end up in here?”
“I ... I brought her here for a meal-,”
Kimberley said: “You will now tell me the name of every person who took part in the imprisonment and systematic abuse of these girls. I want every name you would expect to find in this journal.” The suppressor moved up against Brett’s right cheek.
Brett said: “Gus Higgins, Rick Carson, Ben Sorrenson, Tony Morgan,” he paused, squinted and shook his head before adding quietly, “and me.”
As Kimberley looked at the list she could see it was inaccurate. Brett had previously said two people from college, two policemen, a man he met in prison, plus himself. Kimberly turned a page and then turned it back again.
She said: “You’ve got five seconds to finish the list.” She was surprised at the additional name when she heard it.
“Gillian,” Brett blurted out, “Gillian Carson.”
Kimberley swallowed and her eyes closed briefly. Before speaking, she looked across the dimly lit area of the basement at the table with the range of sex toys and accessories. The inclusion of some of the items and a couple of the entries in the journal suddenly made sense. The journal also had mention of a woman, but there was no name.
“What is this woman to Rick Carson?”
“His wife,” Brett answered instantly. “They don’t have kids ... they just live for pleasure-,” he stopped talking in mid-sentence, realizing he was going too far.
“Now,” Kimberley said, “the same rules apply, but this time I want you to confirm what each of these people did, including you.”
For ten minutes, Brett talked rapidly, sometimes changing from the antics of one perpetrator to explain about another, and then he went back to the previous one. There were sickening activities involving more than one person, and some activities that had not been detailed in the journal.
At one point, Brett paused for several seconds as he reported a particularly harrowing act. It may have been because he was taking some perverse pleasure in the telling, or it was some other reason, but it didn’t matter to his captor. She had already made a silent judgment.
Brett wasn’t an innocent, or an imbecile who had been led astray. He was a grown man and a sexual deviant. He was a convicted child-rapist, and had willingly taken part in sexual atrocities against at least two innocent young women who were now dead. His deeds were bad enough and he had admitted them, but his greatest mistake was laying a finger on Harriet Forest. For that, he would die; and not mercifully.
As she listened, Kimberley walked behind the chair again to try to maintain her self-control. When she stood behind him, listening to the heinous acts, she was close to putting her pistol to his head and squeezing the trigger. She wiped the tears away and when her captive stopped talking she walked around to face him. She tucked the weapon into her waistband and looked down at the pathetic excuse for a man.
Kimberley tore a blank page from the back of Harriet’s journal, but careful not to dislodge any of the others. She laid the blank page on the smooth back cover of the book and pulled out her pen.
She said: “You’ll now give me the name and approximate age of every victim that you’ve dealt with, in any way whatsoever. Start with the first one after you were released from prison.”
At first, Brett’s response was to look at her dumbfounded, until she placed the pen in her left hand alongside the book. She then wrapped the fingers of her right hand around the pistol grip of the automatic. The sexual predator mumbled a girl’s name and an approximate age. He thought for a moment and then gave another. It took ten minutes until he finally ended by giving the names of Harriet Forest - 17, and Penny the hitchhiker - 18, who were both lying on the floor of the basement a few feet away.
Kimberley looked down the list of seven names and ages. None of the victims were over 18-years-old.
She said: “There are two of your victims in this room. Where are the others?”
“I think one of them is still in a house somewhere, but I really don’t know.”
“Her name is Miranda something.”
Kimberley looked down the list and found Miranda; the final name he’d given.
“Where are the other four?” she asked.
“I had to ... dispose of them-,”
“Dispose of them?”
“Yeah, Morgan made me responsible for making them disappear if they died.”
“Because I’m a butcher-,”
“Where are the bodies?” Kimberley interrupted, unable to bear the explanation of the disposal. She had seen such things and was not prepared to hear it described by this animal.
He said: “They’re in the forest near the Appalachians. Higgins helped me to get rid of them near his hut in the forest.”
“Is Higgins the one you met in prison?”
“Yeah,” he said and spat out a mouthful of blood.
“What was Higgins serving time for?”
“Raping a teenage girl,” he looked down and mumbled, “a 14-year-old.”
“You’ve probably already realized,” Kimberley said in the same flat tone she had been using, “that you are going to die here.” It gave her little pleasure to see tears streaming down his cheeks. “In fact, you’re going to die here very soon.”
“I’ve told you as much as-,” his words dried up when the pistol was lowered and aimed at his shrunken manhood. Urine dripped onto the wooden floorboards under the chair splashing into the small puddle he’d already made in the dust.
She said: “I could shoot you, but that’s far too quick. Instead, you’ll be executed for what you’ve done, but your punishment will fit your crimes. It will be slow and agonizing.” She wanted him to suffer the mental anguish of knowing he was to suffer before he died. Kimberley didn’t take her eyes from his when she heard the renewed dribbling.
Brett was afraid, but even as he urinated again, he thought he had a trump card.
“Two of those others!” he screamed out, “they’re cops; detectives.” He sobbed. “Even if you kill me, they’ll find you and you’ll be the one that gets-,” His words dried up as he watched his captor produce and flick open a small black leather wallet. He stared at the shield within. “NYPD ... detective-,” he murmured, “you’re a cop.” He looked up at her.
Kimberley said: “You’ll see your detective friends soon enough, because if those two assholes don’t come after me, I’ll go after them.” Her right brow raised a little. “However it works out, I’m going to find and deal with every person in your little group.”
She half turned and threw the wallet and badge onto one of the beds. While standing there, she removed her wristwatch and it joined the badge. She saw him look at the items on the bed and then turn to her.
Kimberley looked into his eyes, seeing a glimmer of hope, but she said nothing.
“You can’t execute me,” Brett said, trying to produce a chuckle, almost sounding relieved. “It’s your duty to arrest me. I’ve got rights-,” He clammed up when she approached.
Kimberley moved nearer to the chair and bent over to speak close to Brett’s right ear.
She said: “You look at those two corpses you pile of shit, and then you tell me about your fucking rights.” She moved around to stoop in front of him, to look him in the eye.
“I think it’s only right that you know why I came here.” She looked him up and down as if he was a large piece of dog shit. “I came here because you were playing with my sister’s cell, but you accidentally pressed the call button.” She saw his eyes widen as the memory of the incident returned to him.
She said: “It’s because of your incompetence that I am now going to go in search of a small group of despicable people and punish them. Your reward is that you’re first.”
Brett looked from one partially covered body to the other, sniffed and swallowed hard. He was having difficulty dealing with his imminent death sentence. Finding out that it was his own inability with a cell that put him in this position was all he needed to hear.
Kimberley said: “Who was the last one to give the girls an injection?”
“Sorrenson did both of them, but it was too much. It was usually Morgan or the woman who did it.”
Kimberley walked off to the cupboard behind her captive and then returned with a roll of duct tape. She tore off a length and applied it across the pervert’s mouth. As she pressed it hard against his damaged mouth she saw him wince and heard him try desperately to breathe through his damaged nose. There was a bubbling noise as he snorted to clear the blockage and his nose bled again.
“I’ve got some preparations to make,” she said. “If I come back and this chair has moved one fraction from where it is now ... well, you know my preferred punishment.” She took two steps and then turned. “Don’t even think about making any kind of noise.”
Kimberley went upstairs and straight to the kitchen. She found a detergent and rubbed copious quantities over the bloody stain on the right knee of her jeans and her right shoe. A hard rub with a sponge full of hot water removed much of the stains, leaving damp areas on the material.
She searched the house again, but with even greater attention to detail, locating documents and photographs she would like to have kept. Kimberley looked at the photographs, but decided to leave them in position. She located the safe behind the downstairs utility room and was relieved to find the combination was as she remembered.
Among other things inside the safe were Harriet’s passport, the stepfather’s passport and a second passport with his photo inside, registered in Brazil. In a manila envelope, Kimberley discovered $10,000, which she removed and slipped into her inside jacket pocket.
She went upstairs and went from room to room, checking dressers and any place that might be used to hide cash or documents. In one of the bathrooms under the washbasin in a cupboard was a further $5,000 which she took.
In Harriet’s bedroom was a framed photo of the girls’ parents. Her mother and natural father smiled back at her and she felt a strong pang of guilt. She stared at their faces.
“Mum, dad, I’m so sorry for what I have to do, but it’s the only way. Please forgive me. I’ll think of you both and Harriet every day of my life.”
There was a noise at the front of the house and Kimberley went to the window. She stood back to one side and looked down as the front gate swung closed. Pulling away up the street was a green sedan, probably an unmarked police car. Her assumption was based on the man who had been dropped off outside the front of the house.
Approaching down the path was her stepfather, Tony Morgan. He was looking as shifty as always, glancing side to side as he walked towards the door. He looked up at the window when Kimberley intentionally tapped the glass with the barrel of her gun.
Morgan’s eyes opened wide, his lips parted, and he reached inside his coat for his weapon. He reconsidered the move, before he turned and ran to the pickup in the driveway. He got in and fumbled for the keys, started the motor and reversed into the street.
The pickup’s tires squealed as it changed rapidly from reverse to forward motion. The vehicle raced away, leaving two black zigzag trails of rubber on the road surface. Morgan was a detective, but he knew of his stepdaughter’s fearsome reputation and her skills, especially with firearms.
“That’s it,” Kimberley said quietly as she watched the pick-up spin to the left and disappear at the intersection. “You can run, but you’ll worry too; as well you should you bastard. You’re a dead man walking Detective Morgan.”
She returned to the kitchen to look for certain materials, following her search with a look at the contents of the garage. It took her 15 minutes to amass all the ingredients she would need.
When Kimberley reappeared in the basement, she was no longer carrying the pistol. The suppressor had been removed from the end of the barrel and the weapon was seated in the shoulder holster. Kimberley was carrying something quite different; a red can of gasoline and a small, but sharp looking axe.
She placed the axe and the fuel can on the floor in front of her captive and went to the middle of the basement. It took a few minutes, before she managed to drag two heavy pieces of furniture to the left side and behind the chair. The man in the chair could now only move forward or to the right. When Kimberley was content that the chair was steady she lifted the axe and approached the right side, which still allowed access.
Brett stared wide-eyed at the axe. He was a butcher and had plenty of practice at cutting through flesh and bone with such an implement. To him, the level of power required was taken almost to an art form. He even knew just how much strength was needed to cut through a human limb using an axe or a knife; or a good hacksaw.
Kimberley squatted down and swung the axe at the inside of the rear leg of the chair on the right side. It took three swings to gouge out a v-shaped wedge about halfway up the leg. She turned slightly and attacked the front leg of the chair on the same side, in the same way. Both chair legs on the right were now considerably weaker, both held by a narrow piece of wood.
The small cupboard against the left side and the workbench pulled up behind, would ensure that the occupant of the chair would be prevented from falling to the left or backwards, no matter how he tried.
Kimberley hung the axe on one of the many racks on the wall and then returned to the vicinity of her prisoner. She picked up the fuel can, opened the cap, and started pouring the contents liberally all over the wooden flooring and the furniture. At the beds, she stopped and turned to look at the wide-eyed expression on the face of her prisoner.
He was writhing around on the chair, his face beaming, and tears streaming down his cheeks. The broad tape over his mouth was sucked in and blown out rapidly as the panic button in his brain was pressed. Moaning and subdued squealing noises were coming from him. Once again, he emptied his bladder, but this time it was accompanied by the contents of his bowels. There was now another aroma in the basement to join the mix.
Kimberley poured a substantial amount of fuel over the unknown girl’s body. It hurt her deeply to do such a thing, even to somebody she didn’t know, but it was necessary. She looked briefly at the selected items she had thrown onto the adjoining bed and then she went to her sister’s body.
It was a sad irony that she knew Harriet’s wishes regarding her choice of funeral. She poured most of the remainder of the gas steadily back and forward over the blanket that covered her sister’s corpse. The bedclothes draped over the girl were saturated in fuel.
“Please forgive me Harriet, but now you can rest in peace baby sister. I have to make sure they don’t find you the way I did. I love you and I’ll avenge your suffering. I’ll deal with every one of them.”
She wiped her eyes and her nose before she turned to the deviant on the chair.
Two paces took her forward and she splashed the last droplets of the fuel over his head and body so that it clung to his hair and dripped down over the hairs on his chest. She saw it make rivulets down over his genitals and down through the chair, to joining the puddle underneath.
“Are you sorry now?” she said as she glared at Alan Brett.
He writhed and squirmed. His head nodded vigorously and he sobbed within the confines of the tape. The tears poured from his red and staring eyes and the muffled sounds were those of a frightened animal. In his case, a frightened animal with sufficient intelligence to realize his impending doom. He was about to be burned alive, manacled to a chair.
Kimberley said: “I bet you’re fucking sorry, you heartless bastard.” She looked around and pulled out the book of matches from her pocket. “I don’t know what Hell is like, but I hope I can recreate the next best thing.” She walked away and could still hear him.
From halfway up the wooden staircase, Kimberley looked down at the desperate expression on the pervert’s face as he looked up and struggled to make the chair move. She struck a match and dropped it over the banister onto the floor right in front of him.
Before she ran up the staircase, Kimberley watched the flames rise up under the chair. Brett would not be blessed and overcome by smoke inhalation. His curse was that he would be acutely aware of the fire. The last people he would see on earth would be the two girls he had abused and tortured. He would die in agony looking at their burning corpses.
Two innocent souls would watch as their earthly bodies burned. Alan Brett would have enough time to experience Hell before his soul made the journey.
Before dousing the basement, Kimberley had already strategically placed a variety of flammable materials around the house. Using her basic knowledge of explosives, the contents of the kitchen, the garage and basement were like the magazines of an old wooden battleship. Some of the materials would explode while others would burn.
By the time Kimberley reached the kitchen, the flames were flooding through the house. For good measure, she left the back door open, just as she had done with every window in the house. She had also half-closed the drapes so that they would ignite more quickly, but there would still be plenty of oxygen getting to the blaze.
As she headed along the path, she was hidden by the high hedgerow. She paused for a few seconds to look back at what had been the family home. It had held so many happy memories, but now, like everything within, it had to be destroyed as completely as possible. Flames licked out of every window and small explosions started to occur.
Sunday 16th July 2017
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