Friday, July 2, 2010

Full Intention: Chapter 5 - Sacrifices




“YES.” He responds with a bit of exasperation and removes his mask. And looks up and over at the distant figures. “Now what is the problem? This would be done sooner without all these interruptions.” 

His words of irritation echo across the empty darkness and Steven’s voice replies something unintelligible before falling back into the previous conversation. I can’t hear the response but Ethan nods and recovers his composure before looking down at me.

“And you honey. Honestly, can you quit moving so I can finish. I swear if I stick you with this needle one more time you won’t be able to feel your own skin. Not that it’s a bad thing.”

“It’s good to see you.”

“I missed you too, honey. Now hush up and for Christ’s sake stop moving. This is much harder than it looks.”

There are a thousand questions I can think to ask, but his candor lets me know that this would be unacceptable.  Three more stitches are in as the needle digs back into the opening. My leg feels like a freight train has run over it. The anesthetic is wearing off.

My mind and body are still coming to complete consciousness from the drugs. Assessing my position it’s clear that I’m restrained to the chair. Arms and legs are tied securely to a white Zanuso chair circa 1948. The modern eccentricity screams of Steven’s flair. In fact, the whole atmosphere of this warehouse space looks much more like a holding cell for refugee furnishings. In the corner, just beyond the shadow of light sits a table with chairs that resembles something with a Saarinen influence. All around plastic drapes across different shapes and sizes of modern design.

Ethan once again leans close and looks in my eye to remind me to stop moving.

My light sensitive eyes have adjusted to the dark spaces in the oversized cavern. Steven and another man continue to lean close and talk in front of a long table. They both are watching Ethan work in between their discussion. As far as I can visualize Steven is still dressed in the same clothes. We haven’t gone far or been here long. His white collared shirt is blood stained and his black tie undone. Through the drug induced haze I still wonder what this all means. What could Steven want with me? Information? I knew nothing really of his affairs; only those that suited the interest of my business associates. With Steven’s typical high profile state of affairs there are at least a handful of men watching the perimeter. There should be. There is no one. Something about the situation feels far removed from anything typical.

Steven makes his way forward from the corner of the room. In one hand he has a revolver tightly in his grip and his other hand remains empty at his side. Gradually he comes up to the side of the chair next to Ethan and stands. Carefully he examines my wound and walks around to my other side. Kneeling he reaches over with the revolver and uses it to turn my face toward his. His eyes have a serious intent that is unavoidable. The gun is a threat and I’m waiting for the taunt. These words that haven’t escaped his mouth are like tiny invisible daggers that are waiting to plunge in.

Removing the gun from my cheek he leans in to whisper in my ear. “Shh...”

Swallowing hard, I release a small whimper of air. In a full solid movement, he reaches back and with a forward swing brings his arm across my face. Ethan’s needle remains threaded in my shoulder as he sits back. The sting envelops my entire face and pulsates with an angry intensity. Looking over I can see Ethan stay still without a reaction. Delicately Steven reaches down to grab my chin and hold my face, before letting go and walking back a few steps. Ethan continues to work.

Holding back the pain, I watch Steven maneuver around the chair as he puts the revolver in the rear waist band of his pants. He’s a madman pacing with discomfort. The internal scrutiny is visible on his troubled face. I can only wonder what comes next. Despite everything that’s already happened, I still need an answer. I need him to give me something to make sense of these circumstances gone array. His pace quickens back as he fumbles in his pant pocket for a new object. Shiny. Metallic. Precise. A knife.

When I think he’s about to slice into my arm, he leans in and quietly asks, “You want answers?”

With a vicious smile I nod and briefly move my head. Ethan looks irritated and pauses.

“I can’t give you answers. There isn’t enough… it’s important that you listen. I will tell you what you need to know as it becomes necessary.”

Just when I begin to think ‘what the hell’, he stops short and kneels down. Once again he says, “Shh…” Standing upward with a slow turn, his arm reaches back. Right as I expect another wallop against my face, the revolver discharges.

Steven shot the Cajun watching from the corner of the room.

At this instant I can see the madness retreat and Steven take pause then drop the gun. Leaning in he starts to cut my restraints. One by one, he removes the ropes from my hands and legs. Ethan resumes his work without a shake.

“My dear, you must start to understand…” Steven’s voice drifts off slow while he brings the knife to rest upon his chin. With an even movement he sits on the floor next to the chair and grabs my hand. Calmly he looks up at me and nods, “this is necessary. We all must make sacrifices.”

As promised here is #5. The surprise? Been thinking about taking this whole thing apart to rework it into a more complete piece. It’s become difficult to keep the ‘voice’ intact, installment to installment. IT is a brilliant challenge in form and I LOVE IT. Currently working on something fun that I hinted I might do months and months ago… another sci-fi story. But not anything like you might think at all. Will there be aliens? Not saying. There is more. Enjoy. m.

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