She lay there on the twin sized bed, making no attempt to even draw back the curtains and let fresh air in. It made me wonder when was the last time she felt the sun or the wind, or saw the sea which was right outside her door. Somewhere along the line of life she had become weak and feeble and almost detestable.
Her pale skin had shown the neglect and the wrinkles which criss-crossed over her skin told the story of her resignation to living rather than resilience towards life. Her mouth had long since lost the stern edge that I was told set a whole village of children straight. Unfortunately, now all she did was lie on the bed, day and night; occasionally she got up to the bathroom or eat. But that was only ever with help.
She had a mind as clear and memories as vivid as yours, but seldom could be motivated into conversation unless it reflected on age old memories. It perplexed me how someone could hold so much information but have so little motivation to share .
Her life was one which made you question the tenacity of man and your own will. If the backbone of a village, mother to seven plus two, plus two could be content with living the rest of her life, unmoving from an airless room, then where would you be? Who would you turn into?
Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.
Collocate- i. to set or place together in proper order,
ii. to arrange side by side.
War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Machiavellianism- the view that politics is amoral and that any means, however unscrupulous, can justifiably be used in achieving political power
Originally posted on Beyond Panic:
A few years ago, I heard a song by John Mayer called Waiting on the World to Change, a song about idealistic and virtuous youth waiting for the corrupt and evil aged to die off. The song’s most telling lyric went as follows:
“It’s not that we don’t care, we just know that the fight ain’t fair,
So we keep on waiting for the world to change.”
I thought it rather lightweight for a protest song. I also thought it was the most naive thing I’d ever heard from a young man who’d traveled the world several times over.
Why would you wait?
Still, it will be interesting to see what unfolds while you do. Here’s why:
The ‘love your brother’ and ‘equality for all’ generation, when they began to experience true competition for resources as a result of their policies to ensure that equality in the 60’s, became the ‘angry white…
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“I love the way you look at me when I handle a knife.” She smiled sadistically, brandishing the butcher’s blade. “It’s so much better than that ugly leer you gave me in the alley. What was that you said, about me ‘asking for it’? Funny thing really, because I thought you were begging for someone to show you the error of your ways.”
Warning: Unlike most of my stories this short story contains small use of profanity and talks about torture and sadistic violence. I really have no idea what was going through my mind when I wrote this. I’ve been rightfully told that it’s over the top so I did my best to tune it down. No promises.
Fresh beads of sweat broke out across her captive’s forehead as Denise stepped towards him with the oversize cutter. Panicked, he toppled the chair he was bound to in a failed effort to widen the gap between them. At least now he would not see his killer, only her immaculate boots.
Unexpectedly, she hoisted Dubois off the floor and returned him to his upright position. Oh great, the bitch wants to make me suffer more, he lamented as he stared at his disheveled reflection in the mirror. With great confusion, Dubois watched her slowly apply shaving cream to his face; once again she picked up the knife and brought it gingerly to his neck.
“Yes, I like that look. I like it a lot.” Her cackle was almost as unsettling as her barely concealed blood lust. “It reminds me of how the little rich brats would look at me when they passed me on the roadside. Yet they would still find the courage to call out Sookooyah Sookooyah, where is our dad? They’d probably thought I turned him into some kind of lougaroup or werewolf. The truth was much too gruesome for their little minds, but oh so fun for mine. You see, daddy dearest was abusing the staff’s daughters and we can’t have that now, can me?” She snickered and took another sharp swipe from Dubois’ jaw, leaving it cleanly shaven.
In truth he was more concerned with how Denise’s eyes never left the mirror as she brought the sharp blade so close to his jugular. The entire time, she kept her eyes on her own reflection as if it were the first time she was seeing her relaxed hair, pear shaped figure or her smooth mulatto skin.
“Do you have any idea,” she paused mid shave, bringing her lips to his ear, “how badly I would like to end this right now? It won’t be that hard and if i wanted it to be so, it wouldn’t be that quick. Because I’d really like to avenge all the people you have hurt and attacked? There’s only so much our justice system can do.” her voice had become clipped and void of any accent; she pressed down. a little harder on the knife. “Do you know why I am not doing that right now?” Dubois did not even risk exhaling during the following two shaves. Denise continued despite the lack of response, “It’s simple really. I want to know where the girl you kidnapped is. Tell me that and You. Are. Free.”
“I-I-I dunno about any girl. You crazy dumb bitch.” Dubois’ voice shook as he mustered what was more stupidity than courage. Denise abruptdly stopped and placed the blade on the nearby table. “You think I’m sacred of you” You don’t know nothing. You know what me and my pals could do to you? First we’d rough you u-“
Dubois had ignored her walking around to stand in front of him until the heel of her boot had firmly connected with his sternum and sent him flying to the ground. She ran her hand over her stain black hair and walked calmly towards him. Denise placed her foot on his chest again and slowly began to add pressure. “Rebecca!” her voice sound off the concrete walls. Moments later, another woman appeared next to her, hovering curiously over Dubois’ body.
“He’s very handsome, doesn’t look too sleazy.” Her Spanish accent rang true. “In another life he might even be as decent as he looked.”
“This is Rebecca. She will be your doctor, Dubois. She tells me that she can keep you alive and awake for as long as necessary without dulling your senses. Do you know what that means?” Denise smiled as he shook in fear under her. “There is a little girl I need to find. You have limbs that you want to keep. So I’m going to test my need against your greed.” She took a deep breath and enunciated her next words slowly. “I will start with small things that you don’t need to live. Then big things that you don’t need to live. Your limbs and what not. If you still won’t talk then I will be forced to move on to things that you do need and were never meant to see.” Denise crouched next to him, waving the blade over his face. “And you will be conscious for every moment of it. Do you feel like talking about the girl now?”
Dubois shut his eyes and started to mumble prayers to a guardian angel who had probably long since abandon him.
“Fine. We’ll put Rebecca’s paycheck to use. Take off his shoe. We don’t have time to waste.”
“No!” Dubois roared.
Hours later Rebecca and Denise sat wordlessly in a car across from a townhouse as a police officer brought the ten year old girl home to her very worried family.
“That should be us.” Rebecca broke the silence, “It isn’t fair. We did the work and we get no gratitude.”
“Well the reward money says very differently.” Denise remarked, pulling out of the parking space.
“Would you really have done that? Like you said.” Rebecca’s voice was quieter now. “Because it looked like you would.”
“There’s a reason we choose the people with the weakest wills to go after. You can’t know what you’re going to do until that moment comes. But I would do what I could to get that girl home.”