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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2227461
A man prepares his work.
Here Be Monsters

“So, what do you think of my little den, now that you’re awake? I must admit that I’m rather proud of it.” The man turned from his contemplation of the array of implements on the table before him, waving one arm at the room as he spoke. There came no answer, apart from a muffled grunting from the bed in the centre of the room.

“Oh, of course,” said the man, “you’ve still got that silly gag on, haven’t you? I’ll have to remove that if you’re to be involved in the proceedings at all.” He walked unhurriedly to the bed, looked down at the woman lying on it, trussed like a chicken for the oven, and ripped the duck tape from her mouth in one sudden movement. She gasped with the pain and he smiled.

“Go on, young lady, scream as much as you wish. This place is completely soundproofed and I have headphones over there that are guaranteed to cut sound to a whisper. You’ll not cause me a problem, I can assure you of that.”

The woman regarded him silently, her eyes wide and glancing from side to side as though seeking an escape. There were no windows and the single door was clearly very thick and heavy, its hinges being massive and standing proud from the edges. Closed cupboards covered the walls, making the place seem like a laboratory, although there was no obvious place for a scientist to work. A quiet humming formed a background of sound as though some efficient and unseen air conditioner kept the place supplied with fresh air.

The man was looking at the woman with a quizzical expression but, when she said nothing, he spoke again. “But you have not answered my question. Are you impressed with my lair, my secret bolthole?”

The woman switched her attention from the room to the man. Still silent, she raised her arms, as though refusing to answer until he had removed her bonds. He smiled again. “Oh no, my pretty one, it’s far too early for that. There’s a specified order for everything and we come to that much later.”

He turned away, apparently having lost interest in her opinion of the room, and went back to his study of the implements on the table. Then he chose one, picked it up and held it for inspection under the light. “Yes,” he muttered to himself, “this would be best, I think.”

Once again, he turned and strode to the bed. He allowed the woman to see what he was holding and then commenced, “I import these from Zurich. It is a surgical scalpel, as you can see, but it is of exceptional quality and I have done much fine work with it. See how the light reflects from its blade as I turn it. It is very sharp, I assure you, and even I am amazed at how easily it cuts through the most obstinate of materials. Allow me to demonstrate.”

He flicked at the top button of her blouse and and it spun off into space as though it had never been connected to the garment. The man raised an eyebrow as he watched the woman’s reaction, then removed each button in turn with a quick turn of his wrist. Her blouse fell open, revealing the bra underneath. “And now,” the man continued, “the most incredible cut of all.” He inserted the scalpel’s blade below the centre of the base strap and pulled gently upward. The strap fell apart and the bra opened to reveal the woman’s breasts.

“Please, don’t do this,” begged the woman.

The man looked up, genuine surprise on his face. “Do what?” he asked. “You think I would attack you sexually, like some depraved pervert or other? Is that how low you think I have sunk? Oh no, my dear, you have the wrong idea entirely. This has nothing to do with…” and here his face took on a look of disgust. “Nothing to do with that sort of thing. Our business tonight is of a much higher order. As you will see in due course.”

He looked down at her body. “There,” he pronounced, “I think that is all we will need for the moment. I’m sorry that the thought of sexual attack should have so distressed you, although I can understand how you came to that conclusion. The fact is that this…” he gestured with the scalpel at her naked torso. “This umm, revealing, of your body is purely to allow me to work without hindrance.”

Her eyes had been widening as he spoke. “What are you going to do?” she asked.

“Oh, we are going on a little journey,” he replied. “I think a good place to start would here,” he indicated the top of her breastbone. “And then we’ll wander down to here.” He pointed at her navel. “Not too deep at first because you’ll want to be present for the whole trip. And then we’ll just see where the notion takes us.” He drew lazy circles in the air with the scalpel.

She was looking at him with pure horror in her eyes. “You’re going to cut me up? What are you, that you get pleasure from such a horrible thing?”

Once again he smiled. “Ah, it must be so hard for you to understand the love that drives me. It’s who I am, you see. People say that I’m a serial killer but that isn’t the half of it. It’s purely an expression of my deep, passionate self that insists on these intricate and amusing travels through the anatomy of the human being. People are so fascinating, don’t you think?”

He paused there and regarded her with sorrowful eyes. “I know how awful it must be for you at first, my dear. But believe me, you’ll understand before we reach the end. And then, my little sugar plum, you will know me for what I am. It is, you see, the nature of the beast.”

Gently, he laid the point of the scalpel at the base of her neck and began.

Word Count: 1,019
For SCREAMS!!!, July 22 2020
Prompt: The nature of the beast

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