Beyond The Grave – Twelve
The last thing Julie remembered was Old Hank pointing a taser at her. It felt as if she had been electrocuted. Not sure if she was dead or alive, she felt her skin crawling with tiny bugs as she lay on the damp ground. Unable to see her hand in front of her face, she wondered if she had been transported to an underground cave.
She stood up slowly. The pounding in her head felt excruciating. She leaned against what she thought was a metal wall. Could she be in a shipping container? There was no movement, so it had to be stationary. Had he buried her alive? Where was Michael? Her head ached even more. She began to feel her way along the ridged walls.
For the first time in Julie’s life, she felt vulnerable and helpless.
“Hello? Is anyone here? Michael? Can you hear me?”
She stepped cautiously, sliding her feet along what she assumed was dirt. Tripping on something, she landed on her knees. Thankfully, on something soft. It felt like a mattress. The smell of mildew caused her nostrils to burn.
“God damn it,” she screamed. “Come out, you fucking coward.”
But all that greeted her was silence. The faint blue light in the distance told her she was being watched.
* * * * *
Old Hank watched the night vision camera as Julie inched her way along the shipping container wall. He purposely didn’t strip her clothing away. He wanted her to smell the sourness of herself after a couple days in her pee-drenched shorts. She sure did talk a tough game. As he watched her, he chuckled to himself. She sure don’t look so tough now.
His plan to move her to Pearls was delayed. Pearl had to find a buyer for her. The heroin Pearl supplied needed to be injected by this evening. He dreaded having to go down into the container while she was awake. She was a feisty one. He’d have to tase her again.
His attention went back to the camera images on his computer. Julie called out for Michael again. Ah, Michael. What a pussy he turned out to be. Another one talked a tough game but sure did wuss out when he saw the restraints on the table and the surgical instruments. Old Hank wondered why some people think money is their only motivator? Hell, Old Hank was in it for the kill. He loved watching as life left their eyes. Not able to explain it, but caused a real mind high the first time he witnessed death.
He made it easy for Michael to accept his torture and death. After strapping him naked to the table, he pushed the needle into the prominent veins of his left arm. Who knew his small penis would get hard once the drugs hit his system? Old Hank had to laugh. Michael laughed, too but only because he was high. Michael tried to make conversation, bribing him, so Old Hank started with his tongue.
He pushed a small, purple microdot into his mouth. Then he left the room for about an hour.
Upon returning to the room, he slapped Michael’s thigh. His eyes opened. The whites were red, and his pupils were huge. He’s stoned alright. Let’s give him a trip he’ll never forget.
The purple microdot was a form of LSD. More potent than blotter acid, he’d drive Michael out of his mind first, then he’d kill him.
He placed his homemade apparatus just inside Michael’s mouth to hold it open. Old Hank could see he was trying to move his head back and forth, but the strap holding Michael’s head to the board worked beautifully. The only thing coming out of Michael’s mouth was his tongue. Old Hank took the sharp scalpel in his right hand, holding Michael’s tongue with his left. He made tiny short strokes along the underside, coming up over the sides and then the top until it fell away.
Michael’s eyes were wild by now, and his gurgling screams as the blood ran down his throat almost choked him to death. Old Hank turned the table on its side and instructed him to spit out the blood. Michael tried to talk, but Old Hank could only guess what he was saying.
Holding the cut out tongue for Michael to see, Old Hank, laughed,
“Cat got your tongue?”
He threw it in the corner of the room. The barn cat would feast on it later tonight.
“I’ll let you stew on this for a while. I gotta check on your friend,”
Old Hank checked to be sure the video camera was still filming. He’d watch it back tonight over a cigar and his bourbon. He locked the door on his way out.
Turning on his computer, Old Hank watched Julie as she stumbled around the underground container. Every few minutes, she’d yell out, ‘Hello’ but never got a reply.
It was time. Just after nightfall, Pearl’s men would be there to pick her up. She needed to be good and stoned before then. Grabbing his taser and night vision goggles, he headed out to the above-ground container.
Looking around, he unlocked the door. It made a squeaking sound as the rusty door swung open. Once inside, he flipped down the goggles closing the door behind him. Placing the same lock on the inside, he heard it click, assuring him no one from the outside would be able to get in.
He worked his way to the western corner of the container. The long screwdriver was where he had left it. Moving boxes aside, he placed the flathead into a cutaway in the plywood board. It lifted up enough for him to grab it with his other hand. Looking down into the hole, his penis stirred. It excited him, knowing she was down there and wouldn’t be able to see him. He felt his back pocket for the taser before jumping down into the shallow darkness.
She was sitting in the dirt a few feet away from the moldy mattress.
“I can smell you, asshole. Nice try if you were trying to be subtle. Maybe if you bathed every now and then…”
Julie was cut short by an electric shock. The light from the taser was bright enough for her to get a glimpse of Old Hank in his night-vision goggles before she went into convulsions.
* * * * *
When Julie came to, she couldn’t be sure if she was dreaming or not. She felt stoned, and her limbs weighed a ton. Paranoia set in. Why couldn’t she move? Tears filled her eyes. Someone had removed her shorts, but she didn’t care. All she could do was lay there on the dirt floor while her mind moved a million miles a minute. She’d do the five-finger breathing exercise her therapist taught her for anxiety, but her arms were paralyzed. The sour stench permeated the air. Julie’s stomach rolled, but the only thing she could muster up was bile. And even though she was nauseous, she was thirsty and beyond hungry.
* * * * *
After tasing the nasty bitch, Old Hank tied the plastic cord around her upper arm, slapping the inside of it to find a vein. He took the prepared needle and stuck it in. He pulled out a little blood first and then slowly released the drug into her body. She moaned. He had learned that trick when he was in the military. It gave you a rush like no other.
“You like that, honey? Well, let Old Hank give you something else you’re gonna learn to like.”
He unhooked his overalls and pulled them down to his ankles. He picked Julie up and threw her on the mattress. It was like fucking a corpse, but he liked doing that sometimes; it made him feel in control. When he was finished with her, he wiped himself clean on her shorts.
“This will add to your stench,” he said.
Pearl didn’t care what condition she received the girls in as long as they were addicted before they were dropped off. It was the only way Pearl could control them. She’d bathe them up and put them in a clean dress with no shoes or underwear. Can’t run too far without shoes. If they behaved, she’d reward them with a fix. Most behaved.
The pickup went off without a hitch. Old Hank gave her another poke thirty minutes before the boys arrived. They hoisted her up through the opening.
“Damn, amigo. How long have you had her?” one of the guys asked. “She stinks to high heaven.”
“Good thing she’s riding in the trunk,” the other one responded.
Old Hank ignored them.
“Got my money?”
“Yeah, man. Let me get her to the car, and we’ll settle up,” said the short one as they struggled with the dead weight.
The easiest money Old Hank ever made in his life. Fifty grand.
“Do what you love, and the money will follow,” his father used to tell him. Damn, he was right.
When the guys pulled away, Old Hank went back to see how his old buddy Michael, the negotiator, was doing.
The bleeding tongue had coagulated, but the pool of blood on the floor told Old Hank he had lost quite a bit. The slaughterhouse drains on the foundation provided easy cleanup. He’d have to hose it down before it dried up.
He moved the table back into position, so Michael was on his back again.
“Hmphhmm ee,” Old Hank thought he was saying, “Help me,” but couldn’t be sure, nor did he care.
Taking the scalpel, he placed small slices all throughout his body. The drugs were starting to wear off. He was sure Michael’s tongue was throbbing. He debated whether to kill him or continue to torture him. He chose the latter. He grabbed a spoon and his lighter. Mixing some of the brown granules with a little water, he heated up the bottom of it. Once it melted, he drew some of the liquid into the syringe. This time, Old Hank decided to inject it between Michael’s big and second toe.
His light skin flushed. His penis became erect again. Old Hank decided not to waste the opportunity to bring Michael a little joy in his private hell. He began teasing him like his mother used to tease him in the tub.
Michael seemed to be enjoying it. Old Hank knew why. He had found the prison release papers in the rented Hummer. The only piece of ass Michael had gotten these last ten years had to have been from the other male prisoners. After the deed was done, Old Hank proceeded to gouge out his eyeballs and stuff them down his throat. It took about five minutes for Michael to asphyxiate.
* * * * *
The body had been identified from dental records obtained from the prison. It was definitely Michael. Daniella was certain Julie’s body was nearby and ordered a sweep of the entire area.
“I need a rush on the autopsy,” she informed the coroner.
Two days later, his report was on her desk.
“Holy shit, Rodriquez,” Daniella said after reading the report. “We have one sick motherfucker on our hands. What he did to this poor guy, I can’t even imagine what the other victims went through. This guy’s eyeballs were stuffed down his throat, causing him to suffocate. His tongue was cut out. I thought maybe the vultures had eaten them away.”
Daniella shook her head.
“It may not be our guy,” said Rodriguez.
“Why? It’s the first body we’ve found.”
“It’s the first MALE body we’ve found. All the other missing persons are females.”
Daniella thought for a minute. A light bulb went off in her brain. She realized they may not be dealing with a serial killer but a serial sex trafficker.