Decisions – an old story

Another one from four or five years ago. More of a thought experiment than anything, though it does have some themes in common with some of my other stories.

Decisions

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  Over the top of my magazine I saw a figure lumbering about with incessant music blaring from his mobile phone, so I glanced up for a better look; in front of me stood a tall, thin figure with harsh facial features, tracksuit style clothing, and a beanie despite the blissful weather outside. He caught my wandering eyes and slurred “What the fuck do you think you’re looking at?” I panicked and mumbled, “Nothing, sorry, I wasn’t looking at you,” and looked away as he laughed, increasing his swagger as he headed for the back seat of the bus. My heart was pounding, my palms sweating and I could no longer concentrate on the article, as I feared he might come back for more confrontation.

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  Over the top of my magazine I saw a figure lumbering about with incessant music blaring from his mobile phone, so I glanced up for a better look; in front of me stood a tall, thin figure with harsh facial features, tracksuit style clothing, and a beanie despite the blissful weather outside. He caught my wandering eyes and slurred “What the fuck do you think you’re looking at?”  He was glaring at me to force me to respond. He had picked the wrong day, I wasn’t about to just lie down and take abuse from this nobody. “Not you” I said with derisive laughter in my voice “You aren’t my type; too fucking ugly!” The whole bus went silent as he moved towards me, though I did not feel scared as the adrenaline coursed through my veins. “You fucking what?” He responded aggressively. He was obviously trying to re-establish his dominance but I was not in the mood and took my chance. “If you don’t want fucking up I suggest you stay away from me.” I realised this wasn’t the most well crafted of threats but it appeared to suffice. He merely glared at me briefly, looked around at the shocked bus passengers and took a seat behind me.

I alighted the bus at my usual stop, which is a very short walk from my house through an area which few frequent. I could tell that the aforementioned thug was getting off the bus at my stop and knew I had to face him. He slurred yet more obscenities at me and I realised I had to fight him; something I had little experience with. I could almost feel the testosterone charging me, my hands shaking as I clenched my fist and prepared myself for the fight. I hesitated. Big mistake! He saw me coming a mile away and knocked me to the floor with three well timed punches. I had never been so disoriented in my life as I crashed to the floor in a heap, my pride bringing me down even further. Vulgarity spewed from his mouth as I curled into a ball to protect myself from his repeated kicks. Eventually he stopped, though I have no idea where he went; I was lying curled up in a pathetic ball, eyes firmly shut as I prayed for him to leave. I eventually staggered home and sat in silence, drowning in regret, weighed down by my dented ego.

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  Over the top of my magazine I saw a figure lumbering about with incessant music blaring from his mobile phone, so I glanced up for a better look; in front of me stood a tall, thin figure with harsh facial features, tracksuit style clothing and a beanie, despite the blissful weather outside. He caught my wandering eyes and slurred “What the fuck do you think you’re looking at?”  He was glaring at me to force me to respond. He had picked the wrong day, I wasn’t about to just lie down and take abuse from this nobody. “Not you” I said with derisive laughter in my voice “You aren’t my type; too fucking ugly!” The whole bus went silent as he moved towards me, though I did not feel scared as the adrenaline coursed through my veins. “You fucking what?” He responded aggressively. He was obviously trying to re-establish his dominance but I was not in the mood and took my chance “If you don’t want fucking up I suggest you stay away from me.” I realised this wasn’t the most well crafted of threats but it appeared to suffice. He merely glared at me briefly, looked around at the shocked bus passengers and took a seat behind me.

I alighted the bus at my usual stop, which is a very short walk from my house through an area which few frequent. I could tell that the aforementioned thug was getting off the bus at my stop and knew I had to face him. I took my chances as quickly as I could and threw punch after punch at his pathetic excuse for a face. I had never hit anyone before and knew that my punches were weak, but the surprising barrage had him unconscious on the floor. I could hear my heart pounding in my head, my hands were shaking, and I had never felt anger like this before. The events which happened next felt like a dream or some bad film where the protagonist’s actions go unexplained. I picked up his limp body and carried it to my house, dumping him in my kitchen as I prepared another room. I laid out a sheet of plastic and placed a chair in the middle, barely taking my eyes off of him in case he stirred. I tied him up in the chair and waited, I wanted him to be awake, wanted to hear screams. I got out a toolbox full of rarely used appliances, some still in their original packages.

When he eventually awoke I sat in front of him, staring at the intense fear and confusion so evident in his eyes. I had stripped him completely naked and burnt his vile clothes for further humiliation. In my hands I caressed a pair of pliers as I decided which order to pull out his teeth. I forced his mouth open and he resisted, trying to scream for help, not realising that he was spurring me on. I gripped the first tooth in the pliers and began to pull, there was a sickening crack and I realised that I had failed to get it completely out. I felt the tooth resisting as I pulled harder and wrenched it free from its safe, gummy home. The scream of pain was like music to my madness, almost arousing. I continued with each of his teeth and every satisfying crack was accompanied by an even more satisfying blood-curdling scream. My skill at removing his teeth increased with each fresh pull and I discovered a variety of ways to cause him unimaginable pain in that vulgar orifice of his. Teeth were scattered around the room and my foresight to put down plastic proved fruitful as the blood spilt all over of it, staining all in this precious, life giving liquid.

With his teeth out of the way I was free to move on to the next target, known as ‘lingua’ in Latin. I crudely hacked at it, yanking it out of its natural home and waved it in his face. He was groaning in agony almost constantly, stopping only when he was struggling to breathe. For the finishing touches I took out a pair of secateurs, maniacally chopping off each off his fingers and throwing them casually over my shoulders. I took a hot poker from near the fire and cauterised the wounds, causing possibly the most satisfying of all his screams, as I contemplated giving abacination a try.

I cleaned up the whole mess as one would whilst doing normal mundane housework, even dancing away to music as I went. I left him strapped to the chair over night, returning the next morning to find him on his side, shaking. I kicked his head remorselessly, until he fell unconscious yet again, I dragged his body to some nearby woods and dumped it, wrapped in a blanket. I wanted him to survive; I wanted him to live the rest of his life in agony, unable to tell anybody who his attacker was. I would leave the country; an obvious choice, but now seemed like as good a time as any and Egypt had always appealed to me, perhaps it was the mummification process which intrigued me.

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  As an unsavoury character entered the bus I reflected on the possibility that all the decisions we do not choose are manifested in some alternative universe, branching out from our own. It really made me think.

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