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Silence the Screaming
Cashell was sitting by the open fireplace supping the rich, full bodied wine he’d brought back from his last trip. They certainly know how to make wine, he thought. His mind took him back to the return journey he made from that trip. Never has he had so much trouble before getting home. If it wasn’t the terrible weather hampering their return, it was marauders chancing their arm on what they thought were going to be easy pickings. How wrong could they be? And now four of them were secure in his cellar. Awaiting his pleasures.
They had been languishing there for three weeks now, which was just about right as they were a little over weight for Cashell’s liking. They had to be of a particular size to get the most satisfaction from their torture. This wasn’t the case for his father. While tutoring Cashell in the fine art of torture it was clear he preferred the plumper body. He liked a lot of skin to cut away at. It made him feel like he was working for his pleasure. “If you’re not building up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough,” he used to say.
Cashell had refined his skill and took more pleasure in the delicate strokes of his tools. The feel of his sharp blade slicing through skin, tendons and muscles gave him everything he needed from the experience. The skill it required for cutting just deep enough to reach the points to inflict the most pain without killing the victim was a test of his own prowess in the art of torture.
The flickering flames that lit the Grande castle room cast dancing shadows on his face. His deep set eyes stared hard into the fireplace, his breathing gradually quickening as he planned the nights entertainment in his mind. It had been some months since he had felt this sensation. The last of his victims expired then which was the reason he had gone on his trip. His family had befriended many rich families around the world with similar pleasurable tastes. These trips would feed his need for his devil to rise and elevate him above mere mortals. However, he was a private man. Plying his craft in front of onlookers didn’t give him the same satisfaction. But his need to fulfil his desire outweighed his shyness.
Wars were the best time for Cashell. The captured prisoners could be bought to replenish his cellar stock, allowing him freedom of expression on those poor innocent people. He paid handsomely for his pleasures. Sometimes he even put a bounty up for the capture of children. As these were prisoners of war the authorities turned a blind eye. They asked no questions as to what happened to them. In fact there were contacts in high positions that profited from this by instructing small groups of soldiers to specifically target children as captives.
A selection of these children would be allowed to reach their teens, for a more challenging test of his pleasures. Those that did would participate in hunts where they would be the prey. Once caught, and they were always caught, Cashell would practice his torture techniques. He had a wide range of instruments kept meticulously clean and sharp. There was no part of the body he wouldn’t touch and looked for new ways to inflict pain while keeping his victim alive.
There hadn’t been any children for a while now, but his new victims would keep him entertained.
The light-headedness caused by the wine was the catalyst. He rose from his chair keeping his eagerness in check. The door to the cellar stood at the far end of the room blending into its surroundings as if to hide itself from the outside world; to hide the horrors that it concealed. Cashell lifted the small painting of a relative on a horse from its hooks and carefully removed a small stone from the wall. Behind it was a large iron key. He took the key and pushed it into the lock of the door. As he turned it the lock slid silently away and he pushed the door inwards. The light from the room immediately washed its way into the dark stairway beyond. There was no sound from the hinges even though they were over two hundred years old.
Cashell picked up a lantern that hung just inside the door and lit it. He then glided down the winding stairs until he reached the bottom. The light cast eerie shadows on the stone walls. The smell of humidity was heavy in the air. Cashell began to light the lanterns that hung from hooks in the walls and the scene of so many horrors began to reveal itself.
Dreary stone walls, parts caked in dried blood, rose to a height of ten feet. At the centre of the cellar stood a stone table. Along the side of the table images of torture techniques from around the world had been carved into it. Hanging from the ceiling were meat hooks and chains running the length of the stone room. A number of metal rings were secured to the floor and equally spaced. Along the far end wall four emaciated figures were chained. Their heads were covered with a cloth bag to blind them. They had been stripped naked and were sitting in their own urine and faeces. As soon as they heard the key in the door they had begun to tremble with fear.
Underneath the stairs was an alcove. Cashell hung his lantern on the recessed wall of the alcove and looked at a casket that sat on a small wooden table. His eyes lit up at the oak box and his heart began to beat a little faster. He reached for the latch and lifted it to the sound of a soft click. With both hands he slowly lifted the lid as though for the first time and smiled at the gleaming instruments of torture inside.
A minute had passed before he tore himself away from his most precious possessions. First things first, clean the victim. The stink and filth didn’t bother Cashell and the preparing of the body was as much a part of the torture as the cutting of the flesh. He drank in the fear that filled the room as though it was a sweet wine.
The first victim was quickly winched up onto a hook. Cashell tied a rope to each ankle and the other end he tied to the metal rings before he began. The water and cleaning cloths had been brought down earlier and he removed his robe and put on a leather apron.
He felt his way around while he was cleaning. Playing in his mind every slice of the knife, every placing of the delicate hooks and every piercing of the freshly cleaned skin.
The man’s initial struggle was soon tempered with a quick punch to the stomach.
It took him fifteen minutes to get the body clean and having removed his own clothes until he was naked he stood by the wooden casket deciding which instrument of pleasure to use first. “This one,” he said quietly to himself picking up a razor sharp four inch bladed knife. “It’s been a while. You deserve to be the first.”
He returned to his victim and slowly circled him ignoring the faint sobbing coming from the cloth bag. Closing his eyes he imagined the first incision. The first breaking of the skin.
When he opened them there was a controlled madness that danced behind his eyes and it took control of Cashell’s whole body and set about its work.
The screams were terrifying and the hooded audience all screamed along with him as they felt every cut into his flesh. The hellish sounds bounced off of every wall that made Cashell’s pleasure even deeper. The exhilarating noise inspired him to greater and greater art as he gradually peeled away patches of skin revealing parts of the human body that should never be exposed to the light.