Excerpt from Carnivora

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Fuck me. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically and mentally. You’d think slicing your own vein would be an easy task for a cold-blooded assassin, right, but I had no idea.

Well, I wasn’t exactly given a choice. Had to improvise, find my own method.

Been locked up in this barred, one-man shithole of Lastimar State Pen so long I’ve lost track of time. Most inmates count the days, but I don’t give a damn. You can’t quantify pain. Every day is a fucking lifetime.

At first, considering the amount of cases the prosecution had against me, everything happened fast—the pre-trial procedures, my lawyer’s plea, and the jury’s verdict. They rushed it ’cause they wanted to see me locked away, and gave me solitary confinement for life. Times the number of people I’ve killed.

Life. You know what that means for a guy like me. Death, an excruciatingly slow, painful death. The worst kind of torture, so much worse than execution.

I’m tired, can’t take any more.

I know why they put me away. I don’t necessarily agree with their methods but understand their reasoning. Society needs to be purged of cockroaches, vermin. If not it succumbs to anarchy. When a gang leader, whose web of crime spreads with the speed and sneakiness of cancer, is caught, he must be disposed of and left to rot. I get that.

But why the solitude? They won’t let me see anyone. Max security, fucking lockdown. I’m placed so far down the row from the other inmates, all I can hear is occasional yells of frustration or boredom. The guards check on me every half hour, day and night, banging their metal bats against my cell bars. Fucking routine, making sure I can never sleep. And aside from the regular bad-mouthing, they don’t talk to me.

A priest came here to talk once, wanting me to spill my guts and thank Jesus for generously forgiving my sins, but I told him to buzz off. Don’t need no interference from above.

The only person I see is my lawyer, a scared little shit awarded to me by the state. Totally worthless. You hear about those powerful crime lords paying the best lawyers and getting good deals negotiated. Me, I’ve been so effectively kept away from the outside world, I haven’t been able to influence anyone.

So what I’ve got for company is a mattress, a blanket, and a hole in the concrete floor. Nothing else, like we’re not human enough to have rights on this row. Guess they worry we’ll get a little suicidal and use any available tool to harm ourselves… damn right.

Luz, I miss you! How are you? They won’t tell me anything, and it makes me love you that much more. I think about you all the time and recall how you were, replay the things you did. Like that trip in the forest, one of our first days together. You drove your bike so fast, your cheeks were pink and your eyes bright and sparkling with excitement. You were so full of life, sweetie. I just had to have you ‘cause I knew you’d save me.

Being told I’ll never see you again wrenches my heart so bad I want to tear it out with my own hands to ease the pain. How can it be possible? We were meant for each other—as one, a unity—and being apart wasn’t supposed to be in the cards.

The first time I asked that prick of a lawyer when you’d visit, he said you’re on the witness protection program. But that don’t make no fucking sense. They’re protecting you from what? Whom? Me? You’re my girl, so what the hell is that all about? He said the authorities gave you a new identity and moved you to a secret place so we’d never be in touch.

As if I could get out of this dump. No one’s ever escaped Lastimar.

But you know…I could survive having my freedom taken and let the hours and days and months pass one by one, little by little. Chain-smoking, staring at the small window with the big steel bars high up on the wall, so attentively tracing their details they’re etched in my mind. And the dirty wall with the scribbles and spots of blackened blood and hair from previous inmates. The rough cement floor with the dark hole in the corner, emanating decades of piss and shit. The old mattress; holed and spotted with all kinds of bodily fluids. I’ll spare you the details. That’s what I lie on, day in and day out, withering.

I can survive all of that—out-live it—but then you gotta come see me, baby, come talk to me. How else can I go on? I can’t. Not without you, sweetie, my love, my sunshine. You’re all I have left. If I could see your pretty face and sparkling blue eyes and cheeky smile just once, I’d be fine. If you looked me in the eyes and told me you can’t stop thinking of me, it would be plenty to resist for a long fucking time. Months, years. I’d have dreams, and time would pass at my own rate, at my own speed, at the pulse of my own fucking will.

When the lawyer told me no, I didn’t believe him and laughed like the naive retard I am. “Yeah asshole, very funny, loved the joke. Now cut the crap and tell me when I can see her.”

“Tomor,” he replied with that pathetic, wimpy smile of his. “Forget it, she’s not coming. Not now, not ever. Get that idea out of your head, ‘cause it’s not gonna happen. Forget about her. That’s the best thing you can do. Let go.”

Well, sweetie… I won’t allow them the pleasure of seeing me slowly shrink and turn to dust. I’ll beat them to it; do it myself. Death doesn’t scare me.

I should probably not tell you this, but I’ve already slammed my forehead against the wall to break my skull open. Like Jackal did in the container after he kidnapped you and I beat the living shit out of him. Remember? Sick fuck, spilling blood and brains all over the floor.

But me? I passed out.

And I’ve garroted my throat with the blanket, too. Only when I lost consciousness, the tourniquet relaxed, so my survival instinct kicked in and I breathed. The cocksuckers put me on a goddamn suicide watch.

The only method left is tricking my brain to shut down. Since there’s no magic way to convince those smart, high-tech gray cells to turn the lights off at will, I’m going to lose a few liters of blood. When sensing the lack of blood, the brain is programmed to concentrate on the vital organs by cutting off the circulation to the body’s extremities, and if the bleeding continues, it shuts down the organs one by one.

Don’t have much time, gotta be efficient. In the past weeks, I’ve let the nails on my right hand grow and chewed them into hard, sharp needles. I’m using the thumb nail as it’s the largest, strongest one, and if it breaks, the four other nails are ready to take over.

I’ve already carved a big enough hole on my left wrist. The blood should continuously seep out from the punctured artery. But it doesn’t bleed fast enough. The guards are gonna stop my plan before I’m done. That’s the major stress factor. I only have half-hour gaps between their rounds. In case it takes too long or I pass out, I’m hiding under the blanket and pretending to be asleep.

Sure, there’re other options, like setting my cell on fire, but they’d be quick to put out. If I starved myself to death, you can bet your ass they’d force-feed me.

Ironic, isn’t it. The authorities want the outside world to forget about my existence, but they’ll do anything to keep me alive.

* * *

Just dug into the skin again, over and over, at the same spot. Been working on it for a while. Hurts like hell. I’m sweating under the blanket; the air is hot and moist, and I keep poking my nose out to breathe. Never thought cutting into my own flesh would demand so much fucking balls, self-control, and determination.

But I have no choice. Won’t wait till I’m too depressed to mobilize enough strength. Gotta do it now while I’m still sane. Now is the right time, the only time. No looking back. No looking ahead, anyway.

All right, now I’m down at the vein again. But I can’t really carve into the meat like I’d planned. What I do is rip the skin up from the beginning of the hole and back, toward my elbow, then repeat the procedure.

The pain waters my eyes, makes my nose run. That’s dangerous; they can’t hear me sniff. And there’s so much blood, I’m cutting blindly and don’t know if it’s the vein or the flesh surrounding it, or if I even go deep enough. Fucking crazy. That’s the catch when it takes so much time. If I had a knife, it’d take one-two-three seconds and I’d be through. I could lay back and wait.

I did that once to a son of a bitch who deserved to be punished. A scar indicated he’d slashed his wrist earlier, but vertically, across the vein, and it had retracted like a rubber band and closed. So I decided to help him and do it the right way, along the vein length. Two seconds, it took, and this time the fucker didn’t fail.

I’m afraid of failing now.

Ugh. That God-awful, sickening scratch sound every time I cut through a new layer of skin—or fat, or flesh—makes me queasy, churns my stomach, and I’m continuously on the brink of puking from disgust.

And the feel, just the feel of carving through the skin layers! Shivers run through my back and the hairs rise on my sweaty skin.

Fuck, my head spins. Gotta breathe deep. You think you get used to hurt, but not this kind. I never thought it’d be so hard. I’ve done some pretty crazy stuff before, and I know I can take pain. But this is weird, fucking bizarre, digging a hole into my own forearm, over and over, enlarging it.

I don’t know how long I’ll have to endure this. Actively wanting to die, terminating my living capacity, shutting down my own system.

Maybe if I used my teeth instead? Bit a big chunk of skin and flesh and tore at it? I’d bleed out faster for sure.

But I don’t have the guts to do that. Not now, I’m too tired. Besides, I’d probably miss the vein.

* * *

Getting cold. I mean—I’m sweating under the blanket—but it’s a cold sweat. I’m freezing, shivering. The blanket is wet, cool to the touch, and sticks to my skin. The mattress surface, too, but mostly because of the blood.

The blood that seeps out is warm, but chills and coagulates too fast, sticking to everything. And when new drops roll over the congealed ones, it’s…fuck, I can’t describe it.

That’s what worries me; that the blood has enough time to dry. It should be pouring out, emptying my system before they come check on me and it’s too late to save me.

How long till I get sleepy? At what point will I know I’m close? Will I see death coming and be conscious enough to look it in the eyes?

I’m so full of adrenaline and fear of getting discovered.     I’m high, jumpy, bordering on panic. But I gotta keep my cool, concentrate, and use my fear to cut harder, deeper. I can’t risk fucking this up, can’t have them stop me. Gotta work till blood is pumping out, and only then can I relax and let sleep take over.

* * *

Damn, the hole burns as if I’d poured acid into the open flesh. And the constant gritting of teeth sends sparks of pain from my jaw to my temples, dizzying me.

I’ve cut about five centimeters along the length of the artery. It’s still not enough. I need to lose a few liters, but how much is that? I have six liters; that’s a lot to go. What should I do, go on and cut some more or leave it at that?

Fuck, I wish at least I had something to stick inside the vein to keep it open ’cause maybe when I faint, the blood will coagulate and stop everything, and all the work will be for nothing.

Ugh. So much blood coming out, all over my hand and wrist, and the mattress. Look at this mess.

This is it, isn’t it? The end of it, the grand finale. I can’t believe it’s true, but it is. There will only be blackness and then nothing. How awfully fucking scary.

Scary? Shit man, I thought I wasn’t scared of death! I thought that’s precisely what I wanted, and now I’m fucking chickening, regretting?

No, I’m not scared. I want to leave. They took the only thing that matters. Ripped you away from me when you were in labor, scared, trembling, bleeding in my arms—and they laughed in my fucking face.

God, I need to see you again! Baby! Sweetie! Can you hear me? I’m down here, in this hole! I love you, I need you! Look at me!

* * *

 I’m so messed up, couldn’t stop crying. My face is smeared with tears, blood, and snot. Those who find me? They’ll have a shock, their worst fucking nightmare. Ha ha!

Ah, my last laughter. Feels good.

I think I’ll take a break and just observe for a while.

So, baby, I’m focusing on you, but don’t you think I’ve forgotten about our daughter. I haven’t. It just pains me too much to conjure up the thought of her and what I’m missing, what is stolen from me every minute of my miserable life.

They’re stealing from her, too. She deserves a daddy. I know all about growing up without a father. Yet I’m confident you’re taking excellent care of her and doing your utmost to compensate for my absence.

I don’t know her name, so I’m calling her Angel, ‘cause that’s what she is, my little angel. I like to imagine that when I die, she’ll be watching over me from the bright light above, winged and a thing of beauty like her mother.

I wonder how old she is. Does she look like you or me? A little bit of both, maybe. I’d rather she doesn’t have my raven-black hair and eyes, and my fucked-up bastard personality. No, she’s gotta be blond and blue-eyed like you, angelic, the sweetest and most perfect little human ever created.

Please tell her about me.

* * *

Fell asleep again…

Careful, dude…stay awake…’cause if not enough blood comes out…you gotta cut more.

I’m looking at the old scar on my forearm, sweetie…remember?…The one I asked you to nurse for me…before our first kiss… That’s all I got left of you…the memory of a kiss… It’s like you’re here…with me…holding my hand.

I’m freezing, trembling…can’t stop it… The blanket’s wet, cold…sticks to my shoulder…moves with every shiver… I pray they don’t come yet…’cause it’s not the blood…that will attract their attention…but the shaking blanket…soaked with sweat…my sweat, my fear, my tears.

I’ve stopped cutting…a long time ago… Blood’s still coming out…that’s good… Not gonna need to keep…the vein open… It’s doing all the work… alone, now… on its own… brave thing… keep going… empty yourself… drain… that’s what I want.

Now I can… lay back… and watch… like a spectator… at a play of death.

Blood runs freely… down my wrist… my arm… on top of the mattress… probably through the fabric, too… a red puddle… on the floor… and then… it’s sucked back… into the mattress… spreading like a maze… of crimson.

It’s good I don’t have… a bed, after all… or the guards… would see… blood dripping.

I’ll turn around… lie on my back… and listen… to my breathing.

Coughing… footsteps…. fuuuuuck!

No, down the hall… not for me… still have time.

It’s weird… just saw it… my right hand… the one I used to carve… is entirely… covered with… congealed blood… flaking… I remember once… digging into… a man’s stomach… when I took my hand out… it was just like that… after a few minutes… flaking blood… dry… and now… there’re small bits of flesh… under my nail… must be flesh, or skin… or fat… I don’t know… maybe a bit of… vein?

Who would’ve thought… I’d persevere.

But no one… should… go through… suicide… alone.

Hold me, please… sweetie? …I’m cold… tired… can barely think… where are you?

* * *

Woke up again.

Dreamed of you… blond hair… blue-grey-green eyes… beautiful, sparkling… full of life… reflecting your… inner strength… and what makes you… so alike me.

You know what… sweetie? …they even cut… my long hair… took away… my dignity… my self… the rest of me.

Nothing left… but you… the dream of you… all I had.

Until they said… that I don’t.

“Forget about her.”

“It’s over.”

May they…rot in hell…with me.

Can’t open…my eyes.

Can’t feel…the cold.

Don’t cry… for me… baby… it’s all right.

I’ll just keep… my eyes… closed.

There.

Fuck me… I’m lost.

Spiraling

 

Copyright @ 2015 Lea Bronsen

FBIas Anti-Piracy Warning Seal-300

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