"I cannot believe what I'm hearing!" Abbey shouted, causing Daisy to recoil slightly. "You feel bad for Augustus?! You actually want to see him again?!" His looming figure made the usually peppy girl shrink a little.
"Back the fuck off man!" Paulo interjected, throwing a steely glare at Abbey. "She said she knew he couldn't be trusted. It's not like she's going to get all chummy with him!" He carefully positioned himself so that he stood slightly between the two of them.
"C-come on Abbey. You know I'm not stupid enough to go and trust him. I just... I feel bad when I see him standing around looking sad you know? I kind of miss talking to him sometimes." Daisy tried to justify herself, subconsciously moving Paulo aside a little.
"Don't you dare go anywhere near that monster!" Abbey demanded fiercely.
"Hey! You can't tell me who I can and can't talk to! I'm not your property!" Daisy took the offensive, defending herself. "It's a bad situation, and I wish that I didn't have to worry about it, but I do. And that's no concern of yours." She told her boyfriend with an air of finality in her voice.
"Augustus is a horrible person, and if you really cannot see that, then maybe I do need to keep tabs on you, because clearly you do not understand the kind of mistake your making." Daisy was taken aback a little, but before she could retort. "No! I don't want to hear another word out of you if it's going to be in defense of that man!" Daisy took a step backwards, tears starting to well in her eyes.
"What the fuck is your problem asshole?!" Paulo shoved Abbey back a little. "Don't you fucking dare make her cry!" Abbey suddenly seemed to forget Daisy was even present. His ears lay back and he rolled his eyes.
"Oh of course! I forgot how much of a thing you have for my girlfriend. You wanna play the white knight routine? Get in her good books? If you think for one second I'd let a scumbag like you lay a single finger on her, you've got another thing coming." Paulo's digits curled into a fist as anger started to poison his thoughts.
"You think you've got it all figured out? You think you know what's best for everybody? Well I'm here to tell you that you don't know shit! Any real man would stand up for his friends! My feelings for Daisy have nothing to do with this. I just can't stand to see an asshole like you bring even a frown to her face. You aren't worth the fucking tears!" Paulo's nostrils flared in defiance of Abbey.
"Are you even listening to yourself? You want to have your way with her that badly? I'll have to keep my eye on her twice as close, just in case you decide you're tired of waiting and try to force yourself on her!" Smack! Paulo's fist struck Abbey's cheek hard, throwing the Abyssinian to the ground with a wet slap. Looking down, Abbey saw his own blood staining the pavement, and a single tooth laying chipped and broken in the center of it. He stared down at the stained chunk of calcium in disbelief.
"Get up." Paulo demanded through grit teeth, his eyes burning a hole in the back of Abbey's skull. "Get up and say that again. I fucking dare you." Abbey wiped the blood from his lip and forced himself to his feet.
"That's assault..." Abbey muttered, giving Paulo an angry glare.
"You think I care? Somebody has to put you in your place!" Paulo shot back violently. Daisy's tears worsened as she looked back and forth between the two of them. "You're no better than Augustus." He said with narrowed eyes. That was the last straw. Abbey launched himself at Paulo, knocking him to the ground and catching him off guard. Abbey started to throw punch after punch into Paulo's face, blinded by rage, he barely even noticed that Paulo wasn't fighting back. The impact with the ground had winded him, and he lay there struggling to breath under the weight of Abbey, and the blood that filled his mouth.
"Abbey! Please stop!" Daisy shouted in desperation, running over and trying to rip her boyfriend off of Paulo. As she did, he swung a fist back and slammed Daisy in the gut, causing her to double over coughing. This finally snapped Abbey out of his trance.
"D-daisy!" He cried out as he climbed off Paulo and rushed to her side. As he tried to take hold of her, she shoved him down onto his ass.
"Get... Get out of here!" She wheezed as angrily as she could muster. The expression of pain and horror on her face burned itself into Abbey's brain. It was the same look he had seen his mother give his father. Abbey turned and ran. Ran as fast as his legs would carry him. Away from here. Away from everything.
"Sometimes, everything just falls into your lap so perfectly." A toothy grin crossed a hidden face. Nobody noticed the observer. An oversight they would live to regret.
Several months later...
Drip. Drip. The sound echoed through the cold cement cell. A single bulb hanging limply from the ceiling was the only source of light, casting hard shadows on the few objects littering the room. A single wooden table holding up a metal tray, upon which lay some clean surgical implements. A metal door. And some kind of steel container. Just big enough to fit a body...
A figure against the back wall stirred, accompanied by the metallic clicking of wire popping in and out of shape. "What?" The figure spoke groggily as it tried to move. "Why can't I..." The sounds intensified as the person struggled a little harder. A sudden pain shot through their arms. "Ow!"
"Hurts doesn't it Abbey?" Augustus grinned as he made his way through the door.
"Who..." Abbey's shaky voice probed.
"Did you forget already? It's me! Augustus!" The cat stepped into the dim light, revealing his face, as ever covered by his large bangs.
"You!" Hate filled the prisoner's cry. "What are you doing?! Why am I here?!" Abbey struggled more, but each movement sliced pain into his skin. He tried to focus his eyes better in the dim light, and in doing so, revealed the source of the pain. Wrapped tightly around his arms and legs was razor wire, tied to the metallic frame of an old rusted bed that had been turned on its end and stood up. He realized that he was strung up like Christ on his cross.
"You're a smart kid Abbey... I'm guessing that even you must have figured it all out by the look on your face." Abbey's features had contorted into a mix of terror and anger as his eyes rose to meet Augustus's. "But just in case. I'm going to spell it out for you. I'm going to kill you. Slowly, and painfully. And then I'm going to go and comfort your poor girlfriend about her loss." The smirk that crossed the cat's face was legendary in its vileness.
"Just like that little incident with your friends? Yes. Yes it is." Augustus cut Abbey off mid sentence. "I read all about that poor little Mike, and the jealous Lucy who cut him to ribbons. Such fascinating events wouldn't you say?" He paused and looked at his captive. "Though, I'm somewhat surprised that the police never looked further into it. Probably too content to just pat themselves on the back and congratulate each other on a job well done. Far better than having the terrifying thought that they might not have caught the villain. Had failed in some way. What would the people of Roseville do if they didn't feel safe under the ever watchful eye of the RPD." The thoughts began to dawn on Abbey. The same thoughts that Augustus had clearly already processed.
"Lucy's innocent..." He muttered quietly.
"Probably. But hey. That's not why we're here now is it?" As Abbey looked up, he saw his captor twirling a scalpel. With two quick jabs, the blade pierced the Abyssinian's chest effortlessly, slicing through flesh like it wasn't even there. Abbey cried out in shock more than anything else, though he grit his teeth and bore the pain.
"You really are a monster!" He shouted. "I knew you were a terrible person, but this! You can't possibly hope to get away with this!" Augustus reached up and firmly grabbed hold of Abbey's face.
"What? You think this is some bad movie? You think you're the hero? You shout 'you'll never get away with this!' and then suddenly your friends will kick down the door and rescue you?" He squeezed the young man's cheeks hard, forcing his jaw to open ever so slightly. "If you don't have anything nice to say..." He rammed the scalpel deep into his mouth, digging the sharpened implement around, gashing at his tongue and soft pallet. As the helpless Abbey tried to scream, Augustus made a hard circular slash, and severed the tongue from its base. "Don't say anything at all." Dropping the scalpel, he tore the useless organ from Abbey's mouth, ripping its last few connecting stands in the process. "What's the matter Abbey? Cat got your fucking tongue?!" He shoved the limp piece if meat into Abbey's face and squeezed it, letting blood and saliva ooze out of it, before throwing it to the ground.
Abbey's mouth was like a waterfall, and his body instinctively hung his head down low so that he wouldn't drown in his own blood. Augustus moved fast. "We can't have you dying just yet Abraham! What part of slow and painful didn't you get?!" He grinned as he grabbed hold of the soldering iron that he had been warming up beside the torture rack. In one swift motion, he yanked Abbey's head backwards, and shoved the scorching steel into his mouth, searing the torn wounds shut, sending Abbey's mind reeling with pain that could only be described as blinding.
Augustus ripped the tool out of his victim's mouth, and watched as he hacked and coughed in between strange moans of pain. The sound was quite unlike anything Augustus had ever heard before. Without his tongue, the painful cries sounded almost otherworldly. "You're off key buddy." He taunted his now mute captive. Abbey's head was spinning from this new found world of pain. His mind felt numb, he couldn't even think straight anymore. Blinking slowly, he tried to un-blur his vision just enough to see what new depravity he would be subjected to next. He wished he hadn't.
"Now... As a man myself. I can understand just how much fear is going through your mind right now. And I have to admit that I'm a little squeamish about this one. But hey, call it curiosity on my part." Augustus spun the electric drill now occupying his hand with a pull of the trigger, like so many workmen before him. He inserted the end of the Phillips head attachment into the head of a very long and sharp looking screw, and pressed the tip up against the soft skin of Abbey's scrotum. Struggling and screaming, the Abyssinian tried in vain to evade the inevitable, but it was no use. Each jerking motion sliced up his limbs even more, slowly sapping his strength. Augustus turned the drills power to the slowest setting, and pulled the trigger.
It's impossible to describe the sensation one feels as a metallic spiral slowly digs its way through your testicle, carving out a stairwell groove through the soft tissue and perpetually grating each and every rung down the various levels that their predecessors had carved for them. But suffice it to say, that it was not a pain that Abbey could bare. His screams reached such heights that his voice broke, leaving the eerie sound of air hissing through useless vocal chords. The icing on the cake though, was when the screw broke through the other side, and dug its way into his leg, embedding itself into the bone. A few minutes passed as Augustus simply admired his handy work, and waited for his victim's cries of agony to slow.
"Are you still with me there Abbey boy?" He asked as he bent over to look the battered prisoner in the eyes. Abbey tried to spit in his face, but without a tongue, he just ended up dribbling down his chest. "Ha! Still a little fight left in you. Good." Satisfied that he could still do more to break the quivering boy, he picked up something familiar, but different. A syringe. But not the kind with a needle. It was a large one specifically designed to force feed a horse medicine. But the contents of this one were different. They were moving.
"Have you ever heard of Fire Ants?" He asked rhetorically. "They get their name from the severe burning sensation of their sting. Though not lethal to anybody who doesn't happen to be allergic, it is considered one of the most painful ant stings in the world." He held the plastic vial up to Abbey's face and smirked a little, watching as the reality of the situation dawned on him. There had to be thousands of ants inside that tube. Again he struggled in desperate hope of escape. And again the razor wire cut deeper into his flesh, in some cases, it had begun to scrape against bone.
His jerky movements proved useless, as Augustus removed the cap from the syringe, and forced the cylinder halfway into Abbey's anus, stretching the sensitive ring uncomfortably wide, before slowly applying pressure to the pump, pushing the now highly excited ants deep into the Abyssinian's colon. He squirmed and contorted and tears fell from his eyes. There was nothing he could do. The tiny soldiers marched on through his insides, biting and stinging everything in sight. It was as though Augustus had let loose a flame thrower through his organs.
There was little left to be done. As the invasion of insects literally tore his insides asunder, Augustus set to work slicing Abbey's stomach open, and taking hold of his lower intestine. He slid a portable paper shredder out from under the table, and fed the digestive tract through its gnashing jaws, ripping the tube to shreds, showering the floor in blood and stomach acid. Abbey's throat gargled as the crimson liquid filled his lungs, and slowly. The life faded from his eyes.
Augustus knew his work was done. And now he had to make sure he never felt the blame of these events. A quick glance showed that his fingertips were still covered in dried glue, leaving no prints anywhere. Finally, he walked over to the steel container and opened it. Inside lay the drugged and unconscious Paulo. "The perfect scapegoat." He muttered to himself. After dragging Paulo over to one side of the room, he picked the scalpel up off the floor and grit his teeth. Making some quick slashing motions, he carved a few wounds into his arm and chest, and then with all the mental power he could muster, stabbed himself in the leg, and leaving the implement sticking out of him. The whole ordeal left blood stains over Paulo and the surrounding area. He then pulled out some smelling salts and shoved them under the Somali's nose. A few whiffs were all it took to rouse him from his slumber.
"Where..." Paulo groggily mumbled as Augustus helped him to his feet. He aimed the boy so that he staggered towards Abbey, and found himself standing in a puddle of blood. "What on-" He started to question as his senses began to return to him, when suddenly everything went dark again. Augustus swung his wooden baseball bat hard enough to put Paulo out again, leaving him to fall into the mess of blood and guts that was once Abbey, and then slump to the ground. Augustus slowly staggered out of the room, up the stairs, and into the foyer of the hospital, under which everything had happened, and begged anybody to help him...
* * *
Several years passed. The police had once again taken to the framing like fish to water, and Paulo was sent to the asylum for the criminally insane in the city, just like Lucy had been. Augustus had sought to comfort Daisy after the events, and though reluctant at first, she slowly warmed to him, feeling terrible for what he must have gone through at the hands of yet another of her friends who had lost their mind.
For four years Paulo was held in an almost solitary environment, becoming violent when no one would listen to his cries of innocence. But he had finally accepted his fate. The staff decided that, in order to let the rehabilitation process begin, he would be allowed to join some of the calmer patients in the recreational room for a few hours a day. And it was in that time, that he found her. Sitting alone. Staring out a window into the ether. She looked disheveled, tired, broken and lost. But to Paulo, she was as beautiful as the day he first met her. It felt like he was drifting, free from his own will, being pulled towards her. Finally, he stopped and knelt next to her.
"Hello Lucy..." He whispered quietly. Lucy's head turned ever so slightly, allowing her eyes to fall upon the source of that oh so familiar voice. And for the first time in years. She smiled.