Amanda excitedly ran back to John's workshop, she couldn't wait to tell him the news. She stopped at the old metal door and checked that no one was around before she got out her keys. She got out her big bunch of keys on a rusty key loop and searched through them to find the workshop key. Everything about the workshop was primitive and old fashioned; although his traps were cleverly made with complex designs they were crafted crudely with chunky metal.
Her stomach twisted as she walked through the workshop towards the dimly lit grimy backroom that masqueraded as a hospital room. She hated seeing John lay in that horrible room, she wished she could get him to a proper hospital with modern facilities, but she knew that would result in John being arrested. He was sleeping soundly so she decided not to wake him, he was often in pain so for him to have a restful sleep was rare, so she pulled up a chair and sat beside him for a while. Amanda gently swept a stray strand of white hair off his forehead back in its proper place, causing John to awake with a gentle moan.
"Hay John, how you feeling?" She asked softly.
"Other than the usual headaches? Fine" John replied deadpanned, then took a sip of the water from a cup with a straw that Amada held out for him, which was followed by a cough.
Amanda looked at him sympathetically; she hated to think what pain he was going through.
"I've got such great news to tell you" Amanda said cheerfully, remembering what she had to tell him. John raised his eyebrow at her, wondering what there possibly could be to get excited about.
"That experimental treatment you found in Norway…." Amanda began.
"What about it?" John asked, he had lost all hope of that ever happening.
"Well….I, I've been saving up for a long while, ever since the insurance refused to pay out and well….I've finally got enough, we can go to Norway for the treatment!" Amanda announced happily, a huge smile on her face. It felt so good to smile; it seemed so long since she had had anything to smile about.
She had expected John to be happy; she'd expected him to at least smile. She hadn't seen him smile in so long. But no instead of a smile there was a frown as he thought for a moment.
"Where did you get that kind of money?" John said frowning at her.
"I….I, It doesn't matter, we can afford the treatment now" She said softly, wishing that he would just be happy and proud of her.
"Where'd you get the money Amanda?" He yelled, causing himself to break out into a coughing fit.
"I worked for it, I earned it for you" Amanda said, trying to stop her voice from breaking, why couldn't he just be proud of her and be grateful instead of telling her off like a naughty child? John gave a disapproving sigh once his coughing fit had passed.
"You've gone back to that? After everything I taught you" John snapped causing "This is not what I taught you about cherishing your life and respecting yourself!"
"Do you have to be so damn UNGRATEFUL, I did this for YOU, I SOLD myself for YOU" Amanda snapped back, she quickly put her hand over her mouth and gasped, shocked that she had talked to him like that.
"I didn't ask you to! All I asked was for you to follow the rules" John snapped raising himself up on his forearms, getting himself worked up he broke out into a coughing fit. As he coughed he slowly lowered- himself back down onto his back and took a deep breath out of his oxygen mask.
"Shhh enough now, get some rest" Amanda soothed, running her hand through his hair.
"You've got a game to begin" John whispers with his oxygen mask firmly placed over his mouth, giving her a glare of disapproval.
Amanda swore under her breath while puffing and panting as she dragged the unconscious test subject into an empty warehouse room. She scowled at the test subject and called her all the names under the sun. From what Amanda had observed, the new subject had a happy life, a great marriage and a family. Amanda was feeling bitter, this woman had everything that Amanda didn't but wanted and yet she still wasn't happy. This woman was so ungrateful, she had everything and yet she cut her wrists for a bit of extra attention. This woman wasn't worthy of the life she had, she didn't value it and Amanda was going to make sure that this woman didn't survive to continue living it.
Slowly a dimly lit tiled warehouse came into focus through blurry eyes, she squinted at the pain in her head, her head was pounding. Where was she? She went to stand up but realised she couldn't, she was chained to the chair by her legs and round her neck. There was a table in front of her that was full of various instruments, scalpels, scissors and secateurs, all neatly lined up.
Suddenly a TV turned on, first it was static but then gradually the picture came into focus. A puppet with a white face, black hair and red swirled cheeks turned round towards her on the screen.
"Hello Carol, I want to play a game" The puppet said in a deep gravelly voice. "For years you have been unappreciative and ungrateful of your life, you started cutting yourself for more attention, you cut your nose off to spite your face, and so can you do that again to save the life you don't respect?" Carols eyes went wide with shock as she realised what the puppet was asking of her, she actually had to use these instruments to actually cut her nose off to spite her face. "On the table is a small box, after sixty seconds if you have won the game, the box will open which is the key for your freedom. If you fail the nail bombs around will detonate… Let the game begin" The puppet then disappeared and the TV went back to static.
Carol panicked frantically, pulling against the thick chains but she knew it was no use, she would never break through them and she didn't have the time to try. Her hand hovered over the various tools, thinking of what was going to be the best instrument for the job. Carol finally settled on the secateurs, realising using them she could complete the task in one slice. She picked them up and held them to her nose was in the middle of the blades. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and SNAP!
She screamed at the top of her lungs, blood pouring from her face, she covered the wound with her head but blood streamed through her fingers. She looked longingly at the box on the table but it didn't open, Carol looked back at the ticking clock that was almost on zero. Suddenly the timer reached to zero she only had time to make one sob before the whole room exploded in a blast of rubble and nails. There was NO key!