This little sucker is a bit more for those who liked The Contract (nasty horribly story involving whacking and such). I don't know if you have been following Exigenises by Priority - House after the Contract: but she wrote this really creepy bit about a pencil.

"It's easy, really, to deafen a man. All it takes is something like this." House remembered being tied to a chair, the lawyer's cheap cologne stealing his breath, feeling the pencil at his ear. He didn't dare jerk his head away. It would only anger the man.

A couple of prison guards had liked using the same threat -- either that, or blinding him. And House knew better than to show how much that frightened him. A lifetime of no sound, no sight. There would be only smell, and taste ... and touch. A lifetime of pain and nothing to distract him from it. If he let them see how much the thought terrified him, they would have jumped to do it. A deaf, blind man could still feel pain. He could suffer exquisitely.

For whatever reason, his tormentors had never gone through with it, but the nightmare thoughts had plagued him ever since. He had dreams of nothingness, broken by the vibration of footsteps, and cruel hands grabbing him. Couldn't see the blows coming, couldn't hear the threats, couldn't do anything but feel the pain ...

And that totally creeped me out. But as it such a lovely Sunday morning I decided to creep myself out.

She is ushered in to the living room and Clarence nods as she enters. She has no idea how she will be able to communicate with a blind and deaf man who may or may or not be crazy.

He's lying asleep on his side in a blow-up paddling pool adorned with cartoon fish. It takes up most of the living room. He is enveloped amidst a multitude of blankets and pillows. He is flopped so carelessly he looks like a giant scruffy puppy.

Doctor Wilson explained they got the pool for him because the psychiatrist had said that after so many years of walls and corners and cold hard floors and hurt 'soft' might be nice. Doctor Wilson says he seems to feel comfortable there and will uncurl a bit. So apparently Greg, or House as Wilson calls him, likes his paddling pool.

His arms are outstretched and his feet twitch.

His hands are reaching out for something and just like a sleeping dog he makes small 'bwuffing' noises.

He is dreaming.

He tried to make himself as small as possible. Legs up, head down, arms curled around himself. He was a little impenetrable ball. Nothing could get to him. He rocked happily. He was safe in his own little cocoon of warmth. That's what he desperately wanted to believe. But he knew this was a lie. He was cold. He was always cold. At any moment he might feel a yank on his chain and then they could do what they wanted with him. Pull him up, roll him over: toss the cripple, hit the cripple, roll the cripple over, he sing songed to himself in his head. No point in speaking now even if he was allowed. Can't hear yourself scream now Greg can you.

He hated that chain. He pulled and pulled and pulled on it until he scraped the skin off his palms and his wrists bled, but it never broke. He dreamed that one day/night/whatever it would just pop right out of the wall with a big cartoon pop. He could see the big red cartoon POP! in his mind's eye. See: sight was overrated anyway. All you really needed to do was feel.

Feel, like an eel: slippery and slimy and cold hard. Everything in his world was cold hard or hot pain. Pepper spray hot. Hot like electricity as it ran through you and you cried out of your big bold useless bright blue eyes. You knew you were crying because you could feel the wetness on your face. And then you cried more because you realized you were not allowed to cry.

But that's why God invented rib spreaders. To teach you a lesson Greg.

He must be a very slow learner. That's what dad used to say wasn't it? Pull 'em down; bend over… hold still and remember the lesson.

Was there a reason for this? Oh yes: stupidity. The Jew boy. Never should have got involved with him. Knew it was a bad idea. I'm not going to send him a Christmas card this year.

And the girl. The dead girl. The girl who was dead. The girl it was who died.

Did I know her?

But the Jew boy is safe. That's important right?

Did I know him?

No time for that now Greg. He can feel like an eel – the hands: cold, slimy and hard.

Hit the cripple, toss the cripple, turn the cripple over.

Judging by the way his hands are twitching he is dreaming of something bad. Wilson goes over and with an apologetic look begins to gently stroke his hair. House slowly begins to calm down.

"He doesn't understand, we think," he says. "That it is over. So he won't speak because he is too afraid of reprisals." Wilson says the last word with distaste. He checks House's pulse and puts his hand on House's heart. "And we have no way to tell him that it is okay now. We need to find a way to communicate with him."

House gently 'bwuffs' under him, his body hiccupping as he does. Wilson carelessly runs a hand through House's hair.

"You can help right," he asks with a desperation she can too plainly see.

She looks at the sleeping man. "I'll try."