Pen Name: sumisimas
Summary:People say that snuff is an urban legend. Death created on film, for entertainment - they say it doesn't exist. They're wrong. They're just not looking hard enough. That, and they don't know Edward Masen
Word Count: 10,336
For any other information, submissions, or rules please go to:
www (Dot) fanfiction (Dot) net/~mentalwardcontest
Disclaimer - we own nothing. Life would be more interesting if we did, but unfortunately, we don't. All these characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. She decided to make them tortured, we decided to make them tortured.
If you have difficulty reading abuse or torture of any kind, please do not read this story. Then again, you're reading Mentalward, so we're guessing you don't have too much of a problem with it. This fic contains graphic scenes of violence, abuse, as well as torture. In addition, if you are not old enough to buy cigarettes, click that back button... IMMEDIATELY! -- Consider yourself warned.
For those interested, the two songs that make an appearance in this chapter are: "Digital Bath" & "Knife Party" - both by Deftones. Both are awesome and highly recommended.
aaaaaaand... Lights, Camera, Action...
Edward Masen sits in a dilapidated hunting cabin, deep within the thick, evergreen forests of the Olympic wilderness, staring at the little doe-eyed brunette – his little Harajuku – strung up from the ceiling in her PJs. She's still unconscious, though the strain on her arms should wake her up soon enough.
As he takes in her slight form, he tries to determine at what point she became so very important. He thinks perhaps it was the moment he laid eyes on her at the club. She is important, of course, as all of his work is to him. But she is also so very different. He can feel the difference with this one, can see it lit up like a fire in the air around her. The significance is profound, and it puts Edward through equal stages of excitement and strain. Nothing short of perfection will do, and a tremor of anxiety courses through his veins.
As his mind attempts to conjure the various points of perfection he wishes to attain with her, he witnesses the beginnings of a tremble through her hapless, hanging body. He can feel the anxiety spike, and part of him silently pleads for her to remain unconscious for just little while longer.
Bella swims into consciousness slowly, shoulders aching, and cold, but she doesn't move or open her eyes. Her head is swimming, and there is a dull, throbbing pain in her skull that makes her stomach roll. She doesn't yet notice her body's prone position, suspended from the ceiling. Her head feels as though it's stuffed with hot cotton – fuzzy and muddled.
She tries to shift, stretch, work the kinks out of her shoulders. When she realizes that she can't – realizes her position – her eyes fly open; a move she regrets instantly. Pain lances through her head as she is almost blinded by the spotlight trained on her pensile form.
She wishes she could pinch herself – this must be a dream.
Mentally, she braces herself and opens her eyes again – to the same effect. She can see nothing past the brilliant white light.
Edward sits just behind the spotlight, where he knows she'll be unable to see him, and watches rapturously as she tries to adjust herself to her surroundings.
She shifts, trying to relieve the pressure on her shoulders. It's useless – her toes barely skim the ground. With her arms pulled so high over her head, every movement pulls her ratty t-shirt upwards, revealing the creamy, flawless skin of her abdomen. Skin that Edward wants to mark, mar, destroy.
He's distracted from his musings by a gruff, mocking voice in his ear. Jasper.
"So, you just gonna sit there and watch her all day?"
Edward doesn't reply, too fixated on the girl to acknowledge Jasper's jibing.
"Whatever, man," Jasper says after a moment, too used to Edward's silence to really expect an answer.
Bella jerks in her restraints, straining to see beyond the spotlight. She heard a voice – at least she knows she's not alone.
"Hello?" she yells, wincing at the burn in her throat. "Hello? Who's there? What the fuck is going on?"
There's no reply.
Jasper watches Edward watching her and he knows that he's in "The Zone". There's no reaching him when he goes all pensive, so he moves quietly over to the equipment bags, unpacking the throngs of wires, computers and cameras.
"HELLO?" she screams again. She's still disoriented, but she remembers the voice. The memories are fuzzy – just out of reach – but they're there.
Again, she's met with only silence, and she kicks out, struggling against her restraints even though she can see and feel it is useless. Never in her life has she felt this helpless, and she whimpers brokenly, falling limp in her shackles. She feels drained and dizzy – her head is still spinning.
She can't remember... anything...
"Hello?" she whispers this time. She's resigned herself to not getting an answer, and she's scared. She's terrified.
Scanning the room again, dejectedly, she takes in the dirty, stained concrete floor, the blacked out windows. There's a bed in the corner, cuffs hanging from the rusted metal frame. She doesn't want to put too much thought into what caused the dark stains on the mattress.
As she takes in the dirty claw-foot tub in the corner, a shudder ripples through her and her chains clink against each other ominously. The entire room is cold and rank with the stench of death and decay.
A low, keening sound fills the small room and she's shocked to realize that it's coming from her. She's still trembling, and her tear-blurred vision matches the fog in her head.
"FUCK," she screams. "WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? HELLO? WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT? WHERE AM I? HELLO?" She breaks off, panting heavily, thrashing wildly in her chains. "FUCK!" she screams again.
Jasper is wincing at the noise, one hand going to massage his temple.
"Where's Alice?" Edward asks, never taking his eyes from the pajama-clad body hanging from the rafters. She's supposed to bring new clothes for Bella. He doesn't really give a fuck what she's wearing, but the buyer's always want a certain look - generally, anything that screams "virginal".
They're all so fucking predictable, and it pisses Edward off. They watch his work the way any horny, heavy-breathing male would watch a porno. It truly disgusts him, and were it not for Carlisle, he would never sell a single one, just out of principle. They don't deserve to see the beauty of what he does, but he's learned to accept that the validation of his work lies only within himself, and not how those less apt appreciate it.
"I'm here, I'm here," Alice trills, sidling up behind them. "I was trying to sort through this mess," she nods to the pile of clothing she's just dumped on the little table. "I managed to find some decent stuff, but her closet is better suited to a fat, balding, middle-aged man." She shakes her head disappointed. "Sweatpants, Bella? Really?" she says, loud enough for Bella to hear.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?" Bella screams, "WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU PEOPLE? WHERE AM I?"
"Jesus Christ," Jasper spits. "God knows I like 'em feisty, but does this bitch ever shut up?"
Edward just shakes his head. He likes it when his girls are vocal. Her screamed challenges are getting old, but he's sure he'll have her whimpering and screaming and inarticulate soon.
Thoughts of making her scream bring with them the anxiety of how he'll proceed with her. He's brimming with the anticipation of seeing her dark, luscious blood, but it unnerves him not to have a plan laid out. He's always ready, always prepared. But with her... the possibilities are limitless and daunting. He needs a plan. A perfect plan.
"I'm going for a walk," he says, pushing himself off the chair. To Alice he says, "Go do what you gotta do," waving his hand dismissively toward Bella's prone body.
Jaspers quirks his eyebrow at Edward's retreating form, but says nothing. There's something off about Edward's behavior – more off than usual – but it's not his place to question anything. The fewer questions asked in this business, the better.
Alice is too excited at having a new doll to play with for a while to notice anything amiss.
They walk together towards Bella, Jasper acting as a body-guard even though the girl is strung up helplessly. He's seen the damage people can do when they're cornered and underestimated – like dead man's grip. He knows Alice can look after herself, but his Momma always taught him, it's better to be safe than sorry.
As soon as they step out from behind the spotlight, into Bella's line of sight, a hazy memory strains to surface in her clouded mind.
She remembers these two – she's met them before.
But... she can't remember. Everything in her head is so muddled. She remembers it being very loud. And this girl – Alice. She remembers her saying, "Nice boots," remembers thinking that she was beautiful. She looks at her now, and all she can see is vicious eyes and an evil smile. How could she ever have thought this creature beautiful?
"My father is the Chief of Police, you know!" she snarls, glaring caustically, even as she pointlessly tries to back away from them.
They pay no heed, and knowingly smirk at each other without breaking stride.
"GET AWAY FROM ME!" she screams, "You won't get away with this," and they chuckle at that.
Always the same inane lines.
They come to a halt right in front of her, and she whimpers, still struggling to distance herself from them. "What the fuck do you want? Get away!"
They're still not listening, and she begins to outright scream, vainly hoping that someone will hear, and... she doesn't even know what she's hoping for, but she knows that she can't be silent.
"Alright, bitch, you need to quit with the fucking caterwauling," Jasper hisses, and she wants to spit in his face, but she lapses into wary silence as her eyes follow Alice walking a circle around her, surveying.
"Jasper's right, sweetie," she muses. "You should save it for Edward."
Before she can reply, she hears the telltale rip of duct-tape separating from its reel. Her eyes snap back to Jasper. She doesn't have time to kick out, or scream, or even move, before he's taped it over her mouth, wrapping it all the way around her head - under her hair. She can feel it tugging at the hairs at the nape of her neck as she tugs her head away from him. She narrows her eyes, anger born of adrenaline and fear bubbling through her, and kicks at him, thrashing in her restraints.
Too swiftly for her to even register, his hand flies out and grabs her by the throat. "I really don't want to have to knock you unconscious right now," he growls, "but if you don't stop flailing around, I will, alright?"
Her eyes, already wide with fear, are practically bulging out of her head from the pressure on her neck. She nods, as much as she's able, and he drops his hand, grinning. "Glad we understand each other." He smiles over at Alice, "Do your thing, babe."
"Right," she says with an excited smile. "Well... we definitely don't need these." She smirks up to Bella while slipping her hands over the waist of her flannel pajama bottoms. "Really, Bella... Goths don't do penguins. Don't you know that?" In a swift movement, Alice rips the bottoms from Bella's legs. She holds them out as if offensive. "I knew you were fake," she adds quietly, tossing them onto the table of clothing. Turning back to Bella, Alice purses her lips and taps her chin, pondering Bella's loathsome t-shirt.
"Throw me the Stanley, will you, babe?" she asks, still surveying Bella - examining her like unfinished artwork.
"It's a carpet-knife, sweetness, not a 'Stanley'," he says, as he lays a box-cutter in her outstretched palm. She just shrugs.
As soon as she raises the blade, Bella renews her struggles, thrashing violently in an effort to distance herself from the blade pointed at her chest. She kicks out again, but before she can can make contact, and before Jasper can intervene, Alice raises her leg, landing a swift, hard kick on Bella's stomach. The force sends her swinging backwards, all the breath knocked out of her. She chokes, trying to cough behind the thick layers of tape over her mouth.
"Jasper might have a problem with hitting you, because he's a gentleman like that," Alice says, smiling sweetly at Jasper – her face hardens when she looks back to Bella, "but I certainly don't. Don't make this harder on yourself, scene girl."
This time, Bella doesn't move when she raises the knife. Her eyes widen as Alice places the knife against her chest, right at the neck of her t-shirt, and her plaintive cry is muffled by the duct-tape. Alice slides her hand slowly under the fabric, pulling it away from Bella's skin and slides the blade down swiftly, ripping the shirt neatly in two.
A few more swift cuts and the fabric flutters to the floor, leaving Bella in only her boy-shorts, laid bare and helpless, humiliated, as tears sting her eyes.
"Nice," Jasper says, eyeing her exposed body appreciatively, and a low wail builds in Bella's throat. She shuts her eyes tightly, willing herself to wake up, or pass out – anything to make this all not be real. Her tears are burning hot trails down her icy skin; she's too scared to be embarrassed by her unwilling exposure, and too embarrassed to not cry.
Alice mhmms in agreement, and walks over to the pile of clothing she'd left on the table. "What do you think of this?" she asks, holding up a simple white, strapless sun-dress, "This'll work, right?" She looks at the dress, and back at Bella, then back to the dress. "Yeah, this'll work."
"No one cares but you, babe," Jasper murmurs, chuckling into a laptop, and Alice shoots a glare at him as she walks back over to Bella, who is motionless, eyes still shut tightly, still whimpering into her make-shift gag.
"Now, keep your legs to yourself, alright?" Alice warns as she bends down to slide the dress up Bella's legs.
As much as she wants to kick out, and maybe knock the bitch's teeth out, Bella knows that it would be asking for trouble. She's in enough trouble as it is. If she delays – whatever this is – for long enough, someone will realize that she's missing, they'll be looking for – Charlie will find her.
All she can do is hope.
Once the dress is to Alice's liking, she steps back, surveying again. A satisfied smile lights up her face, and she turns to Jasper.
"Throw me the camera, babe."
She circles Bella, looking for a good angle. She takes only one picture.
"I think she looks cute," she says, waving the Polaroid to dry it before showing it to Jasper. He nods, not really looking. He doesn't really care.
"Yeah, she's adorable," he mutters distractedly. "Now where the fuck is Edward? I want to get out of here. I fucking hate this place. It's rank." He looks around the room, nose scrunching in disgust. "Fucker is messy," he sneers, staring at the blood stains everywhere. "How the fuck did he get blood on the ceiling?"
"I got creative," Edward says, right behind him, and Jasper flinches slightly in surprise.
"Where a bell next time," he jokes, "Sneaky fucker. Gonna give a boy a heart attack one of these days."
Edward doesn't even smile. He's looking at Bella. She looks nothing like his little Harajuku now. The white dress Alice has put her in makes her look as innocent as he knows her to be - sweet, and naive.
She's resumed her struggling, now that no one is in her immediate vicinity, with knives and evil smiles to terrify her. She's not content yet to resign herself to her fate.
"Want me to set everything up before I leave?" Jasper asks, but he doesn't wait for a reply. Edward doesn't really care about the technical side of things, and right now, he's too absorbed in watching his new toy thrashing about in her chains.
Jasper whistles to himself as he walks around the room, setting up the cameras. In the beginning, they'd worked only with one – but Alice was a pro at editing the videos together, and as their operation gained popularity, they'd upgraded their setup. Multiple angles really gets the creepers panting.
Once everything is set up, he waves the little remote at Edward, who's managed to tear his attention away from Bella for a few brief moments. One push of the button will have all the cameras rolling simultaneously, but he'll wait until they're gone to do anything.
"You've got about seventy hours of memory here, so, well... use what you need. All your other shit is setup and ready to go," Jasper spits out quickly patting Edward on the back as he passes.
He grabs Alice's hand quickly and pulls her towards the door. Edward is starting to look antsy, and Jasper doesn't want to be here when he starts getting creative.
"Bye, Bella!" Alice sing-songs as they reach the door of the cabin, "Have fun."
They usually clear out while Edward works. Jasper's never been one for torture. He serves strictly as set-up and clean-up. Give the fucker a mutilated corpse to dump and he's cool as ice, but take a blade to someone in his presence and he squeals like a little bitch. Fucking pathetic. And Alice goes wherever Jasper does.
It works for Edward... for all of them really. He's never been able to handle distractions with any modicum of civility, nor does he like to share his work with anyone. He has enough difficulty handing over his work to the pigs who pay ridiculous sums of money for it.
He paces along his provisional worktable for a moment, waiting for the sound of Jasper's truck to fade. Bella cannot see him beyond the harsh glare of the lights, but she knows there is still someone here with her. She wants to cry out, whimper... something. Instead, she clenches her eyes tightly and prays to God.
She's never been a religious person, but right now she could fool the most devout of heart with the stream of incantations she recites in her mind.
"You really are a pretty little thing, aren't you?" His voice breaks her litany and her eyes snap open at the sound of this new voice. But she recognizes this voice. It's more familiar to her than the others, yet... she struggles hard to place it. Everything in her mind is still so vague and she fights against the fog to get a bearing on how she's ended up in this predicament.
As Edward steps out from behind the lights, one hand behind his back, recognition dawns on Bella's face and she whimpers. It's first a whimper of relief; she trusts him, she remembers that much. He'll help her. But another vague memory is tugging at her mind – a heavy weight on top of her – piercing green eyes – a sweet, cloying chemical scent and then blackness.
"...bigger plans for you, my little Harajuku..."
"...my little Harajuku..."
His voice... she remembers his voice speaking to her. It echoes and ebbs along the edges of her memory like a phantom. She closes her eyes in frustration as the memory fades out like a snuffed candle.
The feeling of hope is short-lived as the realization sets in that despite what she does or doesn't remember, he is here, with her, like this... he is Edward.
She wants to kick herself for the momentary stupidity, and whimpers again. Her gaze falls to the floor in defeat, and fat tears splatter like water balloons to the concrete below her feet.
"Aw, don't be shy," he coos, lifting her face by her chin. He smiles a genuine smile at her and a rage flares within her at this man who she can't remember, who she obviously, probably, possibly trusted. She rips her face from his hand and resumes her futile and exhausting struggle against her restraints.
"Uh uh," he chides, grabbing her chin and forcing her face up again, making her look at him. His piercing green eyes send chills down her spine. "Play nice." She stills in fear at his harsh grip on her jaw, and he drops it, pacing swiftly over to the wall.
"A little music." He taps a button on the stereo. "Aaaand... ACTION." He points a remote over his shoulder, then throws it onto the table behind the spotlights. Beeps and whines start up, indicating the many camera setups are now rolling, focused intently on this room.
Just as Bella worries as to what these cameras are intended to record, a startlingly loud, heavy rock song blares from the speakers of the stereo. She jolts at the abrupt noise, and adrenaline courses through her at the complete change in atmosphere. Whatever they are planning for her, it is progressing... right now, and her fear reaches terrifying new heights.
Coming back to Bella's front, Edward clicks his tongue. "Look what Jasper's done to you. I can't work with sticky, glue covered skin," he indicates to her heavily taped head. "I've got something much better, but we don't need that for now."
He touches her tenderly, reverently, peeling away the duct tape with care. Her eyes on him are wide, distrusting. Her breathing is short and stuttered as the gag slowly pulls away from her skin. The pounding of her pulse is loud, like a freight train barreling between her ears, almost drowning out the blaring music.
"For now, I want to hear you," he says as he quickly rips the rest of the tape from the back of her head like a band-aid.
"Ahh-ha-haaaaa," she howls as she feels large amounts of her hair ripped away from her neck along with the tape.
"Yes... more of that," he encourages, fisting her hair and pulling her head back with a sharp tug.
She clamps her lips tightly shut, fighting to stay silent, only small squeaks escaping from her throat.
"Don't fight it, Bella. Let me hear you." He tugs hard again, but she manages to keep quiet, giving him only a small grunt of pain and a few labored breaths. He lets go, and starts patting his pockets for his cigarettes. Bella quickly assesses her strategy with him. She needs to do something... anything. She has to get herself out of this situation, now.
Pleading. Fighting. Defiance. Mocking. Threats. Leverage.
Leverage. She needs leverage. She needs it fast.
"I'm not going to scream," she spits out – the first viable thought she can come up with. "I won't be worth it to you, so...."
So... what?! she thinks frantically.
"Oh, you'll scream," Edward responds distractedly, searching around the room for his still missing smokes. "Ah," he spots them on the shelf by the stereo and snatches them up. Tapping out a cigarette, he places it between his lips.
Using the little time she has, Bella ignores his dismissal of her bartering and continues, going with the next, most feasible reasoning.
"Just... please let me go. Please. I won't tell anyone. Charlie... my Dad. He's... I'm all he has in the world. He's already lost my mother. Please let me go, for him. Don't make him lose me too."
Strategizing or not, there's deep seated truth in her plea, and her eyes well up with intense emotion at the thought of her father. She wishes he would save her now.
Edward shakes his head with a slight smirk as he lights up his cigarette. He takes a deep, calming drag as he saunters back to her, the look of mirth still in his eyes as he meets her pleading ones. She registers somewhere in his gaze the slight glimmer of pity and she pounces on it.
"I promise. I won't tell... anyone. I got lost in the woods... I... I..." She struggles for any cover stories she could plausibly offer if he let her go. Edward, closing his eyes, spreads his hand wide over his brow, down over his face and joins his fingers at his chin, rubbing it between his fingers and thumb.
"Bella, Bella, Bella," he chides. "Stop with the remorse-grabbing, self-preservation techniques. You're better than that." You're perfect, he adds silently, along with an exasperated sigh. "Besides, I've heard them all. Countless times. I could teach a class on it, for Christ's sake. They don't work anyway. At least, not in your case."
She shakes her head, sucking in a deep, shuddering breath. Defeat is bashing it's way into her mind, but she refuses to submit to it. She just keeps shaking her head, at a loss, at a crossroad between fear and hate and desperation.
"Now, let's work on this screaming..."
He inhales deeply on his cigarette, watching her – he's at a loss. He needs this to be perfect, and still he has no plan. It unnerves him to be so unsure.
The tip of his cigarette glows fiery red as he takes another drag, and he remembers something his father once told him.
"Did you know," he says, "firefighters use meters to measure the heat of a fire?"
She frowns at him slightly, confused, but still wary.
"The tip of a cigarette," he muses, looking down at his, "when you inhale," he takes a deep drag, to illustrate, "burns too hot for the meter to read." He blows the cloud of smoke directly into her face, and she turns her head away, scrunching her nose in disgust.
"Did you know that?" he asks, not waiting for a reply.
He takes another drag and pushes the tip of his cigarette into the soft flesh just under her clavicle, and she tries to jerk away, gasping. She exhales loudly through her nose, grunting and clenching her teeth in protest - she refuses to scream for him.
It doesn't matter; he won't repeat the action. It feels wrong - out of place.
He tosses the cigarette to the floor, crushing it under the toe of his boot, raking a hand through his hair. He tugs at it, inhaling deeply, trying to calm himself.
He needs time.
Bella watches him, wide-eyed and panting heavily as he disappears again, behind the spotlight. When he reemerges, he's holding a scrap of black material, running it between his fingers, frowning.
She thrashes wildly as he comes nearer, keening and whimpering incoherently, and his step falters. He frowns, and stuffs the blindfold into his pocket, delaying.
He brings over a step-ladder and sets up the drip tank, pulling out the stoppers and tossing them onto the table.
Icy water drips from directly over Bella, onto her shoulders, her head, down her arms and over her body. She cries and shudders, spouting out pleas and rambling prayers.
"Two days," he says. "Think you can make it that long?" He is almost as astonished as the face she makes in response. He's never felt the need for prolonged torture; has found it to be a detriment to his work, in fact. But he just doesn't know what to do with her, and this has never happened to him before.
Two days, he thinks to himself as he turns up the volume on the stereo. Sleep deprivation... starvation... dehydration... fuck. She'll be in fucking ruins by then. He decides he can't leave her for two whole days, but he can certainly let her think he is. Maybe she'll beg for him... that would certainly invoke some inspiration. Right?
His indecisiveness and hesitance with her has him perplexed and feeling off-kilter. When he first saw her, he wanted her, without hesitation. With his first look into her endless eyes, he knew without question that she would be his greatest work. He supposes now that an accomplishment of such magnitude does not come without a price.
He looks into her pleading, tear-filled eyes with something resembling compassion... sadness. Bella can't decipher the reason for the change in his expression, and her eyes well-up impossibly more. She tries to tell him, beg him with her eyes to please... please let her go.
Please don't hurt me. Please let me go, let me go, let me go.
Pulling the blindfold from his pocket, he ties it gently over her eyes, and ignores her wailing, mildly surprised that she isn't fighting him harder. She's barely moving in her chains, too scared, and too exhausted to even plead anymore.
He sighs deep, reluctant, resigned, and turns from her without another word.
Grabbing his MP3 player from the small table, he heads for the door, not looking back as he slams it behind him.
His car is parked just behind the little house, hidden from view, and that is his destination. That's where he sits for the rest of the night. He smokes, he taps his fingers against the steering wheel and with one ear, he listens to the playlist titled 'Bella'. With the other ear, he listens to his little Harajuku, screaming herself hoarse.
Dawn is just breaking when Edward finally has his first flash of inspiration.
Finally - he has a plan. It's perfect. Genius, actually. He knew when he first saw her that she would be his masterpiece, and finally, he can move forward with a purpose. He's sure that the underlying tension will balance out once he's started with his girl today.
He feels unusually light as he enters the cabin. The same disc is on it's eleventh rotation through the stereo, but he leaves it. He wants to get to his girl and wastes no time sneaking around behind her.
The volume of the music prevents her from hearing any other noise in here, and he waits, watching to see if she is unconscious or awake. He is rewarded quickly when she stretches her head to the side, taking a deep, relaxed breath.
There's no doubt that she's in serious pain right now, and he feels a surprising surge of pride at her current calm. He wants to test the depth of her calm. He inhales deeply, then leaning in, exhales across her ear, "Good morning."
She's frozen at first, but immediately starts jerking and thrashing when she realizes she's no longer alone. He pulls the blindfold from her head and it's like it was when she first awoke in this place; blinding, painful, brilliant. She closes her eyes to allow time for her pupils to adjust.
The dripping water had ceased about two hours prior, but she's still soaked from head to toe, and freezing, the only source of heat for her through the night being the bright spotlights trained on her.
Edward circles her form appreciatively, noting just how well the drip tank had worked. He decides to push this limit and stops in front of her, blocking some of the spotlighting from her eyes.
"Aw, look... you're sweating, baby. We need to cool you off." He knows damn well that she is a far cry from sweating, and she shakes her head minutely, confused as to his conclusion.
"I've got just the thing."
She watches apprehensively as he disappears from her view, and then returns with two giant bags of ice. Her heart skips and jumps in her chest at the prospect of what he could possibly be planning, and to her dismay, he cuts open the bags and dumps them into the rusty old tub in the corner.
Once the bags are emptied, he twists the spigot on the wall, releasing a flood of water into the now ice-filled tub, and turns back to Bella. She tries to struggle, only managing to pathetically shake her head back and forth. She's already freezing to her bones, and can't fathom... no, please God, please God no...
He releases the tie-off against the wall, lowering Bella to cold floor below. She immediately drops to her knees, arms still suspended and her head and body hanging limply from the restraints. He drops to his knees next to her, extracting a key to the lock on her cuffs. Slowly he pulls the shackles apart from her arms and notices the deep bruising and blood on her wrists. He says nothing, but has an urge to kiss them.
"Up you go." He hoists her easily into his arms and marvels at her feather weight. Why God made such frail creatures... scratch that. He praises God for the delicate gift bestowed upon him. She hasn't fought him much yet, and wonders if she even knows what's coming, or if she is simply spent. He hopes for the former, as she will definitely need every ounce of strength she possesses to meet with his plans for her today.
Reaching the tub, he gently lowers her already chilled body into the icy water. She sucks in shocked, gasping, whining breaths of air as her form submerges under the ice. The pain is searing - like being burned. She's struggling now, but Edward has a firm grip around her ribcage and holds her still for a moment before pushing further.
"Take a deep breath, Bella." Immediately she flails, looking up to him with pleading eyes.
"No... no... no... no... please... no... no..." He sends her face under the water as she still cries her protests. Once submerged, she stills for a moment, only slight waves of her hair moving along the surface. He knows what she's doing; saving breath, calming her heart rate so as to preserve oxygen. Even if she doesn't know that she's doing it, he's seen this behavior more times than not.
As her breath slowly runs out, her bubbles increase, and he awaits the struggle once more. They try to get up first, knowing full well that they cannot. At that thought, he feels her push her torso up into his restraining hands, trying to pop out of the water.
Next it's the legs.
Then the head starts shaking violently back and forth until... yes, splashes and underwater screams permeate the room and he is satisfied that she is nearly at her limit. He pulls her up with a flourish and her first breath sounds almost like an inverted scream. She latches her hands to his forearms, panting, and looking as though he's just saved her from death... which in fact, he has.
He repeats the action three more times until he's satisfied that she can endure no more.
Pulling her out of the tub proves to be more difficult than getting her in there was, but he manages, carrying her back over to her suspension restraints. Placing her on the floor, she falls immediately to a supine position on the concrete, making no move to escape. He chuckles at the success of this first step in his plan.
Once her wrists are again secured, he heaves the line, until she is back to her hung position, toes lightly touching, but only if stretched. He ties off the slack and moves over to his brave beauty, beaming with a smile and feeling redeemed of his previous struggles.
"You've got such a pretty little mouth," he whispers, caressing her lower lip almost tenderly with his fingers, "though, it looked better the first time I saw you. Covered in blood..." He closes his eyes, a smile forming on his lips as a shudder ripples up his spine. Out of nowhere, the back of his hand collides with her face, and she yelps - more out of shock than pain. When the pain does bloom, it's accompanied by a trickle of sticky warmth down her chin. Her lip is still throbbing, and she bites back an agonized moan, not willing to give him the satisfaction that he so obviously derives from hearing her suffer.
He doesn't care about her silence - she won't be silent for long. He's watching the blood trickle down her face, eyes dilating with hunger. "Like that," he hisses, running his thumb over her chin, through the blood, and over her lip again, pushing at the tender area where her teeth ripped into it. Her teeth clench in anger, and she regrets the action as pain from his blow lances across her jaw.
"Oh... I see that pain," he states observantly with a satisfied smile. "We're gonna let that pain come out to play with me, yeah? I need a friend, you know... and you're too quiet." He rubs his hand briskly along her jaw, focused on and speaking directly to her skin.
Bella jerks her head away from his touch in defiance of his... crazy fucking... crazy. She knows she is completely fucked, but hearing him talk of her pain in such a way ignites her defenses like a lit fuse.
"Oh-ho-ho! Feisty girl," he laughs, grappling her now struggling form in a tight embrace. "Shhh... calm down, calm down," he coos, "Listen, I'll tell you what... shhhh, listen for a sec." Bella's struggle against him is fierce, but her exhaustion sets in rapidly. Her motions die down almost as quickly as they began, and unwillingly, her head falls to his shoulder, her breaths heavily labored and broken into spasms of lingering sobs.
Edward softly caresses her hair, mimicking the loving gestures of consolation. "That's better now. Shhhh." Lifting her head off his shoulder, he takes her face in his hands waiting for her eyes to meet his once more.
And they pierce him... the eyes... her eyes on him. Her desperation disarms him in the most unsettling way. He feels a strange bubble of nervous energy build as she stares into his eyes like that. It makes him grimace with... nausea? He quickly moves the pads of his thumbs over her lids, wiping her tears away while he forces this unknown sensation down with a swallow.
Confident that his control is back in place and silently warning off any other foreign emotion, he moves his face against her cheek, avoiding her gaze for the moment.
"Bella," he whispers intently, feeling for her bodily response. He knows she can hear him from the tell-tale tremor in her muscles at the sound of his voice.
"I'll tell you a secret Bella, if you beg me to."
Her body quakes visibly at this, and Edward ponders on his simple offer to her. He's never felt compelled to reveal himself before. Oh, yes, he's interacted plenty; spoken to, laughed at, cried with, and sang to many girls, and some men too, but he's never had the desire before to explain to them... to make them understand, to show them... himself.
He stamps down the confusion that accompanies his urge and quickly refocuses to receive Bella's... lack of response. She doesn't answer.
"C'mon... just one little 'please'?" he pulls back, beseeching with a sympathetic smile, his brows betraying his motivation. She thinks his expression resembles what a father might look like coaxing a child. His ability to portray such a tender visage drives the fear deeper into her bones.
"P-p-p-lea-a-ase," she whimpers. His eyes close, and he shudders as one would being touched by unbridled passion.
"Oh, such a good little girl," he says with the same gentle smile, trailing a finger through the blood on her cheek. "I'm sure you'll like my secret, but you can't tell anyone." He gives a pregnant pause, changing his demeanor to swift seriousness. "I mean it. This is for your ears, and yours alone."
Her mind fires with incredulous sarcasm over who she could possibly tell, strung up here like butcher's meat, then immediately capitulates to infernal dread at that analogy. She can't imagine what he'll say, but knows she will most certainly not like it, and fears him continuing. Every instinct tells her to go along with his game, play to his wishes, and every instinct also tells her to fight, kick, scream and defy him with every breath in her hurt, tired, defenseless body.
Lone tears, drop from each eye on her face as the trembling in her lips moves to her shoulders and outward through her limbs. These little innate reflexes send Edward reeling with excitement for the more exhilarating, latent responses to come. He will make her body and her mind sing for him, and he knows, beyond all doubt, that she was created for his eyes, his ears, his touch, his knife.
"Plea-please," she cries again, this time louder. It's a lament for her safety, a begging for freedom, but her plea means something entirely different to him.
"Okay, okay," he simpers, "How can I deny such sweet supplication?" He leans into her body, rubbing his lips over her bruising cheek. He realizes that he is completely intoxicated by her, which sends another jolt of concern through his system. He has never been so enticed before. His need to be in control wars with the impulses she is drawing from him.
He cradles the side of her face as he pushes down his feelings of doubt and moves his lips to her ear. "So... my secret," he whispers, "Oh, you deserve it for that pleading...sweet girl" He can feel her whimper against his mouth and shivers with delight.
"So responsive... just what I need for this. You... my little Harajuku, are going to be my greatest masterpiece." He sighs into her ear, having let out his greatest hope, and his biggest fear to her in one breath of a sentence.
"Yesss, Bella. Yes. I am an artist of the highest caliber." His fingers delicately stream over her face as he surveys her form. "You see, I use life. It is the truest medium of all, and I bleed my work from it's energy... and you, Bella... you are the most perfect canvas I have ever seen."
"Please...d-don't d-do th-th-this."
"Shhh!" He grips up her chin, "Don't ruin my secret now. I have to tell you all of it. You have to understand." Bella quiets, hiccuping on her tears as he continues.
"So, I am certifiable. Yes. They call me crazy... insane." He lets out a snort. "'Personality disorder not otherwise specified', to be exact," he recites in a professional tone. "Ha. They call me crazy, and they can't even define it."
Edward has known his differences with the world around him for as long as he can remember. When they brought him into the doctor at the tender age of eleven, when they told his parents his diagnosis of SPD and to watch him for violence, when they locked him in the psych ward after his brother's death... he knew, through all of these times, that he was different, and they would never understand it.
But he wants Bella to understand. He is confused and desperate for her to see what he sees. She has to understand, or his perfect plan will not work.
"They can't define it," he speaks softly, leaning his face near hers again, "because art cannot be defined." Bella shudders and her brow furrows deep as she looks directly into his waiting eyes. She sees a longing sadness there, and feels a moment of irrational hope.
"Yes," he gasps excitedly, his mouth spreading into a lopsided smile, "you feel it. I can see it in your eyes. You understand. I knew you would." The brief feeling of hope shatters around her as she watches his eyes light up. She doesn't understand in the least, and the fear sparks back to life as their quiet moment passes.
She is his art.
His art is death.
She knows in that moment that he is going to kill her.
Edward lets out a loud, excited cackle, startling Bella. He grabs both sides of her face and kisses her lips earnestly before walking over to the rickety shelf with the stereo atop it. He picks up a CD case, opening it, and hits a button on the machine.
A loud silence envelops the dank room. The absence of blaring drums and crunchy guitars resonates through the air... almost as ear-piercing as the music itself. Bella can now hear her rapid, shuddered breaths against the silent air and quiets herself instinctively. She looks on as Edward opens the CD drawer and places in the shiny disc. He presses play and turns back to Bella, walking forward with eyes closed as a new song begins.
First drums... slow and echoed, then two simple chords of guitar and a haunting voice breathe out of the stereo. It's sound is eerie, and possibly worse than the deafening rock she was subjected to for hours through the night. The shadows of death hanging all around her are brought nearer with this new sound, and a blasting chill runs up her spine.
"This is my favorite band," he muses, tapping something in his hand in rhythm against his thigh. He stops in front of her, opening his eyes, but his gaze is far away... inside the music. Bella studies him silently, unwilling to lend sound to her fear, and unable to do anything else.
"Their music is such poetry..." His tone is filled with reverence as he circles around behind Bella. Then speaking into her ear, "It's like... it's like they write their songs knowing exactly what I have planned out for pretty girls."
As he says this, he slips the garrote wire in his hand over Bella's head and pulls it taught around her neck. Bella's eyes bulge as her oxygen is completely cut off. But the inability to breath, the choking sensation, is second to the lacerating pain of the wire cutting into her delicate flesh.
She responds bodily, thrashing her hips and legs and anything she can move with a fight that shakes the rafter above causing it to groan and creak with stress... making sounds she is physically incapable of as she strangles.
Moving both ends to one hand, but keeping a strong pull, Edward slips his arm around her waist, pulling her tightly against him and stilling her struggles.
"Shhh... listen to it... the poetry," he whispers against her ear, then continues, singing along with the haunting voice, "...where no one... can see... new life... break away..."
The music crashes then, breaking into a heavy sound, and Edward loosens the hold on the wire slightly, allowing Bella to gasp. As she does this, he tightens it again slightly... just for a moment, then lets it fall completely loose. Her held gasp comes rushing out of her in an inhuman, choking cough, and she feels as though her lungs are being forced up into her throat. The pain reaches down into her ribs.
"Oh, you make me feel more," he says, referring to the song's lyrics, and kissing her cheek. "So much more. More... everything." His words are truer than any he has ever spoke, and as he feels the sting of that foreign, nauseating anxiety again, he thinks that feeling more does not exactly equate to what he thought he wanted.
Which is her.
Which is perfection.
He takes a cleansing breath and moves around to face Bella once more.
"Oh, look... we've cut you." He rubs the pad of his index finger along the thin, bloody line on her neck. She has still not recovered from the painful coughing, but feels the sting of his touch along her neck and jerks in response. He lets go, rubbing his finger now across his lips as his tongue reaches out to taste.
As he stands, silent, her coughs die down and with not a single molecule of energy left she hangs from her shackles limply, her head bowed down and her sticky, matted hair shielding her face from him.
"Okay, no more of that, then."
She can hear him, but in her exhaustion doesn't comprehend any sound other than the song, still playing... bringing her back over and over to the terrifying expectation of dying that she just experienced. She will hate this song forever. She wants it to stop. She wants everything to just... stop.
The defeat has broken through, and just as she silently wishes he would put an end to her torture, the song ends.
Bella has experienced pain before. She's suffered through countless broken bones and fractures, sprains, pulled ligaments, concussions, the works. She's always prided herself on the ability to take a spill with dignity, never panicking when Renee or Charlie would freak out at her injuries.
She thought she knew pain.
Thought she could handle any pain.
Edward Masen has proven her wrong.
As she vacillates between the waters of awake and unconscious, Bella dreams. She dreams of her mother, smiling at her with her sparkling blue eyes and her too white teeth. She smiles back, having missed her so much and runs to embrace her mom in a whole-bodied hug.
"I missed you so much, Mom... so, so much."
"Aw, I missed you too baby," she leans back cradling Bella's face like she always did, running her thumbs up and down her cheeks.
"Mom, am I... am I dead?"
"Not yet baby," her smile turns sad, "Soon, though..."
"Very soon, love." Edward's mocking words warp from the sound of her mother's voice as Bella opens her eyes, revealing to her again, the true nightmare she is in.
"You're not giving up on me are you?" he says, cradling her face just as her mother did in her dream, running his thumbs along her cheeks. She just stares at his face blankly, the fight having left even her eyes.
Frustrated, Edward releases her face and taps the cold steel blade of his knife against her cheek, tap tap tap tap tap. "C'mon, perk up little girl. We've got more fun to be had before you go running off into the deep blue yonder." Her head is up on it's own now, and instinctively, she jerks from the blade near her face.
"There you are," Edward smiles. "Thought I'd have to throw you in the tub again there for a minute. I need you coherent. We've still got work to finish."
Gripping her jaw in his one hand, he slips the blade of the knife between her lips as she whimpers, her panic resurfacing all over again, only this time, ten-fold. Her tears, so profuse, sting the skin of her raw face now. She doesn't dare move as the cold metal clinks over her teeth and the sharp point presses into the soft tissue of her cheek.
"Should we make you smile?" he asks innocently, quietly. He tries to smirk at the cliché, but it's forced. He puts gentle pressure, ever so carefully against her cheek, seeing where the tip of the blade pushes her skin outward. He waits. He waits for the build up, like a rushing climax, that he always feels before creating the beautiful Dahlia - the rush that will feed and meld into intense sparks of pleasure as he watches the cheek slice open, pouring blood as the lips fall far away from each other. He is ready. He waits for it.
But it never comes.
Disappointment overtakes him, and he pulls the blade slowly from her mouth, just slightly grazing her inner cheek as he moves to pace around behind her. His frustration is acute, though Bella would never know it by the blood that now seeps into her mouth where his knife had just been. Her eyes open and shift, wary and despairing, as she looks but can no longer see Edward in her line of sight. She tries frantically to decide whether to swallow down the warm blood now filling her mouth or spit it to the floor, but her body chooses for her as she bursts into uncontrollable sobs, the blood sputtering out of her mouth and down her chin.
"Oh, you are So. Fucking. Beautiful."
A new song begins from the CD, and it is so fucking perfect, and inspiration abounds in Edward's mind like a clock coming to life and chiming loud and clear from a bell tower.
"Oh, God this song... Bella, this song is so perfect." He rolls his head dramatically, making swirls and figure eights in the air with his knife to the lilting tempo of it. "It's you and me, baby. This is us," he says euphorically.
Bella tries to speak over the music. But he's not looking at her and all that comes out from her is a weak, garbled mumble. No more.
She tries again.
"N-no more," she says, but still he doesn't hear her.
"I'm the new King..." he sings, "...and I'll take the Queen..." He kneels down in front of her, face pressed against her stomach, grabbing the white and blood-stained fabric on either side of her dress. Slowly, like climbing up a ladder, he pulls the dress from her body one side at a time. She shudders in a deep gasp, and finally he looks up at her.
"Please... No more, Edward. No-" she hiccups, "no more." Her dress falls to her ankles and he covetously smooths his hands over the pale, fresh skin of her abdomen.
"Right here," he says, placing a kiss just to the right of her belly button. "This is the spot for it." She raises her face to the ceiling above in despair, catching sight of the blood spatter before her tears cause her vision to haze again. It's blood that Edward put there, of God knows who; of someone who has died here before - someone who is dead now. She trembles and cries and wishes it were her blood. She wishes she were dead already.
Suddenly, his face is in her face, and she drops her gaze to his, taking in the face of her killer.
It's such a beautiful face, she thinks, and her lips tug into the slightest crack of a smile at the irony of it. She says nothing more. His eyes are lit up like Christmas, and he's not hearing anything she might say.
"I need your help," he says, smiling while trailing the tip of the blade over her skin ever-so-lightly. "You're gonna sing it with me... while I put my art on you."
She will give him no satisfaction.
She closes her eyes tightly and bites into her lip to keep from crying out. Whatever his plan, she hopes it kills her quickly; it's all she hopes for now.
Pushing away from the moment, she speaks to Charlie in the quiet recesses of her mind. She tells him goodbye. She prays for him. She prays for Emmett and Rose to keep watch over him, help him let go. She prays that none of them ever know what's happened to her, it will tear Charlie apart. Not knowing is better, she decides. Better for him. Better for all of them. Please God, let them never know...
And then she screams.
She stifles it quickly, with difficulty, into whimpers and low sobs and moans. She doesn't want to scream for him, but he's carving the blade tip into her skin and... Oh, God, it's so hard.
"C'mon, Bella, this is your part of the song..." He pushes the blade deeper as he cuts into her skin, up and down, up and down, and she see stars. Her whimpers turn to open cries, but she won't scream... she won't scream.
"You need to scream, Bella," and he pierces her then, twisting, as he moves the blade down her flesh.
She screams for him.
An ear-piercing, blood-curdling, writhing, never-ending scream. Yes.
The song ends, and Edward finishes. Bella's screaming halts with both. Only their heavy breaths filling the silence.
The sound of Edward's knife clattering to the floor rings out, and his hands and mouth are against her face once more. He recites the words to her, now carved forever into her body, burning her now with seething, angry wounds...
"When she bleeds," He trails his fingers over the letters.
"I am called home." She coughs and cries and cringes from his touch.
"Like babe to breast." They both shudder.
"She bleeds for me alone."
Perfect, he thinks resting his face on her cheek.
But stepping back, his moment is marred by the now familiar clawing anxiety that races through his blood. He tilts his head, studying her, pleased with the work, yet unable to shake the feelings of apprehension.
"Hmmm... needs more blood," he snaps quickly retrieving the box-cutter from where Alice dropped it on the pile of clothing. He knows he should just slice her throat, he knows it... but he's prolonging. He wants perfection, and he realizes that it doesn't exist with only death on her face. The eyes are the key. Her eyes, on him. Without that...
He lets his thought trail off as he focuses on the new additions to his 'plan'.
"Let me show you a little trick," He secures her head with one hand as he brings the razor up above her eyes. "See, the forehead is most commonly overlooked." He lifts the blade to her forehead, "But it produces the most wondrous amounts of blood, from just the Tiniest. Little. Cuts and nicks."
He punctuates each word as he slips the razor tip across her hairline like a brush, smiling with pride as blood drips over her eyes, nose.
"Much better," he muses.
The blood flowing through her eyelashes is almost more painful than the gushing wounds across her forehead and abdomen. She hangs her head down reflexively, letting the blood pour directly to the floor rather than over her face.
"Nooo..." he admonishes her like a dog, "Keep it up. Up!" he says pulling her head back up by her hair. "It has to drip down... all over. I want it down your neck... over your breasts." Despite the pain of his fist in her hair, despite her blurred vision and complete exhaustion, Bella shakes her head violently back and forth, trying to break free of his hold. With a last valiant burst of adrenaline, she pushes, pulls, struggles and strains her body, any way that she can to fight this...monster. The pain on her abdomen, her forehead, her scalp where hair is now ripping from her head, is tremendous, and she cries out, still whipping and thrashing about.
"No, no, no, no, NO!" Edward whines in frustration. "You're ruining it!" He releases her hair, and backhands her viciously across the cheek. The blood from her forehead has splattered in all directions and leaves unfinished trails down her cheeks. He is desperately grieved to see her hanging her face down once again.
Edward's jaw clenches like a vice as he fists his hands in his own hair now. He breathes deeply, not looking at her, and trying to calm himself before he becomes too impulsive. He distances himself from her and closes his eyes. She's spunky this one, he tells himself, making excuses for her. She is too special to him to be hasty with.
We can fix this... it's not ruined, it's not ruined. She has plenty of blood to give you still.
He storms back to her, ripping her head up again by her hair, ready to make another slice, this time lower, across her brow.
But she is no longer conscious.
Edward shakes her head a little, jostling her shoulders as well, but her jaw remains slack, and her eyes give only a slight, involuntary roll before her lids close once more. Her color has turned a ghostly pallor, and her sweaty, cold skin indicates acute hypovolemia. It's too soon.
"Wait... wait... FUCK! WAIT! No, NO!"
He slaps her cheeks rigorously getting no response, and can see the pale quickening over her skin like a blush. He presses his cheek against her nose in a panic and can feel her breaths, but they are shallow now and very weak. Without hesitation, he rushes to the wall and rips the tie-off completely out of the wall-stud. Bella's body flops to the floor with a wet, heavy smack, and Edward grabs her up like a doll, moving her motionless form to the mattress at the far end of the room.
Lying her down with care, he taps her cheeks again, lighter this time and shakes her shoulders as well. He hears a faint moan rise from her throat, but her body is still unresponsive and her skin grows colder by the second.
Practically ripping the pocket off of his jeans, he grabs his cell phone out and starts punching numbers with exerted focus. Come on... come on... he spouts off in his mind before the phone even starts to ring.
"Pick up! Fuck!"
"Yes?" A calm, distinguished voice answers on the second ring.
"Carlisle I... I need you here. Now."
"What's wrong? Edward..."
"No. NOW Carlisle, no talk... get here now. Leave right fucking NOW."
"Are you... have... have you been caught?"
"Carlisle!" he screams, "No. Fuck! I... I'm not ready... she's dying and I'm not fucking ready, okay? Just... fucking get here! I can't do this by myself. She... she can't die Carlisle. Not fucking yet."
A pregnant silence lingers on the other line as Edward frantically feels over the bloodied, lifeless body for a pulse.
"I'll be there in twenty minutes."
Ask most people, and they'll tell you that snuff films are an urban legend.
Not some serial killer, recording the rape and torture of his victims for his own pleasure, or documentary style videos of death.
Death on film – for entertainment. They say it doesn't exist.
But there's a huge market for death – there's something liberating about watching someone writhe in pain; it makes people feel alive.
Did you know that you can watch rape, 24 hours a day, from the comfort of your own home?
And death and rape go hand in hand.
Type the word rape or snuff into any search engine, and you'll find it – it's really that easy.
Mostly, what you'll find is porn-sites offering violent, hard-core porn; all performed, of course, by willing, well paid actors and actresses. That's all fake; fantasies designed to give you a not-so-cheap thrill.
But that's only the tip of the ice-berg.
The people who tell you that snuff is an urban legend are wrong. They just aren't looking hard enough.
That, and they don't know Edward Masen.
... to be continued...
congratulations on reaching the sort-of end.
This will be turning into a full story once the competition is over - so stick us on alert.
check out the banner for the story - tiny (dot) cc/ bleedbanner
and leave a review, if you feel so inclined