He sliced her fingers off before he shaved her head. She screamed louder with each finger being severed, the tiny room they were in like a tomb but not. Her screams were so loud that when he got to her middle finger, the longest one, he thought he would go deaf from her piercing shrieks of pain, the dull knife he purposely used to cut through bone in a more difficult manner, thus causing the pain to be more than merely excruciating.
No, he didn’t know her. She was a stranger he saw at the subway station near Cranford and 10th. She looked nice, he thought, so he brought her home and got her into this tiny room – he couldn’t remember how exactly. Something he must have said, the way he said it? Anyway, here she was, here was her blood, all over the little table. Here were her pseudo-deafening screams in his ears as he finished with the middle appendage and continued on to the ringless ring finger. The thumb had been surprisingly easy. He would look that up later.
When she yelped at the next cut he smacked her mouth but that didn’t shut her up. She just screamed louder, pulling the other hand against the wire that restricted it to the chair, her bare, kicking feet useless against him.
The pinky, of course, was a cinch. Snip, it went. She had slender pinkies. He liked them.
He liked her, too.
Her left hand waited, tied behind her. He got up and smacked her mouth again, then tied her bleeding right hand with another wire, untied the left and slammed on the table, holding it until he sat again.
She stopped screaming but he knew it would start up again soon as he held the dull, bloody knife in front of her face and grinned. He was having fun at this. He always had fun with the fingers.
She spewed some of her spit in his face as he pinned her left hand down, the fingers bloodless for now. He noticed how the wire had cut her wrist already. So what. It was the fingers he wanted. Five down, five to go. Nothing to be left but two bloody stumps she could punch him with. He liked that too. All her blood on him.
She would finally be rendered useless when the blood ran out.
Until then he had work to do.
Blood can always wait.
By Jeff Callico