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The first time, his hands tremble so badly he cannot grip the scalpel.

 

The clink of metal on frigid concrete is the ringing sound of failure.

 

Panic-glazed eyes catch him and he blanches; they pin him to the floor as surely as she is pinned to the wall.  The memory that they are a dark brown, like coffee stains, surfaces unbidden in his mind.

 

He gags her with clumsy fingers, suddenly only able to concentrate on drowning out her primal keening.  She sobs, yanking hard on the restraints again, thrashing wildly for a few moments before her body goes limp, the only sign of life the feeble shudders wracking her chest.  Her eyes flick up, unfocused, and come to rest on a spot beyond his left shoulder.

 

He reaches for the scalpel, but his hand won’t obey him, hovering rebelliously over the tray.

 Hot tears of frustration cloud his vision.  His daughter’s name plays in his head like a demented child’s song.   

 

He gags.  Those eyes are too familiar.

 

-x-x-x-

The third time, his is prepared.

 

 He doesn’t look into the eyes, already half mad with anticipated agony.  He doesn’t hear the pleading, doesn’t notice the struggling.  But no reading, no sanitized laboratory dissection, could have prepared him for the visceral reality of the moment when his knife parts flesh from flesh.

When the blood slicks his hands so thoroughly he can barely keep from dropping his tools and the heady scent of adrenaline cuts through the tangy, bitter odor of sweat and urine.  When the man’s bowels let go, a final addition to the mess of already congealing blood that makes his boots adhere to the floor.

 

He rushes, unnerved, making clumsy incisions, and the liver he repossesses is mutilated.  Unusable.

 

That isn’t much comfort to the broken corpse sprawled on the floor like a puppet with its strings cut.

 

He fights back a mad giggle at the thought.

 

-x-x-x-

 

He’s lost count.  It’s routine.  Simple.

 

The only way to get through this is to avoid thought.  Nathan watches from the ceiling, floating, removed, as the thing inhabiting his body cleaves muscle from bone.  He doesn’t feel the blood spatter onto his chest. 

He doesn’t think about Shilo anymore. 

Something so pure, so alive, doesn’t belong in this nightmarish haze of blood and pain. 

 

He cannot kill.  But the Repo Man can. 

 

He is pestilence, he is death.  He is a horseman of the Apocalypse.

 

A savage, horrific grin flashes across the creature’s face at the broken wailing of its prey, relishing the fear.  The Repo-Man doesn’t like to gag his victims- their cries are decadence; flawless displays of his total and complete authority.

Nathan observes in a vague sort of horror, resigned to his familiar role of watching the gory circus unfold, the other’s thoughts a distant, vile whisper assaulting his sanity.  


The creature whistles absently, and Nathan’s vocal chords move in a silent echo of the lullaby.  A serene smile spreads across his face, garishly pure in this desolate, obsidian Hell.  His knife flashes. 

 

Unnatural quiet enshrouds the room, stillness broken only by Nathan’s unsteady breathing.

 

It will be hours before he moves.