(In my absence, I've been trying to get back into writing. I think I've finally gotten back into it. Right now I suppose I'm just trying to force myself to do something though. This piece I've got here is something I picked up last night. It's kind of dark, but it didn't come off too terribly, I don't think. In any case, I hope you enjoy the as of yet unfinished first part of Brutality, Torture.)

Lenos awoke with a throbbing headache and a bitter, metallic taste in his mouth. He blinked his eyes groggily as he tried to take in his surroundings, but his vision was blurred, like he couldn't quite focus. There was a loud smack as something heavy slammed against his head, sending him reeling, yet something held him sitting in place. He felt a warm trickle down the side of his face.

"Hello, Lenos." He stiffened. That voice, that hated voice, arrogant and haughty, like it knew something he didn't, he'd heard it too many times these past few days. His eyes slowly started to focus. He was in a small room, barely large enough to squeeze ten men into. The wooden walls were old and bare of any décor, the ramshackle hut, for now Lenos remembered that for what it was, offered little shelter and the cold that leaked through the walls was enough to chill your bones.

Yes, Lenos remembered now. The ancient fishing shack on the edge of the barren lake, that's where he was. "So, have you come to your senses yet, Lenos? Are you ready?" The other man in the shack stepped in front of him and peered down at him, a superior smile on his face. He couldn't quite make out the features of this man, he never could, but that taunting grin was always there. The man drew a small object from out of his robes, a razor, and then slowly, deliberately, drew the edge across Lenos' bare arm. Digging in at the elbow, the man cut a long shallow line all the way down to Lenos' wrist.


Lenos grimaced in pain, but refused to make a sound, instead choosing to grit his teeth together and bear through it. He wouldn't give that awful man the pleasure of hearing his pain. Not again. Lenos' bare chest bore many scars already of far worse treatment. His torturer finally stepped away, flicking the razor away in an arc as he chuckled. "Still holding out then?" The black robed man stepped closer and behind the chair Lenos was bound to, bringing his face close to his ear. "You could make all the pain go away with a few simple words..." In a single second, the dark man had brought his blade to Lenos' cheek and made a single, shallow cut. Lenos threw his body back as the torturer danced away, laughing, coming to a halt in front of Lenos and wave his blade back and forth. "Ah, ah, ah! I'm so sorry, my dear friend, but it would be rude of your host to deny you the full treatment of my humble home."

Again the man laughed. Lenos strained against the ropes the bound his hands behind him, but so tight were they that he couldn't find a single inch of leeway. He'd already tried again and again in the many days he'd been imprisoned in this place and he imagined that his wrists were a raw and bloody mess. But what he wouldn't give to get his hands around that man's neck...

The torturer kneeled in front of him, bringing his face to Lenos' as he feigned a pout. "Now surely, surely you realize how silly this is. All this pain over a girl, a woman of no importance at all?" He chuckled. "My, but wouldn't your wife be jealous of such sacrifice?" Lenos threw himself forward, outraged, as the coarse, thick ropes bit into his wrists. "So touchy," the dark man remarked, again with that infuriating tone. Again came out the razor, this time slowly coming to rest under his chin, the blade just barely touching his flesh. "You can go back Lenos. Tell us where the girl is and you can go back home to your loving family. We can forget that this whole nasty incident had ever occurred." The man's voice had changed, now seeming sympathetic, and Lenos so wanted to believe that man's words.

But he knew that man. Those tempting words were nothing but lies. Lenos fully believed that he'd never leave this freezing shack alive. The old, dark red stains on the walls did little to give him hope of otherwise.

(And now, my usual critique, now for the first time directed at my own work. I swear, I critique more than I actually write, heh. Hmm, I dislike how often Lenos' name is mentioned for one. I'd like to be able to refer to him in another manner than just 'he', 'him', or 'Lenos'. Beyond that, the bad guys' dialogue is a little cliched, but I still like how he's developing. With what I've got planned, I'm really hoping to make him into a truly nasty character. Also, that last line, "Those tempting words were nothing but lies," sounds awkward, I'd like to reward that if possible. I've always been bad at judging my own works though, this is really all that's striking me at the moment. Besides this, I might like to try out shifting perspectives. Currently using a limited third person narrative and jumping inside Lenos' head at times, I might try a third person omnicient so as to get a better description of the scene, although description has never really been my strong suit. First person might be fun though, although maintaining it throughout the story would really be a pain. Hopefully update soon.)
(And update. Should've noted this earlier, kind of intense and, well, brutal in some areas, although I'm sure anyone reading this far might've picked that up from the earlier torture scene. Could be worse, at anyrate, heh. Finishing Lenos' scene.)

He so wanted to offer back a smile, to spit back in the man's face, to show some victorious effort, yet found he had the strength to do nothing and his parched throat burned so fiercely that he doubted he could do more than whisper. And now how he regretted his earlier outburst, his wasted effort.

The razor bore into his chin and then made a solid clink as it chipped into his jawbone. "You're boring me Lenos. I don't appreciate having my time wasted like this. Do you understand me?" He said, accentuating his point by driving the blade deeper into Lenos, forcing his jaw up and back, all the while the poor near-broken man fearing that his very bones would give way. The torturer finally drew the blade out and then whipped his hand against Lenos' battered face. A hand grabbed the shaggy, unkempt hair atop Lenos' head and forced his face him. Lenos knew what was coming next. He closed his eyes, knowing the man couldn't very well do three things at once, but felt the drop of liquid splash against his face all the same. His blood. "Oh, I'll admit," the man said cheerfully, "this certainly is it's own kind of fun." Lenos could imagine that man's wicked grin as he held the razor above his face. "Oh, and I do so enjoy my time with children." Lenos' eyes went wide with terror and were met with a drop of his own blood. He cringed as the man laughed terribly and carelessly struck him again with the handle of the blade. "Oh my, that's the first response I've been met with in a long time, isn't it Lenos? Why, the last time was, I do believe, several hours back!"

His hand tightened on the back of Lenos' head as he drew his face nearer, a condescending laugh, and was there nothing this man could do that was not so, escaping his lips. "Such a very long time for such an impatient man, wouldn't you agree? Oh, but I imagine you're simply dying to hear what comes next. I saw that look in your eyes, Lenos. That's right." The man released his hold and Lenos' head drooped lifelessly, yet his eyes were still shut tight, his face in a terrible grimace. "Such a lovely little girl. She must make her father so very proud. Yes, a sweet child, now what was her name? Miranda? Melissa?"

Amelia. Tears forced their way through his clenched eyes and flowed down his face to meld with the blood that dripped down his chin.

"Amelia, that was the name, such a wonderful child. Stubborn too. She must take after her father. 'No!'" the torturer cried in imitation, "'Not Teddy! Poppa gave him to me! You can't take him away! What are you doing! Where are we going? Momma! Poppa!' Really, children are so rebellious these days." The dark man said, shaking his head. "They simply don't know when to just give in and do as they're told." He chuckled. "But then again, I suppose the same thing could be said of some of us foolish adults as well, eh Lenos?"

The battered man could not hold a helpless sob form escaping him as more tears betrayed his thoughts. "Oh, now don't look so glum Lenos. C'mon, cheer up now," the torturer said all too cheerfully. "What if I said I'd brought you a present, would that make everything better? You see, when I was out I happened upon the most lovely thing, I just knew you'd love it and I absolutely couldn't resist picking it up and bringing it here." Lenos hardly heard a word he'd said, so wracked with guilt and inner turmoil was he. "I see," the dark man said disappointedly. "Not even a smile for me? Well that's all right. You're in a bad mood, perfectly understandable. I'll just leave it for you here then and you can call for me when you're feeling better, alright?" His footsteps sounded dully against the old, half-rotten wood and then stopped as the rusty old door creaked open, then slammed shut.

Still Lenos wept, but after a few moments he forced himself to open his eyes and look up. There was an item, sitting in the middle of the room. It was a doll of a tiny brown bear, with two little black eyes and a stitched on smile. Its arms and legs were held out in front of it, as if in an embrace, and a small red ribbon was tied around its neck. Inscribed on the ribbon was 'Teddy'.

(I'm really quite proud of myself for this scene. Perhaps I'm a little too attached to my own creations, but I really felt for Lenos here. The scene originally had more to it, but I found that anything else really took away from the ending. Best to just leave it as Lenos makes his heart breaking discovery. Chapter 1 of Brutality will continue soon.)
(Scene shifts, yet the brutality remains... Kinda.)


"Come out, little one!" A hideous voice shouted. "Or must I sniff you out myself and put an end to our game?" A booming laughter reached her ears from who knew how far away. The hidden woman gasped for breath in the brief respite she'd been granted. "Where are you, my prey?" The last word hissed about her like some crawling insect. It was the only sound in the forest besides her own labored breath, breathing she tried desperately to calm for fear of betraying her position. The air was calm as the half moon hung in the sky, over the too silent forest. It was as if every animal had fled from that coming evil, as if they'd all died of fright.

Her next breath caught in her throat as a sound picked at her ears. Her whole body tensed at the sound of a soft footstep in the earth. It was close, so very, very close. Another footstep and with it came the rustling of dried leaves, a snap of a twig. And then came the stench, that horrible smell of death and sweat that she'd learned meant the approach of one of them. Another footstep, and then it came into sight. A bare foot, the lower half of a leg and a face that leaned forward expectantly came into view, not but mere steps away. This one was like all the others. Heavily muscled and hairy as beasts, the hunters walked clothed in animal fur, but not as a trapper or mountain man might. Now, they wore these furs as close to their bodies as skin, and even then they were almost nude despite the harsh and bitter night chill. The hunter's face was twisted into a look that was hardly human, a look of rage, expectation and perhaps most of all, hunger. His mouth hung open as drool leaked between clenched teeth. No, not teeth, for they were too large and out of place for that, they were closer to fangs, and truly it appeared as if the gleaming teeth had been forced in, his mouth twisted into grotesque and strange positions. And his eyes, his dark red eyes that shone dangerously in the night flared feverishly as he slowly took another step forward.

The hunter could smell her, she knew that as she saw the man trudge further down the animal worn path, but it knew not where she was. His arms flexed and his hands writhed about as if clawing at some imaginary foe with the talons worn atop his hands. How much longer did she have, she thought, as her chest ached painfully and her lungs begged her to take but one more breath. The hunters had played their sick game for how long now? It felt like she'd never spent a day of her life not looking over her shoulder, not running, not hiding, fearing those claws might tear into her flesh.

But Rasha knew how to play that game as well.