There is some language or violence that may not be appropriate for people under thirteen years of age.
Warnings: Violence, torture, blood, language, disturbing imagery.
Author's Note: This oneshot directly ties in to Life After Lies. It takes place between chapters 7 and 8. I suggest you read LAL in its entirety before reading this to fully understand what's going on. Also, this little piece is TDIFFWikia EXCLUSIVE. As in, I wrote it to put on this wiki only. You won't see it anywhere else. It's my little Halloween gift to you guys! Enjoy, and have a safe and happy All Hallow's Eve! Muahahaha!!
Rhodes has never done something like this before, but the three who are with him are no doubt quite skilled in bringing pain. It's an art, really. They know how just how much blood to draw and just how much humiliation to inflict to make it really sting. It will be an interesting experience, to say the least.
The boy's already been tied down when he arrives, and the tension hangs thick in the air as the man sets up his webcam and laptop on the little cot across from the kid. The prisoner's been stripped of his shirt and shoots a murderous glare at his kidnapper for subjecting him to this, but there's also fear in his eyes and that's what matters. He knows he's powerless to stop what's coming.
Rhodes only offers the boy (Noah, is it?) a smile in response, and a sick sense of excitement blossoms in his chest at seeing him quickly drop his gaze to the floor. The prisoner's breathing a bit faster now, and the single drop of sweat that streams down his face only makes his torturer's smirk grow wider.
Wilshire is already waiting for him when he sets up his computer and Internet connection, and Rhodes notes with slight amusement that the glare he's sporting is nearly identical to Noah's. Upon seeing the bound teen in front of him, the man on the screen's scowl darkens considerably, confirming that this was indeed his son.
The client gives a nod to the three agents, who were standing stock still at the door. They enter stiffly and silently, as if they were programmed by a computer to obey every command. The shortest one, a woman who looked to be in her late twenties, carried a whip in her hand. It was such a primitive method of torture, but the instrument itself was gorgeous and horrifying at the same time. Long and black, sharp little blades jutted out from its surface every few inches. Even a light touch to one of those knife tips was sure to break the skin. Disgusting.
“You can stop this, you know,” Rhodes addresses Noah's father. The other only crosses his arms, making no response.
Rhodes gives the signal to the three agents. 'If that's the way that bastard wants it,' he thinks as they advance on the kid, 'then fine.'
The two men roughly grab the boy's shoulders and force him down, the pressure putting a painful strain on his arms. Noah grits his teeth to keep any undignified sounds from coming out, but he still trembles slightly, goosebumps forming on his brown skin. It won't be long before he breaks.
The woman raises her arm, and waits.
Rhodes looks directly at her and nods.
The first blow lands, the whip meeting the prisoner's exposed back diagonally and leaving an angry crimson mark in its wake. As expected, Noah is silent and doesn't flinch, but the sound of it alone is utterly haunting, making an ugly sense of satisfaction settle over the man responsible. His evil, slightly crazed grin grows wider yet again.
The woman stops for a few moments, letting the pain from the first one start to sink in and burn before bringing her arm down again. The second is also made at an angle, crossing the first one and this time a small drop of blood, red and thick and beautiful in its own repulsive way, slowly streams down Noah's back. Again, he makes no sound.
This pattern continues, and it is the tenth strike that finally draws a strangled grunt from the victim. This noise delights Rhodes even more than the cracks of the whip, as does the sight of blood dripping onto the floor from the boy's torn, abused flesh. He knows he should be actively participating, trying to get a reaction from Wilshire, but he stays in the background and watches the fun. The man theorizes that this must be some sort hideous way of venting his frustration, as if he's projecting all that's wrong with his life onto his prisoner and that's why he is enjoying this more than he should.
Or he could just be insane. Either way, that boy is screwed.
Fifteen. A cry escapes from Noah's lips.
Sixteen. The woman drags the whip across his back after she hits him, the knife tips raking across some of the other wounds and creating new ones at the same time.
Seventeen. The whip curls around his shoulders, wrapping him in a cruel, mocking embrace. This time the sound the prisoner makes is a little louder, a little less controlled.
Rhodes signals the agents to stop.
Still looking calm and collected, he walks over to him. Noah's shoulders are heaving and his back is deep red, but the mentally disturbed man can still see that determined fire in his eyes and now all he wants to do is make it disappear.
“You know, I almost feel sorry for you. You really thought your father was dead, didn't you?” he says. The kid lowers his head, saying nothing out of defiance. Scowling, Johnathan balls his hand into a fist and punches Noah in the jaw before grabbing his chin and yanking it up, forcing their gazes to lock.
“Don't make me repeat the question, you pathetic wretch.”
There are a few more moments of silence before he finally manages to force out a “yes”, and it almost sounds like it's painful for him to talk. Still holding the kid's chin, Rhodes turns to Wilshire, who's been silently glaring at them both all this time.
“Do you even care?” he spits.
Johnathan orders the agents to beat the boy another thirty times.
As the woman hits him and hits him and hits him again, her client feigns anger and frustration, slapping Noah when he refuses to answer his questions about whether his father ever really loved him and whether he wishes he was never born or not. It's just a facade, though. In reality, he's actually happy that the father didn't answer him. More time to continue the show.
Wilshire fades into the background. It's like he's not even there anymore.
The stench of blood nearly suffocates everyone in the room, but Rhodes finds himself intoxicated with it. This, of course, terrifies him like it would any sane (or half-sane) person, and he blesses Noah with another black eye to punish him for making him feel this way. By this time, the kid's not holding back anymore. He's sweating profusely, and it's not long until a tear of pain slips from the corner of his left eye, which earns him another punch for being so pathetic. There's an endless amount of reasons the man can think up to continue this violence other than the reasons he already has, and now he's so deep in the ecstasy releasing this anger brings him that he can only continue until he's had enough of the sin that is this crazy, horrible, and utterly wonderful torturer's high.
One day, he'll try and fail to remember if either the boy eventually started to beg for mercy or if that was his own warped mind screaming for more. It was either one or the other. He'll never be sure. One day, he'll look back and wonder why he let himself lose control so easily. But most importantly, one day he'll look back, remember the image of Noah's bruised and battered body slumped in unconsciousness and ask himself if he has any regrets.
To which he'll smirk, maybe even chuckle, and calmly whisper one word,