There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.
― American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis)
Jeremy Blaire stabs Employee 1466 in the gut and thinks it is fair, because he has destroyed everything.
...Yes. It is illogical and insulting to think so, but Jeremy doesn't give a fuck about that. He was doing his job as a supervisor, making sure nothing got out, but when Employee 1466 limped towards him with dead dog eyes it all flushed up like vomit demanding to be ejected.
Or injected. The knife goes out with a squelch, as if the meat tries to hold it back.
All that matters is Employee 1466 beneath him again. He has a punctured belly and a broken ankle, worming himself backwards. Those eyes. It's always those eyes. It is him using murderous manipulation on Jeremy, wanting to be killed so badly.
"No one will know! No one will know!"
Is it about Murkoff, or is it something else?
The answer doesn't matter. Nor does his reflections on pleasure, humanity or materialism. Jeremy wants to wants to destroy him all over again, wants to kill him, wants to fuck him, wants him, wants and wants and wants.
The Walrider / Death materializes itself as black smoke and enters him, bringing and burning him up up up like Jesus on the cross, and Jeremy thinks of meat in a microwave, heat starting inwards and spreading out. "God! God!" The rest turns into broken computer noise, gurgling and shrieking as the skin rips. The last thing he sees is Employee 1466, laughing and laughing and—
This will not help him.
Jeremy is ice. He's done this to spoiled employees many times before: he tells them about themselves and their future situation, calmly. Some mocking will only serve to break their spirit and is very good. But it is hard when he knows this creature so intimately, pressed into a corner, panting, spirit hopelessly crushed and yet there is still a will to destroy Jeremy.
He smashes the borrowed laptop to the floor.
The action is symbolic.
Jeremy destroyed Waylon Park and made him a machine. The human side of him couldn't handle it and corrupted itself. Ruined apparatuses (madmen) are no asset to the machinery (society), spitting oil and blood. Jeremy has him committed. At least he'll be useful now, if not only as a human flesh light for Andrew. The thought irks him, but the pang of envy is ignored. Jeremy's done with him.
Note how there's no sympathy for the object of desire. Take food for an example. Yummy, smells so nice, reminds you of mom. Makes you feel infertile. I want it, that's mine. Got my hand on it, my brand on it. It is no longer in circulation. Jeremy wants it, and he's going to get it. That's how he changes it from something he hasn't had to something he has had; to something he wants into something he doesn't want, into nothing, into less than nothing, into shit. Before him, it's an object of desire. After him, it's shit.
This is the ending, the conclusion, and the truth: Waylon Park will be gone and everything will be back to normal.
Jeremy's on his way to Dr. Wernicke's old trailer. Bastard doctor hasn't visited it in months. His orders are sloppier, too. He no longer calls on exact dates, demanding progress and info on how Jeremy is doing when it comes to the downgrading task of feeding Wernicke's fucking cats in his old abandoned trailer. The cats are everywhere, half wild and filthy, fighting and hissing and breeding like vermin. Must be at least 40. A genius lived here, once. The trailer stinks of cat piss and birth. Jeremy witnessed the latter in the sock drawer, and seeing the mewling parasite slide out of another made Jeremy belch. The trailer is uglier than ever, worsening for each year that passes. The task was handed to him many years ago when he was still climbing a ladder. Responsibility, then. A nod to his pristine efforts of silencing what Murkoff wanted silent. He feeding has been going on for a long time. He's sick of it.
Yes. Jeremy has felt sick lately. Hazy. Snappish. He must've caught something. The added irritation makes him take a drastic decision and call Wernicke.
"Mr. Blaire?" answers the other end, exhausted and confused. Blaire never calls to chat or report. He prefers dealing with things on his own, which is fine to the higher ups. "Is something the matter?"
"It's about your cats."
Wernicke pauses. "If someone is poking its nose into it, I trust you can keep them away, yes?" His voice lacks its usual strength. Jeremy sees a hole, and fingers and rips it open.
"Of course I can. But things... they've been... busy. The severity increases. So does the pressure on our doctors, and their willingness to talk. You understand, correct? How much I have to do to keep it all wrapped up nicely?" Like a present. Slit it open and it might slide out, meaty and dark. Stomp on it like you would a flaming bag of dog poop placed on your porch. Or like Blaire would a kitty.
Wernicke pauses again. Old mind. Man is bordering on 100, but he's far from stupid. "You want to stop tending to the cats," he deduces.
"There's simply too much to do," Jeremy lies.
Jeremy lets his eyes roam the inside of the trailer. He hasn't cared to bring the sack of cat food in yet because then the cats will get up. He prefers them like this, docile since it is midday. None of them leave because they know they can do so through the windows that are always open. Whistling, Jeremy starts closing the windows. He makes sure each is bolted tight.
"...Take care of it," Wernicke says, and his voice is clipped.
For the first time in ages, Jeremy smiles. "Any requests?"
"I don't want to know," Wernicke says and is it Jeremy's imagination or is there a hissing quality to it? He hangs up. Jeremy stands in the doorway, watching the cats. One catches his eye. Thin, small, with dark fur. It cowers in a corner, away from the pack. Jeremy looks into its eyes.
He slams the trailer door shut, locks it, and never looks back.
(Later he learns about Wernicke's hollow reaction to his trailer filled with rotten cats, reminiscent of his own rotten conscience. Jeremy laughs so much his teeth clatters, almost breaking them on a nearby wine bottle.)
Jeremy understands that it is over.
Rick had explained to him, once, that a scientist's greatest struggle was to let go of their research and know when it was to be concluded. "It's hard not to give your whole self to it, too," he'd said, "but you have to remember to stay on the correct side of the scalpel."
The experiment is marked as successful. How can it not be, with the subject acting like this?
Waylon is sitting in a corner Jeremy's office, staring blankly ahead.
Jeremy feels no sympathy for him, but goes over anyway. This was bound to happen sooner or later. He's viewed Waylon as mere means to a goal since he first got here—moreover, an object. To be tossed around. To be fucked. To be turned into shit.
That's what eaters do, they turn stuff into shit. And they don't want to see it again. Oh no, yuck, it's repulsive! Get it out of their sight, house, life. Flush it down the toilet, into the sewers below the city. Jeremy is here on top, that's where he's supposed to be. Top of the heap. He has to look smart to stay on top of the heap. Look smart, or someone will come along and turn him into shit. It's a regular feeding frenzy up here on the heap.
Waylon wraps his arms around Jeremy's legs like a child.
You'd think Jeremy would appreciate this finale. Could have the dozen surveillance cameras—placed in every room including this without a single blind spot—play this moment over and over again before he sleeps. But Jeremy just watches him through half lidded eyes. "Let go." It is said with no resentment.
"Please," Waylon whispers, clinging harder. His voice sounds like he's been screaming. What he begs for is uncertain. He's probably not sure himself. "Please, Jer..."
"Drop the nickname, Mr. Park. You are nothing but an employee to me. Not a friend, and certainly nothing more. In fact, you truly are nothing." Jeremy shakes his leg. "Piss off before I call security. It's late. I want you well rested so you can continue serving this company. Once finished, we'll send you back outside to your family."
"I don't... I can't..."
"Yes you can, Park. Get up. Walk out."
Waylon's head and body moves like a crazy person's, swinging. A dead body. "Okay... okay, okay, okay." The tone is erratic, going up and down like a Mozart piece. He makes wheezing sounds standing up, and stumbles towards the door, arms a straightjacket around him.
(Jeremy misses the glimmer in Waylon's eyes. Psychological destruction is more throughout and lasting than physical destruction, yes, but humans are cockroaches, crawling away no matter how hard you hammer them. Some do not break, they snap.)
Resistance is futile.
Jeremy watches over the surveillance cameras. The isolation has increased, lately. Waylon's work has become automatic, typing in computer code without absorbing any info. He no longer reacts to the taunts and degrading behaviour from his co workers. If the eyes are windows then he is hollow; his insides a bowl with leftover dough gobbets soon to be scraped / washed out. In Waylon's head, Jeremy is everywhere. The cameras. The co workers. The atmosphere. The circles under his eyes are purpling, matching the array of bruises that decorate him (marks from Jeremy so he knows where he's been and where he hasn't, yet). He is truly under complete supervision and will never escape.
He goes to Jeremy's office as soon as he's finished working.
To sit on Jeremy's lap. Naked and silent. Jeremy is wearing a Hugo Boss suit, 1800$, Italian virgin wool, talking on the phone. It is a perfect documentation of this experiment, and were it to be put in a presentation, this image would do well as an outro.
The door to Jeremy's office is locked, as per protocol. There are little pauses between each response, Mmmhm. Yes. Understood. Will do." Jeremy finishes the conversation and strokes Waylon's hair like he would a cat, glad that it is no longer met with resistance. How did they end up like this?
Jeremy tries to recall the beginning and fails.
It surprises him. Surprises him, yes—but not enough to put him off. It isn't important. All that matters is that Waylon is being exposed to Destruction, continuing the experiment. "Do you remember a beginning? Of this, of everything?" Jeremy asks casually. He's bending Waylon over the desk, getting ready for a quick fuck. It's casual, like they're lovers. Hah! More like a parody of some. Waylon mutters something about eternity, and futility, but Jeremy isn't listening.
Jeremy does not admit to himself that he was just looking for things to get mad at Waylon for. Regardless, he found it, in the end. The tie. Hold it up to a person deemed insane and it will make no sense; just a piece of fabric. Waylon has stopped wearing it after the little fear / relief stimuli experiment. He will be punished for it.
This has become criminal manipulation. Jeremy is moving onto darker things. Not that anything he did was ever legal, but being sued for rape is not good, and this is the most careful he needs to be yet. He's planned it. There are Murkoff personnel looking for dirt on him, and should they check Waylon's body, the signs would be unmistakable. The thought of being a rapist puts Jeremy off, momentarily, but he decides it could be worse. And Waylon is coming to him.
He knows how to pull strings in his favour. In the eyes of the majority, the indirect way he handles things frees him from responsibility. He agrees.
Waylon is close, now. Little by little, he gets closer to vanishing. To his destruction and Jeremy's completion.
He's almost there.
Waylon is asleep, currently, trying to obtain the rest he never receives. He's writhing
("—like an earthworm, crossing the sidewalk. " They occupied a shadowy café booth, sipping on vodka with ice. Rick was in one of his murkier moods. "Did not see it at first. Sidestepped it on auto impulse. A moving line of flesh. Took it up. It struggled, like we do, to escape death. Or me. We're all worms, essentially. Teeth at one end and an anus at the other. One, long tract. Our desires have no effect on the universe. But I showed it effect. I squeezed it with the flats of my hands, declaring I'm G—")
in his sleep, plagued by a paranoia that wouldn't let go even in REM sleep. His private room is more sterile than before. The personal items have been replaced with better, more impersonal copies on Jeremy's request. Gone are his framed photos, his letters from Lisa and his own clothes. Gobbets of him, shedding.
Jeremy does not bother to wake him up when he starts to undress Waylon. The software engineer is quickly awakened. "J—Jer?"
A monster in his room.
"You're not supposed to be here," he says, a tremor in his voice, before logos reappears. "Don't you think they'll hear us?" Waylon breathes. "I mean there are— Ah!" The fingers curl around his throat, threatening to crush his windpipe. Fear blazes up again and it's exhausting, this uncertainly of what Jeremy will do. But now the message is clear:
"I told you to shut. The fuck. Up." Jeremy's merciless tonight. He knows what he must do. That'll teach Rick, who once doubted his place on top of the heap. "I'm going to punish you, Waylon. Because of the tie. You defied me. You stopped wearing it."
Choking. Jeremy could get off on it. Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze till their mouth foams like a dog and then squeeze some more until the eyeballs roll up in their head.
Waylon's hands are on his own, but the grip is weak. He's learnt that you don't trespass Jeremy Blaire. Fines details needs to be adjusted, though. But Jeremy won't choke him. Too simple.
A flash of silver.
A pocketknife, much larger and sharper than most. Waylon's pupils lessen into tiny dots and they focus on it, orbs almost popping out of his skull. That'd be a blast.
"You just be a good boy and lie still, and I won't have to use the knife on you." Jeremy holds it up threateningly. He uses his free hand to reach into his pocket and take forth a leather gag and a bottle of lube. "Use these." The former looks more like a ripped up belt piece than a proper gag. Waylon ties it around his head in a resigned fashion, starting to remove his pyjama pants. (He doesn't sleep naked anymore.) The time of embarrassment is over. He spreads his legs. He's getting good at preparing himself, too, after Jeremy declared he'd have to do it himself from then on. But he doesn't get the chance to do so.
Jeremy is on him and getting ready to fuck him unprepared and raw. Jeremy stills a second to let a wash of terror dawn on Waylon before he buries himself so deep that
"Shit !" Jeremy curses. Waylon is writhing sweetly under him like a hundred barbed fishhooks tore through his physique and psyche. To stifle further noise, Jeremy grounds his teeth Waylon's shoulder and his hips into him. He doesn't even need to mention Lisa anymore.
Waylon is biting down, closing his eyes hard. He's trying to tell himself that it'll soon be over—but this is the worst it's been in weeks. Jeremy doesn't let him relax, shoving himself in so he nearly hurts himself in the process. He slaps Waylon. The message is clear.
Look at me.
Look at your destroyer.
Jeremy pauses, grinning, "Who d'you think of when you jerk off, Waylon?" The lithe half corpse beneath him goes perfectly still. Jeremy has another knife in him now—shame, such a sharp tool. "Oh come now, Waylon. I know you know I know. Cameras, remember?"
The anguish begins in Waylon's gut. It squirms upwards to his throat, a hardness in him, chin set tight so it won't release it. Jeremy lets the knife follow, ornamenting his chest with love slits. Waylon nods, hysterical, yes, yes, he remembers the cameras, now please, please leave me alone?! Waylon can't look anywhere but his tormentor because of the position and so is face to face with revolting truth.
"My question is this, then: why did you masturbate when you know I was watching?"
Jeremy twists the (other) blade.
It starts as a sob. He can't stop. An outpouring of what remains of him. Tears. Mucus. Spit. He's crying so much is body convulses uncontrollably together with the anguish, heart going off the charts. Spiders in his synapses, skittering down brain tubes to eat happiness, energy, identity. Beautiful. The destruction is so real. Jeremy thinks this is a great opportunity to screw him up further, and starts doing just that. Screwing him. There is nowhere to run. Waylon weeps harder.
He wants to hear Waylon shatter one last time. Fireworks in July and god bless America. He rips the gag off. The gag leaves an irritated red line around Waylon's face, as if someone has tried to remove half his head and failed. "Sorry, sorry, sorry," Waylon whispers in rhythm with the thrusts. Jeremy could stab him through the heart and he'd still say he was sorry. He is hot and tight and right around Jeremy.
He tears at Waylon with teeth again, burying them deep like dead bodies, in his neck, seeds of horror. He hopes vines will grow to squeeze the heart out of him. There's coppery blood on Jeremy's lips, a contrast to white teeth.
Jeremy wants to eat Waylon, wants to wholly consume him, wants to have in him his belly and keep him inside. Waylon tastes like something familiar. Something he's known his whole life. Settling and lurking, staying with him. Forever.
The knife is at Waylon lips—so he seizes the opportunity and bites after it, doglike. Jeremy is fast to throw the knife away ('Only I am allowed to destroy you!') but it slits Waylon's lips, soft tissue sloshing out red black wine. Alcohol. Addictive.
Jeremy tongues the wound. A last, futile attempt at self destruction. This turns him on immensly and he continues the experiment. In and out and in and out—
"God!" Waylon howls with tears streaming down his face
Jeremy climaxes and that, it seems, is that.
Waylon's mental disintegration and rape continues like a virus. Brcause even if Jeremy pulls out with a disgusting sloppy sound, smeared in cum and blood, it doesn't stop there. Waylon curls into himself, going deeper, but Jeremy holds him tight to remind who he belongs to and that he can never escape. "Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me..." the rest becomes unintelligible words, sobbing, and small mewling noises. Then it rises again, "Please don't leave me don't leavemedon'tleaveme—"
Omnipotence: being present everywhere.
Completion. Wholeness. Holiness. Why, Waylon even looks ill with it.
It's fucked up, but halfway familiar. Sort of a test. The toys had been laid outwards like gifts. Waylon had to choose.
The gag is a lot like those dentists use to part away the flesh curtains and see teeth. ("Open wide.") His breath stinks like cum. Jeremy has finished fucking his face at the moment, taking his time with other things. The test.
Toys, they've used before. Threats on this level—not so much.
"I will kill her," Jeremy tells him, lovingly squeezing Waylon's ass. "I will find your little wife and I will kill her, if you tell on this. Us. Me."
Having a cock pressed up against him silences him. Resistance means pain. That is beaten into him. His chest is on the cold desk, pants down on his ankles, a position he is used to.
"You don't believe me, hm? What if I did the same to her that I do to you right now?" Jeremy's getting turned on by this. He opens a drawer and gets out a knife from his precious collection. Waylon had to choose from them once, too. Jeremy's choice for today is a railroad spike knife; a gift he'd snatched in an old boy's wedding. Not very sharp or good for combat, but it fits nicely when pressed against Waylon's neck.
Pain, pleasure. A reward system.
"...Like this, yeah?" Jeremy's smears the lube over his cock, going for a slow entrance to let Waylon adjust. Pain isn't today's goal. Pleasure is—pleasure while thinking about the murder of his wife. "Cut her throat. Cut your, ah, throat, first, or your tongue maybe. Or no... no, I like your tongue. You'd keep that." Jeremy pauses. "Lisa would not." He shoves himself in a couple of times before expertly hitting the spot that makes Waylon's toes curl. "Cut out her tongue... fuck her mouth. If you don't behave."
Waylon is a mess of conflicted desires, of wrongly connected wires. He's gasping for more and at the same time denying himself it. Lovely. He's unable to touch himself because of the bondage so Jeremy does it for him. He's also timing his thrusts with a hymn of "Kill her, kill her, kill her..."
That seems to do it.
Waylon comes as silent as a secret, grimacing. He clenches around Jeremy and sends him over the edge, too.
Jeremy, for once, is having trouble distinguishing who is more fucked up here.
Where Jeremy got the idea from, is not important.
Because there is no use lingering over dogs.
Dr. Shanker does not fit into Jeremy's pristine office with his moccasins and bushy, oily hair—a brilliant man, yes, brilliant and immoral. He's only talkative about one thing: his dog. "She's my life," he complains. "After my wife left, I didn't have anyone except her pup poodle. But I discovered that you have better company in a dog than a human. Loyalty, y'know? I just need to know that Biscuit's here with me."
"You can't have it bound on asylum grounds," Jeremy replies. The dog growled at him when he walked past. Can it smell the death on him? "There are rules."
"I'm not good at this training thing. Pleasure and pain, punishment and reward, all that. I can't do that. Please Mr. Blaire, please let her stay. You must!"
Spoiler warning: the dog dies.
Peppered with bullets in its lower belly, intestines hanging out like glistering earth worms. The noises it makes are indescribable. It goes in circles for a while, then crawls, then spins on still functioning front legs. A young orderly films it and puts it up on YouTube. Shanker runs out and holds it till it dies, together in a lagoon of dog guts. He does nothing to halt its pain. Instead he just sits there while it wails / howls / sobs. Man's best friend right there, black eyes full of love—there exists nothing emptier. Nothing like cat eyes. Jeremy would know. "Don't worry," he says in the aftermath. "Probably just someone who'd had enough. We'll get you a new dog after you're done working with us, as compensation. Bigger. Better. More expensive."
"I d—don't want a new dog, I want Biscuit."
Something good comes out of the ordeal, at least: the realization that to train a dog, you must be strict. Punishment and reward. Fear and relief.
An hour later, Waylon is over the desk for the fourth time that week and trying in vain to support himself as Jeremy fucks him and tears at his tie. He's irritated because of Shanker, because of being overworked, and everything really. Today Waylon's hands are tired, belt used as substitute for handcuffs. It rattles with Jeremy' thrusts. It isn't long since he discovered Waylon's own enjoyment of this, although he tried to conceal it from him.
An idea arises in the midst of this decay and presents itself as such: grab Waylon's tie and strangle him with it. Yes. He is a hedonist, he must remember that. The tie is cheap, but big. Big enough to wrap around Waylon's neck and get pulled. The asphyxiation noise he makes is cute. Jeremy licks one of his previous branded marks, tasting toil and anxiety.
Of death. Of hurt. Of Jeremy. Basic instincts; id. Stimuli that work against each other. In the correct moment, Jeremy lets go.
Ice water, sloshing over Waylon. His moves upwards, looking for a god that isn't there. The climax rocks through his body like an avalanche. Jeremy gets a few more moves before doing the same. The chains rattle.
This has become complex.
Jeremy did not see it as important, initially—his relationship with Park is completely professional. He can have anyone he wants, anytime, so it's not about needs. It's about the experiment. Park is too shrouded. The walls he has built up are strong, with watchtowers and gun slits, build over many years. The only way to get inside is to fuck him.
Jeremy thinks: I have to get inside.
Without going too far, of course.
No one takes a shit in the asylum without Jeremy knowing.
(Like Dr. Ròs, found doing just so in a bucket, raving about spirits possessing his rectum. This was an unfortunate side effect of drugs that eventually left him insane and paralysed from the chest and down. Later, a patient had apparently looked for said bucket, claiming it was the essence of God.)
It is very easy to get someone under your control. All humans want something—and are motivated primarily by said want. All you need to do is figure out what, and go from there. Jeremy has files on all of his employees. On his bosses, too. Even Wernicke with his goddamn cats.
But the thing is: they need to think it's their own pursuits.
"I am trying to help you," Jeremy says, faking frustration. "But it's hard when you keep doing this." Waylon looks so small on the chair in front of him. He's fucked up again. A small mistake, barely unnoticeable, but everybody's out to get him now to win Jeremy's favour and so he ended up here after work.
"I'm sorry," Park says.
"Sorry won't help." Jeremy sighs and stands up. Park betrays nervousness, the closeness intimidating. Jeremy heads straight towards him but walks past and slumps down in the couch at the end of the office. "I know it's stressful. You keep looking over your shoulder, distrusting. I've seen it, over the cameras. Other employees has so, too. You are clearly not motivated enough. You know this. I've informed you. I told you that if you didn't shape up then we'd have to take drastic measures." Drastic measures meaning a bloody carpet, a dead family and staring eyes—Park has dreamt of it, Jeremy's sure. The cameras in his room have filmed him during nightmares. "It can't go on like this."
Park closes his eyes tightly. The discomfort is clear on his face. He's worn down. Exhausted.
He asks, "What do you want?"
Jeremy's eyes shine.
But he does not tell him this. This is important: Jeremy Blaire does not consider himself human. Their desires are too petty.
"What would Lisa do, Mr. Park?"
Comfort him, probably. Jeremy isn't keen on comfort. Park knows what he must do. It's programmed in him, as low on the food chain as he is. The whispers of his co workers supports this theory. He walks towards Jeremy, Adam's apple bobbing as he swallows galleons of salvia that isn't there.
He collapses on top of Jeremy.
Collapses is the only word appropriate for describing the way he slumps down in Jeremy's lap, one leg on each side, face burning but eyes intent. "I need this job," he says, and that, at least, he is certain of. The intent only lasts so long. His fingers begin to tremble as they grab Jeremy's shoulder, leaning down to kiss him.
Eyebrows raised, Jeremy says, "You don't think that's going to change anything, do you?"
Park licks his lips. Nervous habit. "I don't know."
Jeremy doesn't tell Park to hurry. He wants it, and he knows he's going to get it. Dragging this out makes him get off on Park's naïvety. But he needs to keep the destruction balance even, and he's been patient enough.
"I'm certain you're familiar with the phrase of, ah, sucking your boss' cock."
Park looks at him like he's asked him to flay a cat and nail it to a church door.
"...Mama, why do we have to live on the street?" Jeremy mimics, somehow making it horrifying and comical. He's grinning. Park isn't. "Mama, what's that red dot on your forehead?"
That makes Park speed up. Incredibly nervous, he moves down to between Jeremy's legs, fumbling with the buttons, trying to get it over with as fast as possible. Hell, he even tries not to look. Shame burns on his face and Jeremy can see that little mind working, telling himself it's for my family as he swallows his boss' erection. They'll work on that gag reflex later.
'What do you know? He certainly looks better with that in his mouth.'
Sucking, salivating and slurping all over his cock, that is. He hasn't done this before and there is triumph in that. Jeremy likes defiling people. Bit like pulling insect legs. Satisfying in a dark, primitive sense. Park's trying his best at copying techniques from bad porn vids. Jeremy buries his hand in his hair and pulls, guiding him into a better arrangement. "Think of Lisa," Jeremy growls. "Lisa, dead."
Park pulls away, gasping for oxygen. "I—I don't kn—know how..."
"Use your imagination. Or tongue."
Park does, and ends up treating it like an ice cream cone. Cute. Jeremy smirks. 'Nice doggie.' However, this is not a dog. No. It's nothing like the emptiness he saw in Shanker's dog's eyes—nothing like the confusion and exhaustion it displayed when dying. But he'll get there.
("—but I don't find the idea of it that alluring, heh," Rick continued. "I'd be happy to have my own lil' dungeon universe where I was God, but hell, watching over people and making sure they didn't sin, that'd be a drag. Slave to His own creation. But, well... spell dog backwards and what d'ya have?")
Rick's little theology debate was fascinating, an old memory brought up at random, but Jeremy has other concerns.
Namely Park, running his tongue along the underside of Jeremy's shaft.
And then he's swallowing him whole again, trying his best, going too fast. He wants it over with. Bad decision. Jeremy moves his head away, hands tangled so hard in his hair that it almost rips off his skull.
"Eager," he gingerly comments.
Waylon looks up at him with hateful fire in his eyes. Jeremy promises to extinguish that fire.
"Get up. I'm going to fuck your ass, Mr. Park."
And like that, poof, the fire dies. Waylon stands up, fumbling, sweating, hesitating, and doing all kinds of shit. The intent to save his job is gone. He looks like he's in need of a breathing bag. Jeremy says, "I'm going to be nice and let you ride me."
"Just go back to your original position. With less clothes."
Waylon's strip show is the poorest Jeremy has seen in his life. He even folds his clothes on the floor, trying to make some sense of all this. Man is good with computers—human relations, not so much. He doesn't understand or respect a man's primeval need to destroy. Children stomping on sand castles. Bullies driving underdogs to suicide. Bosses fucking their employees. Waylon gives up making sense of it and sits back on Jeremy's lap again, facing him. He's kept the shirt on. Fine with Jeremy. Let him keep the sliver of pride.
The feel of Jeremy's hardness against his ass terrifies him. "I... I'm sorry, I don't..."
Jeremy rests his arms behind his head. He moves the it to one side till it cracks. Stress, which Waylon is here to relieve. "You don't like pain, do you?" Jeremy asks.
Waylon shakes his head.
"Then put your hand in my pants pocket. You'll find a small bottle there containing an opaque substance. Give it to me." Waylon does. "I'm going to prepare you now," Jeremy says, blasé, smearing his hands with that stuff. He presses his thumb against his forefinger, pulls them apart, and a sticky line forms between them that eventually pops. "And use lube. I'm feeling generous. Won't do this again, so watch—or feel—closely."
The two fingers that slide up his ass makes Waylon groan. Tight. Humid. No previous employment of this sort, it seems. The third is added quickly afterwards.
"Ok, ok." Using both hands, Jeremy takes a good hold of Waylon's ass, spreading the cheeks. "That's it." And then he shoves Waylon down, ignoring the startled cry. It is clear Waylon clearly hasn't ridden another man before. Painfully clear. "Speed up, Park. It won't get easier if you never move."
This will get better in time.
Like stated, Park's naïvety turns him on. He will reach an orgasm, which will be satisfying, and Waylon will be tortured further. It's the little things that break him. First names. To break the line of professionalism between them?
"Waylon," Jeremy mumbles, and Park's body trembles. Ah, yes.
Mispronounce it and you get the word wailing.
And so begins a new epoch.
Waylon thinks: I have to get out.
An unspoken rule runs in the facility: you shall dislike Waylon Park. His little slip with authority has not gone unnoticed. Park has to continually ask Steven before he gives in, and says, "No one gets away from Blaire without consequences. He wants something from you."
Andrew's pursuits are getting more relentless in their quest. The hand on Park's knee is moving upwards while Andrew drags out his descriptions of what he wants done, turned on by Park's shudders. Jeremy doesn't have to be a shrink to imagine what Park is feeling through all this. But his emotions are not important; they are just means to an end / a final result: the breaking of Waylon Park. It sounds lovely, though a bit too personal, perhaps. Replace it with any other and it would make no difference.
But Employee 1466 holds out.
Jeremy is impatient, so why use CPR when you have the defibrillation method? He calls up a friend of a friend. ("Mr. Quizzer, yes? I need a favour. I need you to fix some files for me... or rather, ruin. ")
The result is immediate.
"Park!" someone calls. "Get over here!"
Error! lights up on the screen.
Park frowns, and gets to work. He squints at the computer and gets to work. "...I don't understand..." he says after a while. "This is far too advanced a mistake. Seems like someone has manually corrupted the commands. It isn't a virus."
"What's the problem?" Andrew asks, always concerned when Park's involved. "Can't do it, Park?"
Park grimaces. Steve's shift has ended, leaving Andrew as his supervisor. Technically, Andrew shouldn't be in this department. He should be down in the lab, watching over the subject, not—
"Let me see," Andrew says, pressing hard against Park, who supports himself on his elbows. The keyboard underneath spells long lines of unintelligible words. "Shouldn't be that hard to fix it, with your grades and all." The technicians in the tiny, glass walled room begin to leave. You shouldn't expect allies in a corporation like this. Or people that care for human rights, for that matter.
"It's not just corrupted," Park says through gritted teeth. "This is not some shit copied into another program where you remove splinters of text, this is..." Festering. Like Murkoff.
Andrew is very restrained about his advances—but once the eyes are gone, his tone tilts and his touches spoil. A perfect description of him would be "watching the world through half lidded eyes". He's under no illusions, and he knows what he wants and how to get it. "Want me to tell Blaire you've been bad, Park? That you're failing at your job?"
"I'm not," Park hisses. He refuses to acknowledge the fact that Andrew is rubbing against him—corpse coloured scrubs squeaking—just like he refuses to acknowledge his conscience. His typing is fanatic.
"What Blaire would do is much worse than I would. Want me to tell you why he's so disreputable? I've been here since he was small fry." A lamb baring teeth, Rick had called him, back in the start of their friendship. Andrew is still wholly blasé. "His appetite is like no one else's. He rose through ranks quicker than anyone before him, predecessors quitting, proving themselves inadequate, or dying. Details are grisly. Man has stuff on everyone, including you. Want me to call him here and show you what he can do?"
Jeremy is standing in the doorway. He's been watching for a little while now, in person.
Andrew moves away from Park without hurry. He does not mind that the software engineer is breathing heavily, face betraying nothing. "Mr. Blaire."
Jeremy holds up a single finger. Up, then out. It is a display of power.
Andrew pisses off.
Jeremy lets his gaze slide over to Park. He tries to look collected. Cool. They've only met once and he wants to give a better impression of himself this time—the impression of a calm, dedicated worker. Bullshit.
"What's the problem?"
Quizzer did his job very well, then. "Our firewalls are better than anyone." Hopefully it will not give Park the opposite idea and make him test it.
"I'm a software engineer," Park answers, irritated. He's walking past Jeremy. "I'm not expert on problems such as these, but I can tell it's pretty hopeless. You'd have to have a real expert look at it."
Jeremy's hand slams to the wall, right in front of Park's face. He repositions himself so that Park is pressed up against the wall, one arm on each side of him. "We can't have anyone outside checking our stuff. Sensitive information. Are you certain you can't fix it? That's your job. Fixing computer things." He waves his hand in an 'and all that' fashion, generalizing on purpose. Park frets. "This is another mistake, Park. The complaints about you are piling up to the degree that your supervisor's supervisor has to be involved." Complaints. Piling up. It's all bullshit of course, but watching Park face shatter is the most uplifting thing he has seen in a while. "Do you want me to take the cost of this computer off your wages?"
"Off my wages?" Park blurts. It all plays in his eyes—the scene of Mrs. Park and the kids, forced to move because daddy can't keep his fucking job. "No, please."
"From today, you are under my complete observation. I don't want you to breathe without me knowing."
"At all times, one must view oneself as a potential lunatic. Otherwise one might commit an indiscretion." Rick had smiled while saying this, thoughtfully adding, "Parenthesize, perhaps."
Jeremy had smiled, too. It was true. You never know when the dam might burst.
So it is important that everything is arranged. Office, clean and spotless, also devoid of personality. Jeremy sits in his broad chair and pretends to be busy when Park enters. The man seems wary of authority—and even warier when Jeremy doesn't pay heed to him, continuing to type on his computer. Jeremy is very leisure for someone who has such great plans for the man in front of him.
"Mr. Park," Jeremy calls loudly, "please take a seat." Park jumps. He does as told, fidgeting. Jeremy waits a bit longer, then says, "I am a very busy man. I assume this is important?"
It isn't. "...I want to contact my wife."
"Is she dying?"
"W—what? No, she isn't, it's..." Park draws a shaky breath, running his fingers through his hair. "I haven't seen my kids in a while, and I miss them." He tries to find sympathy on Jeremy's face. Jeremy knows there isn't any.
"A lot of people here miss their dear ones, Park. It doesn't mean they get special privileges. Especially not when your wife demanded to speak to me personally after she was told of the new rules. She had some less than pleasant things to say about me and the company. I hope you weren't the one to plant those ideas in her head."
"N—no, I'm sorry, Lisa didn't mean it she's just got a sharp tongue…"
"Are you unhappy with your working conditions?" Jeremy cuts him off. "I understand that it can be tough, but you remember that contract you signed, yes?" Questions. Always a classic. Makes the subject thinks (s)he is offered a choice, even if they're already indirectly answered.
Park swallows thickly. "It's... No. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bother you."
Jeremy stares at him, then allows a smile to take his face. "Well, at least we could clear this up. If there is anything else, I'd like it to go directly to me instead of your friend Steven—I'd rather deal with your problems... personally. Makes things easier."
"You don't have to."
"I want to." Jeremy's smile widens a millimetre, but he kills it before it can become sardonic. "Now, off you go Park. I certainly hope you don't encounter anymore problems."
He arrives too late for the cafeteria, sometimes, bad for his already thin body. His personal chamber is devoid of personality—his photos of Lisa and the kids were redacted, cited "possible distractions". He has very few things left.
There's a creepy scientist leaning over his shoulder continuously, tongue hanging out of his mouth like a handicapped dog. Steve says the guy has several molestation complaints hanging over his head, and laughs. The whole team seems to have discovered Park's position, and he becomes the butt of many jokes. His responses are met with a quick "You're a newbie, Mr. Park, and newbies aren't supposed to talk to anyone".
"I want to see Mr. Blaire," he tells Steve.
"I don't think that's wise, Mr. Park. You haven't forgotten my warning, have you?"
Park's lips thin, but he does not say anything.
Steve calls Jeremy's number, who knows all about the conversation. He sets up a fitting hour in a clipped tone.
Let Park come to him.
The first step is to amplify Employee 1466's —Park's—discomfort. Because he is oh so obviously discontent. Jeremy watches through the surveillance cameras, seated in his office.
Employee 1466 has not talked to his pretty little wife in a while. He handles it well enough. It is hard to focus on code when the room sounds like a broken Speak & Spell™ machine, a rasping mix of lagging computer noises and dissected language. A lunatic is screaming—"Einstein was wrong! I'M the speed of like CRACKING through shivery rainbows and GOD the sky whirls and withers like a melting RAINBOW!"—before he is grabbed and put into the Morphogenic Engine. Employee 1466 does not look happy. The behaviour would be disheartening if Jeremy was only looking at behaviour, but he isn't, and it proves perfect. Already he feels a familiarity with this pathetic little man.
Jeremy sends the sheet he has prepared to Park's supervisor. Steve, something. A lanky man with a coy voice laced with fake sweetness, but he still looks like he's gonna shit himself when he sees the email from Blaire, his own supervisor. Steve stops his research, skimming it. His shoulders slump when he realizes it isn't about him.
"Mr. Park," he calls. "Got a message from the higher ups. More rules set up for new employees."
"Yes." Steven, blasé, reads the new rules out loud.
Contact with the outside world is no longer allowed. Previous arrangements with phone calls discontinued. Internet privileges are revoked
Contact with colleges / other employees other than business related themes is strongly discouraged
Requests for contacting the outside world must go through Jeremy Blaire
"Who's made these?" Park demands, despair obvious in his voice.
"The supervisor. Jeremy Blaire. Burn that name into your head, Mr. Park. Mark my words when I say this: he's not a man you want to cross, or even meet, for that matter."
'That's right,' Jeremy thinks. 'Build it up—make him fear me without having met me.' He , remembers some minor complaints, and sends another email to a guy named Andrew. It informs him that there is a new employee which needs extra supervision, more than Steve can give.
The darker aspects of psychology fascinate him. Not shit like Maslow or the healing of the mind, but how to break another human being, that's interesting. Humans are coiled in self illusions like wires, each connected to screens where the faults play outwards to those who know where to look. Jeremy does.
But first, the internet. Unsurprisingly, good step by step guides dealing with such sensitive matter are near impossible to find, and Jeremy is not a patient man, not right now. Sanctuaries for the abused and guides on how to spot mental abuse function as substitutes. The idea of this was to only use his own knowledge about the human condition, but a little research and planning cannot hurt. He's proving his dedicating to this experiment, while heeding Rick's words and "staying on the correct end of the scalpel".
The process must be dealt with carefully.
Jeremy drafts a mental manual and parts the experiments into three.
1. simple manipulation + 2. complex manipulation + 3. criminal manipulation, and 4. m— (Jeremy stops himself, forcefully erasing the fourth from his head, telling himself that perversion on that level is a definitive no. The structure already reminds him of Salò's.)
The three arcs have their own goals and expected and/or potential results. He writes them down.
He uses his breaks to recall Rick's gems of wisdom about his work and other things. They function to stabilize and humanize everything, in some odd way.
The next part is to learn as much as the subject as possible. Murkoff already has access to all of Employee 1466's files, including his internet shadow and university assignments. If questioned, he'll only express concerns over dormant disloyalty.
Employee 1466 has a contract.
Employee 1466 is buried in college debt and diaper bills, so he cannot go home.
Employee 1466 is on security level 3—the highest level.
As of late the sun grows paler.
The severity of Project: Walrider increases. Jeremy is forced to put other interests aside. No more golf matches with Rick, for an example, because Dr. Trager has crawled inside himself, now, dedicating himself to science like he once warned Jeremy to be wary about. Rick is the only person Jeremy listens to. His turn of phase is dreadfully calm with small grotesque phrases, often finished off with endearing nicknames. (But he never calls Jeremy buddy).
Autumn is unforgiving. The willows whisper outside his windows. Jeremy's moods move with them, sending one employee of to the Engine while another gets a rise. This gives him momentarily relief, but not enough. What's next? Whose flesh can he feed on? Whose self respect can he grind away to nothing? More, more, a thousand times more, he's still not satisfied. He must find a project of some sort, like Rick has. Something that can be done within asylum walls. But he wants to go down to a more fleshy level without bordering on sadistic as he is no Marquis de Sade.
What can the man who has everything want? This age is recognized by things, every single middleclass child looking down on the world from a candy mountain called my stuff. Thousands of new things (toys and viruses) are produced every day while humanity stand in front of them like baby birds, mouth open, neck stretched, to grab and hoard. In the age of materialism he is on top. He has achieved what everybody wants. Jeremy clicks his tongue and thinks, 'I am almost a g—'
Oh, yes. Because what do gods do? They destroy.
He specializes in the art of manipulation. It is how he treats the people around him and how he gets what he wants. Break down their defences and sway them to your will. 'Physically, too?' Jeremy momentarily vivisects the idea. 'No. It always leaves a mess.' He doesn't need to use physical power (even if he knows his way around a knife) when psychological destruction comes so easy to him.
However, he has never broken another human being—not wholly. But what better way to complete his road as a pursuer of pleasure? Rejecting materialism by stripping someone of everything? If he can do this to one person, he can do this to everyone.
But he needs a test subject.
Someone random. The scientists are too busy, often motivated by science itself. A patient is unacceptable. At the last thought, his mind presents a sudden recollection of the pregnant meat ball—and then, Employee 1466, in document font.
Young. Moral. Family focused. Normal.
Jeremy doesn't even care what his name is, thinking, 'He'll do perfectly.'
A new employee enters Murkoff.
Jeremy knows this because it's his job as a supervisor, a job which he likes enough to maintain his full attention. His eyes skim the documents about Employee 1466 (the last two numbers remind of him a Satanist séance incident in the female ward, resulting in the pregnant victim looking like a burnt meatball—disgustingly hilarious) and he clicks in potential strategies should Employee 1466 / 'Waylon Park' need motivation. This is done fast and without emotion, so that he can move on to other things.
Jeremy sets pleasure above all else.
He does not care for philosophy, but knows himself as a hedonist. Not in the shitty postmodern sense, but in the traditional one associated with Rome. Fall or not, the Roman Empire stood long, and many an aristocrat whose only interests were whores and wine were dead before the empire died (which Muroff will one day, too, but not before Jeremy has disappeared from the surface of the earth.)
Form over content, because form is flattering and doesn't awkward questions. Beauty over substance, because beauty is doesn't argue and doesn't demand to be dealt with. Lamb over beef, because lamb is meeker and doesn't fight back.
Jeremy has taught himself to live on the skin, so to speak, and does not dig deeper than necessary. Each movement is calculated; nothing is committed without deliberation. Things are memorized and forgotten, not learned. He has no dreams of affecting the world and is content to take and take and take, using any means to do so. Even such big mouthfuls as Blaire takes will not change anything. Cells repair themselves and membranes revert to their original size and structure. Things go back to their original form.
(This much he's certain of:
Waylon Park is—and will—change nothing.
The very idea of him doing so makes Jeremy laugh.)
Chapter 2: Doktor Hell
Explains the circumstances around Dr. Wernicke's cats and their demise at the hands of Jeremy Blaire.
reposting here to clean up my account
this is a companion piece to I want two cats so one will eat the other
It starts with one, rubbing against your legs, which are too tired to kick it away. The tire goes deeper than your bones. It is a tire brought on by a different world, far away from this one. Germany in flames. Your ID, too, besmirched with political allegations and dubious war crimes.
You are 31 and a wounded child on cold American pavement. Unflinching, hard concrete.
Amerika, you say, mother tongue too pummelled in to soften your consonants. The accent will grow meeker in time, smothered by American vowels, but in moment of distress you'll revert back.
The landscape stretches out in front of you, light giving everything a yellow hue. The worn trailer in front of you will be your new home, at least till the stress over World War II dies down. That's what your allies tell you through secret telegrams, ending with a phrase you have come to despise. The money is undeserved, but you take it anyway, despite wanting nothing more to do with your cloudy past. America represents a fresh start, yes? A new life?
Jaw set so tight you might've swallowed worlds, you swear, 'I will make the most of this chance.'
Starting with the cat.
"Are you lonely?" you ask it. It rubs against your legs, purring. You imagine it being loved, petted, and fed with fish and fresh milk, before it all stops when the owner gets sick of it. "Are you far from home?" You name it Engel. Welcoming the cat into your trailer is easier than you anticipated. The space is cramped, filled with boxes and your old books. But big rooms mean empty spaces, and you have enough of those in your head. Engel makes lovely company.
Letter writing is a nice way to pass time. Your sister is the only remaining link, though. Months pass without response, but you keep on writing. You try to imagine her grinning with a front tooth too big, smoking cheap cigs and sucking on the C vitamin pills she swore to, reading it out loud for potential nieces and nephew. But what you really think of is those war reports of Berlin women on the streets, selling their bodies. The strong mothers, the supportive sisters, the winking schoolgirls... all sell themselves for the sins of a country. Among them is your sister, vacant eyed, mouth forming an o and whispering "Warum, warum, warum—?"
You try to find other family. A distant uncle immigrated here long ago, and tracking them down is not difficult with your resources. The family owns a house with a white picked fence, and they invite you, childishly curious of anything foreign. It is hard to tell the difference between American warmth and American enthusiasm. It is a young country, and this is mirrored in its habitants. A teen cut off from the world, opinionated and inexperienced with a somewhat dumb black and white mentality. They joke about Nazism and you press your lips together so hard you think they might rip. You thank them for the hospitality, and they give you their number which you have no intention of ever using.
Engel has found a boyfriend and he, too, is welcomed into the family. He's half wild and you name him Floh. You devote yourself to simple passions. The cats. Landscape photography. Literature. You try to live like a little fly, never hurting anybody, flying around the same little light. You stop sending letters after 4 years and no answer. You still write them, though. (It only ever counts if you say I love you in the mother tongue.) You leave the letters around in the trailer, dog eared from wear and kitten teeth.
You send letters to Alan, but he reminds you too much of your past, so you stop. The only friendship you have (except with the cats, of course) is with the neighbours in the trailer opposite from you. It is a Mexican immigrant family, too many and too hopeful. In a night when mosquitoes bite your ankles and Engel sleeps on your lap, the father raises his booze to your wine bottle; a tourist's salute. "This is a country of tourists," he tells you afterwards in his broken English, "some just know it better than others." One can live in America their entire life and never feel at home. Some have skin too cracked, or too brown. They don't fit in tight American skin. Too spicy for apple pie. Here, immigrants are born. When the family invite you over to dinner—a cornucopia of oregano and pepper—the food is so spicy your face reddens, horribly, but they all laugh and pat you on the back like you're an old friend. The grandmother tries to give you a Bible, the children's wilderness echo even after they've gone to bed, and when you pass out because of too much moonshine (too much love), some of them take the floor so that you can sleep in their bed.
2 years later they're deported back to wherever they came from and you watch from the sideline, clutching Engel. You're terrified of being found out, of being sent back, and of half lidded black eyes which say You made it and we did not. Something shatters. You're a wolf in sheep's clothing. You need to try harder, need to fill your mouth with American soil and swear allegiance to the flag.
For America, you must die a thousand times.
For Germany, you only died once.
You read Hemingway and your lips thin. You read Plath and your eyes soften. Engel crawls underneath the trailer and dies alone on a spring day. You shed a tear and bury it in the back garden. Floh follows shortly. But there are still cats, though, cats everywhere. When there isn't enough space in the bed you place them in drawers, and on the counter, and in your bed, and everywhere cats can go. A graveyard develops behind the trailer.
Alan Turing commits suicide after being tortured with hormone therapy, his only crime being loving another man. An apple is found near his corpse but it is not checked. There is irony in that, somewhere. It fills you with a sort of hollow sadness. He is 41 and you are 47—and although you are worse, you live. 'That's how it is with the kittens, too,' you think after another batch has come: 'the worst always survive.'
Landscape photography does not soothe you anymore. In lieu of treasures the alligator swamp outside the trailer becomes a corpse disposer in your head. You imagine lovers and immigrants floating facedown in the swamp, leeches on swollen fattened thigh, rotting faces, eyes gone dull and white like catfish. Your cats, once your family, become chores. They swarm around your feet like fish in an aquarium, blurred by the water.
A shady corporation contacts you. They will not say who let them know about you, or what the job entails, but the pay is good and the trailer smells like cat piss so you need more cash. When getting cash, you adopt four new cats from a local shelter. They are ugly and shy. One of them have been beaten half to death by previous owners. You give them American names.
The men in suits—Murkoff, you soon learn—presents your new job's goal with smooth practiced words and flat American vowels. You never could tell the difference between American warmth and American enthusiasm, it all sounds equally fake. What they want you to do is simple: use Alan's work for bad purposes. What they want is even simpler: power.
You are tired again. You want to fit into a system and blaze again. You take the job.
The system hugs you like one would one's child, and you slip into the embrace, shutting your brain off because you recognize this ordeal. Your conscience is leaking out. Work days become work months.
Your bosses introduce you to Jeremy Blaire. You take one look at him and decide that he's an eater. You've seen cats like him, cats that watch everything with lazy eyes until they kill a female cat's litter because they can. Blaire eats his way through the hierarchy, using the bones to fix his teeth, smile never reaching his oyster eyes. He's a picture book example of capitalism and CEO sociopathy. Perfect for Murkoff, really, and you know he will lie, murder and fuck his way to the top. Because that's all that matters to Jeremy Blaire: the top. If his climb comes to a halt he will go insane, like a dog, gnawing on its foot. And if he ever becomes obsessed with someone you will pity the person endlessly.
You give him the job of taking care of your cats. He smirks, knowing you see his potential, but he will grow tired of it, in the end.
Work months turn into work years.
You realize, little by little, that America does not love you—it loves your sweat, your toil. Your knowledge. Your tire. Your loneliness. It licks you with a rough tongue and purrs, and uses you for all that you're worth. As a tourist, you do not live anywhere, and Murkoff is just a new place to seek tenancy in. Theodoor Rombouts' Prometheus hangs on your office's wall, as you sometimes feel like an eagle is picking at you liver. The mad whispers in the asylum claim you are creating God. You don't know why. Murkoff is rotten. Over a heated phone call (blasé from your end, though), Blaire tells you he doesn't want to feed the cats anymore. You tell that's alright, but then he has to take care of it. English does not contain enough words to describe your current state of mind. Language is not about communication. Language is about power, and you lost yours long ago. You look at Billy Hope, and you thank whatever god (except the Walrider) that you're nearing 90 and will leave this body soon. You think your soul died back in Germany.
A little later, the policemen show up at your office door, unexpected.
They tell you they had to use gas masks to enter the trailer.
(The big bad rookie bleaches at the mention, and you know he was there and that he flashed on the grass outside, hands on his belly, spew at the corners of his lips, going "Why why why?")
Only 5 of 47 cats lived, the policemen say, but they had to be put down shortly afterwards, too crazy to function. Peeing on themselves. Flinching at any movement. Their claws and paws were ruined after scratching crazily at the walls, trying to get out. They'd tried to live by cannibalization—it was proved as some of the dead cats were partially eaten. Mother cats eating baby cats. You can see in the policemen's eyes that they will never forget it, never forget those black plastic bags, never forget the look of the live ones. They will not sue as they know the stakes.
But this does not stop them from looking at you like they want you to say something, anything, anything at all—and you turn away and say nothing.