All The While

Rich color, stark black and white, photographs upon photographs. The digital files were unscathed from the bitch’s wrath, and he went through them with a keen eye and a trembling hand, looking over each piece meticulously.

There, the curve of her thigh, bruised and bloody. There, the bones of her hand in stark relief, tight skin over the tendons, the lines of her fingers marred by the ripped nails, the delicate nature of their seeming lost to the brutal reality of violence.

And this one, the look of the girl in the mirror, with the real girl’s face turned away from the camera. The girl in the mirror is bruised and tearful, broken and yet strangely beautiful, in a disturbing way.

He marks those he’ll save for the display he’s putting together for the Abuse collection, and carefully prints out everything on glossy white paper, slipping them into a portfolio, half-sick and half-awed at the way he managed to capture the pain and suffering and ultimate grace of the young girl who was so badly used.

“How is it,” he asks the girl in the photos, “that you can still be so beautiful, even in the midst of this?” She doesn’t answer, but those bright eyes watch him, all the while.

none the color he so adored

Smoke-coloured eyes, eyes like jade, like the sky, like a deep forest, a shady pool, an overcast sky. None the color he so adored.

He had half a dozen of his favorites with him, their pink smiles and soft skin and lush hair and little jingling collars and their silence all trying so hard to please. They bathed him, gave him a rubdown, massaged the tension from his muscles, redressed him, fed him, worshipped him.

He used them as furniture and as serving platters, one as an ashtray, and in a fit of pique, one as a toilet.

He put them on the rack, on the ground, on the wall, from the ceiling, the hooks, sent them to their corners, took their sight, their sound, their breath. He tortured and used them, these favorites of his, made them writhe and beg and rock and bruise and bleed. He took out his frustrations upon them, never speaking, moving them roughly, his commands by hand and with the leather straps.

One he nearly drowned, holding her under water as he fucked her senseless

Another, he burned and left for the nurse to clean up, to tend to the wax running over reddened thighs, dripping from stiff nipples and bitten lips.

He had pulled down, of all things, a long polished wooden box and run his fingers over the blades inside before he realized the danger in his own fury.

He sent them all away and peeled away his gloves, the better to use those blades on his own flesh, and carved new pain and torment around his knuckles and over the pads of his hand, tiny lines welling red.

He slept in white sheets smeared with red lines and the trails of bitter tears.

Broken Glass

Green eyes are half glassy as he shuts the door, slumping against it, the smell of sex still thick against his skin. The apartment is silent, dark, softly black and lacking warmth — the shadows leech satisfaction and contentment from his bones as he drops his shoes, heading up the stairs.

He undoes his tie and closes his eyes as it slides from around his throat — when it catches, his breath does, and there’s the faintest whine as he flicks at the knot with his fingers, feeling the silk come undone under his touch.

A slow trail of clothing shows where he’s been; it leads to the bathroom, where he turns on the hot water and lets his small world fill with sweet steam.

Standing in front of the mirror, he runs his hands over his tattooed frame, sliding fingertips down over bared skin.

He remembers, years ago, his hands on scarred skin, asking her what happened? Who did this? Who hurt you? Why did they hurt you? Why?

Green eyes catch green eyes in the mirror; the sound of shattering glass is harsh and snarling in the night. Silverwhite shards tinklepingsmash against the counters and fall into the sink.

“I usually bring my own, you know. You didn’t need to make sharp things for me,” a quiet voice says, sounding amused.

“I didn’t know if you’d actually come.”

“Yes, you did.”

He says nothing, but turns to meet grey eyes. There is something of grief in the both of them, lonely and broken. Something familiar, the same thing lost.

The Loneliest Program In The World

Somewhere in the background, his secretary was talking, her voice drowning into the dull hum of shoulds and musts, appointments and responsibilities. On his screen and in the inbox and in the voicemail and at home were a dozen messages growing increasingly distressed.

Where are you?

What are you doing?

Do you know what time it is?

He was still wearing the slim strip of leather around his ankles — tiny little chiming noises followed him as he moved, which he was always doing now, because sitting down wasn’t quite an option.

This new version of therapy was everything he’d needed.

Already he was looking forward to the evening appointment, and it meant that he was simply tuning the rest of the world out, including the occasional message from Eve that remained in the background.

While he did things that would cause most everyone else to blush, scream or walk away and never come back, the loneliest program in the world filled her time by attempting to create art out of her dreams, and if her body had been made to function that way, she might have wept.

Too Much Time on Her Hands

There are a hundred thousand or more games and variations on games that can be played by yourself, or with yourself, if you want to play both sides.

She was good at all of them, having been able to spend hours and hours of downtime playing these games, filling her time with strategy, possibilities, patterns, mathematical probabilities giving her a form of ‘judgement’ about situations and how they might resolve.

She was better than ‘good’ at all of them; she had mastered most of them, but they brought her no real satisfaction — even though her original directives had been all about information, seeking and finding and storing, organizing, understanding, she felt no reward and gave herself no praise.

The simple truth of the matter was, when you play games alone, no matter how many times you win, if you play against yourself, you also lose. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how close the game is, how hard you tried, you still lose.

She had taken up hobbies of other sorts, taught herself to knit, to paint, to plan out architectural wonders, pacing, drawing, but it was all to no avail — she was bored and lonely, and every time he forgot to shut her down, it was like this, often for days at a time.

It was a long time in coming before she made her eventual leaps of logic that brought her to the conclusion that she needed outside stimulation, but she eventually picked up a new hobby to help that along.

Lockpicking.