I had been awake now and with little water and no food for three days solid, maybe more. I had lost all track of time. I was exhausted, drained but more specifically, as was his intention, I was weak and vulnerable.
When I had woken after he had grabbed me at Mikey’s place, I found myself lying on the floor of a room curled up with my wrists handcuffed to opposite ankles. I was stiff and sore. No position was comfortable as I lay, only sitting up, hunched over provided a little comfort, but not much. Within an hour of my waking he was there, Brandt, but I didn’t know where ‘there’ was. There were no windows, very little furniture. Just him, a table, a hospital style bed, a box of drugs and syringes and a machine, which he told me was originally used years ago for electric shock therapy but had since been adapted for what he described simply as ‘his own purposes’. I’ve now discovered what those purposes are and as I fall again, I receive yet another shock. I’m handcuffed to what I can only describe as a manual treadmill. If I keep walking, nothing happens, but if the belt stops moving for more than a second, I get an electric shock in constant two second bursts until it moves again. I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am.
“Come on! You can’t let him do this to you! You’re not even trying!”
I hear the voice and I sigh. I know he’s right, but what can I do?
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Try harder!”
“Oh, like you did?” I snap back.
That was unkind of me. I can see Mikey shrink away. He shrinks to nothing. Damn it! I’m hallucinating now! Now I’m screaming again. I’m on my knees, my hands still cuffed to the handrails of the treadmill and the current is surging through me. I’m too confused to do anything. I’m no longer thinking clearly at all.
The electricity stops and I slump to the side, breathing heavily, gasping for breath. I don’t know why the current has stopped. If I’m honest, I don’t even care, just so long as it has. But then, I see a face draw level with mine.
“Good,” he smiles cruelly. “You’re still alive.”
“You’re killing me. Why?” I quietly ask confused and afraid.
“No, I’m not killing you, I’m weakening you.”
I sound pathetic, I know I do, but I’m just so tired and sore. You can’t begin to imagine and, you know, I don’t want you to. Nobody should even be aware of this level of suffering, let alone endure it.
“Shall we just say that Mikey’s untimely arrest left me with a vacancy to fill.”
“You killed those girls?” I asked it as a question. I don’t know why, I knew it was true.
“Yes, I killed them.”
“Why did you need Mikey?” I asked still hanging from the framework of the treadmill.
“Why?” he almost laughed. “Look at me.”
I spared him a glance, but little more.
“Look at me!” he screamed. “Do you really think they’d come with me without force?”
I stared with what strength I had left.
“You used Mikey to entice them?”
I was aghast. Poor Mikey would have been heartbroken if he’d realised.
“And then I used him to take the blame, but he was oblivious to the whole thing; completely under my control.”
“And now because of your meddling he’s been arrested and I have to keep going back there to keep him from remembering everything!”
“It’s not permanent?”
“No,” he shook his head. “Not until stage three.”
“What’s stage three?”
“There are three stages to the process. Stage one is what I’m doing now; weakening you, breaking you. Stage two is when I control you.”
He laughed. “Three is when I kill you.”
My eyes widened at the words.
“Mikey is suffering,” he tormented me on noticing my expression. “His loving brother won’t visit any more and neither do his friends.”
“That’s not true!” I argued. “The guys would never leave him on his own.”
“No,” he nodded. “They put up quite a fight, but his physician insisted ‘family only’.”
“You stopped them?”
“Yeah,” he smiled unkindly. “Poor Mikey, abandoned. It shouldn’t be too long before he takes his own life.”
“No!” I shook my head in disbelief; I knew he meant he would kill him. “No!”
I screamed and pulled as hard on the cuffs as my severe lack of strength would allow, but of course it was useless.
“You see, I need to get back out there. The desire to kill is ripping me apart, but I’m no fool, Gerard, I don’t intend to take the blame for any murders. Just as with Mikey, if anyone gets caught it’ll be you. And who’s going to question another Way brother turning out to be crazy? I’ll just say it’s genetic!”
I stared. It was all I could do; I felt so helpless. Without warning he slammed a fist across my cheek and I fell backwards, dazed. With everything else, it was amazing I was even aware of the handcuffs being removed. I felt him lift me and, draping my left arm over his shoulder, he dragged me to the bed. I’m ashamed to admit that I was so exhausted and relieved to finally not have to support myself I barely resisted when I felt him pulling restraining straps tight around my wrists and ankles. I opened my eyes half way as I felt him attaching something to my forehead and chest; I hadn’t even felt him unbuttoning my shirt.
“What are you doing to me?” I whispered.
“Oh, poor Gerard, did you think I was just going to let you sleep?”
“What are you doing?” I repeated, barely audible.
“Exactly the same as I did with Mikey, except much faster.”
My eyes widened as he held up a syringe and half filled it with liquid before forcing a drop through the needle to remove air bubbles.
“The monitors I’ve placed on you are measuring your heart and brain patterns. From the looks of things, you’ll be ready for stage two very soon.”
I felt the liquid pushed into my vein and the spread of what I can only describe as a sensation like I was on fire. I gasped and clenched my fists as my skin tingled and felt as though it was burning. I knew then and there that I would find a way to make him suffer. Not so much for what he was doing to me, but for the fact that he’d done this to Mikey and over a much longer period. Mikey’s tougher than he looks and this bastard had tortured him for weeks. He was going to pay for it. But right now all I could do was try to hold in my screams.