"All he could do is lie in his agony and pray that they stop soon, only to be disappointed with every blow."
21. Paranoia (Pt. 2)
Another day, another beating. Gerard screamed and thrashed helplessly on the stone cold floor as blackbirds kicked at him, pummeled and struck him. Again he felt on the verge of a death that never seemed to come. All he could do is lie in his agony and pray that they stop soon, only to be disappointed with every blow.
Finally they left him be. Gerard lay throbbing, his throat sore from his cries. Tears prickling in the corner of his eyes yet again.
Hours later, the pain had subsided. Gerard began to relax just a little bit once more. They had not done much to him for a while, which he was grateful for. The healer then came in and did their usual work. They brought him back to the bed, as he could no longer carry himself. In silence, they examined him. Poked and prodded him. There were minor lacerations that they poured alcohol into for cleaning, and then bandaged. Sometimes Gerard felt as though the healer touched him more than necessary. Which, as he was naked, felt rather violating.
When the healer was done, Gerard felt something odd being placed on his stomach. He didn't dare move while the healer was in the room, in case they saw it as a threat. So he waited patiently until the healer left. When they finally did, Gerard painfully sat up to get a better look.
There were pictures, and a necklace. He picked up the pictures first. With horror, he saw that these were his own family photos. In one, Lindsey held a newborn Bandit in her arms at the hospital, glowing with maternal happiness. In another, Donna helped Bandit take her first steps.
These photos had been kept in a photo album, locked away securely in their home. The only way they could have been accessed was if someone had gotten in.
With shaking hands, Gerard picked up the necklace. It was a white gold necklace, with a heart pendant. He had given it to Lindsey on their honeymoon. Something that was also very securely kept in their home.
Gerard caressed the heart lovingly, and held it to his own. He collapsed on the bed and sobbed like he had never sobbed before.
Next chapter: "The gray smog rises from her lips like a cremation furnace. The simple elegance of this quiet moment is almost irresistible..."