"Gerard struggled to keep his head up, but the medication struggled likewise to pull him under."
40. The Heretic's Fork
The clicking of a doorknob turning awoke Gerard from the short, uneasy slumber that he had finally managed. He blinked his eyes before lifting his head from the lumpy mattress and turning to face the visitor whose identity he already knew.
Two blackbirds followed one another into the room, one of them brandishing what looked like some sort of leash attached to a slender metal pole. Gerard withdrew a shaky breath and tried to prepare, bracing himself mentally as he knew he could not do much else.
They both came to his bedside, the one closest to him grabbing him roughly by his fragile arms and forcing him to sit upright. The same blackbird then took the previously mentioned device from his companion, while that blackbird went about driving a long nail into the adjacent wall.
The blackbird who was still beside him grabbed him by his grease drenched hair and yanked his head backwards. He then lifted the device in his hand, and Gerard only got a brief view of it before he put it to use.
Each end of the pole had two spikes, like a pitchfork without it's middle. In the center of the pole was a hole where a ribbon was attached, and it was made like a collar or a noose. That material then led to a long extentsion of it, which led to a much smaller loop.
The blackbird quickly took the larger, noose like loop and thrust it downwards over Gerard's head, bringing it to his neck. The metal spikes rubbed against his face on the way there, and Gerard shuddered against their icy temperature. Once the blackbird was done, one end of the spikes were leaning ever so slightly against the bottom of Gerard's chin, while the other end of the spikes caressed his chest teasingly. Neither end was close enough to peirce his skin, but Gerard knew this would not last long.
The blackbird made certain that it's hold on his neck was secure and tight, and he nearly gagged as he felt the metal press against his adam's apple. Finally, he grabbed Gerard by the shoulders and pried his body from the bed, dragging him to where the second blackbird was stationed.
"Wh -- what?" Gerard rasped out, meaning to ask what they intended to do with him but only able to mutter to the first word. It was unnerving, he was usually able to figure out what was coming next, and thus, prepare for the next blow. But the blackbirds would not answer. They brought him below the nail that had been implanted moments ago, to which they merged with the loop at the other end of the ribbon. Gerard was leashed like a dog to a very high pole, yet it was still not enough to cause him discomfort. The collar did not choke him, and the nail was not high enough for him to hang from. Yet the spikes on both end of the strange device still teased his skin, and he had to be careful not to nod his head.
And, as he soon learned, therein laid the point.
After properly securing him, a blackbird took a bottle out of his pocket, a bottle which Gerard recognized instantly as Children's Tylenol Cold PM. The other blackbird moved forward and grabbed Gerard's jaw in order to force it open, and it was then that Gerard first felt the pressure of the spikes pressing to break his flesh.
The blackbird that held the bottle opened the thing, and Gerard could already smell it. He came forth, and began to tip into Gerard's gaping mouth. Gerard started to struggle the second he felt it's bitter bite on his tongue, but could of course do nothing.
A good two or three spoonfuls were poured in before the blackbird forcing his mouth open finally forced it shut.
"Swallow!" they screamed at him in simple instruction. And so Gerard did, and when he opened his mouth to show that he had in fact swallowed the disgusting concoction, his mouth was so red that it looked as though he had just drank a good amount of blood.
They did nothing else after this. Gerard was left to stand there awkwardly and wait for something to happen.
And finally, after at least thirty minutes, the cough syrup began to take it's toll. His eyelids began to droop involuntarily, and a fuzzy type of feeling overcame him. Yet the more he began to bob off to sleep, so did his head.
The first time he let it happen, the wrath of the spikes was felt instantly. Both spikes were indeed very sharp, and no movement of the head could really be made with meeting their points.
Gerard struggled to keep his head up, but the medication struggled likewise to pull him under. He did try to find a position where he could sleep and yet avoid the spikes, but it soon became clear that this was impossible -- the leash was much too short for him to be able to sit, and only attempt to do so led his chest being peirced by it's own end.
Alas, it was a losing battle from the start. Gerard lost any control over his head and let it fall, the spikes eagerly ripping through to the floor of his mouth. A scream arose in his throat, but did not escape. And he drifted away as his mouth truly filled itself with blood, which seeped out through the corners of his lips and dripped gently to the floor.
Next chapter: "Oh-oh-oh ...this record broke on its own..."