I noticed that the bottles of water that I’d left to keep Mandy hydrated remained untouched.
“If you do not drink a bottle of water right now; I will be forced to resort to crueler measures. My aunt was the sickly type, always in the hospital. She said having IVs in the foot was incredibly painful. I’ve never inserted an IV but I’d be happy to learn. I’m sure I could find a YouTube video or something.”
Mandy picked up the bottle of vitamin water and drank- staring daggers at me as he did. It occurred to me that forcing him to keep himself alive to endure more torture was the cruelest of my tricks. Water dribbled out through the scabs at his cheeks, reminding me of a faulty sprinkler, a rusty one at that. I could see infection festering in the finger where I’d ripped off Mandy’s nail. I hadn’t had the chance to properly disinfect it since Sherry had arrived unexpectedly. Knowing my endeavor to remove the infection would be excruciating; I implemented additional restraints of his arms and legs.
My little first aid kit sat on the shelf far from my captive’s reach. I had no doubt he’d eagerly ingest everything inside on the off-chance it might end his pathetic existence. It was chock-full of all those dreaded, tried and true, first aid remedies of my grandmother’s generation. Iodine, yes, that would serve my purpose for the moment. I grabbed one of those firm bristle scrub brushes (typically used for manicures and pedicures) drenched it in iodine, and starting scrubbing away the pus and infected tissue. The stench was revolting and the blubbering from my patient was worse.
Try as I might, the scrubbing didn’t seem to remove all of the embedded infection so I sterilized an X-acto knife and cut away the damaged tissue. It was the closest I could come to a scalpel without drawing unwanted suspicion. It has a finer blade than a standard utility knife and, personally, I feel it has finer precision. It was then that a truly dark idea presented in my mind. Out of curiosity, I slipped the blade underneath the first few layers of skin beyond the nail bed of Mandy’s finger. Once there was enough of a flap to hold onto, I used the blade to keep peeling back the folds of skin.
Amazingly, Mandy didn’t feel it at first. It wasn’t until the air really had a chance to hit the exposed skin that the stinging, burning, pain set a chain reaction through his nerve endings.
“I wonder which stings worse, Iodine or Isopropyl Alcohol. Perhaps we should conduct a scientific experiment.”
Mandy’s eyes widened to roughly the size of a softball. He whimpered and begged but that meant nothing to me. I peeled the skin off his pinky-finger exactly the same way I’d done on his index finger. It wasn’t until I took the lids off both bottles that Mandy went into self-preservation mode. He thrashed violently, trying to break free from his restraints. His reaction amused me. I was pleased to see he still had a bit of fight left. I forced his hand down and poured Iodine over the pinky finger. Mandy’s bladder emptied all over himself before he lost consciousness. I’d have to wait until later for the second half of my experiment.