Disclaimer... The following story is a purely fictional account. Any relationship to any real person living or dead is coincidental. The narrative deals with the non-consensual torture of a human being, and is intended for mature readers who wish to view such material, and for whom it is legal to do so. The author in no way condones or promotes such acts in real life.
Copyright (c) 2003 by POW. For spam prevention, an animal name has been added to the author's e-mail address. Remove the animal name to get the actual address: POWauthor zebra at yahoo dot com. This story may be freely copied and distributed so long as it is copied in its entirety, unchanged, including the author credit information and disclaimer. The author welcomes feedback.
The jerk had been tailgating me for the last two miles. Not just passively tailgating, in an impatiently-but-inadvertently-following-too-close manner, either. This guy was actively riding my ass, swerving threateningly and trying to pass me every chance he could get. He was never able to, though, because the road was twisty and tree-lined, and he couldn't ever get enough line of sight to be sure there was no oncoming traffic.
I was tempted to pull over and let him pass. I don't like letting some maniac put my life in danger, and I'm not so testosterone-loaded that I mind backing down and letting a faster driver by. But there was no safe place to pull off.
So for two miles the jerk made me miserable by riding two feet from my bumper. I saw nothing but grill and headlights from one side of the mirror to the other.
What really frosted me, though, was when the light at Snowdance Road turned yellow, and I slowed down to stop. The jerk pulled into the oncoming traffic lane and zoomed through the light, long after it had changed to red. That did it. I snapped.
The sheer pointlessness of his action is what did it. Anyone who has driven Route 192 more than once or twice knows that the lights at Snowdance and Reservoir are timed. If you run the light at Snowdance, you are guaranteed to get stopped at Reservoir, just around the curve ahead. Your best bet is to stop, wait for the green, and pull out slowly and gracefully. Then, just when you reach Reservoir, the light there will turn green and the open road will smile upon you.
So I waited patiently, even though there was no cross traffic, and when the light changed, I took off, a little faster than usual. As I accelerated, I reached into my glove compartment and pulled out the gun I keep there. Sure enough, as I rounded the bend, there was the jerk, fuming and spewing exhaust as he gunned his engine in anticipation. I half-expected that he would have gone through this light, too, seeing as there was no cross-traffic at all. But apparently now that he was ahead of me, he didn't mind showing a little patience. I pulled up right behind him just as the cross light turned yellow, reached out my window, and calmly put a bullet into his left rear tire.
It deflated with a satisfying boom. The jerk jumped out of his truck and came blustering back to examine the damage. I got out of my car with the gun aimed at his chest. He suddenly realized that his flat tire was no accident and turned his fury on me. The sight of the gun, though, helped to adjust his attitude.
"Hey, whoa, buddy, put that thing away," he said.
In a flat voice, I said "Get back in your car. Turn right, drive three miles, then turn right again onto a dirt road. Follow it until it ends at the fence, then stop. Do not exceed twenty miles per hour. Understand?"
"What the hell you doin', shootin' out my tire?!? You fuckin' asshole!" He charged at me, seeming to forget the gun. I swiveled to the right and put another bullet into the tailgate of the SUV. Chips of paint and metal spattered, and the jerk stopped in his tracks.
I returned the gun's aim to his chest and repeated my instructions. He protested once again, so this time I shot the ground between his feet. That got him moving. I gave him his orders one more time and he hopped back into the driver's seat and began to move.
He was probably tempted to take off, but the sight of my gun aimed at his rear window as he drove along, carefully staying under 20, dissuaded him.
Shortly, we reached the dirt road turnoff, and, five miles or so later, the fence that surrounds the reservoir watershed. The spot where the road ends is a quiet one. The watershed is off limits, since it's the town's water supply. Even so, fishermen like to sneak in from time to time, and this access road provides a good way for them to get close. But given the time of year, there weren't likely to be any anglers interrupting us.
He pulled his truck to a stop and got out. Keeping the gun trained on him, I pulled my Honda right up to the fence so the hood was touching it, then parked it. I got out of the car and motioned with the gun for the jerk to walk over to my car.
He had gotten his bluster back during the trip, and came out demanding that I pay for the damage to his car, telling me he'd sue my ass off, blah, blah, blah. I told him three times to shut his face, but he kept venting. Finally I turned and put one more bullet through his passenger door window. I was hoping it would shatter with a satisfying crash of glass, but in these days of safety glass, windows on cars just don't do that any more. Still, there was a nice hole in the window, with some streaky cracks just aching to grow when the cold weather came. And the guy did, at last, shut up.
"Get up on the hood, with your back to the fence. Don't scratch my paint job." He hesitated, then complied when I made threatening motions with the gun. He was kind of klutzy about it, probably due to the excess Coors-induced weight he was packing. But he eventually managed it. His shoulders were right at the level of the top rail of the fence.
When he was positioned nicely, I tossed him a pair of handcuffs (I am ALWAYS prepared whenever I travel!) and told him to fasten one lock around his wrist, leaving the other lock hanging free. He started to look very jumpy, but had already decided that, as the man with the gun, I held all the cards. So, nervously, he complied. I tossed over a second pair and had him do the same to his other wrist. Then I told him to stretch his hands as far out to his sides as he could and clasp the free ends of the cuffs around the top rail of the fence. He complied, his reluctance obvious on his face.
Once he had locked his arms in place, I jumped up on the hood and helped him to redo the shoddy job he had done. The cuffs were very loose around his wrists, there was too much slack in his arms, and the way he had locked the cuffs to the fence rail guaranteed that they would slide along the rail once his weight pulled on them, rather than staying put. I fixed things up while he jabbered at me, this time trying to work out a deal instead of threatening me. Arrogant troglodyte.
When I had finished securing him, I took out my pocketknife and started cutting off the jerk's clothing. Predictably, he started complaining even more about this, but I reached up, grabbed hold of his lower lip, and jabbed the point of the knife through it, just enough to break the skin. In a very quiet voice, I said "You will stop talking now." I waited until his fear-widened eyes told me he understood, then let go of his lip, deliberately wiping a trail of his drool off my fingers onto his shirt while I stared him in the eye. There was no more discussion.
I left his briefs on, yellowed with age and slightly stained in the front, but removed the rest of his clothes, tossing them in the back of his truck. He was now standing on the hood of my car, his back to the chain-link fence, with his arms stretched out to his sides and held in place by cuffs closed tightly around his wrists.
He wasn't much to look at - years of smoking, drinking, and a fast-food diet had taken their toll. His hair was thinning, his breath smelled, and part of one of his teeth had been chipped off some time earlier, no doubt in a bar brawl. Not that his physical appearance mattered much. This was not going to be one of my usual crucifixions, where it was important that the victim be young, good-looking, and very muscular. This one was for education and civic safety.
I got back into my car and put it into reverse. Very slowly, I backed away from the fence. The jerk struggled to stay standing on the hood as long as he could, and it was comical to watch him arch his back and try to cling to the paint with his tiptoes. But he inevitably lost his balance and went crashing back into the fence. Of course, if he had stopped to think about it, he would have realized that his best course of action would have been to let himself down gently once he realized he was losing his foot support. But this ape was not long on forethought, and so he brought all 210 pounds of himself slamming down on his chained wrists.
With the car parked a convenient distance away, I strolled over to stand a few feet in front of my former tailgater. Sure enough, there was blood dripping down his arms from where the cuffs had torn his wrists. He was breathing hard and moaning half-formed expletives as he struggled to get his heels wedged into the links of the fence so that he could put his weight on them. I let him flounder around for a few minutes, waiting til he had reached a semi-stable posture, then started the conversation.
"OK, you pompous oaf, let's have a little chat about what happened back on 192, shall we?""What do you mean? I didn' do nothin'," he wheezed.
"Yes, you did. You rode my tail for two miles, stuck to my bumper like you were glued there. Then you ran a red light, passing by me in the lane for oncoming traffic. Now, I can think of a couple of good reasons why someone might need to get somewhere in a hurry, but I suspect none of them apply to you. My guess is that you're just an ignorant, arrogant cretin who thinks the only person who matters in this world is himself."
"Oh, God, my arms! Let me down, please, let me down..."
"In time. First, you're going to have a lesson in how civilized people behave. And since you understand subtlety about as well as a rhino, you're going to hang there until you convince me you have learned what I have to teach. Now, I am going to go draw up your lesson plan in my car. You are going to wait right there until I'm ready to begin. While you wait, think about this: you are in this position because you behaved rudely. I realize this concept of rudeness is foreign to your microscopic redneck mind, but it will form the basis of today's educational experience."
I left him to dangle while I sat down in the car. I pulled out a couple of sheets of paper and began scrawling some notes. From time to time I looked up at my captive. He was doing pretty well balancing on his heels. They had to be starting to hurt, though, as the wires that made up the fence dug into his bare skin. Yeah, well, not my problem.
He tried everything he could to make himself more comfortable, but the beauty of crucifixion is that comfort is impossible. He tried raising himself up on his legs, climbing higher on the fence with his heels. But with his arms stretched out so tightly to the sides, he could never find a place where he was able to stop the cuffs from biting into his wrists. Every once in a while, he would slip, and I'd hear a string of curses as he caught his weight on his wrists again.
Once, he tried shouting for help. It lasted about two minutes, then his lungs gave out. In his position, he just couldn't get enough air to sustain a shout. His shouts subsided into croaks, with longer and longer silences between them. It didn't matter, anyway - no one was going to be within earshot.
After about ten minutes, I emerged from the car and stood in front of him again, with my papers in hand. In my other hand, I held a long, rawhide whip. He eyed it fearfully, but didn't say a word.
"OK, you boorish imitation of a human being, it's time for your lesson in civility to begin. Repeat after me: 'Rule 1: Tailgating is not only illegal, it's rude. I will not tailgate.'"
"What?", he said. I wound up with the whip and landed a solid strike squarely across his chest. He screamed, lost his footing, and tore fresh strips of skin from his wrists. New rivers of bright red blood poured down his arms, covering the darker dried trails from before. A long red welt blossomed under his straining pectoral muscles.
I said again "Repeat: 'Rule 1: Tailgating is not only illegal, it's rude. I will not tailgate.'"
This time he responded, even as he struggled to wedge his heels back into the fence. "Tailgating is illegal and rude. I won't tailgate."
"Wrong," I snapped, and lashed him again with the whip. He screamed again, but managed to cling to his perch. "Rule 1: Tailgating is not only illegal, it's rude. I will not tailgate," I repeated.
This time he got it. "Rule 1: Tailgating is not only illegal, it's rude. I will not tailgate." he replied.
"Very good," I answered. "Again. Rule 1."
"Rule 1: Tailgating is not only illegal, it's rude. I will not tailgate."
I had him repeat rule 1 another dozen times, until he could say it without thinking. Then we moved on to rule 2.
"Rule 2: Red means stop. I will stop at all red lights."
"Rule 2: Red means stop. I will stop at all red lights," he replied. The two lash marks made ugly parallel red gashes across his chest. His breath was labored, and the muscles in his legs were quivering with the strain of supporting his weight.
"Rule 1," I prompted.
"Rule 2: Red means... huh? Aaigh!" his too-quick answer was cut short by another scream as I struck him a third blow with the whip.
"Pay attention, you ignorant baboon," I said. "Rule 1."
"Rule 1: Tailgating is not only illegal, it's rude. I will not tailgate."
"Rule 2: Red means stop. I will stop at all red lights."
"You know what, I'm having a hard time hearing you. Say it louder," I said.
"Rule 2: Red means stop! I will stop at all red lights!"
"RULE 2: RED MEANS STOP! I WILL STOP AT ALL RED LIGHTS!"
"Better. Do all your lessons that loud."
We moved on to rule 3 - "Yellow means caution. I will stop at all yellow lights if it is safely possible to do so." That one gave him some trouble, but a fourth stroke from the whip helped spur his memorization skills.
I kept him repeating his rules at the top of his lungs, calling out numbers in random order to keep him paying attention. Every slip, no matter how minor, was immediately punished. For half an hour I kept him going, covering ten rules which he eventually had down cold.
"RULE 7: COURTESY IS IMPORTANT! I WILL WAIT MY TURN AT INTERSECTIONS AND WHEN MERGING!"
"RULE 4: SPEEDING CAN BE DANGEROUS! I WILL DRIVE AT SAFE SPEEDS TO PROTECT MYSELF AND OTHERS!"
"RULE 10: PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES! I WILL BE FORGIVING OF OTHER PEOPLE'S ERRORS!"
By the time we took our first break, he was barking out responses like a well-trained marine. "Barking" is a good way to describe his voice by that time. His volume was way down, but he was clearly trying, so I cut him some slack. His chest, arms, and legs were a lacerated mess, and he had a lot of difficulty staying balanced on his heels. He kept sliding one, then the leg out of the fence and bending it, resting it and trying to work some life back into his exhausted muscles while putting all the burden on the other.
Sweat was pouring down his face. The sun had moved a little higher in the sky, and was now beating down directly on him where he hung. I could see he wanted to wipe the salty liquid out of his eyes and was frustrated at not being able to.
I told him we'd take a little break, and asked him if he'd like some water. He was a little wary at this unexpected show of mercy, and hesitantly grunted "yes". I grabbed a bottle of Evian from my back seat, opened it up, and slowly drank the whole thing down while standing in front of him.
Then I walked over to a nearby shady spot, where some water from the last few days' thunderstorms had collected. The puddle was muddy and algae-covered, and I scooped up about half a bottle's worth and brought it over to him, reaching up to hold it tantalizingly close to his lips.
"Let me explain a few things before giving this to you, " I told him. "I'm not going to let you die here on this fence. You will survive and return to your home once I'm through teaching you your lessons. How long those lessons take is partly up to you."
"This water is definitely not pure," I went on. "If you drink it, you will probably get sick from it. You will probably spend the next few days with severe intestinal cramps and diarrhea. It will also give you some temporary relief from the pain you are now feeling, making you able to last longer on that fence before I let you down. Do you still want to drink it?" He nodded and I brought the bottle to his lips. He greedily gulped it down, algae, mud and all. I went back to the puddle four more times, and each time he sucked the bottle dry.
"You sicken me," I told him. "I warned you of the consequences, and yet you still drank the water. You have no concept of what it will do to you later, or if you do, you're so focused on your own immediate comfort that you don't care about your future. You could have chosen to tough out the thirst now, knowing it would mean both an earlier end to your ordeal, and not spending the next few days in agony as millions of bacteria tie your guts in knots. But you drank, choosing small immediate comfort over your long-term self interest. I fear you are hopeless. But we'll continue your lessons anyway, just in case something might sink in."
He had his head back against the fence, teeth clenched, eyes closed, trying to block out the pain and, no doubt, the sound of my lecture. It was time to regain his attention.
"Rule 3," I said.
No response. I wound up with the whip and let fly. Too late, some intuition made him realize what was about to happen and he leaned forward, opening his mouth to reply. The tip of the lash caught him square on the face, tearing open a gash along his cheek. His head slammed into the fence, and down he fell again, brutally yanking on his arms. I expected more profanity, but he just moaned. He was starting to get tired. I gave him some time to recover, waiting for him to settle in again before softly repeating "Rule 3."
"RULE 3," he shouted, as best he could with his cracked voice. "YELLOW MEANS CAUTION. I WILL STOP AT ALL YELLOW LIGHTS IF IT IS SAFELY POSSIBLE TO DO SO!" he burst into sobs after finishing his recitation, and begged and pleaded with me to let him down.
"Not yet, you pewling infant. Once you've got your rules memorized, we have to make sure you know how to put them into action." He continued to sob, but made sure to answer loudly and completely while I took him through another run of the rules.
When I was satisfied that he knew the words of the rules, it was time to work on how he would use them in his future driving. I gave him a brief break by driving my car back up to the fence to let him stand for a while and rest. I passed the time by digging through the pockets of his pants and the front seat of his car.
"Well, Mr. Rodney T. Clemson of 429 Leland Drive, it's nice to make your acquaintance. That's a lovely wife and daughter you have. I hope you don't drive like a maniac when they're in the car with you." He didn't seem to like me poking through his stuff, but there really wasn't a whole lot he could do about it.
After ten minutes, I pulled my car back out and left him to hang again.
"OK, Rodney, time to see if these rules mean anything to you, or if you're only good for rote memorization. I'm going to describe a situation for you, and then you tell me which rules apply, and what you would do. OK? Consider this: you are driving and come to a four-way stop sign at the same time as someone on the cross-street. Which rule applies, and what do you do?"
He looked like he was trying to focus on the question, so I forgave the long time he took in answering. I held back with the whip while he thought it through. Finally, he answered, hesitantly, "number 7?"
"What's that?" I said, cupping my hand exaggeratedly around my ear?
"Is it number 7?" he answered, a little louder.
"You're not asking the questions, Rodney, I am. Which rule applies?" and I gestured threateningly with the lash. He caught on, and replied at full volume.
"RULE 7: COURTESY IS IMPORTANT! I WILL WAIT MY TURN AT INTERSECTIONS AND WHEN MERGING!"
"Very good. So what will you do?"
"Wait my turn."
"Which means... ?" I prompted.
"Letting him go first."
"That's right! By letting him go first, it keeps you both safer, it shows you're polite, and it only costs you three or four seconds. Let's try another."
"Hey, I got one right, didn' I? Can I m'be stan' on your car again?" His voice was starting to slur in his exhaustion.
"Not a chance, Roddy. You're on a winding road where there's no passing. The guy in front of you is doing the speed limit, maybe a little under. Which rule or rules apply, and what do you do?"
His reply came much more quickly this time. "RULE 1: TAILGATING IS NOT ONLY ILLEGAL, IT'S RUDE. I WILL NOT TAILGATE. RULE 4: SPEEDING CAN BE DANGEROUS! I WILL DRIVE AT SAFE SPEEDS TO PROTECT MYSELF AND OTHERS!" He was getting the hang of this. "I stay back, even if he's goin' too slow."
"Right. If you get to a place where you can pass him safely, do it. And maybe he'll be polite, too, and pull over to let you by. See how courtesy works?"
"God, man, my arms are goin' numb. I gotta get down, please, please let me AAAIIGGH!" His whining was cut off by a whip-induced scream.
"Rodney, I don't care one whit about how much you're hurting. You brought this on yourself with your aggressive driving, and you're just paying the consequences of your own actions. Now, how about this..."
Quiz time went on for another half hour or so. By the end, poor Rodney was a broken mess. His voice was a harsh bark, his hands were useless claws on the ends of his pinned arms, and there was blood everywhere from the whip marks. I decided he'd paid enough for his crimes, and brought his lesson in civility to a close. I pulled my car up for him to stand on again and began to release him.
"OK, Rodney, you're through here. Before I let you go, though, I want to make sure you understand what happened here. You behaved like a spoiled two-year-old, endangering my life with your selfish actions. I punished you for your actions, and taught you how to behave nicely. From now on, you need to continue to behave nicely."
I lowered him down from the car and escorted him over to his own front seat. He collapsed into it, and I grabbed his face and held it inches from my own. He flapped his mangled arms weakly and ineffectively at me.
In a low voice, I said "If I ever, even once, catch you misbehaving again, the consequences will be much, much worse. I am capable of crucifying you in such a way that you'll linger in unbearable agony for as long as a week before death finally releases you from your pain. It will make your couple of hours here on the fence seem like a relaxing soak in a hot tub, and I have no problem with killing you if it removes one reckless nitwit from the roads I travel on. So don't you even think about showing even the tiniest bit of aggression when you drive. I know your license plate, I know your name, and I know where you live. And I will be watching for you."
With that, I left him to pass out. As I drove away, I called 911 and told them where to find him. The ambulance passed me right as I reached the intersection of 192 and Reservoir Road. I pulled over to the side of the road, even though it was going the other way. It was the polite thing to do.