THE PHANTOM OF VEGAS
THE BUTCHER AND THE REPUBLICAN
Tucking one hand behind his back, George pulls open the doors to reveal a wide chamber. Against the far wall I see ten men, naked and bound to metal contraptions that look like portable torture vehicles out of a science fiction movie. Mad Max perhaps? Spikes keep the men's faces and limbs secure and I laugh at the scene before me. All eyes on me in the silence of this holding cell. This room contains my specimens for the trial today and I'm going to select a participant.
"Welcome to Holden Farms," I say, moving my eyes over the flesh in front of me. It's difficult not to laugh at some of the unimpressive parts on display, only one man endowed enough to pause for a second glance. Turning from the rapists, I inspect various cutting weapons that line the walls. Swords, axes, a chain-saw, knives of many lengths and sizes, and in one corner - a portable mini-guillotine type device on wheels. A giggle escapes my lips and Saul laughs with me. This must be his invention.
"I've been working on this for months. It's damn hard keeping secrets seeing as I'm always latched to your side."
"Tsk, tsk, Saul. You know how I hate whiners. Besides, you don't complain about being so close when I let you..." My voice trails off and I do not finish the statement. The man with the huge bits and pieces stares at me with an intensity I dislike. I approach him, my heels tapping against the floor the only sound in the room. "Each of you men will have a choice today."
The hate flowing from him reminds me of father and sends a jolt of anger through my body, settling in my stomach and making bitter mix with the coffee I drank at breakfast. Pausing before I continue my speech, I make a closer examination of this man. Dark brown hair and eyes black, almost like coal. Scars line his face and neck and arms. And that cock of his, hanging like an impressive thick hose between tree trunk legs. Gripping it in my hands, I twist until I hear him grunt with pain.
"Not such a tough guy now. I'm going to enjoy taking this from you."
"Let me free and we'll see about that." Pushing against his restraints causes fresh blood to stream down his face, dripping on my arms.
Taking a step back, George hurries to my side with a towel. "The choice for each of you is simple. Give the rest of your life over to me. Serve me. Or die."
The eyes on me contain a mix of fear and hope. How many will take the deal I offer once I explain the details? I open my mouth to speak when I hear that man laugh.
"Did I say something funny?"
"These men are as crazy as you if any of em believes leaving this room alive is an option. I heard about you on the news."
Shrugging, I turn my attention to the other men, scanning the faces and eyes and twitching bodies for tells of how each will react to my offer of a deal. Approaching the first man in line, I stop and rest my hand on his portable cage prison.
"What say you? Live or die?" Extending my hand without turning my eyes from him, cold metal touches my skin. My special knife. I don't have to look. Saul knows what I want.
"Ahhhh..." the man stammers.
"This is not a difficult question. Live or die?"
The man fights to control his fear and manages to speak. "Live. I want to live."
"One final question. You file said you vote Republican. Is that true?"
"What?" his eyes swim with confusion. I allow his tiny rapist brain time to process my question. "Yes. I've voted Republican, but not for many years because..."
I don't allow him to finish. With a swing of my arm, the blade slides through his windpipe, sending a stream of blood into the air. Angry jets of red escape the gaping wound and I laugh and laugh while he bleeds out.
"Wrong answer." Turning to face the other men, I wipe the blade with a fresh towel George presses into my hand. "Any other Republicans in the room?"
The man with coal eyes speaks. "Kill a man for being a Republican? The worst mistake this country made was giving women the right to vote."
"Being a Republican in my mansion is punishable by death."
"Except her husband," Saul says.
The man laughs again and spits at me. "You're sick in the head. Didn't your daddy hug you enough?"
Did he say that? Or did I imagine it? I count ten in my mind while the sound of the dead man's blood dripping onto the floor feeds the my rage.