The story so far:
Deliverance Reincarnate by writerwannabe
As LeBonepierre left the room in hot pursuit of the cat, Malachi felt the tingling that had started in his finger tips and toes spreading thoughout his body. Similar to the feeling one gets when a foot or hand "goes to sleep", the tingling sensation spread up his arms and legs awakening feeling, heretofore deadened by the paralyzing fluid in LeBonespierre's syringe.
The drug not only paralyzed its victim, it rendered the body immune to pain, as well and as it wore off, Malachi experienced the stinging agony of dozens of superficial knife wounds. His body, he noticed, completely devoid of clothing and seemingly covered in blood oozing slash marks, was becoming a single source of itching, throbbing, constant anguish that threatened to obliterate any form of cognizant thought.
He struggled with the pain and tried to make some sense of his situation. Paramount in his thinking was how LeBonepierre could make him believe that Maribeth was alive; that Maribeth was his torturer. Could it really be Maribeth? No, no! He was certain it was LeBonepierre, but, my God...how could he have... she was so real, she was....
She appeared real, as genuine as she'd been just hours before she and Malachi fell into the trap that led to her subsequent torture and death. A death that he, Malachi Darkheart was forced to watch. It was no consolation to Malachi that he'd finally escaped and killed his love's torturer, for he had been too late to save her. In a way, both had died that night. Maribeth, he was hopeful, felt no more pain and was now in a place infinitely better than this cruel world; while he endured an empty life with a broken heart, seemingly condemned to exist in a world of terror, murder and atrocity.
Malachi's mind, confused and suffering as it dealt with the shock associated with sensation coming back into his body, continued to jump; flitting from subject to subject and back again like a hummingbird harvesting nectar in a bed of flowers. Messiah. Where in the hell had Messiah come from? Malachi fervently hoped that the cat would escape. Messiah could well have saved his life, if he could get control of his body, his muscles, before LeBonespierre returned.
Strange -- that cat, thought Malachi. Messiah had attacked his tormentor as if he knew what LeBonepierre was about to do. As Malachi continued to subconsciously urge his body to feel, to move; his conscious mind thought back to his walk to the Maison de Sante and Messiah. Messiah had been on the fence when Malachi left his house. Jumping off the fence the cat appeared to be headed in the direction of the old hospital. Had Malachi seen him again this night, before Messiah attacked LeBonepierre? He could not remember. Had Messiah followed him to the old hospital? No, Malachi realized, Messiah led me here!
A scream echoed off the empty walls from somewhere deep within the Maison de Sante. It was a scream of agony, a shriek of painful surprise and it sent chills raising down Malachi's spine; a spine that was now completely free of the drug and thoroughly full of electrical signals racing to his brain carrying the single message -- pain. Malachi recalled an American expression, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." He chuckled to himself, why he would think of that now, he hadn't a clue. Malachi knew his time was being counted in mere minutes, perhaps seconds. He had to move, now, before the creature that Simon LeBonepierre currently enacted, reappeared.
As he slid off the table and fell to his knees on the floor, Malachi realized that LeBonepierre had made two mistakes. Not only had he chased after the cat in a rage, neglecting to re-inject Malachi with the paralyzing drug; he'd also relied too heavily on that same drug and not properly secured his victim to the table. Another screech and Malachi sought its direction. Initially unsure of his balance, feeling weak, his bad hip throbbing, he made a stop at LeBonepierre's table of torture before limping toward the door the devil had taken moments before. In his right hand was a large butcher knife.
It takes a very special man to fight naked, even one armed with a knife. This man must be single-minded and completely un-affected by his circumstance. He requires a mind set that allows only for victory at all costs. Malachi Darkheart, haunted by the "reappearance" of Maribeth and the attendant memories of her death; hurt and repulsed by the creature LeBonepierre - became such a man. His gait unsure, fearsome of his future, he knew only one thing - that he must destroy the monster, LeBonepierre.
Maison de Sante had been vacant for many years. The hallways were dark, brightened only by the dim light of the full moon shining through the windows, displaying an eerily soft rectangle of luminescence every five feet or so. Mold had settled into the damp walls long deprived of any sources of warmth. Without his cane - he could not remember what had happened to it or his clothes, Malachi was forced to brace himself on these grimy walls as he moved as quickly as possible along the hallway.
A weak, but discernable light shone in a thin straight line along the floor. It came from underneath a door just ahead. Malachi stopped and pressed his ear against the door. He could hear nothing inside. Could his nemesis be beyond this door? He thought not but, he could not leave without investigating. Malachi looked along the hallway in both directions, assuring himself that LeBonepierre was not approaching.
The door was unlocked and opened easily. A small lamp in the far corner was the source of the light. There seemed to be nothing else in the room. Not until Malachi opened the door completely and stepped inside, did he see her. She hung on the wall to his right. In the crucifix position, she raised her head and gazed at Darkheart with eyes dulled by intense pain and exhaustion. Seemingly weak from loss of blood, the dark red fluid had flowed from the amputation of her breasts to pool on the floor at her feet, the woman could not hold her head up and, as Malachi approached, her chin fell back to her chest.
Detective Inspector Malachi Darkheart had seen many expressions of evil and horror in his career. He'd seen gore, he'd seen bodies eviscerated, cut into pieces the size of steaks and roasts; and yes, sometimes the monster had actually eaten his victim. He'd seen unbelievable suffering. He couldn't quite understand what he was seeing now. The woman's only wounds appeared to be the amputated breasts. Bad enough, certainly, but there were no other marks on her body. Her arms were spread and attached to the wall, but there was no weight on them. Her legs trembled slightly, apparently under the strain of keeping herself standing.
There, Malachi realized, lay the horror. Her breasts were amputated to allow sufficient blood loss to weaken her, but not kill her. Eventually, she would not be able to stand and once she allowed all of her weight to fall on her arms; she would suffer and die as thousands had died under the iron control of the Roman empire, on the cross. Then, with only her arms holding her weight, the muscles of her chest would constrict across her lungs slowly, but surely causing asphyxiation and death.
Malachi could not leave her like this. He stepped forward and touched her wrist. The woman's head snapped up, eyes wide with panic. She shook her head violently -- no, no, no! She opened her mouth to speak but Malachi saw only an open hole, devoid of teeth or tongue. He quickly turned his eyes to her constraints. Why is she so fearful of me? This thought was followed immediately by the heft of the knife in his hand. Ah, she's afraid of me because of the knife!
"Don't be afraid. I am not here to hurt you. I will get you off this wall," he whispered. He noticed that her wrist was not bound to the wall; rather, it rested in a "U shaped" brace. She could easily, at anytime, raise her arm and be free. Why didn't she? Puzzled he looked back at the woman's face still skewed with abject fear, still shaking her head - no, no, no.
A loud bang resounded outside the room, but nearby. Startled, his hands around the woman's wrist, Malachi jumped and at the same time, pulled her arm from it's position within the brace. Instantly, twenty gleaming blades burst from the wall through the woman's chest and abdomen. Blood and pieces of organs and skin splattered across Malachi's body. Her brighter, fresher blood, brilliantly red, instantly mixed with the darker, dried crust of Malachi's own blood on his naked body.
Darkheart staggered backward. His bad hip betrayed him and he fell hard on his rump and then slumped to his side as he gazed in shock at the woman on the wall. This poor woman never had a chance. She could only choose to die quickly or slowly and Malachi, in his ignorance of the trap, had taken that choice from her. Wearily, he dropped his head, momentarily unable to fathom the intricacies of the monster LeBonepierre; or, for that matter, any of the evil murderers he'd encountered over the period of his career. Suddenly, his mind wanted to sleep, to cease the struggle, to end the fight he'd been fighting for such a long time. Another loud crash and the sound of voices awoke Malachi's drifting brain and, with the help of the nearby wall, he pulled himself to his feet.
He could do nothing more for the woman. Clutching the knife he started for the door as the banging noises grew in loudness and intensity. Voices. Loud. Echoing up and down the hallways of Maison de Sante. Slowly, Malachi began to discern what the men were yelling. "All clear." "Nothing here." He heard footsteps running along halls that had been devoid of such for many years. Pandores! The Gendarmerie Nationale had arrived, but how? Suddenly, Malachi knew that he had indeed been under surviellance. As soon as he was seen entering the grounds of Maison de Sante, the alarm had gone out and now.....
The Pandores were working their way from the front of the hospital toward the back and LeBonepierre's torture chamber. Surely, the monster had heard them and was now in full retreat. Malachi did not want to confront the Gendarmerie. He certainly didn't want to be seen in his present condition. On the chance that he might intercept LeBonepierre, he hurried back to the torture room.
The room was occupied. Malachi heard several voices. He stood outside the door, cracked open a few inches. He dared not try to look through the crack but he put his ear as close as possible. One voice, he was shocked to note, was that of Commissary Jean Jacques. So, the bastard has come personally to claim the glory!
Commissar Jacques was speaking in soothing tones to someone. Malachi could not quite make out what he was saying but he understood the tone.
A second voice. This one soft, gentle, a woman's voice half sobbing. No, it cannot be! Malachi recognized the voice that minutes ago had taunted him, that years ago had soothed him, the voice of Maribeth.
Malachi Darkheart burst through the door, taking in the situation in the room even as he moved, with deadly determination, straight for the sobbing woman. She was sitting in a straight backed chair. Jacques hovered alongside, one hand gently patting the woman on the shoulder and uttering words of sympathy. Both jerked their heads in his direction as Darkheart loomed before them.
From the corner of his eye, Malachi saw the two Patrones reaching for their guns. "That is not a woman, it is LeBonepierre, the murderer!" He yelled.
Commissary Jacques, disgust on his face at the sight of Darkheart, recognized the killer. He was soaked in blood, naked and charging with a knife. "There is our killer! Shoot him!"
To Malachi Darkheart the next few seconds lasted a lifetime. Everything moved in slow motion. As he continued forward, he saw the sneer on the lips of his beloved Maribeth; though he knew that she was simply an elaborate disquise. He saw the fear and panic on Jacques' face. Malachi was two steps away when LeBonepierre's sneer turned to a grimace of surprise and terror. He knew that nothing would stop Darkheart before he felt the cold, hard steel of the knife. He thrust his hands forward hoping to create a small deviation in the course of the blade, enough that the knife would not create a deadly wound.
One step, knife arm moving straight forward, Malachi saw a blur of something come from behind and land on LeBonepierre's face. Unable to stop his motion, Darkheart thrust the ten inch butcher knife into LeBonepierre's solar plexus and came face to fur with Messiah. The cat clung to LeBonepierre's face with all four paws, claws extended, scratching and tearing at the skin tight disquise and the monster's eyes.
Two bullets entered Malachi's back. One hit high on the right shoulder blade, the other severed his spine and clipped a major artery near the heart. Instantly, he lost all feeling from the neck down. He fell backward, away from LeBonepierre, to land flat on his back looking up at Messiah.
Now, he saw that Messiah had been wounded, too. The cat's intestines hung in a long strand between his hind legs, across LeBonepierre's chest and tangled themselves on the hilt of the knife. Curious, but even now, Malachi wondered how the cat had been so wounded. He assumed that LeBonepierre had chased the cat down from the torture room and after shooting him, left him for dead. LeBonepierre had made three deadly mistakes, all in one night. A small smile turned Malachi's lips..
It was only a second, perhaps two or three, but it was all so clear to Malachi. Messiah disengaged from LeBonepierre's face and fell to the floor, landing on his side next to Malachi's knee. Immediately, the cat became to struggle, to pull himself forward, closer to Malachi's face. Malachi glanced at Commissary Jacques. The man appeared paralyzed as he stared at LeBonespierre, still standing, the remains of his Maribeth disquise hanging in bloody tatters around his neck.
He felt Messiah near his face and turned his own. The cat stared directly into Malachi's eyes. He lifted a bloody paw and patted Malachi on the cheek. As his vision dimmed, Malachi heard a voice in his head. Her voice -- Maribeth's. "Now we can be together, my darling. After all these years, you and I will leave this world hand in hand."
As if practiced, the bodies of Malachi Darkheart and Messiah the Cat breathed their last breaths and the souls of Malachi and Maribeth floated from this world, hand in hand, into the next.
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