Under Control

by Sevastian Winters

"Hiya Rick did you have a good nap?", Janice inquired, sarcasm dripping from her voice. She opened the case, pulling out the drill. The man, obviously confused, sat taped to an oak armchair. He screamed aloud through a duct tape gag that was stuck securely over his mouth.

The smell of chloroform permeated the room, leaving Janice a little woozy, but she never let on. She reached for the battery and snapped into its home in the heel of the drill and gave the trigger a small squeeze. The whir of the Makita resonated through the basement for a moment, and then she smiled.

"I'm sorry. It's not going to do you any good to scream here. The neighbor went camping for the weekend so we...." she paused to pick a long drill bit and then placed it into the chuck before continuing. "We have the whole weekend together...just the two of us. Isn't that great? Are you as excited as I am? We are going to have so much fun!"

She finished installing the drill bit and then walked over to where her victim sat helpless to defend himself. Crawling on his lap, she shoved the tip of the drill tightly against his forehead while he pleaded with his eyes and muffled screams for her to stop. She didn't pull the trigger, but she pushed hard enough that when she released, a single drop of blood trickled down to his nose. She stepped off of his lap, and pressed her hand down on his to keep it flat, and then raised the drill, aiming it for the index finger on his right hand. Instinctively, he made a fist. "Oh is that how you want to play it Rick?" she said, frustrated. "Fine, we can play somewhere else first." She placed the drill bit against his knee. She was about to pull the trigger when her cell phone rang. "Oh... heavens... the telephone. You will excuse me. Won't you dear?" Janice turned and walked towards the basement steps. She turned off the light and shut the door leaving her captive in the basement before picking up the phone. It was Carol.

"Hello?" She answered the phone.

"Hi. How are you?"

"I'm good. What are you up to?"

"Well that's good. I was a bit concerned when you were freaking out last night about Rick taking the Children. Sometimes I think you take things a bit too far"

"Well in fairness, he did say...."

Janice thought back to the phone call the night before when her ex-husband had, as was his custom on weekends when he had them, threatened her with keeping the kids. "Maybe I should just take them to Japan" he had threatened. "You'll never see them again!" As a Caucasian man born in Japan, Rick had maintained his dual citizenship when turning 18, and he had often threatened Janice that he would take her children there; where there were no extradition laws for minor children.

"You know he would never do anything to hurt those kids. Seriously, Janice! Anyhow, Have you heard from the kids this morning?" Carol interrupted her thoughts.

"Yeah, she admitted. They are with' her' " She continued; "The man can't even spend time with those kids when he does have them." Secretly she assumed that this conversation could be used in a court of law if she was ever suspected of what she had planned for the day. After all, she mused to herself. No one is going to believe I complained about him leaving the kids with the step mom while I was in the midst of killing him. Right?

"Oh come on. You know he's not all bad," Carol interjected softly."You guys have your issues, but he's not a bad father. Honey... you always get like this when he gets them, and they always come home to you again. Don't worry. They will be home tomorrow afternoon, just like always and everything will be fine for two weeks until he gets them again. You should rent a movie or something...something to take your mind off of it"

"Yeah... maybe you're right"

"Okay, well I have to go. Call me if you need me", Carol said

"Will do. Thanks for calling. Bye for now"

Janice clicked the phone off, left it on the counter and head back to the basement door. Flicking the light on, she made her way to the basement to find the chair had fallen over, her captive struggling to free himself.

"Ah... isn't that cute. Where are ya' headed Rick? Japan maybe?" she asked. She kicked him in the head and made her way to the workbench to retrieve her drill. "You want to play on the ground? Fine. I can do this from there. You would have been more comfortable the other way, but so be it." Janice returned to where the object of her hatred lay helpless and shoved the drill bit into the back of his knee, pressing the trigger. Flesh ripping and twisting as the bit made its way through skin, muscle, cartilage bone, and emerged from skin again on the opposite side of his kneecap. The man tensed but could not move enough to make a difference. He screamed in agony over the pain from the drill until he passed out from the shock. Janice struggled to get the bleeding man upright once he was unconscious. She didn't continue beyond that. She wanted him to be awake for every step of this journey.

She wanted him to know what it was like to be tortured. He had never laid a hand on her. He had never technically broken any laws, but her husband had been abusive nonetheless. She had felt every moment of the guilt and the threats he bullied her with for 8 years of marriage and two years of divorce complications. He had never hit her, but for Janice, Rick's constant threats resulted in palpable control. She had lived constantly in fear for what he might do...always wondering if he would truly make good on his threats, always afraid to defy him for fear that he might finally follow through.

She had suffered for so long that she didn't know what it was like not to suffer. Nobody believed her when she told them that Rick was evil. Nobody could do anything to protect her from a man who had broken no laws. No more she thought with disdain as a moan of cognition escaped his lips. No more. "Oh. You're awake. Good!", she said, driving the drill through the ball of his shoulder, rendering him once again unconscious.

She walked calmly to the workbench and took hold of a lighter and a torch. She turned on the gas and lit the flame. As the hiss of the torch flame hit full throttle, Janice took to the task of cauterizing the unconscious man's wounds. It will be no fun if he bleeds out too fast she thought. The smell of what she thought was reminiscent of burnt pork flooded the basement.

The next time the man he woke it was to the pain of the drill being pushed through his thigh. Then it was an elbow. All day long, it was the same. He would wake. Janice would put a new drill hole in him, he would pass out from pain, and she would cauterize the flesh. By the time Janice ran out of joints and bones, the man could barely muster consciousness.

Wanting him to be aware for the last, the frustrated former nurse went to her first aid kit and retrieved smelling salts. When he was nearly conscious, she shoved the packet under his nose and he regained full consciousness. "Sayonara....Rick," she said pushing the drill into his temple. His body twitched in its bonds for a few seconds and then was still.

Satisfied that it was finally over, that he would never hurt her again, Janice Beltram dropped her tools and made her way to the basement door. I'll clean up this mess tomorrow she promised herself. She turned off the basement light, shut the door behind her and went to the kitchen for a bottle of wine which she opened. Not bothering with the formality of a glass, she tipped the bottle into her mouth and aimed for the bottom. As she guzzled, some of the wine ran out of the sides of her mouth down her face, tickling her ears as it made its way past, through her hair and to the floor. She didn't care. She was free. Half an hour later, Janice passed out on the couch.

When she woke up, it was to her cell phone ringing once again. She noted the time, it was 10:00 in the morning. Wow, I must have really been tired, she considered before she reached for the phone. She picked it up to see Rick's number flashing. At first she was frightened, but then the day before flashed back to her. In another moment she assumed it was probably his new wife phoning to claim he hadn't come home. Janice mustered her strength and answered the phone.

"Hello?" She answered cheerfully.

What she heard next caused Janice to drop the phone. It couldn't be! In a panic she ran for the basement door and turned on the light, rushing down the stairs, nearly tripping in her haste. She ran to the body, spun it, and found herself confused. She looked to the bottle of pills her psychiatrist had prescribed to her, then back to the body of the man she killed and back again until she realized in horror what had happened ...what she had done that now left her looking into the dead eyes of her next door neighbor.

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