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Obtusum Vi

Blunt force. There are many alternatives: fist, floor, hammer, club—anything not specifically designed for penetration is acceptable. I've used a variety of weapons and techniques, and it can be a most enjoyable method of killing. Personal and intimate, though maybe not quite as elegant as a blade.

Sergio Peña was old and meek, and not likely to present me with much of a challenge. He was also a nice man. If I cared about such things, I might have let him live. If I had the capacity, I might have felt guilty about what I was going to do to him. But I didn't care, and felt nothing. He was Non. He was chosen for the Else. And blunt force was chosen for him. I needed only to make him Ready.

Peña's breathing was shallow—the movement of his chest nearly imperceptible. His eyes were open, but he didn't blink. He didn't move or twitch. He belonged only to the Pancuronium. And to me.

I would have to proceed carefully if I wanted to achieve maximum effect. And of course, I did. In order to avoid nerve damage that might diminish the impact of subsequent blows, I would need to begin with the extremities and work my way inward. I retrieved my weapon.

The bowling ball weighed sixteen pounds. I dropped it onto his right hand from a height of about three feet. The crack of bone was audible. The immense pressure burst one of his fingertips and a small spray of blood stained the floor above his hand. I could only imagine the agony, since Peña was unable to scream or mutter or move, but my imagination is exceptional, and I could hear his screams in my mind every bit as clearly as I'd heard his phalanges crunch just before the ball rolled off into a corner.

I let that sink in for a while.

Paralytics, though handy, must be used sparingly and with caution. Prolonged depression of the respiratory and circulatory systems will eventually prove fatal. It was therefore necessary to find another way to keep him...cooperative for the remainder of our time together. I made a minor adjustment to my friend’s position on the cement floor and this time let the bowling ball fall from about five feet. It was a perfectly placed blow that smashed into his left distal tibia and subsequently broke the fibula on the opposite side. The ligaments in the ankle were rendered useless, hobbling him. He wouldn't be putting any weight on that leg anytime soon. Or ever, as the case turned out to be.

The pain must have been too much for his brain to manage. After a moment or two, he passed out. It can be difficult to tell when this happens—the Pancuronium completely regulates muscle tone, reflexes, heart rate, and blood pressure. The eyes can't roll back in the head or close—they just stare blankly into the eternal, waiting Else. Nonetheless, after years of experience with the paralytic, I usually know when I'm in the company of the unconscious.

I had some time before Peña's first dose would wear off, so I decided to grab a bite to eat while I waited for him to come around. There was no sense wasting quality time on an unconscious patient, and even sadistic psychopaths get hungry now and again.

He was back with me when I returned. A single tear dangled on a sharp cheekbone.

My aim was off just a bit with my next drop. The bowling ball landed just above Peña’s ankle and below the calf. It was still an exquisitely effective impact—a compound fracture that thrust bone through the skin of his shin and provided a bit more blood for my version of Da Vinci's masterpiece.

We continued this way through two doses of the paralytic—nearly four hours. By the time Peña could move, he mostly couldn't move. And by the time he could speak, all he could do was scream and sob and call out to a deaf or uninterested God.

The heel of a hand: shattered several of the small bones in the wrist.

An inner arm: snapped both the radius and ulna.

A shoulder: dislocated

A knee.

A thigh.

A hip.

As time stretched on, his body became canvas. The bruises were art in and of themselves—mottled, deep purple splotches flecked with blue and black. White spears of bone pierced flesh in half a dozen places. Blood painted his skin. Limbs were swollen and contorted at strange angles. Magnificent.

Peña was much more resilient than he looked. He blacked out several times, but fewer than one might expect from a man in his circumstances. Sometimes I woke him with a nudge to a protruding bone or a tweak to a mangled joint. As we got a bit further into things and Peña began to drift nearer the Else, I juiced him with a bit of epinephrine to keep him alert and lively.

The highlight of our time together came in the morning—the drop was only a few feet, but it was tantalizingly effective. The ball struck Peña squarely on the left side of his brow. The frontal bone of the orbit splintered like glass and a shard ran through his eye. Vitreous fluid and blood from the wound filled the socket, dripped down his cheek and was flung across the floor as Peña shrieked and tossed his head from side to side.

That was particularly enjoyable.

"¡Dios ayúdame! ¡No mas! ¡No mas, por favor!”

Sí, mas.

The bowling ball shattered his jaw next. Peña spoke no more—from that point on he produced only a hideous, shaky wail. I dropped it again, this time onto his stomach from a height of eight feet. The breath rushed out of him, silencing him. Color bloomed on his skin as blood vessels exploded and internal organs ruptured.

Then the killing blow. The ball struck Peña high in the chest and broke several ribs. Breathing became nearly impossible. He coughed softly. A fine red mist flew from his nose; frothy blood spilled from the corners of his mouth and ran down his cheeks. One of the bone fragments had punctured a lung, and the shockwave from the blow itself had almost certainly caused a pulmonary contusion. This would normally be an excruciating injury, but at that stage, I’m not sure he even noticed.

Then, after all of an evening, the following morning and part of that afternoon, our time together drew to an end.

His eternity of misery with the Else was just beginning.

I had a hunch that Señor Peña could not be trusted to lie still, especially once we'd begun in earnest, so the Pancuronium was required. Once prepared, he looked strikingly like the Vitruvian Man. He was naked and spread-eagled; his long, grey hair pooled around his head on the cement. This was perhaps not what Da Vinci had envisioned, but my art is an altogether different medium.

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