Content Advisory: This story is intended for mature audiences and contains graphic violence.
Born and raised into a world of crime, a young woman serves as a photographer, videographer and abductor for a twisted organization with even more twisted clients. One day, however, her abductee would be a peculiar lady. What unfolds from then on is strange beyond belief.
Estimated reading time: 25 minutes
First up, let me tell you about who I once was; I’m not proud of it, and I don’t expect anybody to pardon me and the things I’ve done, but I’m not that girl anymore, and I can only hope you understand that.
There’s a whole portion of my life hidden away from me. Family? I don’t know. Parents? Dunno. From what I was told, I was just a stinky, crying baby found in a dumpster, but that could simply be a lie. How can it explain the deep scar I’ve always had, that run across my flat nose from one severed, oversized ear to the other? Even if I didn’t have this scar, I’m as ugly as a toad—I’m sure there are ways to make buck teeth and an upper bite cute but I’m neither of those ways.
And I’m skinny with a larger-than-average belly pooch, so it was always funny walking around that place. There was someone who’d always pass me by and go, “Who banged this ugly chick up?”
I was not, and never was, pregnant, but it was funny because he’d been saying that since forever. Every time he passed me by.
There was another guy who’d go, “Is that baby dead in there or what?” every time I was having lunch in the canteen. He’d look at his friends and say, “That baby been in there forever.”
And his friend would say, “Baby didn’t wanna come out ugly like mom, so just offed himself in there.”
“Apple don’t fall far from the tree, kid, sorry.” That whole side of the canteen is filled with laughter, and I’m laughing alone at myself.
Anyhow, who raised me? Who’d I grow up with? Thugs. An organization of professional criminals with the most twisted clients and, unfortunately, I worked in this sick circle; it was all I ever knew.
Our victims were always the relatively unknowns, people that society didn’t really care about. Prostitutes. The homeless. Orphans. Nutcases. Illegal immigrants. If they go missing, nobody bats an eyelid. For that reason, we managed to keep our business under wraps. But those people were essentially like us, except we were on the good end of the leash.
Lucky us, huh?
And everybody I was associated with were either desensitized to the things they did, or were forced into it, or enjoyed it, or were in it for the big dough.
One of my former partners reached a state of euphoria every time he got to skin someone alive. It was such an intense ecstasy for him, he’ll just moan the entire time doing it. That’s why we called him ‘Moan’.
Another one of them, ‘Snip’, was meant to be a specialist of pain, supposed to be an artist of mutilation, but she was on the verge of losing her job. And losing your job here means… adieu. Into a barrel of acid you go; you’ve never existed.
Why Snip? There was a time when she’d find solace in mutilating her victims. She’d fit her tiny, delicate hands into her surgical gloves and take her time running through her array of surgical instruments. Throughout the process, while the victim screamed and groaned, like music to her ears, there’d be a look of deep serenity pasted on her face. Elegance in her every movement, she’d snip and slash away at her victims’ body parts. This girl was many of our clients’ favorite. At some point, she’d gone jaded. She’d lost her passion in the art, and the organization was not happy about it.
Bunch of sickos. I hated every moment spent with them, but I, too, was getting desensitized to it all.
The name I was given since birth, was ‘Click’, as if my job had been preplanned ever since I was taken up by this organization. I was the photographer, videographer, and a lot of times but not always, the van driver and abductor. Can’t say I hated everything about my job, though; the best times were when my abductee’s destination would be somewhere in a quiet, placid, remote place. I’d sit somewhere hidden and prepare my items needed for the task: chloroform and handkerchief, check. Rope, check. Emergency baton, check. Camera… if I had the time, I’d take it out of my bag to play around with it for a while.
This was the one thing I truly enjoyed.
With the camera around my neck, if I had a few moments to spare, I’d snap a few shots of beautiful nature, landscapes, flowers, charming abandoned urban constructs…
Until my actual job calls.
Five years ago, I was told my abductee would be found sitting alone in the woods. A homeless hermitess, I was told, she’ll be there as she always is.
Now, let me tell you about her.
Was she hot? Firstly, despite all the chauvinists I’d been surrounded with, even I’m surprised that I’m still straight. Secondly, I’m not that pretty myself, but she’s so ugly she makes me feel like the sweetest maiden to ever walk the earth. Her skin, way too pale, almost greenish, as if belonging to a dead person. Torso, too lanky, disproportional to her limbs, and she’s easily a six-footer or more, mostly just torso. Forehead, too long and wide for such a slender face. Eyes, set too far apart. Pouty lips, resting too far from where her sharp, long nose is. Hair, greasy and unkempt. And to top it all off, she wears the ugliest flannel shirt I’ve ever seen.
She’s got beautiful large, grey eyes, though, and I’m a sucker for beautiful eyes.
The moment I saw her, she saw me, too, and it nearly gave me a heart attack, honestly. I stood frozen for at least a minute, half-hidden behind a tree trunk. There she was, this… thing sitting on a rock in the woods doing absolutely nothing. From where I stood, her torso was so long it looked like a short girl standing on a rock. I approached her as she stared unblinking, her emotionless, stock-still face focused on me, her eyes following my every slow, careful step.
When I finally reached her and stood in front of her, I was unsure of what to do. Chloroform and handkerchief, nope. Rope, nope. Emergency baton, nope. Camera… it hurt not to. This moment screamed for it. Carefully, I withdraw it from my backpack, my gaze stuck on her the entire time.
For no apparent reason, she clicks her tongue as I bring my camera up to my eyes and aim it at her face. She makes no other response to me being here and doing this. All she does is click her tongue as I snap several shots of her face. My camera goes click, she goes click, and this exchange goes back and forth for quite a while. For the longest time, I’d never genuinely giggled and grinned like a childhood I’d never had but, after that, I giggled and smiled from ear to ear because we simply… clicked.
I liked this one, but a job’s a job and it’s got to get done because my life is on the line.
I squatted and pondered about how I would bring her from here to my van. After a while, though, she just stood up, clicking her tongue, towering over me. In shock, I backed away several strides, but she followed me, her relatively short legs wobbling toward me. I liked her. She let me do everything, hassle-free. Bonded her thin wrists with rope. Dragged her to my van. Hassle-free.
Halfway to the base, as she clicked her tongue away in the back of my van, I seriously considered driving away with her, but it would’ve been impossible. I would’ve been caught immediately. Acid barrel prepared and waiting for me within the snap of a boss’s fat finger.
Dragging her by the rope into the dingy warehouse, all thuggish eyes were stuck on us, and I was so sad my gaze was cast down only to my walking feet. I heard as the thugs laughed and murmured, “What in the hell… is that?”
“What in the world?”
“How much sicker can our customers get?”
Looking back at her, I was slightly relieved with how emotionally irresponsive she was to everything because I truly did not want her to hurt or cringe in any way. I wanted her to go through everything without showing any emotion, and I knew I could count on her doing that.
For the night, she was to be kept enclosed in a tight space between slabs of concrete walls and in utter darkness. Closing the door on her, I gave her one last sad look, and all she did was stand there, clicking her tongue away.
The next day I’d find her exactly how I left her—standing still in the middle of the small room—but it really didn’t surprise me at this point; I was expecting it and would’ve been surprised if it wasn’t that way.
I took her out and led her all the way into room 4 where Moan and Snip were preparing themselves for the performance. At my entrance, they looked at me and the lady and they frowned and cocked their heads side-to-side, but they made no verbal response.
Snip and Moan each seize her either arm and bring her along to the table under the naked lightbulb where they bind her wrists and ankles to the table, while I set up the video cameras and lights in the corners of, and all around, the room. All along, I’m so bummed out, I must hide my ugly face away from my colleagues and cameras, because the lump in my throat drags my ugly, long face down and makes me look constipated.
When the lights and cameras are all ready, I hit the record buttons on all the video cameras and then retreat into an obscure corner while Snip and Moan crank the lever that makes the table rise vertically, so that Missus Clicky Tongue is upright for the front camera that I stand behind in the shadows. As she stares at me, I sheepishly raise my hand and wave at her, making sure that nobody else sees the soft side of me.
All she ever does is click her tongue and I already miss it so badly.
Lights, camera, click, action.
For the first ten seconds while the cameras roll, as is the custom, Snip and Moan stand by either side of the victim—in this case, it’s Ms. Clicky. Of course, after the ten seconds, Moan would be the first one rushing into the performance, eager as he always is, which always sacrifices elegance. Clients love him nonetheless, the same they’d love a stupid, animalistic, twisted child.
He picks out a handful of needles from the surgical table, shivering in excitement and anticipation, and Snip’s waiting patiently behind him. After that, he goes back to Ms. Clicky, hunching down at her feet, and begins inserting needles between her toenails, and then stands up and proceeds with her fingernails. It’s my job to go up close with my camera and capture every graphic detail, and I’m not keen on dipping into a bucket of acid tonight, so… as reluctant as I was, I feigned enthusiasm and hid my face behind my camera the entire time.
Moan was displeased with how irresponsive Clicky Tongue was to his efforts, and I was so childishly gratified about it. He’d even abruptly twisted and shoved the needles in further. No response. However, this is when Snip’s eyes lit up with interest. So suddenly, she’d found her passion in her job again. Using a scalpel, she proceeded to remove each and every one of Clicky’s fingernails and toenails, readjusting each needle to be spiked into each nail bed.
Absolutely no response from Clicky. And so, Snip vents a trace of frustration by grunting under her breath. In this situation, I’m chocking back my laughter, and at the same time, repressing my tears as well as curbing my urge to vomit. It’s easily one of the more confusing moments of my life, but there’s more to come from here on out.
Two more needles go into each of Clicky’s eyeballs. Salt is poured onto her exposed toe and fingernail beds. Flame from a blowtorch searing her body. Tendons severed. Limbs sawed off. Eyeballs removed. The skin of the face split into two and pulled apart, rows of bloody teeth laid exposed. With the claw of a hammer, they’d removed each of her teeth. Towards the end of this session, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I let out a loud laugh at how frustrated the two performers were about not getting the response they wanted from Clicky.
Then I vomited. Then I cried.
And then… the next time Clicky clicked her tongue, I woke up in the back of my moving van with my cameras scattered all around me. I was all bathed in blood, puke and tears all over my dirty, ugly face. From where I laid strewn across the back of the van, I saw a tall woman hunching at the driver’s seat; large, beautiful, grey eyes staring at me in the rear-view mirror. I knew who it was, but I contained my excitement until I heard the familiar click of her tongue, and then I grinned and laughed.
Not long after, the confusion set in like a slow burning flame, furrowing my brow and squinting my eyes so hard it hurt. Something must’ve happened back there. All this blood, puke and tears couldn’t have come from nothing. So, I picked up one of my video cameras and powered it on. Frowning at the display, I hit play on the latest video.
It begins as it was, Snip and Moan standing by either side of Clicky for ten seconds. Everything happens as it was… up until Moan is supposed to insert the needles into Clicky’s finger and toenails. At the click of Clicky’s tongue, Moan, instead, inserts the needles into Snip’s fingernails, and then undoes her shoes and proceeds to insert them into her toenails, all while Snip seems to be removed from reality.
Using her scalpel, Snip removes Moan’s finger and toenails while he impales her eyeballs with more needles. Everything they did happened between the two of them while I photographed and videotaped every grisly detail up-close.
Blowtorch flame. Salt on the wounds. Severed tendons. Sawing off the limbs. Eyeballs removed. It’s all just them doing it to each other. If they needed physical assistance, I helped as best as I could with my camera in my hand, which explains why I’m drenched in blood as well. At one point, I’d set the camera down on the floor and assisted Snip in sawing off her legs from the shins, and then one of her forearms. With the claw of a hammer, I held her face down and plied her teeth out, one by one. With a scalpel, I split the skin of her face into two and pulled both sides apart as I laughed, and then disgorged my vomit onto her bare flesh and into her open mouth, and then cried.
In my hands holds a big, revolting lump of shivering meat, the two folds of skin spread open and drooping at the sides. The only things recognizably human about it: the lidless eyeballs and strands of hair, all now covered in puke and blood. To think this was once a girl I’d envied about her looks… makes me want to puke again.
Click. Everyone stops moving… everything is so still you would think the video paused. Click. Fitting my camera into the stand, I walk up to Clicky and unbind her from the table. Click. I pass out on camera, and then Moan and Snip suddenly let out the loudest screams and cries of agony, their consciousnesses resumed upon them.
Clicky picks me up and then begins walking towards the camera. The two bloodied, disfigured bodies wriggling around on the floor, pained squealing and grunting, incapable of doing anything to stop her from walking away. Snip grabs onto her ankle with the one hand she has, but it’s a weak attempt.
With me hanging over Clicky’s shoulder, she grabs the camera and films everything while she walks out of the room. I watched the entire video in a confused mix of horror, bewilderment and satisfaction. The livestream moderator outside the room and through the corridor had already died, seemingly from suicide. From the looks of it, he’d gouged his eyes out and slammed his own head several times to death.
In the warehouse where several thugs were hanging around, Clicky clicked her tongue and all of them began offing themselves in the bloodiest ways. Then came one of the young ones, a kid who was just slightly below my age. When Clicky clicked her tongue at him, though, he’d simply walked away as if he’d seen nothing.
She’d passed by a dozen more members, causing them to either walk away, pass out, or commit suicide or homicide. I realized, all the ones she let go, were all helplessly forced into their jobs; people who’d never wished to partake in the criminal activities, or so I believe from my observation of them.
She’d laid me down into the back of the van, and then continued filming as she walked back inside, all the way back to the room, dealing with several more members along the way. In one scene, she’d filmed the inside of the boss’s office and showed him getting skinned alive by two mutilated gangsters. Everywhere’s chaos. Screams everywhere. Inside the room, Moan had already died, his eyeballs on the floor beside him, and a faceless, one-handed, legless Snip crawled helplessly around, smearing her blood everywhere.
The camera zoomed into Snip’s severed, skinless face and stayed there for a long moment as she cried and cried and pleaded without lips and teeth “Tlsss. Tlssss, tlsss, hell-ee, hell-eee.” I would assume she was trying to say, “Please help me.” Her lidless eyes spiked with needles and fixed onto the camera. Even I, at that point, felt bad for her, but I reminded myself: she’d done the same to others, and she’d enjoyed it, so why should I feel bad for her?
From then on, Clicky picked up my other cameras in several trips back and forth whilst also sorting out the remaining members of the organization. The last scene is me curled up like a bloody sleeping baby in the back of my van, my cameras all around me.
After watching this video, I made my way to the front passenger seat beside my peculiar savior, smiled at her, and then, honestly, I curled up into a ball and cried until daylight faded and I was staring out at the barren nightscape through the window, my eyes puffy and sore from all the crying. I was now free but didn’t know where my life would go from here on out. Everything and everyone I knew was back at that place, and now it’s all gone. Even if I hated it all to bits, it was all I knew, and I didn’t know where to go and what to do from here.
But let me tell you about everything after that and leading up to this moment today.
For a whole week after that day, we’d driven far away. Any cops who’d stopped and questioned us would simply walk back to their cars and drive away at the click of Clicky’s tongue. With this power of hers, we’d gotten free food, free gas, free accommodation, so it really wasn’t any hassle getting through with our travel. We’d never talked to each other, and I’d never tried to. Her company alone was contentment enough.
In the papers I’d read about several powerful, rich men and women who’d committed suicide at the same time, in front of their laptops, computers, or TVs, all of them logged into a mysterious website, all of its contents deleted. Those people, I’d instantly figured, were the clients who’d watched the livestream. So, safe to say, we won’t be being tracked down by any of them.
Within the following week, we’d arrived at Luminia city. Clicky had helped me receive an official identity, gotten me enough cash to start a new life, fixed me up with a nice home and a job as a professional photographer for a magazine publishing company, and then we split ways and I would be met with a crippling loneliness for the months to come. I watched from my balcony as she wobbled far away into the horizon with no apparent destination in mind. If there’s one thing I hate her for, it’s leaving me to sleep alone in the hardest, loneliest days, with the horrible images in my head.
I’d go to bed in tears, wake up in tears, eat in tears. If I couldn’t sleep, I’d go out for long walks in the night with my camera around my neck.
Five years later, here I am, a smiley, shy, introverted camera girl who spends too much time on the internet and trying hard to look pretty, even though I always fail at it. Makeup. Nail polish. None of these cosmetics work on me, but I enjoy the process, nonetheless.
I’d left the company Clicky set me up with and got into freelancing, making most of my money selling my photographs and self-published photo books. I’m pretty well-off and I have her to thank for it. On my free time, I’ll go for long walks in the woods, searching for her, snapping pictures and filming videos along my journey. Another day, another woodland. Even when I knew the chances of finding her was thin, I still enjoyed the walks and the pictures and videos I came back home with. My walls and hard drive are full of them.
Just yesterday, though, on another walk in another woodland, I stumbled upon what looked like a short girl standing on a rock, later realizing it was a tall woman sitting. The same moment I saw her, she looked back at me, and my heart blew up with joy. A huge, dumb grin grew wide on my ugly face.
You know who it was, and now I know where to find her…
Follow me | Give me feedback | Keep in touch
Stay updated (spam-free) on free short stories, upcoming books and more.
*Please check your spam/trash folder if you cannot find the opt-in email