Need to catch up? Read PART ONE of Beautiful Deception.
“You’re supposed to be dead already.” Nina Miller was intrigued with Mary’s will to stay alive, yet annoyed that she still had a pulse….
Nina was the Attending Physician overseeing this mayhem of torture, the one accompanied by the note-taking observers still lounging in their plush chairs. Nina’s Hippocratic Oath to do no harm was pretty much bullshit.
“I see you’re a fighter, Mary Golden. It’s admirable, but let’s give it up now. Okay?” Her advice to Mary was very matter-of-fact, as if she was talking about the weather or ordering a combo meal from Burger Shack.
Nina took a drag from her cigarette, then leaned in close to exhale the smoke into Mary’s face. With already labored breathing, the smoke was suffocating to Mary. She tried hard to catch her breath, but shorts gasps with coughing was all she could manage. She was still strapped to the gurney and could lift her head maybe and inch or two, but that’s it.
“I — I need to use the bathroom… please,” muttered Mary.
“Then piss on yourself. You know the routine.” Bob snapped at her. He was losing his patience.
“Yeah, we’ll hose you down later,” chimed in Rick.
Although the hosing-down promise was true, Nina rolled her eyes at Rick’s comment. “Idiot,” she spoke under breath. In the far left corner of the room there was an industrial hose connected to a large commercial faucet. The room had a drain in the middle of the floor.
Mary’s hair was soaking wet, a combination of sweat mixed with blood from the wound on her head. Nina put on a latex glove before stroking Mary’s mangled tresses, as if wooing a child to sleep. All that was missing was a lullaby. Then suddenly, Nina grabbed Mary’s hair forcefully. You could hear her neck crack. It was like witnessing a 16th century session of chiropractic care. Barbaric.
Nina bent down again. This time, to whisper something in Mary’s ear…
Mary thrashed her body in an attempt to break free from the gurney straps. “You lie!” said Mary. “You lie… you lie…” The accusations against Nina became weaker and weaker, until you lie was nothing more than a whimper. She was crying now.
Nina wasn’t impressed with this act of distress. She took another drag, still clenching a fistful of Mary’s hair. “It’s the truth. Now get over it,” said Nina. Then she pressed her lit cigarette into Mary’s neck and held it there.
Mary writhed in pain. The sound of sizzling flesh could compete with an egg frying on a cast iron pan.
The others present looked up briefly with approval, then carried on with their conversation. Too bad Mary’s screaming quickly became an annoyance to Rick.
“Shut her up. Shut that bitch up!” Rick yelled at Nina as he approached the gurney. He took off his shoes, removed his sweaty tube socks, rolled them into a ball and stuffed it into Mary’s mouth.
“There. Now keep quiet.” Finally… silence. Rick was satisfied.
“Well aren’t we the extreme one,” Nina said to Rick. She cocked her head up and to the side to take a drag of a newly lit cigarette. She looked Rick up and down. “Nice feet,” chuckled Nina.
Rick’s toenails were overgrown. They were jagged and needed clipping. There was toe jam nestle between his toes. His left foot was scaly and peeling from athlete’s foot.
“You’re next, you spineless wench,” Rick threatened Nina.
“Try me,” said Nina. She held up the hypodermic needle intended for Mary and waved it in Rick’s face. “I’ll give you something that’ll make your man-parts fall off. Do you even have man-parts, Rick?”
Without waiting for Rick to respond, Nina quickly turned back to face Mary and stabbed her with the needle without aiming for any spot in particular. It hit Mary in the cheek, barely missing the jawbone. “I’m supposed to be in Barbados today,” Nina spoke calmly to Mary. “If you would just die quickly I can still make my flight.”
Mary passed out, unconscious once again, but most certainly not dead.
Tension was brewing among the three — Bob, Rick and Nina. The two others in the room, the note-taking observers, exited quickly as Bob shooed them away with a wave of his hand.
“We’ll need you again once the situation changes,” he said to them. “Don’t come back unless you’re called.”
“And what if the situation doesn’t change, Bob? What will we do then, BOB?” Rick was showing his true colors as a loose cannon waiting to happen. The emphatic B in “Bob” flew out of Rick’s mouth with plenty of complimentary spit to go along with it. He was just now beginning to get uncomfortable from the cold tile under his bare feet. He grabbed his socks out of Mary’s mouth and pulled them back over his feet and put his shoes on. He flipped the cart holding the metal tray of hypodermic needles before storming out of the room.
“She situation has to change. I need to get Edward on the phone,” Bob said to Nina.
“We’re not to contact him until the job is done,” she responded.
“Edward provided us with this good for nothing Polypsuedomin and Hydroxilchlorine. These are the treatments he developed and claimed would kill her within 48 hours. It’s been 10 days. It’s not our fault it’s not working on her. I’m demanding the promised payment for our work here and closing up shop. If Edward wants Mary dead he can do it himself.”
Nina was surprised that Bob was willing to end the assignment of torture so abruptly, but there was no reason to argue his decision. She would soon be paid for her work and still be able to make her flight to Barbados. Nina left the room to track down the two assistants. She gave them instructions to clean up Mary, dress her wounds and keep her contained for whatever length of time until her faced healed — until she looked presentable.
“Edward Golden”. He answered the phone from his ritzy penthouse office on the 44th floor of the Federated Drugstore Administration. His voice was deep and monotone.
“The patient is not dead,” said the voice on the other end of the line. It was Bob calling. “Your therapies do not work”.
“Nonsense,” said Edward. “Continue with the injections. Double the dosages, if necessary.”
“This is not what we agreed upon,” said Bob. “Two days max is what you told us. We have other work to be done for clients who are paying triple the amount you contracted us for. I’ve already ended it today. I’ll be releasing your daughter soon. You figure out how to make these drugs kill her.”
Without speaking another word to Bob, Edward calmly hung up the phone before picking up it up again to dial. As the phone rang, Edward tapped his fancy pen on his Mahogany desk.
“Hello, sir. This is Rick. Yessir. Understood.” Good ole’ Rick, the LazyTech Security guard and sock-torturer of Mary Golden, received further instructions from Edward.
Nina exited the building one hour after giving the note-takers the specifics on Mary’s care. She planned a brief stop at her condo to pick up her weekend bag before heading to the airport to catch her flight to Barbados. Nina walked across the parking lot with a chip on her shoulder, still annoyed with the entire situation, but most of all, her annoyance was with Rick.
She got in her car, started the engine and applied a fresh coat of lipstick in her rear view mirror. Then Rick appeared in view — in the mirror. He was in the back seat.
“Rick? ….what the hell do you think you’re doing!” Nina barely had a chance to turn around.
Rick stabbed her with a hypodermic needle. “This is from Edward Golden,” he said as the needle pierced her left eyeball. “And this one…,” as he stabbed her other eye, “…is from ME!”
The first needle contained a triple dose of Polypsuedomin and Hydroxilchlorine. The second, a toxic dose of Rick’s own making. Nina began convulsing and vomiting within seconds. She passed out two minutes later. And after five minutes, she was dead. He thought about shoving his dirty socks down her throat, but then decided against it.
Rick got out the car and dialed Edward’s number. He reached his voicemail. “The wench is dead,” was the message Rick left. He hung up the phone and went back into the building to look for Bob.
Mary sat on the edge of her bed. It was a real bed — not a gurney. Her room resembled a 4-star hotel suite. There was a tray of fruit, cheese and crackers on the table, but she didn’t have much of an appetite. Not yet. She sipped on a cold glass of water. There was a lock on the door from the outside. Mary’s accommodations were comfortable, but she was still a prisoner.
Her final torture session was 10 days ago. Mary’s superficial wounds were healing nicely. Although her face was pale and her eyes freakishly black for reasons she didn’t understand, the body aches were dissipating and the stitches were soon to be removed from her head.
The time alone gave Mary a chance to reflect. She thought about the statement she was forced to recite over and over, and the truth it contained…
“My name is Mary Golden. My father is the CEO of the Federated Drugstore Administration. Through my father’s company I have assisted in the development and distribution of dangerous pharmaceuticals and beauty products that we know cause harm, sometimes fatal, to children and adults, including senior citizens. I have done this for profit. I am now being held accountable for my crimes. I will be injected with pure forms, and in extremely high doses, of the same toxic ingredients I have purposely allowed to be contained in products marketed to the innocent. I will continue to be injected with these toxins until the time of my death, which will most likely occur only days from now.”
…she thought back to the confrontation with her father, Edward, when she threatened to report him to the authorities. His desire to begin secret human trials of Polypsuedomin and Hydroxilchlorine on unsuspecting patients was abominable. Mary’s conscience had caught up with her. Should would not be part of this. Edward had gone too far.
Twelve months earlier, Mary secretly developed a personal vaccine to protect herself from her father’s insanities. She had been dosing herself ever since. It’s what saved her life. Polypsuedomin and Hydroxilchlorine could not kill her. She was immune.
…she thought of what Nina whispered in her ear days earlier: “Your father put us up to this.”
Mary stood up and walked into the bathroom. She placed her hands on the sink counter, looking down briefly, then slowly raised her head to face herself in the mirror. She took a few deep sighs as she stared back at her reflection. Her new features, pale skin and black eyes, were merely battle wounds. She would get used to it. She had to.
Her sighs suddenly became agitated huffing & puffing. She clenched her hands into fists and banged on the sink counter. Her anger began to spill over as she screamed, grabbed the hair dryer and threw it, breaking the bathroom mirror.
“No!” Mary spoke out loud, looking into the shattered mirror. “Calm yourself. You can’t do this if you’re out of control.”
She didn’t have time to give in to self-pity or allow anger and emotions to rule over her. Not now. Mary’s next moves would need to be thoroughly planned, systematic and very much unfortunate for her dear daddy, Edward Golden.