We are really pleased to welcome Kevin G. Bufton to TKnC with his Hellicious Halloween offering The Face of Evil. The writing has such a distinct style it would be a crime for this work not to be published. Besides, it contains one of my favourite mini-scenarios.
Better put the kids to bed before you read on...
THE FACE OF EVIL by Kevin G. Bufton
Let me give you fair warning – this tale does not come with the ubiquitous happy ending that you have come to expect. Why should it? Happy endings are for the weak and the deluded, for those folk who think that everything will turn out right in the end.
Well think again.
I am sat here in the kitchen. Not my kitchen, you understand. Nothing in this house belongs to me...not yet. I'm assuming there's a house; I've never actually seen beyond the kitchen. I can't move but at least I can see and hear. I suppose I should be grateful for that, at least.
I was blind when they took me – those hateful sadists with their maniacal grins – blind and deaf. That I now find myself capable of sight and hearing would be nothing short of a miracle if it didn't come at so heavy a price. That small handful of wet dripping matter on the counter top. I can see it clear as day and I know what it is. It's a piece of my flesh. A piece of my face . Dear God, they just cut off a piece of my face and left it in front of me. It can't be a reminder. There is no way I will forget the feel of the knife piercing my skin and gouging into the soft meat behind it. What, then? A threat? I can't even move – what do they expect me to do?
I can feel a cold, sharp breeze coming from the air conditioning. It whistles through the gaping wound where my perfect nose used to be and it hurts so much. Where two nostrils used to sit, now there is is only one, the delicate strip dividing them crudely split with a blunt blade and tossed into the bin before my eyes. They were smiling whilst they did it, smiling and laughing and exchanging knowing looks as they took turns at my disfigurement.
My own smile is somewhat ragged. There is no mirror close enough for me to see, but I can feel the air moving against my lipless mouth. I have maybe a dozen teeth, all broken and malformed in one way or another, thanks to their heartless ministrations. It is not a mouth made for mirth, but I can do little else but smile – a butcher's knife saw to that. Cutting deep into my ravaged flesh the older of the two – the man – drew a searing incision from each corner right up the side of my face. Then the woman – presumably his wife – reached into the deep groove made by her partner and pulled out that which he had cut away.
“Ugh, it's all over my fingers,” she laughed. Laughed! She threw it down onto the kitchen counter and wiped her hands clean on the back of her jeans. That was the piece that I was looking at now, wet and glistening in the artificial light of the kitchen. This last torture seemed to have been enough for them, for now at least. They left the room hand in hand, the woman leaning against the man and giggling. The sound chilled me to my very core, like the soulless laughter of the damned, but not so much as what that brute of a man said as exited the room.
“The kids are going to love this one.”
Children? They have children? I wanted to feel sorry for them, brought into the world by these two monsters but I barely had enough sorrow for myself. Alone, unable to move, my face hacked to pieces for the pleasure of these sadists and their brood. I determined then, that I would make them pay. I would haunt their dreams and stalk their nightmares for the rest of their miserable lives until they descended, screaming into madness and the cold embrace of an early grave.
They would live in perpetual fear of the dark, in case they should come across my face in the shadows. Twisted, deformed and mutilated by their own hands, it was only fitting that it be the last thing they see.
The lights went out and the kitchen door opened. The man strode in, the leader of the pack, silhouetted against the light from the hall. Behind him, amorphous shapes writhed against the light, no doubt the rest of his devilish kin.
“Daddy'll only be a second, kids,” he said.
He was on me in an instant, peeling back the top of my head, where he had cracked it open with a cleaver hours before. I felt the air rush into the cavity and would have screamed, had I a tongue to give voice to it.
My tormentor drove his fist into my head, forcing an object into my gullet. There was a click and a sudden blazing heat as the inside of my head was consumed with fire. The pain was like nothing I had ever felt before and I wished that I would die.
The next moment it had subsided. I could still feel that burning, lodged deep inside of me, but it no longer hurt. If anything I felt rejuvenated. My senses were heightened and I could feel my strength returning. It may had been some hideous trick played upon me by my own mind, but I felt an enormous sense of power. I looked out through my new eyes and saw my face reflected on the wall in flickering tongues of fire.
Those narrow eyes, cruelly pointed at the top; a ghastly hole set beneath them in mockery of a nose and below that mouth – my mouth. Jagged teeth set in a permanent rictus grin, behind which burned a flame that would consume the world. This was power. I was the stuff of nightmares.
The children would come soon. They would look upon me and fear.
I sat, glowing in the darkness, and smiled.
BIO: Kevin G. Bufton is a father, husband and horror writer, in that approximate order. He lives in Birkenhead in the UK and is currently working on his first solo anthology. He blogs on an irregular basis at http://buftonsblog.wordpress.com