Sorry I couldn't post for the last week. I have a new internet service now (brand new to my neighborhood) and I have to say, so far I'm loving it. I would have posted from work, but right now the situation there has gone beyond INSANE! I can easily get away with getting to my email since it takes so little time, but posting to blogspot takes me a bit longer. But I'm back now so let's get on with the show!
By Karen Singer
Chapter 46 Part 2
“I hope this doesn’t take too long,” Forsyth complained as they stood in the school principal’s office and waited for him to return with Brinkley. “We’re stretching this little trip a bit too much as it is.”
“Don’t worry so much,” Jacobs replied. “What’s the worst they can do, complain a bit?”
“They’ll complain more than a bit if they ever figure out why we’re here. We’re supposed to be staying away from the Stokley case now.”
Jacobs only grinned. “They won’t mind us doing this at all after we finally arrest her,” he told his partner.
Forsyth only rolled his eyes. He was saved any further reply as the principal came back to his office – with Roger Brinkley.
Roger had been annoyed to hear that the FBI guys were back again. As much as he wanted them to help, there was no way that they could. And not only that, they had been bothering his friends as well. That part bothered him the most. And on top of all that, “Protect Janice!” was already coursing through his mind.
“Excuse me, sir,” Jacobs said to the principal, we’d like to speak with Mr. Brinkley in private. Any information he can help us with, is only for us to know. Would you mind?”
The principal looked a bit put out. “Not at all,” he mumbled as he turned and walked out. Forsyth closed the door after him.
Roger shook his head. “Look,” he said, “there’s nothing more that I can tell you! And I don’t like the fact that you’re pestering my friends too!”
“Are you sure you can’t tell us anything?” Jacobs asked. “Because it seemed to us that the last time we spoke, you knew a lot more than what you said.”
Roger was shocked. “If I had something I could tell you, I would!” he said in no uncertain terms. “But there is nothing! I haven’t seen the slightest sign of my housekeeper doing anything wrong at all!” he lied.
They were interrupted by the ringing of Jacob’s cell phone. “Excuse me,” he mumbled as he pulled his phone out to look at it. “Damn,” he muttered. “Excuse me,” he said again, “I’ve been waiting all day for this call.” He went to the other side of the room and answered the call. “Agent Jacobs,” he said.
“Agent Jacobs, please hold for Doctor Fielding.”
“No problem,” Jacobs replied. He looked up at Forsyth. “I called the mental institutes this morning. The one in Birmingham is just getting back to me now.”
Forsyth briefly looked to Brinkley. “Any chance you can put it on speaker so I can hear too?”
Roger saw them both looking at him. “You need me to leave?”
“No,” Jacobs replied, afraid that they wouldn’t get him back. “Just… don’t listen.” He pushed the speaker button on his phone. “We’re waiting on the doctor to pick up.”
The wait was only a moment more. “Agent Jacobs?” the voice on the other end asked.
“I’m here,” Jacobs replied. “My partner Agent Forsyth is with me too. We’re calling to see if there’s been any change in Mr. Hollworth since the last time we were there.”
“Hollworth?” the doctor asked. “Ah! The bug man!” He chuckled a bit after he said it.
“Bug man?” Jacobs asked.
“Sorry,” the doctor replied. “It’s something of a joke here at the hospital. It’s only because he reminds everyone of a giant bug.”
Jacobs well remembered his last visit to the hospital. He had gotten the same impression. “Uh… I know what you mean,” he replied. He saw Forsyth nodding his agreement. “So it sounds like there’s been no change in his… condition?”
“Nothing that can help you I’m afraid. For the most part, he’s been just as he was since he got here.”
“For the most part?”
“Well, I say that only because we were desperate enough to try some shock therapy treatments with him. And the moment we finished, he started yelling something about the walls and how bad they were. I’m guessing he didn’t like that room very much. Can’t blame him, I guess. But the moment we sat him up, he went right back into his original state – totally uncommunicative and not acknowledging the rest of the world at all. We’ve done that twice with him now and gotten no further at all. We believe that further treatments aren’t likely to give us any better results, so we’ve suspended the idea for now.”
“So nothing of any use to us,” Jacobs said.
“I’m afraid not,” the doctor replied. “His case is a really strange one. We’re not very hopeful anymore about him.”
“I see doctor. Please let us know if there’s any change.”
“I will,” the doctor replied. “But I wouldn’t count on it.”
“Understood. Thanks doctor.”
Jacobs hung up his phone. “No help,” he said to Forsyth.
Roger’s eyes were bulged wide. They had been talking about one of Janice’s prior victims – a bug! And it sounded like there was no hope for the guy. But the one part of the conversation that came through to him the loudest, was the part about the shock therapy briefly bringing him out of it. And the walls he had been shouting about could only be the impossible impenetrable wall that he himself now saw every time he stood up or sat down. The wall he didn’t pay all that much attention to anymore. The wall that he couldn’t even remember ever not seeing anymore. But the shock therapy had torn a small hole in that impossible wall, at least for a short while for that one victim. And yet, the moment he had sat up again, the wall had closed down all too firmly once more. So even with a hole somehow torn in the thing, it had healed all too quickly the moment he had sat up. Janice’s brain warping had healed itself… and the impossible wall as well. And the poor guy was once again doomed to whatever life Janice had decided for him… evidently some kind of a bug. Roger shivered. His life was doomed too. But compared to the bug that the other victim now was, he considered himself very lucky!
“Sorry you had to hear that,” Jacobs said as he saw how shocked Roger appeared to be. “Don’t let it worry you.”
Roger shook his head. But he was worried for far more reasons than he could ever tell – anyone! “I’m sorry,” he managed to say, although he was having a bit of trouble speaking. “Like I said, there’s nothing at all that I can tell you. Janice is my housekeeper and she’s been doing nothing but a good job since I hired her. And excellent job in fact. So there’s nothing more that I can add for you.”
Jacobs stared at him for a moment before speaking. “You’re sure you haven’t noticed anything at all that she’s done out of the ordinary?”
“Not that I can think of.”
“Has she ever mentioned anything about money?”
“Only as far as expenses for groceries and things like that,” Roger replied.
Forsyth asked the next question. “We’ve heard from a few of your friends that you’re going through… some changes.”
Roger was a bit put off by the question. “What of it?”
“Nothing,” Forsyth replied. “I just wondered how helpful she’s been to what you’re doing.”
“How helpful?” Roger asked, searching for a safe way to answer the question. “She has been… somewhat helpful. Her daughter too for that fact. What does this have to do with anything?”
“Are you sleeping with her?” Jacobs asked instead of answering his question.
Roger was shocked by the question. “Am I…” He stopped. “No!” he stated flatly. “Absolutely not!” Then before they could ask anything else, he said, “We’re done here! Leave me alone!” He headed straight for the door, but he stopped as he opened it. “And leave my friends alone too!” He walked out quickly.
“He’s still lying!” Jacobs declared as they watched him leave.
“Without a doubt,” Forsyth replied. “But it doesn’t look like we’re going to get anything at all out of him.”
“Did you notice that he denied sleeping with her?”
“What of it?”
“Like I told you once before. I know for a fact that he is. There’s no way he can share a bed with her and not be having a little sex as well!”
Roger was fuming as he headed back toward his classroom. The two guys from the FBI had been way out of line as far as he was concerned. Way out of line! And besides, there was no way in the world that they could help him. Hearing about that guy in the mental institute, the bug guy, had pretty much confirmed that nobody could ever help him. That guy was still locked in Janice’s curse, and the doctor had confirmed that there didn’t look like there was much hope for him.
But Roger also didn’t forget that other little part that he had heard. The shock therapy had temporarily blown a hole in Janice’s impossible wall. He just didn’t see how it could possibly help him. It hadn’t even helped the bug guy.
When Roger got home from school the next day, the empty living room echoed his surprise to see nothing there. Well, almost nothing. His new TV and the cabinet he had bought to hold it were still there, but they were the only things in the room now.
“Where’d everything go?” he called back toward the kitchen as he stared around at the empty space.
“I donated it all,” Janice called back from the kitchen.
“Donated it?” he asked as he turned back toward the kitchen.
“We have new furniture arriving tomorrow,” Janice called as he entered the kitchen.
“New furniture?” he asked, his voice still somewhat surprised.
“Yes,” Janice replied as she pulled a pot off the stove. “I’ve finally gotten around to finding some things that will make a wonderful difference in this house!” She glanced back at him as she continued cooking. “As I’ve noted many times, your decorating skills leave a lot to be desired.”
Having no say in the matter Roger headed for his bedroom to once again transform himself back into Candy. New furniture now! And how were they going to pay for that? He had no doubt at all that if Janice ever did leave his life, he would be declaring bankruptcy. But even still, his life… and the new life she had dictated for him, was a whole lot better than the life that “bug man” now lived. He shivered again at the thought of it. How horrible!
He was spared from thinking about it anymore as his phone rang. When he finally went back to the kitchen… as Candy… he was happily able to report a request for him to do another job. Oddly, he felt relieved by that. But at the same time, the one biggest concern was that now he would be working those jobs with the bigger breasts as well. It wasn’t just the boots anymore. There was no way he could walk out of the house now, except for school, and deny that he was changing his entire life… from male to female.
“It’s time for Ben-ben to be human!”
Joseph Halifax slowly dragged his befuddled brain out of the nightmare stupor it had been in… and back to the land of the living. He was immediately confused. And right after that, very frightened. His muddled confused brain took a few moments to realize that he was lying naked on a cold cement floor. There was a very sexy Chinese woman standing over him, and a moment later, he noticed a rather large Chinese man standing behind her looking on.
Before he could say anything, he saw the woman nod to someone behind him. He immediately cried out in alarm as he found himself being picked up by two strong men he hadn’t noticed before. They shoved him into a hard wooden chair and held him there as straps were wrapped tightly across his chest and stomach. It was only when one of them grabbed the collar around his neck that he realized he was wearing some kind of collar. His head was soon held against the high back of the chair as well.
His arms were strapped to the chair as were his legs and ankles. And then, to make matters worse, his hands were pressed flat on the wide ends of the chair arms and straps were wrapped tightly over his hands as well, leaving his hands fixed flat against the surface.
“What do you want?” he asked, his voice shaking with fear and confusion. The last thing he remembered was being in the hotel room with… that woman who all too often raped his mind. Now he was suddenly somewhere else, and naked, and… in trouble! “Where am I?” he asked next.
“Interesting,” the man said to the woman.
Susan ignored Xiang, just as she ignored the stupid questions that Halifax had asked. “Tell me about Ben-ben,” she said to Halifax.
Halifax blinked. “Ben who?”
“You don’t remember anything at all about Ben-ben?” Susan asked sternly, putting a sneer on her face and getting all too close to him.
“N… never heard of him?” Halifax stuttered, even more frightened now. What had happened to the other woman, the one who raped his mind? Where was he? What was this all about?
Susan backed away from Halifax. “As Janice outlined,” she said to Xing, “neither part of him is aware of the other.”
“Interesting,” Xiang muttered again.
Halifax had no idea what they were talking about. “Please let me go,” he pleaded. “Please!”
Susan smiled. “Oh, Mr. Halifax. I have no intention of doing that at all.” She bent down close to his face again. “Do you have any idea who I am?”
Halifax tried to shake his head, but the collar hampered most of that. “No.”
She smiled. “My name is Susan Wu. Does that ring any bells?”
Halifax remembered that Leila had mentioned Susan a number of times, but he had never met her. “You’re… Leila’s friend,” he replied as a further chill of fear ran up his spine.
“That’s right,” she said. “And you had her killed.”
“No!” he shouted as more fear ripped through him.
“Xiang!” Susan commanded.
Xiang immediately came forward and grabbed the little finger of Halifax’s left hand. With an all too practiced motion, he quickly and brutally shoved a thin steel blade underneath Halifax’s fingernail, separating it from the nail-bed underneath. He really did enjoy hearing the screams that Halifax let out. And the best part was that it was only beginning.
“See what happens when you don’t tell me the truth?” Susan said, all too calmly and wickedly. “I already know that you hired Jacob Vesper to do it. Mr. Vesper spent some absolutely memorable days here in this room because of it. His screams of pain were truly magnificent! But I’m afraid that in the end, what little was left of him, was carried out and burned. But before that, I assure you that he was most informative. Most informative!”
Halifax was still reeling over the pain in his finger, he heard her words, as he tried vainly to pull free from his bonds. But no part of his body was going anywhere.
“Do you like pain, Mr. Halifax?” Susan asked all too cruelly.
“No,” Halifax cried, still suffering over his nail being pulled up.
“Too bad, I guess,” Susan replied. “But I guess the good news for you is that the faster you answer my questions, the less pain you’ll have to endure.”
“Please, just kill me,” Halifax gulped out as the tears started running down his face.
“Oh no,” Mr. Halifax, “I’m afraid I have a completely different future in store for you. You see, just killing you would be too easy for you. I want you to suffer for the rest of your life! And I’m going to see to it that you suffer for a very, very long time! Now, tell me about your retirement account. Victoria, I think you called it.”
“Xiang,” Susan said simply.
All too quickly, Xiang came forward with a pair of pliers and completely ripped out the fingernail that he had inserted the blade under a few moments earlier. He did so enjoy hearing the screams of pain such as Halifax let out.
It took another blade under another fingernail, and the loss of that nail before Susan was satisfied that Halifax knew nothing at all about any retirement account. She rightly suspected that Janice had something to do with that.
Other than his lack of knowledge about Ben-ben, and his lack of knowledge about his retirement account, and also for some reason denying that he knew anything at all about Janice and what she had done to him, Susan quickly discovered that Halifax was more than willing to talk about anything else. Anything at all! But despite his willingness to talk… which lasted many hours as Susan drilled down deeper and deeper for the most inconsequential information about so many different things, Halifax lost all ten fingernails that day. And when all his fingernails were gone, he received further pain in each finger as Xiang injected acid all along the nail root in each finger. But then, removing his nails and ensuring that they would never grow back was one of the major objectives of the day. By the time they were done, so was Halifax. The pain and the brutal questioning had left him barely conscious.
He was unstrapped from the chair and unceremoniously dumped into a small holding cell. The lights were turned off with the exception of one very dim bulb across the room, and Halifax was left to recover as best he could. Susan had extracted more than a few interesting things out of him that might be worth some money to other people. Her father had been right, she should have thought to question him before Janice finished with him. She was only glad that Janice had left her this small way of getting the job done after the fact.
But the questioning left her with some other interesting realizations as well. Halifax obviously knew nothing at all about his own retirement account – an account that he had told Janice about in the first place. And the other thing that she was impressed with, was that he seemed to be unable to tell anyone anything at all concerning Janice and what she had done to him. Nothing… at… all! That ability alone could be worth a fortune!