(…) Brecken hurried to the garage before dawn and began building the restraining cage into the exposed bay of the car. He bolted a stainless steel bucket seat to the base runners, and welded collarbone hooks and hip spikes to the frame of the chair. He drilled it into place in front of the steering wheel post on the chassis floor. He glued and weld bonded a forehead brace and choke collar to the reinforced spine of the seat, then bolted the skeleton of the leg braces to the carriage floor under the steering wheel, and carefully adjusted and oiled the moveable knee and ankle joints. He screwed two long threaded spikes up through the accelerator and brake pedals, attached and bolted a short-spiked torso and thigh brace to the frame, then welded chain mail gloves and palm spikes to the stripped steering wheel. A wave of exhausted nausea washed over him and he was impelled to stop, but Brecken could sense the coiled mayhem of his rage crouching like a black fanged monster in the dark corner of the garage, urging him on. He staggered to the house, washed his face and treated his wounded fingers, drank a pot of coffee, and returned to the car.
He applied himself to the careful work of reattaching the relays and control units to the assembly, then cut and modified the dashboard and instrument panel so it would screw back into place over the skeleton of the cage and leg braces. He reconnected the gearbox and essential wiring. He crouched, started the engine, and checked that the disfigured and gutted car still worked as a functioning automobile. He tidied away the discarded trash of carpeting, panels, seats, wiring, and instrument displays, then cleaned and disinfected the long work bench beside the car and carefully transported the medical equipment and supplies from the living room into the garage. He set everything out on a wide, wheeled trolley. Then he returned to the house and slept undisturbed for two days in the mess of his destitute marital bed. She haunted him only once, calling him a pathetic little man and a feeble lover, and that she was leaving to spend the night with her sister. The vision was consumed by that of a glorious angel, who spread her wings over the bed and enveloped him in shadows and compassion.
Late the following night he attacked Filbert in the parking lot behind the bar, stunning him with a blow to the back of the head and stabbing a full syringe of diazepam and propofol into his upper arm. Filbert struggled, so Brecken hit him again. He bundled the body into the back of the white van, bound his hands and feet, taped his mouth shut, and injected him with a large dose of the muscle paralysis.
He drove home and wrestled the unconscious Filbert into the garage and onto the workbench. He cut away his shirt, taped the intravenous general anaesthetic to the large vein in the crook of his elbow, and stripped the rest of his clothes. Then he turned on the anaesthesia machine, adjusted the position of the oxygen tanks and tubes, and slipped the ventilator mask over Filbert’s face. Brecken smoked another cigarette, then washed and disinfected his hands and swabbed the body. He slipped a wide noose around Filbert’s chest and under his arms, and used a small electric powered pulley to hoist him slowly into the air and over the exposed roof of the car. Then he lowered the body into the bucket seat, manoeuvred the legs forward onto the braces, and detached and removed the noose. He slapped the choke collar shut, locked it, and fastened the forehead brace. Then Brecken sat on the bonnet, put his legs through the empty windshield space, and forced Filbert’s body violently back into the seat. It stabbed the two collarbone spikes through the skin and sinew until they protruded from his chest, and embedded the hip pikes deep into the fatty tissue of his waist. Brecken strapped the torso brace across the body, fixed the collar hooks into place and welded it shut, then closed and welded the thigh braces between Filbert’s legs and bolted the hip spikes, jamming the lower torso. He paused briefly to swab and disinfect the wounds, and sewed the ripped skin tight around the exposed metal with the atraumatic sutures. Then he fitted the hands into the metal gloves and forced the wrists downwards, puncturing the sharp spikes welded to the steering wheel through Filbert’s palms. He fed wide, flat carrow rings onto the ends and threaded two lock nut bolts down and firmly into place over the back of the hands. He pushed the spikes of the leg braces horizontally through the back of the calves and welded them securely, then forced both feet through the spikes of the accelerator and brake pedals and bolted them. He dressed the hand and foot wounds only lightly with cyanoacrylate adhesives. They would bleed. (…)
© andrew wheeler