Infected Page 78
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“Shut up! I’m not going to kill him. We’re doing this my way.” Bill had to have some answers, and Perry was going to hear every last one of them.
The pure, narcotic effect of sheer hatred surprised him. Bill was the enemy. Perry wanted to kill the enemy. Bill was one of the Soldiers, sent to experiment, then observe, then exterminate. Yes indeedee doodee, exterminate, but that’s not going to happen, Billy Boy.
Bill let out a moan. He rolled slightly on the floor. He coughed and spit out a large clot of blood. Snarling, Perry jerked him to his feet and
pushed him backward across the living room. Bill fell heavily into the couch.
Perry’s voice was a low rumble, a menacing drawl that hadn’t escaped his lips in years. “You want to get up when I hit you, boy? You gotta learn to stay down unless you’re ready for some more punishment.”
He grabbed Bill’s wounded right hand, which spurted blood in all directions thanks to the knife still embedded in the palm. Perry wrapped his hand around the knife handle and drove it into the wall just above the couch. The jagged tip punched into the plaster, pinning Bill’s hand.
“You like that, snitch? You like that, spy? Then let’s get you a second helping.”
Perry hopped into the kitchen and grabbed another knife from the butcher’s block. He didn’t even glance at the Chicken Scissors. Moving almost as fast as if he had two legs, he then hopped into the bedroom and grabbed a wrinkled, dirty sock from the floor.
Bill’s head lolled from side to side as he struggled for consciousness, blood pouring from his leg, his hand, his nose. “Please,” he murmured, his voice barely a whisper of escaping pain. “Please . . . stop.”
Perry grabbed Bill’s good hand. “You talkin’ to me, boy? You speak when you’re spoken to. You got to learn better than that!” Perry shoved the sock into Bill’s mouth, forcing the dirty fabric in so far that Bill gagged.
With a primitive grunt of aggression, Perry slammed Bill’s good hand against the wall, palm out. He reared back with the fresh knife, then drove the blade through Bill’s exposed palm.
Bill roared in pain, clarity of mind returning in full at a rather unfortunate moment. The dirty sock muffled his cries of agony.
Bill tried to pull free, which made the blades cut deeper still into his ravaged hands. His body simply didn’t have the strength. He slumped back into the couch, a portrait of defeat — his bleeding hands stretching out on either side of his limply hanging head.
“Neighbors,” Perry said in a hiss, his eyes darting first to the window and then to the door. “Nosy goddamned neighbors might be in on it.”
He hopped to the door and stared out the peephole. Even through the distorted view he could see blood on the hallway’s walls and carpeting. Someone would notice it — he didn’t have much time. Time enough, however, to get some answers from the informant nailed to the wall.
Kill him kill him.
Perry stared at Bill. His friend, Bill Miller. His . . . friend. “My God, what have I done? What’s happening to me?”
H e is Columbo,
he is the Soldiers.
“He can’t be.”
H e ’ s her e, isn ’ t he?
Why would he be her e
no w if he wasn ’ t
They were right. The emails, the calls, that convenient instant message, showing up at his door. Bill knew what was going on. He knew everything. How callous, how heartless could this bastard be? He had feigned friendship while watching the Triangles grow and fester and swell and chew Perry up from the inside as if he were a fucking goddamned caterpillar. Bill had watched all along.
But he could only watch at work.
What about the rest of the time? What about all the time Perry spent at home, in the apartment, particularly in the last few days? How were they watching him then? Bugs? Hidden cameras? Watching his instantmessage and email traffic? Maybe behind a light, maybe inside the TV. Maybe inside the damned TV!
And if they’d watched him all that time, then they were watching him now.
They were watching him carve up Billy the Betrayer.
They wouldn’t just let that happen. They were coming, coming to rescue Billy. Perry took Bill’s head in his hands and stared into glassy eyes. “They’ll be too late, Billy Boy,” Perry said quietly. “You hear me? They’ll be too fucking late to bail your ass out of this one.” Bill screamed, but the sock muffled the noise.
“You’d best knock that shit off, boy,” Perry said, still staring into Bill’s terrified eyes, eyes that revealed searing pain and pure, raw terror. “Quit your cryin’, boy, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
Bill screamed louder, trying to pull back from the bullnecked horror before his eyes.
Perry snarled as he grabbed Bill’s broken nose and shook it viciously from side to side. Bill’s body shuddered with fresh agony. He thrashed like a man in the electric chair, muscles contorting so violently that one knife-pierced hand pulled free from the plaster.
The blade still jutted from the back of his hand. Perry grabbed both Bill’s blood-slick wrist and the knife handle, then slammed the blade back into the wall. This time he felt a distinct and sudden resistance as the blade dug deep into a wall stud.
Old Billy Boy wasn’t going to pull that one free anytime soon, no siree, bub, not anytime soon.
Bill fought down the pain, his mind freaked beyond the point of clear thought. Somehow he found the inner power to stop screaming, stop struggling, despite this seemingly endless torture from a man whom only minutes before he’d known as his dearest friend.
Infected Page 78
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Infected Page 78 summary
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