1. To the Pain Room

She turned her head rapidly to the right. Black was extracting a long nail out of the drawer. She twisted her neck to the left with increasing fear. Her arm, screaming with pain, lay there, bleeding from the deep gashes that Black had so skilfully carved into her skin. She cried out loud in pain, but she was ignored as Black picked up a hammer and placed it above the nail which hovered above her left temple. He drew the hammer back, and with a rapid movement through the air, he brought the end of the nail forward, crashing down onto her scalp.

Number Three woke up trembling in fear; her face was beaded with sweat. Looking anxiously around the bare room, she noticed that all the other people (women and teenage girls) were fast asleep, except for one, Number Seven, who lay awake, trembling in the pain of her grotesque injuries, on her mattress, covered in a blanket. Evidently she needed more morphine than she had been given. The seven metres by ten metres room held twenty people, all owning at least one bandage, and at least one broken bone. Around half of them had second degree burns, and two of them had missing, or let's say; removed; limbs. The room itself was painted dark grey. The floor was wooden, and there were two doors and a window. The window was open, but had no curtains. One of the doors was locked shut; the other lead to a bathroom. Attempts at escape were pointless; there were twenty-four hour CCTV surveillance, and the garden that it led to had high fences, not to mention the superhuman willpower that would be required to run and climb with such injuries inflicted upon them. Number Three lifted her bandaged arm with great difficulty as she changed position, letting out a small cry as she accidentally applied pressure on her broken hand. A faint sob echoed in the dark room. Number Three looked around the room. The sob rapidly increased to full-blown crying. Number Three caught sight of Number Seven crying with her head in her hands and the one that wasn't fractured clenched a clump of matted hair; she was quivering in distress. Number here got up, carefully avoiding use of her hand, and walked over to Number Seven. She sat down and put her arm over the crying woman's shoulder, careful not to touch her injured arm and whispered to her,

"Things will be OK. Don't worry. They will be discovered. The police will find them. Don't worry; it will all be OK…"

Click, click. They both froze in fear. Click, click, thump. They squinted as the heavy wooden door was opened and the light from the corridor shone through. In the doorway stood Black, a tall man with pale skin and long hair, and Exorcia, a tall fifteen year old girl with pale skin and long, black hair. They carried their trademark twisted smiles.

"You really shouldn't be awake Number Seven and Number Three." Said Black in an intimidating manner.

"It would be against our advice to stay awake." Commented Exorcia in her deep voice, clutching the stun gun tightly in her left hand.

"You're murderers! You're sick; you should be locked away, not walking freely around the house!" Number Seven hissed.

"Ah. You remind me of the old Number Seven," said Black, pointing to a photo on the wall of a woman, dead, with the number seven carved onto her forehead. "She died of heart failure." He laughed, lying with joy.

"Yes, she had arteriosclerosis." Said Exorcia, following Black's idea, "now go back to sleep, before I see need to harm you!"

"You're sick." Hissed Number Three. "You'll be caught soon, and you will be locked in a three by two metre cell and the key will be thrown away!" Exorcia lunged forward and sent a strong current through Number Three's body. Her muscles tensed, her pupils became fixated, and she dropped down to the ground, unconscious. A burn on her shoulder marked the site of the shock. Black winked at Exorcia and lifted the body up onto his shoulder and whispered,

"To the Pain Room."

Number Three squinted as she adjusted to the bright lights.

"Wh – where am I?" she stuttered nervously.

"Don't worry;" replied Black with a sly grin, "temporary amnesia is normal after receiving such an electrical shock." He said, smiling at Exorcia. "You seem to be suffering from a large amount of pain." Number Three nodded slowly. "I specialise in pain management therapy." Black and Exorcia had changed from their usual Gothic dress to doctors' uniforms. "This is my assistant, Exorcia." He said, pointing at Exorcia, "and I am Dr. Black. We are going to use a controversial treatment called Induced Pain Therapy. It is experimental, so I'm sorry, but your insurance company will not cover any accidental injury… Or death. Your skeletal muscles have been paralysed by the shock, so Exorcia will be giving you a drug to counter that right now." Black smiled his twisted smile as Exorcia found a vein and injected the drug, which was, in fact, Cortisol, a human stress hormone, which wasn't going to help, into the frightened Number Three. She was known as Number Three due to her number, three, which had been carved onto her forehead with a scalpel when she was dragged into the building a week ago. "Could you pass me a nine inch please?" Black said, looking at Exorcia. She took a nine inch nail out of the drawer and handed it to Black. He turned to Number Three and whispered, "The Nine Inch Nails; not a bad group." The woman whimpered and tried to get up, but she found that she couldn't.

"Wh- why can't I-I get up?" she stuttered, sweating in fear due to the induced stress.

"There's no need to worry Number Three; your pain will end within three hours of treatment." Said Exorcia in her dark voice, as she raised Number Three's head.

"Could you pass me a hammer please Exorcia, I need to hammer a nail back into this table; nails can be dangerous if one gets caught by them." Black requested, "thank you." He said, as he held the nail above Number Three's outstretched arm. He drew back the hammer; Number Three's eyes widened. She tried to move, but it was all in vain. A scream resonated through the building as the hammer came crashing down.

"This – this is, completely…" Detective Inspector Sampson was speechless, and so were the group of policemen and forensics gathered around the corpse. A woman, probably in her mid twenties, hand vast quantities of scars, seven nine inch nails hammered into her body, a section of skin removed from her right calf and the number three carved into her forehead. One of the Detective Inspector's assistants excused herself very quickly and soon enough, vomiting was heard not far off. She came back, pale, and avoiding the corpse, she shook her head solemnly.

"Who could do such a thing?" she thought out loud. "This killer is sick."

"Suitable gloves worn during contact with Number Three, then burnt." Black read out from a list.

"Check." Replied Exorcia.

"Equipment cleaned thoroughly."


"No evidence left of our whereabouts."


"Check of the body to ensure nothing noticeable of us is left behind."


"Wonderful. Well done Exorcia. If you weren't here, I don't know where I would be!" thanked Black.

"You're welcome; I enjoy helping you too." Exorcia laughed. "Now its time to wake the captives." Black and Exorcia opened the trap door. Click, click. Exorcia changed keys. Click, click, thump. She pushed open the stiff door and turned to Black. He nodded as the women woke up with difficulty. "From now on, this door will remain unlocked. You will be able to use the whole of the basement. We have recently had more money input and we can therefore afford more twenty-four-seven security so you cannot escape; double beds for all of you to share, a television and three newly-employed cleaners. Don't take this as a favour or a kind gesture. Strict rules will still apply. Merely think of it as me spending some money." He nodded and closed the door, but did not lock it. "So, who has four hits on the list then, Exorcia?" he asked her.

"Number Fourteen." She replied.

"She had better be careful," he laughed, his twisted smile creeping back again, "five hits and she's out – one more rule broken and she's going to receive some induced pain treatment." Black and Exorcia walked back up the stairs towards the trap door, laughing with each other and holding more than twenty printed out pictures of the deceased Number Three.