A Fiendish Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, in a small town called Sunnydale, there was a house. A very old, ornate, and large house-more of a mansion actually. And this mansion could have told such stories. The things it had seen in the last five years alone would curdle the blood of most mortal men, but those atrocities were nothing compared to the horrors the house was about to witness.
It knew, as much as any non-sentient thing could, that things were about to get interesting when the pale blonde in the black leather duster returned and began clearing out the basement. When the demons started traipsing in and out and the sounds of construction echoed up through the walls, it’s suspicions were confirmed.
As houses go, this one had seen a lot which was probably why it tended to ignore the creatures scurrying through it’s halls. Still, it’s interest was piqued, it knew from experience that the blonde vampire was not prone to flights of fancy, so whatever he was planning must have been very special indeed. Once the construction noises stopped and the demons had left, the house indulged it’s curiosity, examining the modifications to it’s lower level.
It’s a good thing houses don’t have eyes because there was no light to speak of and that would’ve made looking around difficult. As it was, the house had no trouble ‘seeing’. The room had been completely emptied, there were cables and pulleys and manacle adorned rebars and something that brought to mind a child’s harness-swing. The cables ran from a panel against the far wall through the pulleys to the rebars or to the ‘belt’ of the swing. But the oddest of the new additions was the silver-polished spike sticking point up atop a three inch wide iron shaft and positioned directly beneath the seat of the harness.
The house tried not to think too hard on the contraption in it’s basement- following that path would send destructive shudders through it’s old frame.
Despite the things it had seen in the short period of time the small clan of vampires had lived there, the house liked the blonde- he seemed to need a reason to torture, unlike his insane companions. That knowledge made the set-up in the basement all the more frightening.
The house didn’t have long to ruminate. Within the week, the blonde vampire returned, a large form that the house easily recognized as a body slung over his shoulder. Intently, the house watched as the blonde stripped his captive and secured him in the cuffs and sling. The vampire then began testing the knobs, levers, and buttons on the panel.
The noise itself was enough to try even a strong man’s sanity. Every touch, every twist, every pull not only changed some aspect of the apparatus, but also triggered accompanying creaks, clanks, rattles, retuts, and hanungas.
The most horrifically mesmerizing thing was the spike. With a raspy ‘wheque’ razor thin blades, curved like the claws of a cat, slid out from the spike. They ran around the shaft horizontally, the blades alternating directions. A low hum overtaken by a painful nails-on-chalkboard style screech signified the twisting of the mutilating metal. When the screech of the turning died away it was replaced by a sickening ‘thlawrp’ as the spike slowly sprang open like a blossoming flower.
The intent of the device was obvious, to destroy both physically and mentally the man suspended within it. One thing it knew for certain was that it would NOT watch the device do it’s work- enduring the sounds would be hard enough. For the briefest moment, the house considered feeling sympathy for the man, but quickly opted, instead, to wonder what the mortal had done to incur the wrath of the blonde vampire.
It would find out soon enough.
It started with a dry cracking voice, like the crumbling plaster of the mansion’s own deteriorating walls, “Who’s there?”
Silence met the question.
In the manner of all bullies, the man attempted to mask his fear with anger and hate, “Get me out of this!”
Still only silence.
“Listen you fuckwad, you’d better let me go.”
Cold, detached laughter chilled the already cool basement air.
Red fury covered the man’s words, “Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with?”
The laughter that erupted this time was dark and menacing. “Any idea who I’m dealing with, ho, that’s rich. Think you should be asking yourself that, mate. But ‘m feeling magnanimous so I’ll answer both questions. You- Anthony Harris, drunkard, abusive bastard, rapist, and general waste of flesh and oxygen. Me- your worst nightmare, the one who’s going to make you regret every hand raised in drunken anger, make you pay for every time you defiled him with your filthy body, every gram of pain and damage you caused- with interest.”
“What… what lies has that faggot son of mine been spreading?” The trapped man roared.
There was a hissing growl followed by a piercing scream.
When the vampire spoke next, it was with a frighteningly calm and patient voice. “NEVER. You will never speak that way about him again if you wish to keep your tongue.”
“Hmph, what’s it matter,” the elder Harris scoffed, “you’re gonna kill me anyway.”
A truly delighted chuckle rolled from the vampire’s chest. “Hardly. Oh no, rest assured, you will survive this- though you’ll wish you hadn’t. See Angelus may ‘ave been a psychotic bastard, but he taught his Childer well. The secret to a good torture is in the anticipation and giving the mind jus’ enough to work with so it turns in on itself. Done right it’s a beautiful thing.
“Could tell ya in deliciously vivid detail exactly what’s gonna happen. Be like a slasher flick in your head. But that’s too easy- the thing with slice and dices is the shock, sure it might get your blood pumpin’ the first time, but once the shock wears off ya start to process it and that takes all the fun out. Nah, what we want is more subtle. Want to associate, don’t we.” The blonde’s voice moved away from his captive, “Want you to hear this,” there was a tinny rattle and the rebars the man’s arms and legs were attached to wrenched upwards causing the man to gasp, “and this,” a more metallic sound echoed through the empty room with an added chink-chink-chink of chains as the harness was tugged and pulled, “and know you’re powerless to stop it. Ohhh and then there’s the best part- we’ll let that be a surprise though, shall we?”
The house could hear the smirk in the vampire’s voice and secretly, it shared it. If this ‘human’ did half of what the vamp indicated, he deserved everything he would be put through and more.
A pained wail brought the house’s attention back to tortured and torturer. With the clear distinct sounds emitted by the piece of equipment downstairs and the howls of the man trapped in it, the house had no trouble imagining the slow, tedious descent of the man as he was impaled by his own body weight on the shiny silver spike.
The entire process took hours, the device silencing every time the man’s screams did. Eventually, the rattles and the screams were replaced by the sudden ‘wheque’ and strangled cry accompanying blades sinking into tender flesh. The silence that followed was almost as horrifying as the caterwauling.
When the whimpers began, the house fully expected to hear the hum and hair-raising chalkboard squeal of the spike’s rotation. It didn’t expect the more subtle chink-chink of rattling chains as the unfortunate man was undoubtedly lifted upwards and the blood-curdling screams as he slid back down.
The cacophony of clangs, clunks, clicks, crackles, jingles, jangles, rattles, and rumbles paired with howls, yowls, screeches, squawks, wailing, and shrieking carried on for an indeterminable length of time.
Of all the things it had seen and heard, nothing had disturbed the house as much as this. As the chilling din continued, the once beautiful structure found itself hoping it’s foundation and supports would give way, collapsing in on itself and putting an end to the nightmarish sounds it couldn’t block out.
Then suddenly it was over; the noises and bawling stopped and within minutes the blonde vamp was lugging a miraculously breathing body up the stairs and out the front door.
Epilogue, or What A Vampire Thinks
Righteous indignation was a wondrous thing. A fact Anthony Harris could attest to… assuming he ever regained the power of coherent speech- not likely. He had learnt firsthand the wrath of a Master Vampire- who had learnt the fine art of torture from the great Angelus himself.
After Spike discovered the extent of the abuse Xander suffered at the hands of his father, he began plotting and experimenting. It seemed that the horrid piece of government hardware in the vampire’s head didn’t take offence to bodily harm against one Tony Harris. Spike didn’t look too closely at the why’s and how’s, though he did have a few theories and he had tested to see if the Chip still worked- unfortunately, it did. The blonde eventually decided the lack of pain had to do with his Sunshine. Maybe the Chip recognized he was trying to protect the human from a monstrous demon worse than any creature the Hellmouth could conjure. Maybe it was the Claim and the fact that the vampire would see himself dust before allowing harm to come to his precious boy. Whatever the case, Spike was glad of the loophole.
Now Spike was on his way home. The ‘filth’ as he’d taken to thinking of him had been delivered to a pack of surprisingly resourceful and incredibly tight-lipped demons who would ensure Anthony Harris and his soon-to-be-wrecked car were written off as yet another casualty of drunk driving. They were also left the responsibility of dismantling the device and cleansing the house of any evidence of the ‘filth’s’ presence. All Spike wanted now was his boy, he hadn’t seen his Sunshine in close to thirty-six hours, but they were thirty-six hours well spent.
On some level, Spike wished his Sunshine had been able to see and hear the festivities, but that wasn’t his boy’s way. His Xander was too kind for that.
When the vampire arrived home, Xander was at the door before the blonde’s key had slid into the lock.
“Missed you,” the dark skinned young man murmured as he wrapped his arms around his vampire in nothing short of a death grip.
The vampire returned the embrace, inhaling the scent of the one person who made him whole. “Back now.” Nuzzling into his Sunshine’s dark curls, “Sleepin’ okay?”
The young man did his best to shrug without changing their tight hold on each other.
“Thought's much. Let’s get you t’ bed.”
Laying in their warm bed, bodies reassuringly entwined, the two men drifted off.
Just before a restful sleep took him, Xander whispered, “It’s over, isn’t it?”
Smiling, the vampire tugged the mortal impossibly closer, “Yeah, Sunshine, it’s over.”
…and they lived happily ever after- or as happily as a vampire, a human, and an old mansion on a Hellmouth can.
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