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Outlandish New Ways to Punish Strangers


‚If you try anything, I will kill you. Do you understand??
‚Yea—please yes I’ll do whatever you say please don’t kill me please.?
‚Pick up the phone, hit send, apologize.?
Cautiously he moved his arm toward the phone. I let him take it, watching him
from the foot of the bed. He brought the cell in front of his face, slowly, and hit the send
button. The phone lit up with color and I could see his face in the white light. His
expression was mortified and tears gleaned his cheeks. He was still swollen from the
beating I had given him before. He hit another button and the ringing on the other line
became audible.
One ring. Two. Three. Four. Five.
‚Hello, this is Matilda. I’m unable to take your call right now but if you’d like to
leave a message with your number, I might get back to you.?
The voice was youthful, happy, with a gentleness of tongue.
Clay the Caffeine Junkie lost all color in his face as soon as the voice spoke the
name.
A FLAS H of LIGHT, an explosion of plaster from the wall next to his head.
‚Apologize!?
BEEP.
‚Uh, hello, Maddie, this is Clay and I, uh, I’m very, very sorry.?
From the foot of the bed, I moved to his side and placed the muzzle against his
temple, calming myself a bit.
‚You got reasons to be sorry? Tell her you’re sorry, tell her why.?
He started to bawl, crying out to me, ‚I’m sorry but uh I don’t have—?
I couldn’t wait.
FLAS H of LIGHT.
And then Silence.
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