“Eric? What would you like Freyda to do with her?” Thalia’s quiet accented voice brings Eric out of the contemplative state he had fallen in. His eyes had been transfixed on the sight of his first progeny bound by silver on the floor of his club. Pam’s eyes had pleaded with him over the gag that held the silver in place over her mouth. A part of Eric had worried that when it came time to actually punish Pam that he wouldn’t be able to do it; that the love he felt for his progeny would stay his hand or force him to have someone other than himself to punish her. Looking at her shackled body, with the smell of burnt flesh tainting the air and wisps of smoke rising from her charred flesh, Eric felt nothing. There was no longer any love for Pamela. In her attempts to kill his love for Sookie, she had inadvertently killed the love her maker had felt for her.
“Take her to the basement,” Eric says with no emotion in his voice. “You will find shackles down there to secure her to my wheel of doom. Remove the gag from her mouth. I need answers to my questions; she cannot give them to me if she no longer has a tongue.”
Freyda hoists Pam’s struggling body in her arms and strides to the door leading to the basement. She may have accidentally allowed Pam’s head to hit the wall and the door in her hurry to carry out Eric’s instructions. Thalia watches as Eric moves in the opposite direction her progeny has taken. He walks down the hallway to his office. Once inside, he goes to the refrigerator and pulls ten bags of donor blood out. His fangs puncture the plastic bag on one of the cold bags as he places five bags in the microwave to heat up. He drains the bag of cold blood quickly, tossing the empty bag to the side before puncturing a second bag of blood as he waits for the microwave to ding. Once the microwave finishes, he replaces the warmed bags with the cold ones and presses the express button to heat the blood for one minute. He drains the five bags just as the microwave dings again. With all the bags drained, Eric’s cheeks are flushed with so much color one would think he was wearing blush. He feels overly full, and it feels as if his stomach is sloshing as he walks.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Thalia blocks the entrance of Eric’s office, preventing him from leaving the room. “I know she deserves everything you have planned for her, but it does not have to be by your hand. Freyda and I will handle this for you.” Thalia knows how painful this will be for Eric. She had been forced to punish Freyda when she was a young vampire. It had been nowhere near as drastic as what Eric will be doing to Pam, and Freyda had deserved it, but that didn’t make it any easier to handle the pain, hurt, and sorrow that she could feel coming from her beloved child. That one experience had been enough to where Freyda had never disobeyed her again, and for that Thalia was thankful. Her punishing Freyda had possibly hurt her more than it had hurt her child.
“I appreciate the offer, but it has to be me,” Eric says firmly. “I have let Pam have her way for far too long. She needs to know that her actions have consequences. And I think she knows more than what I have been able to gather. She will tell me everything she knows,” Eric finishes ominously. Thalia nods her head in understanding and backs up so that Eric can pass by. His heavy strides echo in the stillness of the bar, and each step taken down the stairs to the dark basement has a sense of finality to it.
Freyda stands off to the side of the room, her eyes fixed on the debacle that is Sarah Newlin. The stench of bile, urine, and feces hangs in the air. It seems no one has seen to Mrs. Newlin’s needs since Eric stormed out of Fangtasia learning of Pam’s betrayal. When she had been abducted in Dallas ten years ago, that had been the start of her psychotic break. She saw visions of all the dead men she had fucked in her life trying to get ahead. Her madness had only deepened over the decade that Pam had kept her shackled in the basement. She was forever in her own reality where she was taunted by her dead ex-husband. You would think being a captive for ten years would have destroyed Sarah Newlin’s body, but thanks to regular infusions of vampire blood and a workout routine that Pam oversaw, she was still as fit and trim as the day she had been captured. Pam had been selling an experience when she was selling Sarah Newlin’s blood; those that were willing to pay to drink the Hep V cure straight from the source expected to see the annoyingly perky blonde with a shapely body. Pam showcased the shapely body in different lingerie outfits, making it easier for the paying customers to drink the blood from whatever artery they chose.
Eric stares with antipathy at Sarah Newlin, a reminder of everything he has lost and everything that he hates. In actuality, he has not seen Sarah Newlin in years though he has sat above this very basement nearly every night. Eric had wanted no part of selling Sarah Newlin’s blood to the highest bidder. He wholeheartedly believed that she deserved to suffer for her crimes; she deserved to suffer for her role in the True Deaths of Godric and Nora as well as his near demise from the Hepatitis V infection. The problem was that he never knew how he wanted to make her suffer. Killing her would have been too quick, too easy. Depriving her of her freedom and the right to an existence seemed like a just punishment in Eric’s eyes, but he had wanted nothing to do with the day-to-day responsibilities that came with having a prisoner. Ginger had been glamoured to handle those responsibilities. As for exacting physical punishment on Sarah, Eric couldn’t find it in himself to do it. It’s not that she didn’t deserve it; she had enjoyed inflicting pain on the incarcerated vampires in Burrell’s Vamp Camp and more than one vampire had met their True Death as a result of her punishments. Eric could never explain to Pam why he’d never tortured Sarah, because he didn’t understand it himself.
“It seems you have quite the collection of blondes in your basement. I’ve never been happier to be a brunette,” Freyda says cheekily. Eric’s eyes flicker to her briefly before resting on Sarah Newlin again.
“Have you come to finally kill me?” Sarah’s voice is hopeful and fearful at the same time. Her body trembles, whether from fear or the damp chill in the air, Eric does not know nor does he care.
“Yes,” is all he says and Sarah lowers her head in resignation as tears fall from her eyes. Ever the hospitable host, Eric offers Thalia and Freyda a chance for some refreshment
“I’d rather drink the blood of a dead pig before I put any part of her in my mouth,” Thalia spits out venomously. Freyda nods her head to signify she feels the same as her maker.
Eric advances on Sarah slowly, allowing the enormity of her imminent death to fully sink in to her consciousness. Sarah falls to her knees, crying as she recites the Lord’s Prayer. Eric stops in front of her, waiting for her to finish her recitation. When she says “Amen” Eric twists her head in his hands, snapping her neck. Sarah slumps to the floor, her lifeless eyes staring at Pam’s shackled body.
Eric turns to face Pam, her eyes filled with fear as she realizes she will receive no mercy from her maker. She tries to reason with him, say anything that will get her out of this situation, but he backhands her to silence her. The force of his blow sends her head bouncing into one of the steel rods she is tethered to. He hit her so hard that her fangs pierced her tongue, filling her mouth with blood. Eric grabs her roughly by her hair, dragging her head up so she can see the murderous intent in his eyes.
“You will tell me everything I want to know. No more lies. Nothing will save you this time,” Eric says coldly. Pam whimpers as he shoves her head away from him. Walking to the wall near the stairs, Eric presses on one of the concrete cinder blocks. The block slides out of the way to show a hidden mechanism. Eric presses the button and waits as the wall slides back revealing a hidden shelf holding daggers, pincers, pliers, clamps, and various other items that can be used to inflict an incredible amount of pain on the body. Pam begins to struggle in earnest as Eric slips on a pair of black leather gloves.
“As you can see, I had some improvements done to the basement after we had the fire damage from dealing with Mr. Gus and the rest of the Yakuza. This will be the first time I get to use these items. I wouldn’t want you to think I’m using inferior items on you. You’ve always demanded the best after all,” Eric says hollowly as he selects a few instruments from the shelf and walks back to her. Freyda, who is still wearing her gloves, steps forward, offering to hold the silver items that Eric won’t be using, so that he can use both hands for whatever it is he has planned.
“Thank you Freyda,” Eric says politely. He hands her everything except for a serrated silver dagger. The cold mask of indifference is back on his face as he begins to systematically cut the clothes from Pam’s body. One of the most effective weapons at the disposal of someone inflicting torture on another being is humiliation. Eric knows that Pam will know all of his techniques when it comes to torturing someone; he did teach her everything he knows in this regard. However, Pam has never experienced it for herself. Eric knows that Pam is a very vain, proud person and having her body bared like this with others she will consider inferior present will be a great humiliation to her. He is not careful with the blade, cutting into Pam’s flesh several times as he removes every item of clothing from her body, including her shoes, leaving her naked as newborn baby.
“Before we go any further, I will ask you my first question. Sookie came to you less than a week ago, indicating that someone had watched her for several days. You turned her away, saying it wasn’t ‘your fucking problem’. Do you know who it was? Is it someone you are working with?” Pam stares at Eric indignantly, refusing to answer his questions. “You think I won’t hurt you because you are my child,” Eric says softly when Pam continues to say nothing. “But there is something you fail to understand child. I am your maker; I can do whatever I want with you. You will talk; you will tell me everything I want to know. Whether it is tonight or a month from now, I will know everything; the only thing that will change between now and then is the amount of pain you will suffer.” With the skill of a practiced surgeon, Eric begins slicing off bits of Pam’s flesh as she cries out pitifully. To make sure the flesh will not heal, Eric lays the flat edge of the blade against the wound, cauterizing the skin so it cannot stitch itself back together. A pile of flesh lies in ribbons at Eric’s feet. He stops after removing a strip of skin from the underside of Pam’s left arm, inspecting the fileted skin. “I have taken a pound of flesh from your body. Perhaps you will now answer my earlier questions.” Pam stubbornly refuses to answer, which causes Eric to chuckle humorlessly. “So stubborn; I used to admire that trait in you, thinking it endearing because you were steadfast in your devotion to me. Now I find it tiresome; the only one that suffers through all of this is you. I feel nothing.”
Two hours later, Eric, Thalia, and Freyda walk out of the basement of Fangtasia. In two hours, Pam had given up nothing of use. The only words she had spoken were pleas for Eric not to do this to her, that everything she did was for him. He had not thought she would give everything up easily, but it may take longer to break her than he has time for.
“Do you really think she had anything to do with this Sookie’s disappearance?” Freyda had watched silently as Eric removed the epidermis from more than 75% of Pam’s body. Once he had finished, he disappeared from the basement, the sound of running water indicating that he was at the bar above them. He had returned with a large bucket of water, where he poured a bottle of silver body glitter. Eric had ordered Thalia and Freyda to stand on the stairs and then he proceeded to splash the silvery water on Pam’s body, the water acting as an adhesive so that the glitter would stick to her skin, preventing her from healing during the day. Watching Eric work had been a thing of art, and Pam’s body was his canvas.
“I don’t think so,” Eric says with a sigh. “I received a phone call from Sookie’s captor this morning actually. He said that he wanted me to lose everything I cared about before he ended my existence. Pam wouldn’t be involved in a plan that was engineered to hurt me.”
“Then why torture her? She’s not going to be able to give you any information. End her once and for all,” Thalia says angrily. “Pam is a distraction you do not need now; you need to be focused on finding Sookie.”
“Find her how Thalia?” Eric whirls around to face the woman that he has often viewed as the mother figure he lost when his human mother was brutally murdered by Edgington’s wolves. “There are absolutely no clues to who have taken her. I have no idea if she is in this realm or another. I have all of my contacts around the world combing for some sign of Sookie. But I have nothing, NOTHING, to go on,” Eric says with barely controlled fury because of how impotent the entire situation makes him feel.
In an office somewhere not too far away, a TV shuts off as the person with the remote control chuckles with great mirth. “Oh my dear Eric, I shall enjoy watching you suffer. I have waited for this moment for years. It is true what they say; revenge is a dish best served cold.” He begins chuckling again as he thinks of the next stage in his plan.