Angie blacked out shortly afterwards and only came round again after Khan had finished. She was now sitting on the dining chair next to Richard’s and Arthur was busily taping her ankles together. Maddox had slumped forward in his chair in utter despair and was crying softly; mucus dripping from his nose onto the threadbare rug beneath his feet.
Angie felt like she had been through hell. Her body ached and she was shivering violently from the coldness of the cellar.
Arthur looked up at her to see that she had roused. “Ah good, you’re awake. You slipped away before you could tell me anything.”
“But I don’t know anything,” Angie croaked, hoarse from all her screaming and feeling totally defeated. “I haven’t seen Jake in weeks – I promise. I don’t know what trouble he’s got himself into but it’s nothing to do with me or Richard, I swear.”
“But of course it is, my darling,” Khan said. “You’re Sawyer’s wife, those two children upstairs are his children. And you will tell me where he is.”
“But I don’t know. Please, believe me—”
“How can I believe you, my darling, when I know for a fact you are receiving money from him. Money that by rights belongs to me.”
“Please, Angela. Don’t insult my intelligence. I know very well that you have received two large payments into your bank account in the last two months and I know as well as you do who paid them. So I’ll ask you again. Where is your husband? Tell me and this will all become a lot less painful.”
“Look,” Angie was exasperated, not knowing what more she could say, “I’ve already told you. I don’t know anything. I don’t know where Jake is, I don’t know where the money came from – I can’t help you – if I could, I promise I would.”
“Fine,” Arthur said, rising to his feet. “I sense you’re bored and that you are determined not to tell me anything. Admirable. Very admirable indeed. So maybe it’s time I tried a different approach.”
Without any warning, Arthur lifted Richard Maddox’s head up by his hair and suddenly stabbed him in the shoulder, burying the knife right up to the hilt. Maddox squealed in muffled agony, his lips still fastened shut by tape as tears streamed from his eyes.
“Oh my God!” Angie cried, “No, stop it, stop!”
“Tell me, Angie. Tell me where Jake is,” Khan said as he calmly withdrew the knife, causing Maddox to squeal once more.
“Please, I swear – I don’t know—”
Khan then stabbed the knife into Richard’s other shoulder, again burying it to its full length. Richard writhed in agony, crying hysterically.
“Stop, please stop!” Angie yelled, seeing blood pumping from the gaping wounds in her lover’s shoulders and flowing freely down his arms and chest.
“Tell me, Angie.” Khan said again.
“I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know!” Angie roared, her teeth gritted, her face contorted with anguish and rage.
Khan shrugged, unaffected by her anger, then casually pulled the machete on his hip from its sheath. Briefly he admired the shine of the polished stainless steel before placing it between Richard’s legs, lifting up the sack of his testicles with the long flat blade. Maddox, already in an enormous amount of pain let out a muted wail; his mouth clamped shut.
“No!” Angie cried, “Please, no!”
“Tell me, then,” Khan shrugged impassively.
“You monster! You fucking sick, deranged monster – can’t you understand? Can’t you get it through your thick skull?” Angie yelled, “I don’t fucking know!”
Then, from the back of the room, at the bottom of the cellar steps, another voice spoke.
“Mummy?” Poppy Sawyer said. “Are you okay?”
Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here