He heard the words in his ears. They were his words. He felt as though something had snapped. His heart rate was elevated but he knew it wasn’t out of fear. His skin felt cold and clammy. He stared at Laura. That’s who she was. It was becoming clear to him now. Hank was grinning from ear to ear.
“I’m waiting for you to tell me Desmond. What now?”
“Complete the cross Hank.”
Hank moved the scalpel to the right collarbone and dragged it with slow precision to the right collarbone. Blood ran down her chest perpendicular to the cut like rivulets of water down a storm-pounded window. Both Hank and Desmond watched as some of it pooled between her breasts and then ran down onto the sheets.
Desmond watched as Hank carried out the rest of the mutilation exactly as it had been written. The more he witnessed of his story coming to life the more his mind widened to the things Hank had been saying to him since that first phone call. His mind was no longer reeling. It was as though a door hand been thrown wide open and a cleansing light had bathed him in the searing beams of its honesty.
When he was done and the body lay still and pale white against the blood soaked sheets Hank stood back and admired his handiwork. He looked at Desmond and saw the light of understanding in his eyes.
He walked over and released Desmond’s bonds and then went to the bathroom sink to clean his utensils. When he returned Desmond was still sitting in the chair staring at the body. Hank walked over to him and placed his hand on his shoulder.
“We have to go. It’s not good to linger.”
Desmond arose without a word and they walked back to the van and got in and drove away. Hank glanced over at him from time to time but Desmond stared straight ahead as if in a trance.
When they got back to Hank’s place they went inside and sat down at the kitchen table. Hank waited. At last Desmond looked at him.
“How did you know?”
“What you were? It was there all along Desmond. We’re brothers under the skin. I knew it from the first story of yours I read.”
“Yes, Desmond. I decided to liberate you. To make the scales fall away from your eyes.”
Desmond nodded and continued to look into Hank’s eyes. Hank could read him like a book now. He knew just what Desmond was thinking.
“There’s no going back now Desmond. We have much work to do you and I. We’re partners. It’s all part of the grand design. Wait here.”
He went into another room and came back with Desmond’s computer.
“I took the liberty of bringing your things here. We’ll have to move on soon but there is a bit more to be done here. Money isn’t a problem, we can move about freely.”
Desmond ran his fingers over his laptop and smiled.
“I have a couple of good ideas I’m working on.”
Hank smiled. “Excellent.”