Jacqueline hummed under her breath, considering the options. It’d been a long while since she’d last entertained a guest so she needed to be 100% sure she made the most of the opportunity. After all, her victims didn’t grow on trees - even though a couple of them may have finished up hanging from one. Or at least for a while until the police cut them down again.
She glanced down at the still-sleeping form in the cellar’s corner. The nylon ropes she’d used to bind his hands and wrists were tied so tight that he’d be bound to lose a lot of skin if he struggled but were still looped loosely enough to allow for circulation. It was so much better that way: she didn’t dull his senses and it left her the threat of permanent hand damage until much later in her process.
He was a snorer too. That really bugged her. Maybe it’d be best to wake him now and play with him a while. She’d easily got at least an hour and a half before the children got up. That was one of the benefits of being a single mom; you could spike their bed-time drinks with vodka and know for sure you’d not be interrupted until long after dawn each day. And the little darlings knew well not to mess with her projects in her work room. She’d made sure of that.
And Jacqueline was a ‘Jack’ of all trades too. Without having a regular man about the house she had to be, of course. And all the men down at the hardware store loved her, each of them falling over themselves to demonstrate their power tools for her. And they still all thought she’d got a thing for them - what with all her visits to the store to buy another nail-gun or a loop of rope or a long-burn professional specification blow torch.
It was a shame she could never invite one to come home to play with her. They’d all be far too easily missed, more’s the pity. Such a shame. There was one in particular she could have so much fun with.
But back to business. This man she had wasn’t going to torture himself. At least not yet!
Looking up at the lab clock fixed to the wall, Jacqueline readied herself. Jar of smelling salts. Check. Stoppered jar with a chloroformed cloth in it. Check. Soldering iron. Check. Nail gun. Check. Cordless mini-drill. Fully charged and ready. Check.
She tucked her fingers into the cord criss-crossing his body and reached up to draw the rope and hook down from the garage hoist she’d installed, hooking it through and then pulling down on the draw-rope, working with the pulley’s ratchet to raise his still-sleeping body up from the floor. Then, when he was sufficiently high enough, she slid him across on the slide-rail secured to the ceiling. And after that, lowering onto her work bench, tying him down and releasing him from the hoist was easy.
Mr Guy. Totally ready and unwilling to play.
Pulling the cork free from the smelling salts, she wafted the open neck of the bottle against his nose.
Callaghan came to quickly. The gag and the balled-up tights filling his mouth made it impossible for him to call out, so he gave up trying to call out after no more than a couple of minutes. The sight of the fearsomely sharp pair of dressmaker’s shears Jacqueline was holding helped calm him down too. Either that or he was just plain scared witless.
“Okay, Mr Guy,” Jacqueline smirked. She bent over him, placing her mouth against his ear, her lips almost close enough to touch him. “Now, we both know that wasn’t what you called yourself last night but let me tell you, I’ve a dreadful memory for names.” She laughed. “So for all practical purposes you’ll be Mr Guy from now on. You got that?”
Callaghan nodded, his eyes wide. Looking scared.
“Okay.” She pulled back from his ear. The next thing he realised there was a sudden snip and then a handful of hair falling onto his face.
“Now, Mr Guy,” she cooed, her face back against his. “That was just for starters. My way of giving you notice of intent. A warning shot letting you know you won’t be going home again.” She stepped back and then reached into his shirt, tenting it up away from his chest.
And then - Snip, snip, snip.
Callaghan lay quietly, afraid to move, the gag making his breathing difficult.
A few moments later, the shirt was gone. And then, a little while later, the trousers too. Jacqueline stood above him, dragging her hand up and down his arms, his legs, his torso. Enjoying the way he quivered and tensed wherever she touched. Loving the way his eyes bugged out and followed her every move. Studying him in the closest detail.
“Wait. What’s this?” Her hands slowed and stopped, her fingers and nails tugging at his skin. Jacqueline’s face reappeared, her mouth twisted into a frown. “Has Mr Guy got a boo boo?” she simpered. “Like a purple blotch on your neck? Like someone’s spilled a little port wine on you?” Her eyes flicked to one side. “Don’t you worry,” she said. “Even though they say this kinda stain won’t come out, I’m an inventive gal.”
There were a couple of metallic clicks and then a low whoosh. And then her hands reappeared near his face, holding a lit blow torch.
“Don’t you worry, Mr Guy,” she purred, a mischievous gleam in her eyes. “I’ve got a tool for everything!”