Chapter no 47 – BREAKDOWN‌


Rock lifted his finger from the blood-drenched button beside Lacey’s mangled neck. He knew there would be rapid repercussions for his actions, but he didn’t care. He just wanted to see Donnie get through the ordeal. Maybe he was young enough to salvage. Maybe he wouldn’t have to become the diabolical tool that Rock had. His view had shifted; if nothing else, Donnie’s sheer perseverance showed he deserved to have a chance.

Rock was finally looking past his fears. He was no longer in a box and realized the walls erected to confine him were weak. He could’ve broken through them long ago.

Better late than never, Rock thought.

Outside of the disturbing domino effect that was surely unavoidable, setting them free was all that mattered.

There was a shift in the curled expressions of agony on Tom and Molly’s faces. The wrinkles flattened, their bodies perked up, and a surprising heartbeat of hope flickered within them.

“Thank—Thank you,” Molly said.

Part of her couldn’t believe he’d seen the light, but her skepticism had been disproven by the undeniable actions unfolding before her.

Tom and Molly both instantly transformed; the tears dried up, and the adrenaline was pumping. Change was afoot, but they understood they needed to ready themselves. They weren’t out of the woods yet.

While the loss of their offspring still weighed heavily on the Grimleys, there was an unavoidable survival instinct that continued to power them. The hatred and horror of the day’s events floated within, but they knew the mammoth man in front of them wasn’t the source of their agony.

The damages inflicted on Rock’s psyche and soul had left him open to manipulation. The man had been piloted by the dominant forces who created the playground. But the spell he was under had finally been lifted.

Tom and Molly clung to the arms of their chairs stiffly, astounded at the mere possibility of getting out of them.

“It’s over now,” Rock whispered.

He hung his head. A shower of shame encompassed his giant frame. The realization that he’d merely been a tool since he could remember was a bitter pill to swallow.

“It’s not over! What the fuck are you thanking him for!” A sudsy shot of spittle flared out from Greg’s lips. “My boys are dead! Dead! You took away my prospects! You took my future! You took everything! And for what?! Not to finish?! We always finish! The Matthews always finish Goddamnit!”

“Shut your fucking mouth!” Tom roared.

The wounds of Greg’s murderous instructions still fermented freshly in Tom’s brain. He was the reason his Sadie was sawed into slivers. He was the reason that Isaac was dissolving in the chemical pool.

“Why don’t you fucking make me, tough guy! You’re all talk! All talk!” “Let me out of this chair! Let me out of this Goddamn chair!” Tom


His malicious glare shifted to Rock. His eyes pleaded with him to release them. It was a look he’d given the big man before, but now it actually seemed feasible.

“That’s not going to happen,” Geraldine said.

Rock’s gaze drifted to the dark doorway where the outlines of two familiar figures stood. Their stoic postures and matching grimaces meant all business.

“The children haven’t finished playing yet! This is the best part! And it isn’t over until I say it is!” Geraldine screamed.

“Don’t listen to her,” Molly pleaded.

“You’ve always been a bad boy, but this is a new low, even for you. I’ve given you everything! More than most simple minds could even imagine! And you betray me?!”

Geraldine’s gawk was transfixed on Rock. The subtle but reliable tremor to his texture that she spotted with regularity was oddly absent.

There was something different about Rock’s demeanor. Something that left a micro mouth of fear nibbling at Geraldine.

Rock didn’t respond to her query. He would no longer entertain the mind games. He would no longer obey the wicked, wormy words that had previously penetrated him with such normalcy and ease.

He walked toward them with a purpose.

“What are you doing?! You can’t listen to her! She’s—She’s just a peasant! She’s beneath us!” Geraldine wailed.

In registering that Rock didn’t plan on breaking his stride, Geraldine looked to Fuchs.


Fuchs reached into his hazelnut vest and retrieved a Luger pistol. “Don’t test me, boy!” Fuchs threatened.

Rock’s fury could no longer be controlled. He saw Fuchs for what he was: a malignant extension of Geraldine.

Fuchs had stood by willingly while atrocities unfolded. He’d watched Rock devolve into the scared, abused animal he finally realized himself to be. The Nazi was fueled by an evil that should’ve been snuffed out ages ago. Fuchs may have been able to sidestep his horrific war crimes, but it was clear that he’d grown too long in the tooth for the dance Rock aimed to have with him.

Just as Rock’s hand wrapped around Fuchs’ wrist, the gun barrel aligned with the big man’s beefy bicep. When Rock cranked back on the old Nazi’s frail joint, his pruned finger squeezed down on the trigger.

The sound of Fuchs’ rigid forearm snapping and the bullet blasting happened simultaneously. Their extremities now each offered a certain degree of overlap. Rock’s smoky suit tone was now overrun by the cranberry cascade rushing from his arm, but the brute force of Rock’s wrath caused a cringe-worthy compound fracture, a break so severe the skeletal fragments had opened a gaping portal.

“Ahh!” Fuchs cried.

His wrinkled hand flopped sideways, losing all function. The 9mm left his touch and landed on the floor below. Fuchs remained stupefied as the outpouring of blood continued to sprout from the meaty chasm.

The bullet buried in his bicep didn’t faze Rock. While he grunted in agony and projected a scowl, the pain that resulted from the shot paled in comparison to his robust history of accumulated tortures.

Rock used his uninjured arm to muscle his mitt around Fuchs’ saggy neck. He clamped down on the German’s windpipe but soon realized strangulation was an exit too pretty for a father of such evils.

He keyed in on the black and red buttons affixed to the wall just feet away from them. Powering through the pain, Rock mustered the strength to palm the sides of Fuchs’ head with his hands. He aligned the elder’s graying scalp with the controls and unleashed his rage.

The explosion of energy sent Fuchs’ liver-spotted head smashing into the buttons. The action caused the steel neck collars that subdued Tom, Molly, and Greg to retract back into their chairs. Additionally, the many screens on the viewing wall were swiftly covered by the crimson curtains.

“Shows over,” Rock grumbled.

Geraldine’s mouth gaped with horror as she watched her faithful architect crash into the control panel he’d designed.

The back of Fuchs’ ripened cranium quickly conformed to the steel switches. Two gushing hollows bore into the back of his skull, busting through the bone before sliding downward toward his brain stem. The bloody hunks painted the wall behind the mechanism, while flocks of sparks arched upward around Fuchs’ head.

The electrical explosion jolted Rock, but he was able to pull himself away from it. He watched as Fuchs’ skull and frame rattled. His body language wasn’t something typically seen among the living.

The spark count and their intensity increased, causing the gray follicles on Fuchs’ scalp to catch fire and his eyes to warp outward. The pressure of the thrust from Rock’s hands had also left a heavy stream of blood raining hard from Fuchs’ bent beak and busted mouth. He had become a representation of the many messes that he’d created.

Tom and Molly slipped out of their chairs, taking cover behind them from the worsening horror. As much as they’d have wanted to make a move, the time was beyond risky.

Just behind them, Greg did the same. He looked up at Lacey’s lifeless corpse and tugged her arm toward him.

“Stay low, baby doll,” he whispered.

Then, like a porn star positioning for the money shot, the final surge of electrical current pushed through Fuchs’ destroyed dome. Each of his eyes transitioned to appear more like a pair of runny eggs as the liquefied lens

and sclera leaped out of his sockets. The sudden departure of his eyeballs was accompanied by a thick, gory reservoir of red and pink humanity.

The scent of burning flesh was distinct. It was an aroma Rock had smelled under undesirable circumstances before. One that brought him back to when his witchy guardian had seared her brand upon him. A memory of the period when he was just a piece of property.

In his new mindset, the idea only served to insatiate his bloodlust. The translucent drool of morbid but somehow moral delinquency dribbled out from his mouth.

It doesn’t stop here, Rock thought.

Fuchs’ undoing pushed a feeling of elation through Rock. But as the motion subsided and the flames on the Nazi’s head dwindled, the excitement for what came next possessed him. But as he turned toward the doorway, somewhat obscured by a thin veil of vaporized humanity, he realized he was late to the game.

Several flashes of white light accompanied by loud bangs manifested in front of him. The hot metal made its way into Rock’s gut repeatedly. The streaks of utter agony that ripped deep into his abdominal tissue, even with the compliment of his adrenaline, couldn’t be ignored. One of the paths the pair of bullets created died inside him, while the other made its way out of his lower back.

The stabbing pain brought Rock to his knees and left him clenching at his gut while blood spewed out of it. As he tumbled backward, the last barrage of bullets flew over his head, lodging into the wall behind him.

Groaning on the ground, Rock looked up at the smoke toward the silhouette in the doorway. The elderly, evil maiden of the manor’s outline was unmistakable. Geraldine continued to pull the trigger, but the hollow chamber of the Luger only produced a clicking noise.

“I think she’s out of bullets! We—We need to make our move now!” Tom yelled at Molly.

As Tom jumped up and took his wife by the hand, Geraldine’s outline disappeared from the doorway. But her presence, or lack thereof, suddenly was no longer the most menacing factor.

“Like hell you are!” A voice from behind them yelled.

Greg wrapped his firm arm around Tom’s neck before he was able to slip away.

“Leave him alone!” Molly screamed.

Greg muscled in his chokehold as deeply as possible. He stared at Molly with a grin of total depravity as Tom’s face rapidly transitioned to a dark shade of cherry.

“Like to talk a lot of shit, don’t you, sissy boy!”



Molly slipped around to Greg’s back and balled her fists. She flung her hands wildly as Greg tried to dodge the blows and choke Tom at the same time. Her knuckles bounced off the sides of Greg’s thick head, not producing the desired effect.

“Get off of him!” she shrieked.

Molly continued the rain of feeble shots like a pesky gnat until she finally got swatted.

Tiring of the repeated jabs, Greg transitioned his choke into a single arm submission but cranked back even harder on Tom’s throat. The adjustment allowed him to launch his free fist right at Molly’s ear.

The stiff blow landed on her temple, sending her reeling backward. The back of her skull crashed into the wall and her body skated down to the floor.

“Let the men settle it!” Greg said.

As the words came out of his mouth, Greg realized he was about to get what he wanted. However, he was not getting it in the way he’d hoped.

Greg didn’t even get to close his mouth before Rock’s bloody, sausage fingers pushed their way inside it. As Rock stood at Greg’s side, he pushed his fat digits deeper into his air hole. Rock’s mitt clasped around Greg’s jaw, as sweat secreted from the big man’s brow.

Rock wasn’t going to let the hurt he was feeling hinder him. As much as his belly killed him, he wasn’t dead yet. He wasn’t going to just stand by and watch while Greg slaughtered Tom and Molly.

He wasn’t that person anymore.

Greg was such a foul and familiar piece of shit. One that Rock felt like he housed hatred for long prior to meeting him. One he was eager to flush down the toilet.

Greg tried to bite down and keep his grip on Tom, but he soon realized that his jaw was no match for Rock’s power and will. His bulky fingers had become immersed knuckle deep in his mouth. Using the blood-like lubrication, Rock’s digits slithered deeper into the back of his throat.

Greg finally released his stiff grip, and Tom dropped to the floor. His arms flailed wildly, but he wasn’t capable of avoiding Rock’s power.

Rock’s mammoth mitt remained wedged firmly between Greg’s jaws as he drove his body into the ground. It wasn’t a secret that Greg had a big mouth. It was only fitting that, as Rock mounted his body and applied more

pressure, the flesh in the corners of Greg’s mouth tore. His most obvious character wart had finally shown itself.

Greg punched upward and kicked his legs about madly to no avail. Rock’s weight kept him pinned, and his lengthy arms covered enough distance to keep him above Greg’s striking distance.

The bleeding facial skin only continued to rip wider until Rock was wrist deep inside his head. His entire fist had found refuge inside Greg’s mouth.

Rock’s buttocks could sense the vomit and bile that was bubbling up from Greg’s gut. As his torso tremored, Rock could feel his bodily slime on his hand. His fingernails scraped against Greg’s moist uvula and extended into the sloshing vomit that had accumulated in the back of his throat. The pool of regurgitation didn’t deter Rock. On the contrary, it motivated him, letting him know just how close Greg was.

Lifting his other hand up, Rock took his thumb and index finger and clamped them over Greg’s nose. While he still attempted to emit an inaudible plea, Rock ensured that the request would be his final.

The big man’s dominant fingers sprung with the speed of a mousetrap, twisting sideways and snapping Greg’s nose bone. Rock watched the pathetic man as he continued to choke on his fist and the bum-rush of blood welling up in his nasal cavity. His glowing eyes adored what they saw.

Greg gagged like an old car trying to turn over until a lethal limpness found his frame. As movement in his body stalled out, the fight he always liked to talk about and use as motivation, was all but gone.

The father who viewed life as a constant competition had officially lost. Rock pulled his blood and puke-drenched fist out of Greg’s reamed opening. He dismounted the dead body and rolled himself toward the wall. The anguish on his face was overly obvious as he bit down on his lip and clenched his belly. While he was focused on killing, the gunshot wounds

didn’t seem to bother him so much.

Good thing. I ain’t finished yet, Rock thought.

Across the room, Molly remained smushed against the wall. While the violence she’d just witnessed was highly disturbing, the dreadful expression she donned wasn’t alone. Along with the horror came a forbidden feeling.

A dirty but irrefutable sense of satisfaction.

It sickened Molly to consider the notion. It was a result that felt impossible. The collective tragedies she’d experienced were enough to

somehow justify the inhuman pleasure she took while watching Greg slowly choke to death.

She stared blankly at Greg’s demented-looking corpse, finally able to exhale a sigh of relief. Suddenly, it was like her brain was plugged in again. She snapped out of her trance and Molly’s attention immediately shifted over to Tom.

“Oh my God! Tom! I—I can’t lose you too!” she cried. She shimmied over to his body and checked for a pulse. “I think he’s okay. At least, I hope he is,” Rock said.

When Molly turned him over, Tom’s face was purple. Her trembling fingers hesitated before tracing over his neck.

“He’s alive!” Molly yelled.

Her mind was racing at breakneck speed.

“We—We’ve gotta get the hell out of here! Before she comes back!”

“It’s not safe yet. She’s ain’t gonna let you live. You need to stay here,” Rock replied.

“What about the kids?”

“They’re trapped in the playground still. She won’t go for them until she’s dealt with us. Business before pleasure.”

“What are we gonna do then?”

We ain’t doing anything. I’m gonna take care of her. You and your husband just gotta lay low until I get back.”

Rock brandished an extreme grimace as he forced himself to his knees.

Molly watched the blood ooze out of his abdomen with uncommon generosity.

“You’re bleeding. It looks really bad.” “It’s nothing,” Rock lied.

“Let me at least try and stop the bleeding for you first.”

Rock thought about it for a moment and nodded. He needed to keep as much blood inside of him as possible, otherwise, he might not even reach Geraldine.

Molly didn’t have any prior medical training and even considered herself a bit squeamish, but the ghastly events of the day didn’t care. The situational struggle forced her to tap into locked-away knowledge, and run head-on into the things that made her uncomfortable.

Rock grunted in pain as Molly helped him remove what was once his fanciest attire.

With his blood-drenched jacket, white-collared shirt, and undershirt off, Molly could see a pair of small holes in his belly. She also took notice of a larger exit wound on his backside. But despite being confronted with the grisly violence, Molly couldn’t avoid the elephant in the room.

The bubbly flesh. The hidden torment.

The insidious branded letters that ran across the top of his chest that read: ‘MINE.’

Before Molly had even seen the shocking stamp, she wanted to believe Rock was different. During the time he’d watched over them, Rock never actually appeared invested in the horrible things happening to the children.

The subtle aspects of his character seemed to indicate he might not have had a choice in how the events unfolded. She had no idea how long he’d had the scar, but Molly knew with an instinctual certainty exactly who’d branded his chest.

As the red ran out of Rock without fail, there wasn’t any time to expound upon her thoughts. Molly balled up the white-collared shirt and set it on the exit wound on Rock’s back where the most blood was leaking.

After the first layer was applied, Molly took his suit jacket and wrapped it around the wounded area, securing the collared shirt against Rock. She placed his undershirt over the smaller bullet holes on his front side and tied the arms of his jacket together, tightening the clothing around him as snugly as she could.

Rock moaned in pain but didn’t shy from making his way back to his feet. He staggered forward, using the wall to brace himself.

“You’re in terrible shape. Are you sure this is the best way?” Molly asked.

“It’s the only way,” Rock replied.

Molly nodded her head. There was a stark sadness and dread squirming inside her.

“Just hang tight. I think I know where she is.” “Where’s that?”

“Where she feels safest.”

“What are you gonna do when you find her?”

Rock slowed his stride near Fuchs’ dead body. He looked down at the sick old bastard and watched as a bit of smoke continued to fume out from his ear holes.

He looked back at Molly.

“Something I should’ve done a long time ago.”

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