Chapter 1

Davidson's Death

Watching Davidson flittered around like a trapped bird was making me anxious. First he would tug at the ragged hem of his graying jumpsuit, then rub his nearly shaved head, pace around the small cell they kept us in before his trial only to sit in the straight backed chair and start the process over again. I endured three circuits of this before growling, "Enough already, Davidson." He looked at me quickly as if he hadn't realized I was there, then glared sharply.

"You don't have a reason to be nervous but I saw what they did to the last fellow that was convicted." He shuddered, a haunted looked going across his weather beaten face. Jonathan Davidson was arrested three years ago for the rape and murder of a four year old girl named Amelia. I have been his cell mate for the past two years since I had been arrested for my own crime and every night I'd listen as he whispered her name in his sleep. He relived the night he attacked her every time he dreamt, even though he swears every day that he never knew Amelia. A small part of me hoped that he would be sent back to the other court, to be spared the horrors that lay beyond the bolted doors. Though a bigger part of me, the serial killer, want Davidson to die so that I could watch life fade from his eyes and see his crimson blood cool on the ground.

The prison that Davidson and I were in was for the truly sick criminals that the public felt should be killed viciously, the ones that not even the electric chair was bad enough for. What they would do here is they would let the prisoners rot in here for about three years before coupling us up to go before the higher court. One of the two would give their side of the story and if the court decided that their idea for the man's death didn't fit the crime then he would be sent back to the lower court to have his death decided there. But if they felt that he did deserve a painful death then they would definitely give it to him. The court would then kill the man in a painful or humiliating way and his partner would be watching the entire time. After the first was proclaimed dead the second would go back to the mainstream, forbidden to tell anyone what he saw. The second would then wait until he was partnered up with someone else then it would start all over again only with him as the one in the spot light. It was Davidson's turn to be in the spot light this time, I would only be watching.

Davidson turned to me, his usually small dark brown eyes wide with fright. "Why do they do this to us? Why do they show us some of their twisted ideas for our deaths before hand?" He asked me, I regarded him with a raised eye brow.

"To terrify us. To make convincing them as difficult as possible because they want us all dead." I told him coldly, he nodded his head though he looked close to tears.

From the corner of my eye I saw the guards coming into view of the clear, bullet proof door. That was another thing in this place, there was no privacy what so ever. The doors were completely see through and there was a camera trained on you the entire time.

One of the guards slid back the slot in the clear door. "Inmate 9304-93Delta and Inmate 2083-93Echo, face the walls." I gave a challenging look to the guard before standing and doing what I was told. The guard wore all white, just like everything else here. They had white shoes, white pants, white shirts, and masks that were just white so that they had no features. That was the most jarring thing of this place, being watched with faceless people. They had no noses, no eyes, no lips, no anything. They were just blank canvases that would never have anything on them.

I rested my hands against the small of my back as the guards walking into the room. They slipped white zip ties around our wrists and pushed up our sleeves. I knew what was coming before I felt the needle go into my skin. They always drugged us before moving any inmate anywhere. I felt the ice cold drug rush into my veins and towards my heart before I fell forward, my guard was one of the nice ones and caught me before my skull bounced off the wall. Davidson's guard wasn't as nice.

We left the small cell, Davidson and his guard in the lead. My head was lulled back, I could see the lights flashing over head as my guard helped me walk towards some unknown destination. I'm not sure how long we walked for but in what felt like a few seconds I opened my eyes, looking around a dark room on an uncomfortable bed.

"Davidson?" I asked, my speech was slurred.

"Estes?" Davidson asked, his voice was high with fright.

"Yeah, it's me." I reassured him, then settled back against my bed.

"Estes…" Davidson hesitated. I looked in the direction of his voice. "I'm afraid and I… I… I have to tell you something." I settled back against the bed again, I knew he was going to confess to me so I waited patiently for him to continue. "You know how I said that I never knew Amelia?" He asked me a rhetorical question. "I lied, I saw Amelia every day before I went to work when she would walk with her mother to day care. And… I… And I… I did do what they accuse me of. I feel terrible about it now but I don't want to die for it… Do you think that's… normal?"

"Do I think it's normal to not want to die? Yes, no one wants to die no matter what they say. But do I think that you should get off just because you feel bad? No, I don't. I think that you and I should die here for what we did." I told him flatly, knowing that he wouldn't like my idea.

"Die here…" He repeated quietly. "I wish I could ask you that after you see what they do to me, I know it won't be a less painful death like Smith's."

Davidson was quiet for some time, "I want to tell you what they did to Smith, even though I am forbidden." He told me with a new found determination in his voice.

"Alright, it's not like I have much else to do." I said facing his voice again.

"Well, he went through his trail and they convicted him. He was the one who would stalk young, blonde women and rape them to death with their own things in their houses. They took him to a room with a metal table in the middle of it, I was up in a circular room with windows looking in. Then they showed him a little brown rat and told him that the rat would be the one to kill him. Smith laughed at them and told them that a rat could never kill anyone since all the deaths had to be finished in at least three hours. The guards didn't say anything to him, he sort of frowned like he wasn't so sure about what he said anymore.

"Then this little old man came in with a blow torch and a tin can, like a coffee can. The guard put the rat inside the tin can, then the old man put the open side of the tin can over Smith's stomach. Smith gave a weird chuckle and asked if the man was going to light him on fire. The old man just smiled and shook his head then started up the torch. Smith was tied to the table but he started jerking around. The old man then put the fire against the tin can. I was really confused until Smith started screaming, he was screaming that the rat was biting him.

"The old man just smiled calmly and said, 'Rats and mice will always escape any way that they can. Whether that escape would be through a hole or creating a hole through your stomach.' The rat took almost two hours to eat through Smith and he was alive the entire time, alive and conscious. To make things even worse the rat missed almost all his internal organs, and didn't even go near his spin so he bled out through a rat sized hole." Davidson told me in a haunted voice. I felt a strange shudder go through my body.

But Davidson kept talking. "I know that they will do worse to me because of how young Amelia was. I just don't know how much worse." He whispered, I started to shake.

"We all have to die, everyone in this entire prison should die for their part, even the guards." I whispered to him, clinging to my idea as hard as I could. I thought about what I had done, and wondered what they would do to me if I was convicted. I didn't want to think about it and thankfully they didn't give me any time to think.

One white- out guard came into the room. "Inmate 9304-93Delta and Inmate 2083-93Echo stand and walk towards the open door." Just as he said it a light was turned on and we could see the open door. I raised an eyebrow, this would be the first time I would walk somewhere without being drugged for a very long time.

Davidson looked at me with wide eyes. "They won't drug us because they want us to feel and see everything clearly." He told me in a haunted voice, I nodded and followed him out.

Davidson and I walked into a circular room with three judges sitting behind three tables. One was a woman in her mid forties with black hair pulled into a tight bun and she was the furthest on the right, the judge in the middle was a man in his mid to late fifties with a shiny bald head, and the furthest left judge was another woman in her forties with perfectly styled brown hair. They all had a hardened look that called for no nonsense and just facts.

"Mr. Jonathan Davidson, inmate number 9304-93Delta, you were arrested in 2067 for the rape and murder of Amelia Yancy. Is that correct?" The woman with black hair asked in a sever voice.

"That is correct," Davidson answered, his voice weak and shaking.

"You pled not guilty when you were tried in 2068 but were found guilty and sent to the Washington State Penitentiary then sent here in the same year. Do you still plead not guilty?" The man asked while shuffling papers.

Davidson hesitated, "No, I change to guilty." The blonde woman looked up and blinked at him, as if surprised but the other two didn't even shift.

"Will you please explain to the court why you did such a deed as the one you did to Miss Yancy?" The black haired woman asked as she brushed a lock of black hair out of her eyes.

Davidson looked down at his hands. "I don't know, I wanted to I suppose."

The blonde haired woman seemed to be waiting for him to continue but when he didn't she asked "Can you justify your actions to the court, please?" Her voice was softer but no less cold as the other two.

"I'm sick, I need to be helped not killed." Davidson whispered.

"Why then, Mr Davidson, did you never seek aid for this sickness? Or why was it never presented before, such as at your first hearing?" The black haired woman asked.

"I… I don't know." Davidson whispered.

"Do you believe you should be spared after killing an innocent girl?" The man asked, looking at him with cold eyes.

"No," He whispered.

All three members straightened, then the blonde woman said "If you would please step into the other room with Mr. Estes and the guard, the court will now deliberate."

Davidson stood with shaky legs and walked toward us. He kept his head down as we were escorted out of the room, the guard closed the door quietly and stood in front of it. Davidson looked at me and I realized he was crying.

"Estes, I'm going to die. Promise me that you will do whatever in your power to make sure that you don't end up the same. I know that you haven't told anyone why you were sent here but I found out and I don't believe you should die for what you did." I blinked at him in surprise, my mouth gaping like a fish trying to get air.

"How…?" I gasped but the guard cut us off.

"The court is ready for you." He opened the door and we walked in, I was still gaping at Davidson.

Davidson sat in the chair, all the hope drained out of him, the three judges were standing. "We the court of the United States of America have decided that Mr Jonathan Davidson, inmate number 9304-93Delta, will be placed in the White Board room until his death." The man announced. I stared at the side of Davidson's face as he went stark white.

"No…" He whispered, "No! Not the White Board room! PLEASE! Please not the White Board room! Please, I'll take the mouse! I'll take the ball anything but the White Board room! PLEASE!" He screamed, he started running towards the judges but two guards that I hadn't seen intercepted him then injected him with drugs. "Please! Not the White Board room, anything but that." He whispered as the drugs took a hold of him. The guards picked him up and walked through a black door, then closed it softly.

"Mr Estes if you could please follow your guard through the door on your left." The blonde haired woman asked me, I looked at her in surprise. She sounded sad, as if it wasn't just another damned murder but another human being that was just led through that door towards his death. I knew that the other two were so jaded that they though all the inmates in this prison should die, but she seemed to want at least a more humane death for us. I didn't say anything, I only nodded and followed my white-out guard through the door.

The guard led me to a circular room that had thick windows, I looked down to see a room covered in white boards. Though it wasn't the usual clean white that I was used to. There was dried blood smeared against the stark white, there were hand prints, splatter marks and huge lines that looked like something heavier then blood had run down the board. It was under one of these lines that I saw something about the size of a hand without fingers was caught in the eraser tray, upon closer inspection I realized that it was exactly that though it still had a thumb. There were human parts that lay around the room, a leg without a foot was against the opposite wall, what appeared to be part of a head with thick fluids still oozing out was directly below me and there were other unidentifiable parts littered around the room.

I had to look anywhere besides the room, so I looked at the guard. "Does it give you a thrill to be part of this?" I half growled.

The guard turned its featureless face towards me. "No," He answered and for the first time I thought of a guard as a person. "But don't judge me so quickly. You only have to see one person go through a horrible death, I've seen one hundred and seventy three men and forty eight women. There are nearly fifteen rooms in this building that serve as a place for the inmates to die. Each one seems more dastardly then the next but this one is always the worst." The guard told me monotone.

"And the old man?" I asked.

The guard gave a strange shudder, "The old man is the master mind behind all this. He was the one in 2045 that suggested this place and he is also the one that conceived all these rooms. The old man always says that this room is his favorite because it is closest to his heart. I don't know what that means and I don't want to know."

I nodded, "Why choose to work here then?" I asked, honestly curious that if he didn't give some sick pleasure from watching people die then why decide to work here.

I have a feeling that if I could see the guard's face it would have looked surprised. "All the guards here are men and women that were in the military then did something worthy of being court marshaled and imprisoned themselves. Being a guard here is sort of an alternative then sitting in a cell for the rest of your sentence."

"What did you do, then?" I asked, wondering why someone would choose to guard a bunch of murders then basically being taken care of.

The guard looked away from me, at least his face turned away from me. "I was part of a squad that forced two families into one straw hut, made the men rape the women, and burned it to the ground with them inside. If anyone tried to escape run we shot out their knees then left them to bleed out and die." His voice cracked at the horror of what he had done. "But there were no children, I made sure about that. One of the men in my squad saw a family that had two babies and wanted to put them in there but I refused. That's the only reason I chose this job instead of rotting in a cell because I saved two babies from dying."

I shook my head, "And you call us monsters when we're cut from the same block." I hissed.

He turned his face back to me, "I never said I was proud of it." He growled with indignity.

Just as I opened my mouth to reply a door opened and Davidson was shoved. He started trying to claw his way out of the door, then looked up at me. "Help me! Please! Don't let them do this!" He screamed at me even though he knew that I couldn't save him. "Please!" He sobbed, tears were running down his face.

A door opposite of the one that Davidson had been pushed through was drawn upwards, something was just inside the door so that I couldn't see but Davidson could and he gave a shriek, the started trying to claw at the door again. He was screaming, high pitched and terrified like an animal. I watched in horror as he scratched so violently that his nails were torn off and instead of leaving nail marks on the white door he left streaks of blood.

A dog lunged out of the door, only to stop short because of a chain. I could see that the dog was rabid, there was foam ebbing out of his mouth as he snarled and snapped at the end of his leash. He was also beaten badly, thick chucks of skin were missing from his back and his sides. His left foot looked infected because there was puss oozing out of it. I frowned, knowing something was missing from this horrific scene.

That's when something else came slinking out of the door. It was a man, though I had never seen anything like him before. He was naked, his lean body surprising clean, his hair was cut short and a shiny dark brown. If the man hadn't been naked in a room with a rabid dog and a screaming man, he could have passed for normal. He crouched down behind the dog, I knew that Davidson hadn't seen him. Then he did something that chilled my soul, he grinned. The man, if you could call him a man, had dark brown eyes that showed that nothing human was inside that thing.

The thing gave a snarl that made Davidson look over his shoulder. Davidson screamed again, though stopped trying to go through the door and instead curled into the fetal position. The thing leapt over the dog and grabbed Davidson by the jumpsuit collar then threw him towards in the direction of the dog. The dog ripped into his arm and tore away a large chuck of flesh, teeth cut into Davidson as it jerked its head from side to side trying to tear off another piece. Davidson shrieked in pain.

The thing was crouched, watching the dog tear into Davidson. It quirked its head to the side, still grinning, then lunged into the fight. It used its fingers to claw at Davidson's face, trying to get to his eyes. Davidson tried to fend off the dog and the thing at the same time though both got past his flailing arms. The dog tore into his unprotected side as blood poured out of Davidson's arm. The thing wrapped its large hands around Davidson's head and pressed its thumbs against the man's unprotected eyes. The thing's nails scratched strips of Davidson's scalp off as his eyes popped under the pressure, the thing's thumbs went through where his eyes used to be and into his skull.

The thing released Davidson's head and crouched a few feet away again as the dog continued tearing into him. Davidson screamed the entire time as he tried to cover his now eyeless face but the dog was still ripping his side apart. The thing watched, as if trying to think of another plan of attack. The idea came to it and it went for Davidson again. It grabbed his head again though this time it looked as if it was going for a kiss, instead it bit hard into Davidson's tongue and jerked backwards. Davidson tried to get the thing away but it kept a tight grip as it jerked at his tongue. With a sickening snap the thing jumped away with Davidson's tongue between its teeth. I covered my mouth, trying not the vomit.

Suddenly a voice came over a speaker system, making me nearly jump out of my skin. "End it, Damien." The thing looked up towards the loud speaker then turned back to Davidson, another terrifying grin on his bloody face. It swallowed Davidson's tongue before jumping at him one last time. Its fingers dug into Davidson's throat, tearing away chunks until his screams ended in a bloody gurgle. It dipped its face towards Davidson's neck and tore away pieces with its mouth as its hands did. It moved its face back as I saw its strong arms wrap around Davidson's spine, its shoulders strained until a loud crack made me jump. The thing tore Davidson's head away from his body, the only remaining few strips of skin provided no trouble for it. It looked up at me, its dark brown eyes locking on mine, I could see human intelligence in those eyes. It grin again its mouth bloody and pieces of Davidson's throat caught between its teeth, then threw Davidson's head at me. I leapt back, then fainted.

I opened my eyes, an unknown time later. An old man was leaning over me, staring into my face. I screamed and shoved at him. The man chuckled and retreated to a large recliner. Against the dark green of the chair, he looked like a child whose feet didn't even come close to touching the ground.

"How did you like the little preview?" The man asked in a weak voice.

"Are you the old man? The one that created this place?" I asked, my voice trembling.

"The very one." He smiled like an old grandfather smiling down at his favorite grandson.

I shuddered, "You're sick, you're worse then every criminal in this place. The only difference is that you get paid to do these things." I hissed, I wanted to kill him here, now.

He chuckled again, "It may not come as a surprise to you but you aren't the first to call me sick. But you shouldn't worry, you won't die the way that Mr. Davidson died. No, your crimes are almost heroic if you think of them without the law." The old man smiled at me. "Though of course, you are a killer so you will die. It might be the Maiden Room, or the Tennis Room, though probably not the Hot Room."

A morbid curiosity took over me, "What are those? Maiden Room, Tennis Room, Hot Room, what are they?"

The old man smiled, as I had done something that pleased him. "The Maiden Room is a room that has an Iron Maiden hung over a fire pit. Though this Iron Maiden isn't the same as most, there are no spikes in the head area or the heart area. And the spikes are only so long that they would cause you to bleed out instead of instant death. Also since the Iron Maiden is metal it is heated over a fire pit to the point of causing third degree burns on your sensitive little feet." He smiled and I wanted to vomit. "The Tennis Room was created when I heard about the way that the Ancient Chinese used to torture people. They used to place a metal ball at the end of a string then bounce the ball against a person's head for many months until their skulls would crack and the person would die. I understand that it was very painful. Though since the law says we cannot exceed three hours we rigged up a tennis ball shooter that would throw steel balls at your chest instead. But we made sure that, unless you have an incredibly weak chest, the balls would only crack your ribs until the second hour where we turn the machine's power up so that the balls would break your chest and kill you. Then the Hot Room is a room that is cranked up to two hundred and ninety three degrees Fahrenheit with fires burning along the walls and heating under the ground. The longest anyone has ever lasted in the Hot Room is half an hour, I do feel pity for that woman." He smiled again, as if he was discuss the weather instead of talking about horrific rooms that killed people.

A question came to me, "Why did you say that the White Board room was closest to your heart?" I asked quickly, the old man smiled.

"Well, that idea came to me in a dream after I acquired my son, Damien." He smiled, I gasped.

"That… That thing was your son?" I gaped.

The old man continued to smile. "Of course, he's not my biological son. His mother was a crack whore who sold him to a man named Christopher to be used as a sex slave for fifty dollars so that she could pay off her drug dealer when he was seven. I bought him from Christopher when he was nineteen for only twenty dollars because Damien had murdered one of Christopher's clients after breaking free of his restraints. Now I won't tell you the exact details but how I understand it is that Damien ripped the man to pieces and had started eating him when Christopher came in to check on them."

"Why would it… he start eating the man?" I asked, horrified.

"Christopher refused to feed him and the other substance that Damien was allowed was the food that the clients gave to him and the sperm that he swallowed." The old man said sadly, though he brightened at a thought. "But he is fed very well and regularly here, it is the humane thing to do."

I gaped at him. "Humane? That thing tore a man apart when he was still alive. And if you hadn't told him to end it he probably would still be torturing him!" I shrieked, standing and towering over the man.

The man looked at me coldly, "Damien is not a thing and I would appreciate you not speaking of my son as if he were a monster. He was never given any love and used since he was born, that isn't his fault. He is now being employed doing the only thing he knows how to do." The man justified for his son.

I clutched my arms around me. "Your son is a monster, there was nothing human in that face." I whispered, remembering the way that thing grinned at me before throwing Davidson's head.

The old man chuckled again, "Perhaps you just weren't able to have a good impression of him. I would like you two to get reacquainted." He turned before the words registered. "Damien, come in here please." He said over his shoulder.

I sucked in air and watched as a door was pulled open. The thing that I saw crouched naked in the corner with pieces of another human hanging out of its mouth walked in, upright and fully clothed. It was wearing a tasteful three piece suit and all the blood was cleaned from its body. Seeing that thing look so civil made it hard to think of him as an it, as something that wasn't human when he looked towards me the same dark brown eyes. A faint smile twitched on his full lips and I realized that he would have been incredibly handsome if I hadn't seen tear a man apart.

"Damien, my boy, have a seat where I can see you." The old man smiled cheerfully, Damien's handsome face split into a wide smile.

"Yes, Father." His voice was deep and husky, I would image that a voice like that would be perfect for bedrooms across the world.

"Ah, so, Mr. Estes witnessed Mr. Davidson's trial." The old man said, he was still smiling broadly at Damien.

Damien did something I hadn't expected, he looked down as if embarrassed. "That was you, Mr. Estes, in the above room?" His looked up at me and I realized that his eyes weren't just a plain dark brown but a dark hazel with flecks of green.

I nodded wordlessly, Damien smiled in an embarrassed sort of way. "Pardon me for acting so childishly and throwing Mr. Davidson's head. That was quite rude." I gaped at him, at his polite tone and complete disregard for the fact that he just tore a man apart. But mostly I was shocked at how pleasant Damien was, how easy it would be to believe that what I had just witnessed was nothing more then a terrible nightmare and that the man in front of me, looking so normal, couldn't have possible thought of doing that to anyone, let alone actually going through with it.

"Mr. Estes, your mouth is open." Damien reminded me gently, I promptly closed it.

"Do you still believe that Damien is a monster, Mr. Estes?" The old man asked, chuckling again. I saw Damien looked down, almost ashamed at the way his father was speaking of him.

"Father…" Damien whispered, as if quietly reminding him that he, Damien, was indeed sitting right there.

I started to shake my head, then nod, then go back to shaking my head. "I… I don't know." I whispered. I wanted to like Damien, I wanted to thinking that he wasn't the mindless monster that I had seen but I couldn't get his grinning face out of my head.

"You don't know? Well, that's no good. Perhaps you need to spend more time with Damien, maybe then you'd realize that he is no monster. Just an employee doing his civic duty." The old man said in a tone that made me think he was proud of Damien.

"No… I mean… I don't think…" I stammered and stuttered, I didn't want to be alone with this man. "I've just lost a friend, I'd like to be alone." I lied, there was a faint quiver in my voice that I chose to ignore.

The old man's face sobered, "Oh, of course. How rude of me." He looked down at the bed then his looked back up. "Mr. Davidson was a friend of yours, no?"

"Davidson and I had been cell mates for several months, I was fond of him." I stared at the blanket, remembering Davidson curling into the fetal position. "He was sorry for what happened, he didn't deserve to die like that."

The old man frowned, "Mr. Estes, he raped and murdered a four year old girl. What death would you have chosen for him?" His voice was gentle but firm, I saw his logic.

"I don't know, nothing like that though." I answered vaguely.

"He tortured that girl, that child." The old man said.

"He was sorry." I murmured.

"But the girl is still dead and her parents still don't have their daughter."

"He didn't deserve to be ripped apart, it's not the humane thing to do." I snarled viciously. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Damien's face go flat, there was no expression and nothing human I could talk to now.

"You're upset, Mr. Estes. I think we should leave him be now, Damien." The old man rose shakily to his feet, Damien didn't try to help him stand. I thought that that was odd, since this was the man who saved him from worse things.

The old man shuffled towards the door, Damien a few steps behind him. The old man turned, "Perhaps you could have lunch with Damien, tomorrow? Since you won't have a cell mate for several more days, Damien can keep you company." The old man laughed, "We don't want you to go mad in the white prison, now do we?" He chuckled all the way out the door and it was cut off when the door gently closed.

As the old man was slowly dragging himself away Damien glanced at me with a look I couldn't understand. His eyes held sadness, horror even. I wondered if he felt bad for what he'd done or if he felt bad for me about what was going to be done to me.

A guard came in as they disappeared from sight, it startled me because he wasn't announced like they always were. He held a syringe in his right hand, I offered him my arm. I'd take sleep right now, even if it's a drugged one. He stuck me and I felt the ice traveling to my heart. I was asleep before I hit the pillow.