He touches the knife against the soft skin beneath the boy's chin, their eyes locked in a contest to the death.

"Remember, boy, your mother is just on the other side of this wall. Either you tell me, or I go in there and hurt her. And I'll make sure you hear her screams."

The boy swallows dryly, afraid that the blade will cut into his skin, but unable to stop himself. An itching prickle forms on his neck, and the boy holds himself still, at last closing his eyes. Tears stream down his cheeks in uneven lines.

"Okay," the boy says pitifully. "I'll tell you."

"Good boy," the man says easily, sitting in the folding chair across from him. A notpad and pencil appear in his hands. "Tell me."

The boy's lips tremble and he licks them, tasting thin snot. His arms ache, twisted behind the back of the chair, wrists bound together. He blinks until the tears clear his eyes enough for him to focus on the man. He is determined to study him, every detail, every word, so that if he ever got away, he could find him and kill him.

"Go..." The boy begins, his eyes widening, his heart fluttering.

"Go where?" The man demands irritably, leaning toward the boy, but just out of head-butting range.

"Go to hell!" The boy shouts, and he hacks up and mixture of mucus and tears and spits it onto the man's face.

The man leaps to his feet. Anger burns within his bones. His face reddens. The boy pulls a face of utter hatred at him, but there is pride in his eyes. The man snarls and slashes the knife across the boy's throat, then kicks him in the chest.

The chair thumps on its back and the boy's head knocks against the tile floor, and his startled gurgling is reduced to a low, hissing, bubbly sound as the boy falls into unconsciousness.

The door bangs open, the door-knob punching into the drywall. The woman screams as he turns to her with a bloody knife in his fist.

The woman knows her son was in the other room, and despite her fear she strains to see around the man, for he left the door open. But there is nothing to see except a white fridge and a kitchen sink.

"Where's my son?" The woman cries, pulling at the belts that hold her to the mattress.

He doesn't answer. The man goes up to her and flicks the tip of the blade under her shirt, slicing upwards. Her shirt flaps open and the man snatches onto her left breast and rips away the bra. She lets out a yelp and immediately is reduced to begging.

"Please," she whimpers. "Please, stop this."

"Are you going to tell me where it is?" The man asks, his tone condescending and cruel. The knife pauses at the zipper of her jeans.

"First tell me where my son is," she offers. Her voice did not come out as strongly as she had desired. "Please... Where is he?"

"Dead," the man tells her bluntly.

"What?" The woman bucks wildly against the restraints, bouncing furiously on the soft, springy mattress.

The man smiles cooly. He presses the palm of his hand into her abdomen, forcing her to be still.

Tossing her head defiantly, she blubbers senseless curses and her makeup turns her ugly as it smears and runs down her face.

The man pulls her jeans down just so, the waist bunching at her thighs. Her thongs are soft pink. He cuts them off with the knife, then wipes the rest of the boy's blood on the stretchy fabric in a manner he considers appropriate.

The woman tries to prepare herself for being raped and murdered, but, since it has never happened to her before, there is nothing she can compare it to to console herself.

The man touches her privates with the hilt of the knife. The wood is cold, yet warm from the man's hand. The woman groans pathetically and begs once last time for him to stop. But instead of obliging, the man flips the knife back around and stabs her in the stomach.

He tosses the knife behind him and it vanishes into the thick carpet without a sound.

The woman's arms strain as she longs to cup the wound with her fingers, but there is no way. Blood swoons out of the hole and oozes on either side of her hips, bright red and hot. The mattress does its best to swallow, but much of the blood runs off the edge of the bed and drips to the carpet.

The man's hands smack onto her shoulders, holding her still. He pulls his penis from the folds of his own jeans and shoves it inside the woman's privates. He fucks her hard, disturbing the hole in her stomach and flooding her insides even further as his force shoves her up and down against the bed.

He never reaches his climax.

When the woman begins to vomit blood, his face becoming splattered in the process, he withdraws from her and stands, huffing quietly for breath, and watches her choke and die.