Part Two- Preparations for Torture
‘Motion… Lights… Voices… Laughter… Bright light, shining… Constriction… Darkness, surrounding me… Laughter, horrible… ’
Slowly but surely, Vikki regained consciousness. Her eyes opened, but not that it made any difference. It was pitch black in the room, wherever she was. She looked down, but couldn’t even see her own body. It was then that she realized that it wasn’t the amount of light in the room at all, but rather, there was a velvety feeling cloth wrapped around her eyes. Vikki instinctively tried to reach up and remove it, but discovered that she could not move her arms. She moved her hands the small amount that she could, and felt around. She could tell that her hands were tied together behind her back, and, trying to move her legs, realized that they were also tied down. The grogginess long worn off, she had all of the feeling back in her body, and could detect that she was sitting in a soft, cushy chair. Wiggling the tiniest bit that was allowed in such tight bonds, Vikki soon deduced her position in the chair, and the basic dimensions of the chair itself. The whole chair was L-shaped, with the back slightly inclined backwards, Vikki’s arms wrapped behind it. The chair supported her whole body, her legs propped up in an almost straight line. Except for the bonds, and the fact that her arms were behind her, the chair felt not so different from a recliner. Vikki could not appreciate the comfort, as the fear that had been suppressed hours ago by the laughing gas was now fully present.
There was a sound to her left, and her head snapped to the direction of the sound. “Who’s there?” she called out, trying to keep her voice even. She realized right away that her question was pointless, as there was only one person it could be.
“Heh-heh-heh. It’s your clown prince charming, Ms. Vale. Here to sweep you on your feet.”
Vikki frowned at the strange wording. “Um, d-don’t you mean, sweep me off my feet?” A gleeful giggle was all the reply Vikki got. She could feel him move close to her, and she defensively scooted the tiniest amount she could away from him.
Joker stopped in his tracks, and made a mock-offended sound. “What was that for? I don’t smell, do I? I’m hurt, really Vikki, I am. Now, scoot back here, I won’t bite. Nope, my fangs are for one person and one person only. Someone who I believe you have met before.”
There was a dawning realization then, and it showed on Vikki’s face. “B-bat-“
“-Ah, please don’t say that winged freak’s name,” Joker interrupted, disgust clearly present in his voice. “But yeah, that’s who I’m talking about. He drove off into the night with you in his… car… thing. And well, it seems to me that when you’re that close to the guy, you’re bound to see something. Maybe… a glimpse under the bat-mask?”
Vikki understood what Joker’s angle was. He was trying to get her to divulge information about Batman. Joker was silent for a moment, and Vikki wondered if he had left the room without her realizing it. When he spoke again, Vikki was startled to find that he had moved next to her, his ruby-red lips whispering into her ear.
“So, tell me Vikki, where did he take you?” Joker inquired in conspiratorial tones. “Some secret place, hidden from sight? Did he take off his hood; tell you who he really is under all that rubber?” He backed off, and Vikki yet again lost his position.
“N-no. I- he just… dropped me back at my apartment, and- and drove off.” It was a lie, of course. Batman had taken her somewhere, to a hidden cave deep beneath the ground. But as to his true identity, Vikki was clueless.
“What, with no goodbye kiss? Ah, I guess ol’ Batsy is really just a shy little boy parading around in latex,” Joker joked, shooting down her explanation. His tone changed to dead seriousness. “Listen, Vik. I don’t like it when I’m lied to. Last time someone lied to me, they ended up becoming a wrinkled, bourbon soaked lamp-shade.”
Vikki tensed. She was really frightened now. “I- I’m sorry, uh, Joker, I really am. But, I- I really don’t know who he is or what he looks like.” She could hear Joker sigh and then move in on her slowly.
“Boy, you know, you try to cut someone a break… I’m sorry it’s had to come to this, Vik, but you’ve given me no choice.” Vikki began to squirm in her seat. Oh God, what was he going to do to her? Joker was very close now, but Vikki couldn’t determine his exact position. She cursed her lack of good hearing skills, and moved her head back and forth in a vain effort to find Joker. She wished he would remove the blindfold; it disoriented her to not be able to keep him in sight at all times. Although, she realized, that was probably the point. When Joker spoke again, Vikki could discern that he was currently positioned at the lower end of the L- chair.
“You may think I’m going to kill you, but I really don’t care to have a dead body on my hands. I’m still convinced you know something more than you’re telling me, Ms. Vale, so I’ll keep you alive. Plus, I’d be spending the next few weeks trying to get photographer out of the carpet.” Joker laughed hard at his own joke, as was his custom, but it only made Vikki that much more nervous. If he wasn’t going to kill her, it obviously meant he was going to torture her. And that, she new, was a fate much worse than death. With the Joker silent once more, and the darkness the only thing surrounding her, Vikki was left to deal with her own imagination, which was plagued with horrific visions of red-hot pokers, biting insects, shining instruments cutting into her. Out of all the violent images that played through Vikki’s mind, what he actually did do to her was completely unexpected.
Vikki’s right foot instinctively jerked, but due to the tight bonds, it didn’t go very far. A couple of seconds passed, and then there it was again. The sensation of scratching on her nylons. Vikki was perplexed, what could be scratching her foot? It happened again, this time felt on both feet at once. Her feet were awful jumpy, as Vikki struggled to move them away from the source of the strange sensations. If there had not been cloth around her eyes clouding her vision, she would have certainly identified her predicament much more quickly. But as it was, it did not occur to her until she could feel the implements in question wiggling on her feet. Joker was trying to tickle her.
As much as she wanted to reflect on the absurdity of the situation, Vikki’s mind was busy concentrating on the tingly feeling that accompanied this repetitive motion on her feet. Vikki twitched and squirmed uncomfortably in her seat, yet she did not laugh. The fingers began moving faster now, Joker was trying harder. This ritual was strange, it was annoying, but it was not tickling her in the least bit. It had to stop at some point, she assumed, Joker’s attempts were failing.
But he did not give up, at least not for a few more tries. Vikki could sense her captor getting agitated, as he shifted positions, trying a new point of attack, a new speed of finger wiggling. His would-be victim continued to wriggle here and there as he hit a new spot. But he was not getting the reaction he wanted. He wanted tears, he wanted pleas for mercy, but most of all he wanted laughter. Joker stopped, aggravated. The problem, he surmised, was with his own technique. It was rough, it lacked finesse. What he needed for the resistant young woman in front of him was someone with a lighter touch. Someone… like another woman. His grin spread wider as gleeful realization hit him.
He quickly looked over Vikki’s bonds, and then walked out of the room, calling, “Oh, Bob! Get one of the girls for me, would you?” Joker poked his head back into the room for a moment, before adding, “Better make it one of the live ones.”
Vikki was alone now, and she immediately set to work on the ropes that held her to the L-chair. She could tell that there was some looseness in the rope wrapped around her right wrist, and she worked on that weakness. She scrunched up one hand, trying to make it as small as possible. Slowly but surely, her right hand began to slip out of the bonds, half an inch at a time. Vikki tried to keep panic as far from her mind as possible, but throughout her work she worried that Joker would emerge at any minute, and find her trying to escape. And then maybe he really would hurt her. She had just about freed her hand when she heard a familiar voice.
“Now, Ms. Vale here has been a very naughty girl. And we don’t like naughty girls, do we hun?”
His question was met with silence, at least as far as Vikki could tell. She wondered if he was actually talking to anybody at all. She wouldn’t put it past Joker to imagine a person who wasn’t there.
“No, of course we don’t. When girls are naughty, they are inevitably punished. You learned that the hard way, didn’t you Jessica?” Joker chuckled.
More silence, but possibly a nod bundled with it. Dammit, why wasn’t this girl talking? Vikki hated not being able to see what was going on.
“So, since Ms. Vale has been naughty, I think we need to provide some punishment, don’t you?” A pause as he received a response. “Yes, of course we do. This is what I want us to do…” His voice trailed off, and Vikki strained to hear what he was telling the young woman. After a few moments, she could make out the sound of heels clopping on the tiled floor, moving in her direction.
“J- Joker?” she called, her voice small. “What’s going on?” She heard someone crouch down near her.
“I decided that I might not be the right person for the job. But if I won’t be the man to torture you, no man will.”
Vikki could see where this was going. She sensed the crouched figure slink towards her, until the woman was face to face with her. She felt a smooth hand run from the side of her neck to the back of her head. Long fingers began to undo the velvety blindfold that covered Vikki’s eyes. Vikki was tense as can be, more tightly bound than the actual bonds that held her in place. She wanted to shut her eyes, she was afraid what she might see, but she knew she had to look. The blindfold was whipped away from her eyes, and Vikki looked upon the face hovering so near hers. What she saw made her scream.
The face before her bore the remnants of a once beautiful young woman. Her flawless complexion had degraded to a deathly white, her dark, shoulder-length hair streaked with dark green. But her most horrifying feature was the bright red, rictus grin permanently etched onto her face. This was Jessica, one of Joker’s horrifying creations.
“Do you like her? She was one of my more successful experiments.” Joker chuckled, and leaned in next to Jessica’s face. “Isn’t she just adorable?” he cooed, pinching her cheek. “Unfortunately her mind’s completely gone, so she’s not much for conversation. But she does have some usefulness.” Vikki was silent, her mouth hanging open in horror. “Vik, could you be a dear and close that? You’re catching flies.”
Vikki snapped out of it and closed her mouth, her eyes still wide with fright. Joker moved in to Jessica, and whispered into her ear. She nodded, her eyes blank, and moved back to her original position. That position being the foot of the L- chair. Vikki watched her as she moved, knowing full well what the Joker had in mind for the two of them.
Jessica removed her shoes and sat on her heels. She was now directly facing Vikki’s feet, which were positioned, slightly hanging, over the end of the chair. Vikki watched as Jessica raised one milky white hand, and rested the long tips of her dark green fingernails onto Vikki’s stocking foot.
Skriiit! Jessica, after making a slit in the stocking, began to tear it away from Vikki. Vikki felt cool air caress her foot, and she had to admit, at least to herself, that it felt good. Jessica ran her fingertips gently across the surface of Vikki’s now bare foot, and Vikki shivered. And then, the time for preparations over, smooth, white fingers gained a life of their own, and began their ticklish work.
end part 2