Short Story
                                            Orchis Mascula
                                                            By Paul Lubaczewski


    His eyes blinked. He could tell it was poorly lit where he was, but for some reason, the light still hurt his
eyes. Where in the hell was he? He finally got his eyes to focus. What in the hell? He was sitting up, in a
gunmetal gray room, he tried to turn and realized he couldn't! He looked down and realized his arms were
strapped down!

    “What the HELL!”

    He squirmed and twisted now, like a trapped animal. Nothing was good that started like this! He tried to
rock the chair, it didn't move. He jerked his head from side to side trying to see anything to give him any
indication of where he was, anything at all. All there was that he could see from the chair, was a door of the
same color directly in front of him, and a single bulb dangling far above him.

    “Hello?” he called out twisting his head from side to side, “Is anybody there?”

    A door somewhere behind him opened, and he heard footsteps coming up to where he was. “I see sir
is awake, that's a shame really.” said a voice, it sounded fussy and clipped.

    A moment later he saw why. The man who had spoken came in to view. He was tall and thin. He was
bald and with a thin mustache that was exquisitely well groomed. He was wearing a pair of sweat pants
and a t-shirt, but both looked unnatural on him. He set something down next to the chair and stood in front
of him.

    “Who are YOU! Why am I like this?!”

    “I am Duncan sir, but I am just a servant here. As to why, if sir but waits a little while that will all become
apparent to you.” the man said. The man stepped behind the chair to whatever he had set there, putting
himself out of the line of vision.

    His mind was racing now, trying to remember anything that could give him some clue as to how he got
here. He'd been at a bar, that he remembered. Then there had been something about a private party, a lot
of people left the bar, he'd been with them. Then, nothing, until just now when he'd come to.

    “Why am I here? What are you going to do to me?!”

    “I am dreadfully sorry sir, I had hoped that the chemical that made you so easy to acquire would leave
you unconscious for this, but alas, that is not to be.” Duncan said as he stepped back to where he could
see him again.

    He now was wearing an apron, it looked to be made of leather, old and well used. But this wasn't the
thing that completely held his fascination, it just added to it. What really grabbed his attention, was the drill
in Duncan's well-manicured hands.

    “Again sir, dreadfully sorry, but, trust me on this, it IS absolutely necessary that I do this.” Duncan said.
With that, he seized one of his fingers and held it down leaning hard on it so it pressed in to the thick
wooden arm of the chair.

    “What's necessary?! What are you doing with the drill?! Why are you---ARRRRGHHH!” He screamed in
pain as he felt the drill bite in to his flesh right where the finger joined his hand! The pain was surreal! He
could feel bone grind, something snapped inside his finger! He could no longer hear the drill over his own
screams!

    Finally with almost a pop the drill was through, Duncan said, “Sorry again, but I have to back it out now.”

    “Nononononononoo-AUUUUUUGHHHHHH!”

    When he was able to look up again and clear his eyes of the tears, he saw that Duncan now had a
screwdriver and a screw with a large flat head on it. “Wont be a moment with this one I assure you sir.”
Duncan said. With that he held the wounded finger down again and began to thread the screw in to the
hole left by the drill, eventually you could hear the scraping noise as the screw bit in to the arm of the chair
itself, locking the finger in place.

    “There we are sir. I am dreadfully sorry about the amount of pain I'm causing you sir, but again I assure
you, this is absolutely necessary.” Duncan said again, reaching down and picking up the drill again. “But
not to worry, we won't need to do all of them, just a couple more on this hand, and then three on the other,”
Duncan smiled at him apologetically.

    He passed out again on the third finger.

    When he came to this time, it was to Duncan's smiling face, “There we are sir, all done. No more of the
nasty drilling to do.”

    He looked down to see both of his hands now effectively screwed down to the arms of the chair he was
sitting in. There was blood welling up from the six screws that held them down, there was blood welling up
in the valleys between his fingers which was dripping on to the floor. He could see blood splattered across
Duncan's apron, and some had sprayed on the man's face.

    “Well sir, since I have discharged the duties I needed to perform, I will leave you to meet the Master of
this house,” the man said crisply reaching down to pick up his tools.

    “Who?” he gasped out weakly.

    “I'm sure I did say sir, I am only a servant here. The Master of the house is who requires your presence
here, not I of course. Now if you will excuse me, the Master does hate when I'm here when he meets our
guests, so I must be leaving you.”

    With that, the tidy little man walked back to where he had entered the room earlier. The room echoed
with the boom of the door slamming shut as he left.

    “DON'T LEAVE ME HERE! PLEASE DON'T JUST LEAVE ME!!!!”

    The door opened, and Duncan entered. He looked around and made a tiny “tsk” sound of disapproval.
He left the room again, you could hear his footsteps in the distance. This time when he returned, he was
dragging a garden hose behind him. He stepped out again, this time when he returned he also had a
soapy bucket.

    Carefully he stepped over to the chair. He did everything carefully, you could tell. Looking down a smile
broke his face, tight lipped, but happy nonetheless. Reaching down he took out his Phillip's head screw
driver, and began removing one of the screws.

    He was humming as he worked now.

    The screw clinked on the floor. He reached down and picked something up. It was a severed human
finger, torn off, pieces of flesh dangling from where it had been removed from the hand. He popped it in to
his mouth like a lollipop. A look of bliss passed over his face, one that looked almost religious in its nature.

  He looked around the room, at its blood splattered walls. None of it mattered at this moment. Finally he
pulled the now gnawed upon finger from his mouth. “Absolutely necessary, if I didn't screw down a few of
the fingers, the Master wouldn't leave me even a nibble.”
About Paul Lubaczewski

Paul was the lead singer
of the NYC Punk Band The
Repressed in the late 80's.
He has also caved heavily
and contributed articles
for both NSS News and
Speleo-Digest. He was an
editor for Los Angeles
music magazine “Spark-
Plug Magazine.” He's
married with one son at
home in Appalachia, with
two adult daughters living
in his native
Pennsylvania.   
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