(Warning: Very strong violence and horror)
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He always knew that he was a monster; one that had been caged for far too long. He could still see her face of horror while he held a knife to her throat and cut open her clothes. It was exhilarating, like nothing he had experienced before as his hands felt every part of her slim body; her sense of horror magnifying his sexual pleasure ever higher as he entered her. It was only a matter of time he knew before he would need to repeat this experience.
It had taken weeks of preparation. She and her husband’s routines had been closely monitored. The times they both left the house in the morning, where she went, the times they came home, ensuring that he could get into the house quickly. Her most vulnerable time had been selected, once her husband had walked out the door on a weekday morning.
At first, she was stunned wondering how a strange man could suddenly appear in front of her. In her bedroom nonetheless, where she would have felt at her safest. Her maternal instinct kicked in once she saw the knife and heard her newborn crying in the other room. She was prepared to do anything to ensure his safety.
So, she complied as he tied her up and then raped her. Terrified, she tried not to cry or look into the masked man’s eyes. Eventually, after he was satisfied and having eaten a nice ham sandwich, he took a memento to remember her by and left as silently as he had entered.
It was the thrill of the conquest that excited him most. Yes, she was quite attractive but it was the chase that made it that bit extra special; taking advantage of prostitutes was just too easy. She had been obstinate not wanting to go for drinks and wanting to keep a so-called “professional” distance for so long.
That just further piqued his interest. So, he found some reason to start texting her and then after some bad experiences with other men, the pathway opened for him. She knew what he was like though as he had a dire reputation in the station so there was always a risk his night would not turn out as planned. As a precaution, he had brought two bottles of wine to loosen things up in case of an emergency.
It had been a long day of investigating robberies and drug offenses or so he liked to tell people, so he hoped that she wasn’t the type to draw things out. Better to get straight down to business. But she did like talking so he was apprehensive. There was so much that could potentially be discussed.
The gang warfare in Dublin had now reached epidemic proportions. Three men shot dead in a week and a city on edge. It didn’t bother him much personally though, just less scum on the street. So long as there was someone left standing afterward to shakedown. But it was all that people wanted to talk about and how terrible it all was. There was the odd innocent person who had been shot too, just going about their daily activities and it had instilled a bit of fear into everyone in the city.
He needed a good night to lighten his mood and was thankful it was a Friday. Of all the places to be stationed, the inner city would have been his last choice. Hopefully, a transfer to somewhere down the country wasn’t too far into his future.
Garda Laura Mulhern had joined the force two years previously. It had always been her dream to be a Garda for as long as she could remember. There turned out to be quite the difference between the dream and the reality though. Perhaps even as a recruit, she had been somewhat naïve. She thought her days would be filled with a sense of accomplishment but the reality seemed like an endless and thankless battle against peoples’ love of drugs.
Her love life was now running in parallel with her job satisfaction. She remembered how in her teenage years she thought she would have met the man of her dreams by now and be well settled. He was to be tall and muscular but at all times loving. But life hadn’t turned out that way. The men she had met, had turned out to be quite a disappointment in fact. Sometimes she pondered if it was something about her, but her friends’ similar stories told her otherwise.
There were the guys who tried to get her drunk so they could cop a quick feel or maybe more, the ones who pretended to care about her but were gone the next morning and worst of all, the ones who didn’t like to take no for an answer. So much for romance.
She had already felt herself harden over the years. Now she just wanted some sex. Detective Garda Sean O’Callaghan would not have been her first choice but he was readily available. He had a terrible reputation but a good one for technique in the sack and that she had convinced herself was all she wanted.
Then the sound of the door-bell rang and Laura felt a tinge of excitement as she opened the door. There he was standing awkwardly at the door. He went to speak but she shushed him with a kiss, then led him inside the house by the hand.
There would be no chit chat and both knew they merely satisfying their most debase instincts. She brought him straight to her bedroom and quickly began to undress. For a brief moment, he admired what stood in front of him. Her hair, which was usually bundled together now almost reached her petite but perky breasts. The body was toned and athletic.
She was not quite as impressed as he quickly took off his clothes to reveal a podgy, hairy body but there was no point pulling out now as their bodies embraced on the bed. His hands quickly fumbled their way to her breasts while she closed her eyes to let her senses take over.
Soon she felt his tongue titillating her, much to her joy. It was what she loved best. Then she felt his penis enter her as their bodies grinded together. This was what he had fantasized about for months. His mind drifted to the first time they met. That innocent smile, he just knew he had to have her. Then after just a few minutes, he climaxed, the perfect ending to his day.
But for her, the experience ended all too quickly as he collapsed on the bed beside her. It had not been what she had waited for and she definitely didn’t expect to have to share the bed for the night. But all he talked about was what a long day it had been and how he was so tired. So, he just promptly wrapped up the sheets around himself and promptly fell fast asleep. Not wanting to be rude she bit her lip, silently telling herself not to repeat this experience.
As Sean opened his eyes that morning, he briefly wondered where he was. But then his fond memories of the night before flooded back. He wondered if she would be open to another go-round, but she flinched into a ball when he touched her. It didn’t bother him much as he had a busy Saturday ahead and he didn’t want to miss his early morning five a side soccer.
So out he went with a pep in his step closing the door quietly behind him, his masculinity and confidence renewed. Laura, on the other hand, was just happy he was gone. She enjoyed sex but sharing a bed was not what she considered a good Saturday morning sleep in. It was bad enough having to put up with birds singing.
As Sean closed the front door behind him, he was met by the first warm rays of a summer morning and the smell of freshly cut grass from the evening before. If only every morning could be like this, he thought to himself as he got into his car. It was still pleasantly cool in the car. Then it was just a matter of turning on the GPS, which had proved more than useful in the past for finding the homes of strange women. Now it was for the more mundane use of finding a soccer match.
He turned the ignition and drove out the driveway, wondering what awaits him today. Saturday had always been his favorite day of the week, but this day felt extra special given his conquest the previous night. There was little traffic at this early hour and he felt it wouldn’t take long before he reached his destination.
Then his mood suddenly changed as a car veered straight into him. There had been no time for him to react. It swerved at the last second from the other side of a straight stretch of road and plowed into him. Sean was certain that he was experiencing the last few microseconds of his life as he watched the cars collide. Then he lost consciousness for what he thought would be the last time.
It was just a faint noise at first but that was the first thing that registered in Sean’s mind in weeks. It still took some time for his consciousness to coalesce around it. There had been nothing, but now there was something.
Eventually, his mind wondered where it was and he tried to open his eyes. But he grew tired and fell back into a slumber. But the important thing was that he had a thought. An unseen first milestone in his recovery.
Days passed and he had more thoughts. Then he managed to open an eyelid, but quickly closed it when what seemed to be bright light shone in. Sean gathered that he was still alive and wondered what sort of state he was in. He opened both his eyes now eager to find out more. They adjusted to the light but disappointingly, all he could see as a ceiling. He tried to roar out but there was something stuck in his throat.
Hours seemed to pass before a face appeared over him. It was that of a middle-aged woman who gave him a big smile and told him that he was in intensive care in a hospital. Unbeknown to him she was the intensive care nurse who had diligently checked for any sign of movement from the first night he had entered the hospital.
She tried to reassure him that everything would be okay and to rest. She heard him mumbling something about not being able to feel his legs. But she didn’t want to be the one to tell him that permanent damage had been done. Better for the doctor to do that.
After a few minutes, he fell back asleep. She had seen all of this before. He would be much more awake the next day. Better schedule his consultant to come in to talk to him.
Her instinct proved to be correct. The next day Sean was full of questions especially after the feeding tube was removed. It didn’t take long for the nurses to summon the doctor. It was not the news that Sean had wanted to hear. The broken ribs and leg didn’t bother him but the broken back most definitely did. It was an L1 complete injury. A lumbar nerve, located in the lower half of his spine had been severed. He would need to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life and would never again have voluntary control of his bladder or bowel.
Sean had always seen himself as a ladies’ man and it was crushing to hear that he would need Viagra to maintain any sort of erection in the future and would never again experience the ecstasy of ejaculation. It was hard for him to see how any woman would ever love him again. With that, any chance of children and leaving a lasting legacy to the world would also be gone. Guess that was his job in the Gardai gone too, he thought to himself. No more running after drug dealers or investigating robberies.
Instead, the highlight of his day would be emptying his bladder and bowel. The fact that he would be able to do this for himself seemed to be something the doctor thought should bring a smile to his face but it didn’t. The useless cripple wanted everyone to know nothing about this situation was okay. They should have let him die.
Sean then asked the doctor if he knew what had happened to cause the accident. The other driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. His toxicology report had shown very high levels of alcohol, meth, and cocaine in his blood. He must have been out all night.
Days, weeks and then months passed but he found himself with a never-ending sense of melancholy. The only occasion lift in his mood was when he felt something tangible had been achieved like when he left the intensive care unit and went onto the ward or when the pretty physiotherapist first showed up to discuss his rehabilitation.
The excitement had always quickly worn out. For instance, the happiness at leaving intensive care was tempered by how long he found out he would be staying in the ward. Months, not the weeks he had expected. Similarly, he didn’t realize at first just how difficult his rehabilitation would prove to be.
Then one day the Chief Superintendent of his Garda station showed up at the bottom of his bed in full uniform. His name was Liam Toland, a tall man approaching retirement. They would not have been friends; he had been too austere and serous for Sean’s liking. Previously a meeting like this would be a cause for angst but Sean was happy to see him. It was an official visit. Sean immediately raised his arm to salute, but it was waved down as he went to sit down beside him.
For the next half hour to hour, the superintendent just talked away telling him that he was missed in the station, that the gang warfare was as brutal as ever and that some of the other officers would be into him over the next few days, now that he was doing a bit better. But most happily of all, there would be a job for him to go back to when he was better.
It turned out to be true. Over the next few days, Sean did have more visitors, even from Garda Mulhern who told him she felt guilty over what had happened. If only she had been friendlier that morning, maybe this would never have happened. But Sean would have none of it, telling her that it was just one of those things.
The visits lifted Sean’s spirits. The only other visitors he had were from his elderly parents and they only managed to make it a handful of times. Now he began to feel that he was no longer so alone, that he was part of something bigger and that he had a future.
He now put all his efforts into his recovery, doing whatever he was asked. Over time he felt himself growing stronger. Then one day it was time for the nurses to get him into a manual wheelchair and wheel himself around. He had steeled himself psychologically for this day. It would not be a day of regret but the first day of the rest of his life. Finally, he got perspective on where his bed was compared to everything else.
The nurses insisted that he get back into his bed after an hour but the duration grew longer with each day. Soon they stopped monitoring him altogether and it was left up to him how long he wanted to spend in it. Then they expected him to get in and out of the bed himself as well. It was now time for him to go home.