Henry Stroken sat in his penthouse suit in the Knox Hotel on Landcaster Road in London. The cost, he doesn't remember nor cares too. Henry knew that within in these elegant walls of luxury will be the last thing he sees when his, mysterious and family illness, finishes him. He hoped that it will happen within this week. All his hoping may kill him but he feels that he his not done on this plan yet. He thought about buying a gun and going out that way instead of waiting while his body swells. Like a women blotting while on her period, every orifice Henry has leaks of fluid and it is everything but clear. He think the gods that there is no pain it is just disgusting.
Henry knew that in order for him to die of his illness he has to know what happened to Tate. Sitting on the arm of the chair, where he has sat and slept for a week and a half is the story that Tate's father wrote and submitted the same time that King also had to a story contest. The story was good, very good in fact, but with him being a new and unknown writer and he was against an all ready established writer, Sheldon King.
Henry felt guilty for the fact that he was here and it was Tate's money that was paying for this.
Henry was the last of his family, he watched his parent's die of this sickness. He remembered being grossed out and puking every day when he attempted to eat in the same house as his sick parent's. The house smelt of shit, urine and puss. Henry could actually see the lumps swell on their necks, to the point the cut off their air supply and suffocated them.
Henry never understood why they didn't go to the doctor or had some one come to the house to take care of them. He was nine when is parents died and they were always calling him their little accident. Know he understood way, he lived a healthy life and did his regular check ups at the doctor. He was is perfect health, then one day when he was fifty-two years of age the first limp appeared and the ear draining started. He was too embarrassed to get help and tried to keep his worsening sickness from Tate as not to hinder him.
Though he really didn't want to, Henry turned on the TV to the world news. It had been a week and a half since he dropped Tate off in Mason, Utah. Since then he figured that he would be dead before he would being to wonder about Tate. He had to know and he had the sneaking feeling that it didn't go down as Tate had planned, he hoped the worst didn't happen. He knew that Tate was smart in area's where normal kids were not. Tate knew the risk but it didn't bother him. Henry just hoped that Tate had killed Sheldon King before he was done in. If he was done in.
After some a manhunt of a know crime boss it has extended from the USA to Europe. They talk of the assassination attempt made on a well know horror author Sheldon King. The attempt was made by a young man, Tate Kellen but was saved by another fan, Halia Newswick. Halia threw herself in front of the bullet. King was still hit but it was not fatal, but Newswick died at the scene. The anchor said from his news room.
Henry Stroken saw this and threw the remote at the TV smashing the screen.
“I am going to finish what Tate and his father started.” He said aloud with his mucus filled voice. He worked his way out of the chair, that has sweat stains in the indention of his body in the cushions. He put his oxygen tube in his nostrils and stared out door of the penthouse for the first time since getting it and he knew that he won't be coming back.
It happened four weeks following King’s appearance at the collage.
Sheldon King was on his was home in his royal blue Jeep Ranger late on a Friday night. He was coming back his wife’s sister’s friend’s baby shower. He had been at book signing earlier that day for his book, The Wordslinger's Oath. He lasted three hours at shower but Mia saw that he was tucker out and told him that could go. She was going to stay, they kissed one another good night. Unawares that it was going to be the last time.
King drove from across town on a fairly calm and warm Friday night. He was smiling as the night air was hitting his face as he rest his left elbow on the door. He was feeling good about life, his wife was so much happier with change of lifestyle. They did a lot more outside the home, he does regret all the lost years that he caused.
While lying in bed one night Sheldon apologized for his selfishness.
Mia looked at him, smiling, “You’re not anymore and that’s all that matters.”
Sheldon had held her close and fell asleep easily.
He felt like a new man, a new writer and he loved every minute of it. Stories that tested limits of which he had never attempted, and they were come out better then all right. His duet was due out in four months and the reviews had been nothing but great. He was coming up on his driveway and for the first time in a long time just wanted to crawl into bed. Pulling in and parking he worked his tired fingers into his pocket to fish out his phone, he didn’t trust himself walk and text at the same time. Together with his tiredness and the slight incline to his front door he knew it would end badly. He texted this to Mia, “Home, I love you.”
Within seconds he received, “I love you too.”
He smiled and got out of the car, he stood for a moment in the warm night and stretched. His bones made a series of snaps and cracks and pops, some did hurt. Afterward however, he felt like a million bucks. He walked along his cement walkway to his front door, he turned the door knob, though he knew it was locked. When the knob did turn in his hand he froze in fear, then he thought that he might have forgot to actually lock it because they were in a hurry this morning. Relaxing he pushed the door opened and enter the house, closing the door King took one step toward the stairs. When his vision went dark…
He woke by the strong smell of smelling salts, his hard sniffing and rolling of his head did not comply with his headache which was nearly as worst as a hangover. The room was dark and he quickly discovered that he could not move.
“Hello?” King called out.
“You are awake.” The voice was enough to make Sheldon want to crawl out of his skin. It was raspy almost like the person was drowning.
The lights suddenly turned on and Sheldon shut his eyes against the sudden brightness.
“Sorry, should have warned ya.” The voice was far from sounding sorry.
King slowly allowed his eyes to adjusted, when he was able to see his mind screamed, I want to wake up NOW!!!!. He was tied securely to his bed, thick rope held him down in five places. At his shoulders, at his belly, at his lap, at his knees and the last one was at his ankles. He looked to his right in the direction of the voice. He saw the holder of the voice, the man was short and fat, his belly hung freely at the bottom of his shirt. His face was swollen to the point that everything ran together, shoved up his nose was an oxygen tube. His neck had unnatural bulges at a few points. When he smile he had no teeth and his entire mouth was an unnatural shade of green.
“What the fuck are you doing here? Let me free!” Sheldon ordered in the strongest and steadiest voice as he could muster.
The laughed which landed the intruder in a deep dry coughing fit, “Oh no, it is not going happen.”
King knew that he was in deep and it would take one hell of a miracle to get him out of this one. He then realize something he had been breathing in a smell, the smell he thought for the smelling salts. In wasn’t salts he now understood and his body tighten with fear when he identified the smell, gasoline. The ropes were soaked in it, King swallowed hard trying to keep his wits and tears, “What do you want, Sir?”
“No, you will know me by name, Henry Stroken!”
“Ok, Henry, what do you want?”
“All in good time.” He said and approached the bed with extremely heavy steps.
Sheldon was convinced that he had help, even with himself out cold, he didn’t look strong enough to carry him let alone get up the stairs.
“We are going to have a little story time. You like new stories, do ya?”
King said nothing.
Henry back handed him hard, “Don’t act so perfect!”
King felt the heat of the fever that consumed Henry’s body, he rolled his head back to face Henry as involuntary tears leaked down his cheek to his ears.
“You have made my life a living hell!” Henry’s wide hand and sausage fingers wrapped around King’s neck and slowly started to squeeze.
If the heat alone wasn’t enough to the choke him, the every so gentle squeezing would do it.
“You drove someone mad, then killed him and his son.” He said as he released King who was left sweating from the intense heat and gasping for air.
More tears fell but these one’s weren’t involuntary, they fell out of plain fear. He didn’t like being this helpless.
“You don’t even care, do you!” Henry yelled this time spraying King with mucus.
He didn’t care if that was true, King was focused on trying to escape with his life.
“Since you won’t bother to listen, I will end it now.” He said and bent down wheezing as he did. When he straightened back up he was laboriously holding a large red gas can, “I am the loose thread!”
King began to struggle against his bounds, “I’ll listen!” He screamed, heart pounding now. He was now seeing his words come to life.
Henry cackled, “Now that you can see your death you wish to prolong it even though it will come.” Henry moved to the foot of the bed and begin to pour wetting King’s shoes only at first, “Struggling won’t help.” He was taking his time wetting every inch of King.
By the time Henry reached King’s torso, the stench was so strong that he was convinced that they both were going to die from the fumes.
Henry poured on King’s neck and spoke over the coughing and gagging, “This all could have been prevented, but you, a known fucking author just had to enter a contest. In your selfishness you cause a great author his chance!” Henry then doused King’s face.
King started to panic as he was breathing nothing but gas, he focused his eyes opened knowing it was going to hurt. He was trying to use the fact that he was wet to slip his arms free, he started to cry when his arms didn’t even slightly slide. Crying was cause to inhale gas making him choke.
Henry let King struggle in silence as he poured gas around the bed.
Sheldon’s eyes were burning as he saw Henry standing at the foot of the bed, smiling.
“Please,” His voice nearly drowned out with gas, “I will give you anything.” Sheldon plead.
“All I want is your life to finally END!” Henry said and struck the match.
Sheldon King closed his eyes and screamed, “I LOVE YOU MIA!!”
For a moment he knew intense heat and searing pain then.