Doorknob chattered happily (or perhaps nervously) as he led us through the rows of screaming people.
“The Department of Construction recently expanded this sector by twenty-five percent,” he informed us. “It used to be that not much changed here because it had been at maximum capacity for so long. The last few weeks have been really exciting as we’ve been filling newly opened slots for torturing. We just reached maximum capacity again a few days ago.”
A group of pit guards who seemed to be sending a man back to the cable car stepped aside in the aisle to let us pass. Based on the man’s appearance, I guessed that his torture had something to do with severe razor burn. He scratched absentmindedly at his raw neck and winced.
“I used to be the assistant Misery Master of this sector,” Doorknob explained excitedly. “But just as the renovations were being finished, Kivra promoted my boss into her cabinet. She made me the master in his stead.”
Gus and I stared in bewilderment at a woman who was being pinned down by four pit guards while a fifth rubbed a dead fish all over her. “That is some kinky shit,” Gus whispered. Torvin shuddered as he walked past. Jaelin, the least affected of us, patted his shoulder reassuringly.
“As far as I know, I’m the youngest Misery Master in the whole Department,” Doorknob continued proudly. “I’m only fourteen, you know. And considering that I assumed my position during a time of transition, I’m hoping my performance will catch Kivra’s eye. I hope to rise to be her second in command someday.”
“Sounds like you have it all planned out,” I murmured, not really listening. It was truly astonishing how bizarre some of these methods of torture were.
“Although I wouldn’t mind some help, sir,” the demon added in a confidential tone. “A recommendation from the Devil himself would go a long way.”
I smiled wryly at him. “I doubt Kivra places much value on my opinion,” I said. “I think you’re better off without a recommendation from me.”