Quinn screamed openly. He was surrounded by other people who were suffering, so I doubt he felt much shame in screaming. I made sure to twist the knife clockwise and counterclockwise once I had it deep in his intestinal tract. Then I rocked it a little bit, letting the tip of the blade slide up toward his ribs and then down toward his crotch.
He wept. I imagined that, because he knew he was already dead, there could be no escape from the pain. His voice went ragged and salty trails ran from the corners of his eyes back to his ears. He looked absolutely miserable in every way, but it still didn’t feel like enough.
But it also didn’t feel as good as I’d hoped. Despite the pleasure I felt from eliciting so much suffering from the one who’d prematurely ended my mortal existence, I didn’t get the sense of closure and justice that I’d wanted. My goal was to avenge my death, but all I’d really done was stab somebody. My hope was to take an eye for an eye, but all I did was increase the amount of pain in the universe. I was consumed with a self-righteous rage in that moment, but in the back of my mind was this tiny understanding that I’d achieved nothing useful.
I ripped the dagger out of his stomach. “Have a nice day,” I snarled before stepping over the rope and gesturing toward the pit guards for them to resume their duties.
“Okay,” Gus said, eying me warily. “That was…dark. What’s next?”
“Now we need the blood of a healer,” I said. I turned to the Misery Master. “Doorknob, thanks for your help. Best of luck with your promotion.” Doorknob visibly swelled with pride.
Moments later, the four of us appeared in the waiting room in the Department of Assignment. I looked around at the silent collection of confused, recently damned souls.
I cleared my throat. “Is there a doctor in the house?” I shouted.