Sustenance: nourishment.

The house was dark, but Senken had been prepared. Since the death of his wife and unborn child he had always been prepared. First there were the lessons, the martial arts, the physical fitness, then there were the weapons. The guns. The knives. The poisons. Chemicals had been easy to procure, the other implements less so; yet he had persevered and succeeded. He was a stubborn fuck. At least that’s what his wife used to say.

God, he missed her face.

The man who had answered the door was weak. Physically big, yes, strong, definitely, intimidating, indeed. But weak of conviction. The knife had pierced his heart and he had collapsed with barely a murmur. Stupid fuck. Easy.

The woman was the same. Not as intimidating, maybe, but scrawny. Fiery. And now equally as dead. Senken had paused over her body, wondering why somebody like her—did he mean a woman? Was he being sexist?—would do this. Would hurt people like him. Would kill people like her. Would do… that thing. The thought strengthened his resolve, if that was even possible. He reached down and ripped the pouch from her throat, emptying the mottled contents into his hand.

What is this shit?

Always the same.

The six other people he had killed had been more challenging. But then he had still been learning his craft. And they had led here. So he couldn’t complain.

The room was bare, the floorboards gapped, the plastered walls cracking. But the beeping… that was unexpected. And as he stared at the bed a tear rolled down his cheek.


Not possible.

Her leg was missing below the hip, the wound cauterised, the skull open, brain visible. Her face had been mutilated, strips of skin and flesh cut free, musculature glistening red, but, mercifully, eyes closed.

Serene. Almost.


He stared at the machine, then her raised stomach.

No. Not possible.

Then her eyes twitched.


© JR Bryden, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from JR Bryden is strictly prohibited.

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