Tied to an exterior support beam of a house hidden by trees, a man screams, hands clasped together, wrapped in adhesive red tape. The sounds of the whip claps across his back like bemused applause. A camera watches, a man, fat in fatigues paces the shirtless victim.
The man tied to the post is thin, from war, drugs, or both, no person could know for sure. But the man in fatigues is. Wind kissing his wounds like salt, the shirtless man runs his mouth, searching for words between screams begging, giving the information they are looking for. The confession to the drugs they know beyond doubt, beyond reason, he has, that he sells.
More screams, more clapping.
Hanging from the beam, to exhausted to perceive the world around dim the fat fatigued man approaches the camera, rhetorically snapping the whip in his hand, as if to stop for even a moment will cause him to forget the movement.
The is a brief clearing of the throat, like a candle flickering in a dark room. He speaks to the camera, deliberately lowering the pitch of his voice, over articulating so that he is certain he can be understood through his mask
“This body,” another snap of whip, ” will be beaten to death. He can give out all its other sellers, but it’s going to be beaten until it’s dead anyway. The longer he is going to give us information the longer he’s going to live, but he’s gonna die.”
And with that he turns from the camera, circling the shirtless man again, pacing him, relishing with every step the pink, blue, and black etched across the slow stain crawling across his motionless back.
Lion upon lamb. Strong upon weak. Hunter upon hunted.