Elias cautiously undid the latch to the drawer, no response, if he wasn’t certain the archivist couldn’t die by now he would have been worried. He slid the draw open to behold his archivist, eyes unfocused, physical pupils rapidly constricting in order to adjust to the massive change in light levels, his eyes screwed shut, the thin skin under them bruised from days and nights of constant strain against the dark. The results of the experiment, it seemed, were exactly as Elias had hoped, Jon had learned to see through the metaphysical eyes the watcher provided, escaping his own horror to live vicariously in the relatively safer horror of other humans. Elias credited the breakthrough to the day he had filled the box with spiders, that moment, he catalogues, is what pushed Jon over the edge, he files this information away for use in further experiments. Elias can’t help the swell of affection he felt as he undoes the straps, which it becomes immediately apparent, were the only things holding his tortured archivist together. The emaciated slip of a man spills out of the drawer and on to the floor amidst the corpses of a few dozen spiders which he swats away almost hysterically, his protruding ribs gasping for breath.
Elias had left the box of statements in the corner of the room, thinking it best not to spoon feed Jon anything. It soon became apparent his instincts were still in working order as all of his archivist’s beautiful eyes locked on to their target and he began crawling his way painstakingly over to the box to begin devouring the statements that lay inside. He was so occupied with said statements, he didn’t notice Elias take the thick leather cuffs from his bag and wrap them around Jon’s too thin wrists and ankles, tightening them as far as they would go before fastening them. Jon didn’t so much as pause, when Elias fastened the collar around his throat, tight enough to be uncomfortable, Jon barely noticed, swept away by the current of the statement. When Jon was finished with his second statement he’d transformed from a bag of bones to almost looking human again, the sallow gaunt skin regaining a somewhat healthy glow, he was still scrawny and thin, more scar than man, with coltish legs and fragile delicate wrists but he at least looked like he’d managed to eat a decent meal and catch five hours of sleep within the last week now.
Once Elias has made sure he was fed enough that he wouldn’t break during the next experiment, he drags Jon by his new collar (whilst mentally congratulating himself for the idea) over to the corner of the room where a shower head was attached to the wall and drain was set into the floor. He secures Jon’s wrist cuffs to the wall, with little resistance from the archivist, still he takes the precaution anyway, Jon’s getting more powerful by the day, a power Elias knows it would be wise to maintain a healthy respect for. He runs the water, checking it’s the right temperature before letting it trickle through the archivists hair and down his back, he receives a shudder and an unsuppressed moan of pleasure at this, he runs the water all over the archivists trembling naked body and then picks up a bar of soap from the small shelf on the wall which he proceeds to lather over the rough skin before him.
Jon’s senses are flooding back to him slowly but surely, when he awakes to the sensation of hands rubbing soap all over him, he wishes he could say the feeling is unwelcome but after a week in that wretched box the warm water feels so good on his skin he finds It hard to think of much else, after letting himself indulge in the physical sensation for too long, the knowledge that it’s Elias’s hands that are on him rips it’s way through his mind, leaving a trail of revulsion in it’s wake. At first all he can muster is resigned silence but as Elias’s hands make their way down to his crotch an involuntary noise of protest escapes his lips. “Elias please, I can do this myself”
“Ah Jon, you’re finally with us again I see” Elias makes no move to stop what he’s doing, lathering soap all over Jon’s exposed genitals, an area he seemed to be paying special attention to.
Elias looks up with faux innocent eyes “yes Jon?”
“I said I can do that myself” Jon’s clipped response
“no you can’t Jon, you’re tied up.” The tone of Elias’s voice told him if he pushed further he’d be punished, so all he could do was let go and let it happen, that seemed to be a reoccurring theme in his life recently.
When Elias had finally decided he was finished he unfastened Jon wrists from the shower wall, thread a length of chain between the cuffs and refastened them to a hook in the ceiling, causing Jon to have to stand on his tiptoes to save his wrists from bearing the brunt of his weight.
“today we will be conducting and experiment to see how fast you can heal from wounds inflicted by this whip” Jon felt the rough leather brush his skin as Elias ran the whip gently over his back. “Once you have healed sufficiently, you are to be punished for trying to compel me to let you out of the box.” Jon’s eyes went wide,
“what I – I didn’t-”
“it is concerning how little control you have over your powers.” Jon cringed at the disappointment that laced Elias’s voice
“I-i’ll be better-” Jon gasped as the whip cracked sharply over his back, the harsh leather bit into his flesh drawing blood with the first stroke. Jon wanted to say he was doing his best, he wanted to scream at Elias that he didn’t ask for any of this, to beg him to let him know how to control his powers, plead for any scrap of information about this hell-scape he’d unwittingly walked into, but he knew it would do no good, he braced himself against the next lash, which tore through his skin, every muscle in his back bunched. Jon strained against the shackles, attempting to ground himself as his feet slipped in his own pooling blood. A soft scream accompanied the next crack of the whip as it scoured flesh from bone. Jon was starting to really struggle against his bindings now, which only caused Elias to beat him harder and faster, snapping the whip over his lacerated flesh again and again, not pausing to rest until the archivists skin was all but flayed from his back entirely and he hung limp from his wrists, motionless and silent, feet dragging on the cold tile. Elias began the stopwatch, after ten long seconds the archivist began to emit a low groan and fruitlessly attempt to regain his footing on the blood slicked floor, a scene that no longer matched the fading scars peppering his back.
“well done Jon,” Elias ran a frustratingly gentle hand over his archivists tender skin, “ten seconds isn’t terrible, Of course I’ll expect better results next time.” The conformation of a ‘next time’ caused a spike in Jon’s anxiety levels that made Elias brim with delight. “I’m going to let you rest there for an hour and then I’ll return to administer your punishment.” Elias was satisfied to see tears rolling down the archivists cheeks as he left him to stew in anticipation and anxiety, hanging from the ceiling by his wrists above a pool of his own drying blood.