When Stefan Makarovskyi came to he found himself in a dilapidated barn sitting in a sturdy wooden chair. His hands were nailed to the arms and his ankles shackled to the ornate legs. He’d have let out a scream of horror if it hadn’t been for the sweaty sock that had been tightly rolled up and wedged into his mouth. Curiously, despite the sight of his sickening impalement he couldn’t feel a thing. He bawled through the stale sock and thrashed his corpulent body from side to side but trying to escape was obviously a futile exercise.
Finally, through sheer exhaustion, he just sat there, soaked in sweat and straining to regain his breath. His eyes were bloodshot and his pallor such a sickly shade of grey that it seemed he might expire at any moment. At that moment five men stepped forward as though emerging from thin air. Stefan recognised them immediately and his eyes widened.
Furthest to his right was Lucan Cowell, the local doctor. The small village of Flitching was quintessentially English and didn’t take kindly to foreigners moving in. but Doctor Cowell, a man of Polish descent who’s real surname was Kowaliski, had lived there for almost 50 years; his knowledge of the village and all its indiscretions had earned him almost reverential respect.
‘Trying to escape is pointless,’ he said with his gaze fixed steadfastly into the eyes of the unwieldy Ukranian. He pushed his glasses further up his long nose and scrunched his gaunt face into a sadistic smile. ‘Struggling is not recommended. I have injected a considerable amount of anaesthetic into your hands; pain will follow soon though, I assure you.’