“It’s quite horrible, isn’t it?"

“Yes, very," Jacobe nodded, voice suddenly soft, gaze transfixed on Wilson’s face, “The work of a madman."”

“I still can’t believe the body just disappeared. Only the head left behind. What bizarreness!"”

“Very bizarre." He sounded distant, far-away to Wilson.

“Are you alright?"

There was the sound of glass splintering into hundreds as it collided with the marble floor. Glistering liquid spilled out, dyeing the floor red. Wilson let out a stunned gasp.

“Oh. Oh dear. I am sorry," Jacobe said, shaking his head in a daze. “I do believe I’ve dropped my glass. Excuse me. I’ll find a rag to clean up." He left the room.

Wilson’s brow was still furrowed upon his return, his attention caught on a shiny metal object that lay gleaming in the sink. A knife. The kind you’d use to chop meat with. And on the end? The smallest trickle of dried blood, visible only because of the sheer intensity of the crimson.

“Jacobe …" Wilson said, beginning to panic. He whirred around and found himself staring straight at a pair of dark brown eyes.

“I am sorry." And the world went black.

When he awakened again, he was gagged, lying crucified on a steel bed, his hands and feet bound in chains to the bars. It was dimly lit, the walls gunmetal grey and the floor dirty concrete. He could only move his head, and as he knocked it to the right, a strangled scream rose from his throat.

On the right wall of the room, there hung a peculiar set of dolls, supported by a network of nails and string.

Except they were not dolls. Though they drew no breath.

The first bore a boy’s head, sewn crudely onto an old man’s body – a freak show, a bloody science experiment. The rough stitches reminded Wilson of a drawing of Frankenstein he’d once seen. On, and on, the line of mismatched figures continued.

The last in the row had a man’s face and a woman’s body, cheerfully dressed in the colour of shrieking pink that had the sun in its shine.

Bile rose in Wilson’s throat, and he heard the door open as his mind swirled and his limbs fought for escape.

“No, please! Don’t struggle! I am so very, very, very sorry! I didn’t plan for this to end so early, but I just couldn’t stop staring at your eyes, you see? They’re my very favourite shade of blue. Azure blue. Like the summer sky. I couldn’t wait to have you in my collection. Just couldn’t … do you like them? My beautiful pets? Hold still now won’t you?"

When Wilson tried to scream this time, blood squirted up in a jet as the knife carved at his throat.

After that, he didn’t try again.