Pursuit of greatness – Chapter Three
The first date.
Jefferson turned around and approached Max. The closer he came the better view Max got of what he held in his hands. His face displayed a feral smile whilst holding onto a what looked like a small transparent tube with a funnel on one end.
During his walk back towards Max she rewound time. Jefferson took one step back, then another. He continued backwards and turned around towards the cabinet, the doors flied into his hands. The air warped all around the odd pair during the rewind. Her lack of strength became obvious as she only managed to make Jefferson turn back to the cabinet. He then spun back around showing his feral smile while holding the transparent tube in his hands. All she achieved was a banging headache.
Think Max, think! Figure something out with the extra few seconds you can get from rewinding time. She rewound once again, her headache only gaining strength and Jefferson once again turned towards the cabinet. There has to be something I can use in here! She desperately thinks while she’s scanning her surroundings for something to use.
“That’s perfect Maxine!” Jefferson growled at her, while taking a photo with the mounted camera. Max rewound time again. There has to be something she could do! She starts to feel her nose-bleed creep down over her lips, and her headache now so powerful she can’t rewind anymore.
Max is crying and begging him to stop whatever he’s doing. However, with the drugged water starting to affect her, the only thing her body managed to produce is incoherent mumbles. With her mind screaming out of fear and pain, her body started to relax like she was going to sleep. Slowly, she starts to feel the panic creep into her.
“That’s perfect Maxine!” Jefferson growled at her, while taking a photo with the mounted camera. The latest photo showing up on the screen. Max eyes filled with terror and panic, desperately trying to make her body understand the danger she’s currently in.
Jefferson took a firm grip on Max chin, cleaned the blood from her nose, then forced her mouth open. With the drugs slowly relaxing her muscles she can neither fight nor aid him. She has to feel him do everything forcefully, with a shock of pain coming from her jaw due to being stretched beyond its limit. He then took the tube, pushed the end without the funnel down her throat, causing her gag reflex to kick in, although severely weakened due to the drugs. He ignored her empty attempts on throwing up as he kept on pushing the tube down her lax throat.
Her mind, already fueled by panic, was now screaming at the burst of pain and fear of suffocation. She could feel the tube getting pushed down her throat and the pain of it going down forcefully. The gag reflex trying to push back up the tube and the food she had just swallowed.
Her brain was playing games with Max, causing her to think she’s about to suffocate on her own vomit with a tube down her throat, only the tube blocked whatever was trying to come up. The pain of her oesophagus expanding due to the vomit having nowhere else to go caused a burning feeling of her internals closing the edge to burst any minute. The acid in the substances only added to the pain she’s under, like her internals were slowly melting away alongside bursting. Somehow the metallic acid flavour of bile slowly crept up into her mouth. The bile being pushed down the oesophagus alongside the tube giving Max a fake feel of being full. Suddenly she felt something hit against her teeth. It’s the other end of the tube, the funnel.
When the whole tube was in place Jefferson picked up the water bottle again and started to pour down whatever content that is left in the bottle down the funnel.
“Max, there is something you need to learn while you’re with me; You do as I say, you eat and drink what I give you unless you want this to happen more often. This time it worked out fine”, he said while he glanced down at the screen with a smile of satisfaction.
When the last of the content from the bottle in the was going down the tube in Max throat Jefferson walked over to the garbage bin and threw the plastic bottle away. He walked back and inspected Max, noting the drowsiness slowly creeping into her, he reached for the camera and positioned himself so he gets a clear picture of her face. Click. Click! CLICK! The horrifying sound of a camera shutter. Her face flashed by on the screen next to Jefferson, with each click showed a new picture. He put the camera back down. With indifference he pulled the tube out of Max, walked away behind the plastic draperies and came back without it.
Jefferson bent down and released the binds of Max right leg. He carefully positioned it across her left leg. He positioned himself again, this time so he got the full view of Max. Click. Click! CLICK!
“Max, I’m sorry but this simply isn’t good enough… You’ll have to become more… flexible”, Jefferson said to Max. “This is probably going to hurt but I won’t do anything to permanently harm you. I don’t want to risk another Rachel Amber fiasco.”
With that he forcefully pushed her right leg closer to the body, ignoring the grunts of pain escaping Max’s mouth. He unleashed both of Max’s hands and put them on top of her right knee cap, positioned the torso facing the slightly to the right. Click. Click. CLICK! Each click sending a new picture of her posed body to her screen for full display. Proving how exposed and vulnerable Max was at the hands of Jefferson. No matter how much she hated to admit it, her life was in his hands, as was her well-being.
Jefferson took another shot, positioned himself differently, and took another shot. Each shot only adds fuel to the passion burning inside of him. A deep burning desire to find that perfect shot, to bring out whatever was inside of Max. And each picture of Max, only opened up the capabilities for Jefferson, his eternal pursuit of the ultimate photograph. His previous wildness slowly seeping back into the endless depth of darkness within him. The cool and chill Mr Jefferson who’s teaching the photography class at Blackwell Academy was slowly coming back.
“Max, you still need to enter a photograph for the Everyday hero contest, why haven’t you done so already? It’s something pure about your photographs, you get out the essence of whatever you photograph. I am sure you would be able to win if you just submitted something, but no you just had to skip out of this opportunity. ALWAYS TAKE THE SHOT MAX.” Jefferson exhales, getting uncharacteristically agitated with Max indecisiveness to submit a photo for the contest. “With my skill of photographing skill I’ll be able to draw out whatever it is in you that manages to catch the source of purity for your photographs.”
With that he kept taking photos from various positions, to ensure to get every possible inch of Max. With each shot a new photograph of Max shows up on the screen, her face displaying nothing but drowsiness, her eyes without focus. Her mouth displaying a small opening where occasional groans of pain escaped her.
With each picture of Max flashed by on the screen, a soft humming started to rise from Jefferson. His movements became more fluid, more experienced, the clicking started to fall into a rhythm. Like it was just another day on the job.
Move body, MOVE Max desperately tried to lift her right hand to rewind time. Nothing happened, her hand didn’t even twitch. Jefferson sounded a bit more excited than earlier.
“Max, that’s excellent, keep on fighting the substances running through your body!” he exclaims excited. Max struggling and fighting against her perpetrator only excites Jefferson in his perverted pursuit of the ultimate picture. “The look in your eyes Max, it’s so fierce and full of fight! I’m surprised you’re showing this much resistance. Most girls I take here look utterly terrified and after a while they pester me to let them go in exchange for their silence. Like I haven’t thought about how to keep them quiet, who do they think I am? Some lowly kidnapper? I do what I must to take the perfect picture.”
He started to hum again, he put the camera back on the tripod. He released Max left leg and caressed her body with his right hand, followed her figure. He stopped his humming and lifted her up, placed her legs over the armrest and put her back in her seat. He strapped her back to fish lines which was strung to the roof to keep Jefferson’s victims to sit in whatever pose he desired them too. He placed her left hand vertically on the right knee with the chin rested in the palm. He carefully bent her fingers and placed them just under Max’s lower lip. He makes the nose align with her middle finger, strapped her hand and head to the fish lines to ensure her to keep the pose. He let the right hand hang free down her side. Observing the outcome of his modelling, he sighed and twisted her torso outwards to emphasise her figure and breast. He readjusted the fish lines accordingly to the new pose and went back to the camera.
He looked back at Max, sitting just how he wanted her too. He glanced down on his watch and then back at Max again. He took the camera and got back to humming, he once again fell into the rhythm of taking photographs with an ease that proves he’s done this several times over.
Max tried to move her body but all in vain. Her spine screamed from pain off the unnatural position of her torso, avoiding her drugged induced mind from drifting off to sleep. She concentrated every ounce of power she could muster. However, all she managed was to set her right hand into an easy swing. In the sphere outside of her consciousness she could hear Jefferson speak to her, but she couldn’t really understand the words he was saying. This time she tried to move her left hand. She managed to make it nudge a little until the fish lines constrained any further movements.
Jefferson noticed the resistance Max was starting to put up and took her down from her position unwillingly. He seated her back into the chair and put the straps back onto her arms and legs. He looked over the pictures he had taken today with his camera when he suddenly stopped pressing the button for the next picture. He glanced over at Max with an expression of genuine sorrow.
No, don’t you dare, your sick pervert! You have a photo of Chloe’s dead body?! Max cried, exhausted after the abuse and the effects of the drugs leaving Max system. A hand on top of her head grabbed her hair and forced her to face the screen. On display were Max lay on the ground, behind her in the dark you could just make out the body of a girl. The lightning too dark to make out her hair colour or the design on her clothes. But it was clear that it was a girl due to the shape of her body. It was also clear that it was Chloe lying there, the photograph was from that night. The night when Jefferson shot Chloe and took Max away. She’s laying in front of the laundry machine where they found Rachel, and there’s a pile of dirt from where they found Rachel. Jefferson changed picture. Max cried uncontrollably at the next picture. It’s a picture of Chloe lying on top of Rachel Amber’s grave. If Rachel hadn’t started to rot away, you would’ve thought they were just resting on the ground after a day at the junkyard.
Chloe looks so peaceful where she lies, the two finally reunited, connected through the ground they died on. At least Chloe got to die next to Rachel, and not alone in some… Max thinks to herself but her thoughts get interrupted by a photo being taken.
Click! “That’s a nice look you have on your face Max!” Jefferson exclaimed. Click! While holding a second camera, obviously planned for this moment to occur. “I finally get to see your pure self! I knew I could pull it out of you Max! Although it upsets me it still comes down to this wretched punk of yours being the reason.” He looked down at Max with this last sentence, “I’m sorry that she’s gone now Max, I would have loved to have a photo session where both of you were my models.”
Oh god she’s really dead… My Chloe, I promised you that we would be together. You’ll always be a part of me… At least you got the be reunited with Rachel, Max despaired.
“As much as it hurts me I do have to confess one thing Max. As you might know, all good things unfortunately have to come to an end sooner or later. And now is sadly later, so we’ll have to end our quality time together. Sadly, I still have to attend school and educate your pestering friends. But rejoice, I will be heading here the first thing I do when I’m finished at school. Depending on how I feel I might bring you a present as well. But now, I’m going to my apartment to get some sleep. I thank you for today and we’ll see one another tomorrow.” During his speech he ensured the buckles are tight and secure to avoid Max escaping from the chair and ultimately the room. He walked out through the draperies, opened the steel framed door and wished Max a good night before the door closed behind him.
With the picture of Chloe and Rachel still on display Max sinks back into her mind, too exhausted to try and escape her restraint. Too exhausted to fight the nightmares that’s about to come. The death of her best friend displays over and over in her mind.
“Chloe behind you, watch out!” Max body screamed, just to have Chloe turn around to see the assailant pointing a gun at her, a growling madness coming out of her, “YOU SCUM, YOU KILLED H…” After a loud bang came a deafening silence. Chloe fell backwards, confusion, anger, and surprise all displaying on her face. With a glaring hole where her heart is supposed to be.
Previous chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/pursuit-of-greatness-chapter-two/
Authors notes: Thanks to Harpuia, Damien Harvey and Music Man Sebastian for discussing the awesome topic of trying to vomit with something blocking the exit with me! And I had a lot of fun acting out Jefferson’s poses to get myself a picture in my head of how it could/would look/feel like. Also I’d like to thank Kirk Caulfield, Harpuia, Outsyder.