Something tugged at the boy's sleeve. Scissors pulled and then sliced the fabric. The cold metal touched his arm briefly when the scissors opened, and then they sliced again. When the cut came around to his armpit he raised his arm as much as he could. He could imagine the tip of the scissors poking his sides and he wanted to give them as much room as possible.

Soon the cut around the sleeve was complete and the scissors made a journey down his arm. The shirt-sleeve couldn’t be shed normally because of the restraints.

During this process, he heard no sounds from the man except the slice. He detected no breathing. The cutting seemed to continue for hours. Each garment went through the same careful extraction until the boy believed that he was completely naked except for his underwear and the burlap hood on his head.

He smelled paint. His house had smelled the same way for weeks after his parents had remodeled the bathroom. The man brushed cold paint onto the boy's chest. The smell was incredibly strong, but not unpleasant. It smelled clean and orderly.

This touch was much more delicate than the scissors.

“What a strange sensation,” he thought as the liquid on his skin began to dry. It was tight and itchy. He squirmed in his restraints.


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