Punishment of the Brutal Variety

📅 Published on November 24, 2021

“Punishment of the Brutal Variety”

Written by Jay Corvus
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Jay Corvus

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: Not Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 13 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
Please wait...

17-year-old Marco Romano lifted the metal baseball bat over his head. It felt heavier than it should have, but he tried his best to hold his arms steady and tightened his grip. He was about to bring it down on a whimpering and writhing girl named Valentina Ricci. Her hands and ankles were bound with rope, and a filthy rag muffled her cries. She had been one of his classmates, a friend, and at one point a girl he fancied but never dared to ask out on a date. A moment ago, she had been anonymous thanks to the burlap sack that was secured over her head. Once it came off, though, he recognized her immediately, and he wished the sack continued to hide her face from him. Despite her swollen, tear, and makeup-smeared face, he still thought she was beautiful. Even with the gag in her mouth, he could still understand her when she looked up at him with her beautiful eyes and tried to mouth the words “Marco? Why?” Just before he swung the bat, his mind became focused on a sour memory he had of her. The metal bat made a sickening metal clink and her skull reciprocated with an even more horrifying crack.

In his mind, he did his best to remember and focus on the day she had played a prank on him while he and his classmates went out to lunch. Likely she intended her joke to be some lighthearted fun when she put mushrooms on his pizza, sliding them out of sight just under the cheese. It was well known amongst his general group of friends in school that he loathed mushrooms. She must have figured that a silly prank of this caliber would be funny, and for a few moments, it was until his face started to turn red and his throat began to close. Most people outside of his closest group of friends didn’t know that Marco hated mushrooms because he was deathly allergic to them. He hid from the world a little-known fact out of shame and fear that it would make him look weak. But after that day, everyone knew, and it was all her fault.

An epinephrine pen and an ambulance ride later, Marco accepted Valentina’s apology over a Skype call from his bed in the hospital. But he never let go of the anger and humiliation he felt the moment she started laughing after he swallowed a bite of the poisoned pizza slice, the moment she revealed her prank. It was enough to facilitate the swing of the bat into her cranium. Blood splattered on the concrete, and he drew up the bat again. She had only screamed through her gag for a moment before the first blow silenced her, and now she had become stiff. She convulsed and stretched her limps out hard against her bindings as blood trickled from her nose, mouth, and ear. One of her eyes had dislodged from the socket and now peered down, dancing like a marionette to the motions of Valentina’s death rattles. Marco delivered blow after blow faster and faster, feeling his muscles begin to burn with the effort until her body finally lay still, and her head was an unrecognizable mixture of bone fragments and bloody brain matter. The act only lasted 45 to 60 seconds but would’ve felt like a lifetime to anyone who had watched.

The sounds of the metal baseball bat had echoed inside the abandoned warehouse they were in, and Marco thought he could still hear the ghostly remnant of the beating still lingering in the air. The place was eerie even in the daytime. Now with the gory events before him, the building had become all the more haunting in the stillness of the night. This was all forbidden territory, property that was covered by the shroud of the Italian mob and haunted by the ghosts of their former victims. Splattered brain chunks and blood were now decorating Marco’s face and were mixing with the fresh droplets of sweat now trickling down his brow. He was out of breath and gripped the bat so hard that his hands first began to hurt but now started to tingle and go numb. The rush of blood and adrenalin left him lightheaded and now he could taste bile in his mouth, but he refused to vomit in front of his audience. A 46-year-old man in an ill-fitting cheap suit stood in front of a white SUV, the engine was still running, and the high beams were on, casting long ominous shadows on the grim deed. Four brutes flanked him in well-tailored black suits, his muscle that followed him everywhere he went.

The little man in the big suit was Pietro De Luca, and he was an up-and-coming new lieutenant in a sub-branch of the Gambino Crime Family in New York. Marco first met him when his older brother, Matteo, first introduced him to the dark underworld of drugs, weapons, and good illicit sales. Marco looked up to his older brother. He wanted to be just like him, even if it meant becoming involved with the mob. The mob paid the bills after all. The mob was what made sure their mother got into a better hospital to treat her cancer. The mob was the reason they could move out of the slums. The mob was there when Marco’s father wasn’t. The mob seemed like the only option available for him.

“What the fuck was that?” came the displeased voice of Mr. De Luca. “This shit ain’t no execution, Marco! Do them right, or else I’m shoving that bat so far up your ass you’ll bring new meaning to pitchin’ and catchin’! Coglione!”

Marco had deliberately gone for the girl’s head in an attempt to get the punishment over with quickly, but the fear of retribution from his boss gave him new motivation to start taking his time with the next two hooded figures.

“I-I’m sorry, Mr. De Luca. I’ll get it right this time, sir.”

De Luca didn’t reply and instead motioned to one of his grunts to fetch the next person out from the back of the SUV. He reached into the inside pocket of his cheap suit, and for a moment, Marco thought he was reaching for his signature silver Smith & Wesson revolver but was relieved to see that De Luca was just pulling out his silver case of cigars. He cut the tip off, and immediately, one of his bodyguards lit the cigar with a butane lighter. When the first puff of smoke left De Luca’s lips, the second punishment victim had been flung down at Marco’s feet. The hooded figure’s hands were bound behind his back, and his ankles were tied together like Valentina’s.

The grunt didn’t have to remove the old man’s burlap sack for Marco to know already who this next victim was. Mr. Li Yang’s signature suspenders and slacks were a dead giveaway. He was probably well into his mid to late 70’s now and was well known by Marco’s community as the friendly China man that ran the corner store on his street. For as long as Marco could remember, he had been going into Mr. Yang’s store for everything from groceries to comic books. His shop was the meetup spot after school where friends could hang out and get a soda pop and maybe a slice of pizza. Mr. Yang’s shop was especially popular for offering up free WiFi for his regular customers, especially the neighborhood kids. When it was someone’s birthday, Mr. Yang always made sure to give out free cans of lemonade and candy bars to the kids. In short, the older man was like a grandfather to anyone that got to know him.

That cheerful Chinese man now lay at Marco’s feet, bound, gagged, and bruised up. He had put up a fight, as evidenced by the large cut below his eye. Not to mention the bruises around his face and arms. Whatever fight he may have had left in him quickly drained when his eyes met Marco’s. A look of defeat manifested in his eyes. He recognized Marco but said nothing as he lay there. Marco tried not to waste any time. He knew hesitation would be a sign of weakness, so the bat came down fast. The warehouse was again filled with the sounds of cracking bones. The muffled cries of pain orchestrated by the metallic sounds of the baseball bat. Marco brought down the bat over and over again, making sure to drag on the torture and beating for several minutes. As Yang took the brutal beating, he held the look of defeat, betrayal, and sadness in his eyes. Marco ignored a look as he continued to swing his weapon, grunting at every exertion of force.

Marco’s mind wanted to retreat and go numb, but he forced himself to remember the time Mr. Yang had scolded him for having smeared dog crap all over his shop floors. It hadn’t been his fault. He didn’t know he stepped in shit. But Yang forced him to mop up his floors in front of his friends. He was humiliated by the short old geezer and the authority he had over him. Under the threat of calling Marco’s mother, Yang had made him kick off his filthy shoes outside and purchase a pair of yellow flower flip-flops to wear as he worked to clean up the mess. Anger guided the bat down hard on Yang’s hip bone. A loud pop declared it had dislocated, and the next blow produced an even louder crack signaling a broken bone. He swung down hard on the old man’s shoulders, his arms, his hands, and lower back. He watched as his blows did real damage to the frail old man’s body. He dared a glance over at De Luca and regretted it. The sick bastard was grinning ear to ear with satisfaction. Just as Marco felt like his arms were about to fall off and he was going to keel over with exhaustion De Luca spoke up.

“All right, all right, that’s good enuff kid. Put the China man out of his misery. We don’t have all night in this spooky shithole. I wanna see you spill his brains as you did with ya girlfriend over there.”

Somehow Mr. Yang was still alive and still conscious enough to understand what was about to happen. Even with his numerous injuries, including his broken ribs and a shattered pelvis, he somehow managed to roll over onto his back to look up at Marco. Marco focused on the memory of the stupid yellow flower flip flops and the nasty mop he was forced to use to clean up dog crap while his friends laughed at him from outside the shop. He felt his face flush red when he remembered how everyone at school made him the butt of their jokes for a month straight, calling him “flip-flop” and “Yang’s Bitch” amongst other less creative names. Moments later, he was shaking off a piece of Mr. Yang’s scalp from the end of the bat and once again fighting to hold in the contents of his stomach. He refused to look weak in front of De Luca and his goons. He even resisted the urge to wipe off the blood and chunks he could now feel on his face and in his hair. De Luca removed the cigar from his mouth and blew out another puff of smoke before speaking with a satisfied grin on his face.

“You look like you enjoyed that one. Is there a psychopath hiding under all that teenage angst? Don’t answer that. I don’t care. One more and youz in the clear. What? You tired?” he laughed.

Marco struggled to catch his breath and looked down at his feet but quickly forced himself to make eye contact with De Luca before answering.

“N-No, Mr. De Luca. I think- I- I’m good…”

His voice was a little shaky, but he hoped his actions spoke louder than the tone in his words. De Luca just chuckled under his breath and reinserted the cigar in between his teeth. He gestured again to one of his goons, and like a wiped dog, he went to fetch the last punishment victim. Once again, the burlap sack didn’t have to come off for Marco to know who this next person was. He instantly felt as if he had rocks in his stomach and a knot in his throat. Marco stood steady and fought to control himself as he felt his knees begin to go weak and tremble under his own weight. He hadn’t expected this. He hadn’t even stopped to consider it would be an option on De Luca’s mind.

This was the one person that taught Marco everything he knew about life. This was the man that always protected him from getting hurt and made sure to take whatever blows life threw his way. It was Marco’s 27-year-old big brother Matteo. Matteo’s bruised and blood-caked face was almost unrecognizable after the big goon tore off the burlap sack from his face. His nose was broken, and his right eye was nearly swollen shut. He was bruised up purple and blue, much worse than Mr. Yang, and was now short a few teeth. Matteo had always been a scrapper, a real fighter that didn’t back down no matter the odds. De Luca’s grunts had worked him over pretty good already. Matteo was tied up tighter than the rest, but he made an effort to get up by pushing off the pavement with his face. This time De Luca himself walked over and stomped down on Matteo’s head. Matteo was trying to yell through the rag that was stuffed and tied down in his mouth while De Luca started to lean down towards him as if he wanted to whisper a secret into his ear.

“Shut yer mouth, Romano. This here ain’t nothin’ personal.” As he said this, he waved his cigar around in the air. “We’re just going through the motions with your kid brother here, that’s all. But I’m sure you already knew this was gonna happen. But I bet you didn’t expect this shit, huh? Maybe you should have kept your cock holster shut.” De Luca quickly and unexpectedly drove the lit end of his cigar right into Matteo’s purple swollen cheek at the end of his question.

Matteo didn’t flinch in true Romano style but instead grunted in anger as the smoldering cigar was put out on his already damaged face. De Luca stood up and took a step back. He put out his hands, palms up and fingers straight as if he was presenting Marco with a treasure on a silver platter. Matteo laid there now silent except for the sound of his grinding teeth as he worked his jaws chewing through the rag in his mouth. A mix of blood and drool cascaded down his chin and cheek and started to pool at Marco’s feet. For the first time, Marco hesitated. Despite everything he had learned from his big brother and the mob, he hesitated. The bat was too heavy in his hands, and his grip was too weak. His knees threatened to betray him, and he could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He knew that the moment they rolled down his face, the signature silver Smith & Wesson revolver would come out to greet them. The Romano brothers were doomed to a quick and shameful death in a dark warehouse in the middle of nowhere. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to wonder who would take care of ma now that he and his brother were gone.

Just as De Luca clicked his tongue in disappointment and reached up for his gun, Matteo finished chewing through the rag in his mouth despite having fewer teeth in use. He must have swallowed part of the rag because he didn’t spit anything out when he choked out his bloody speech.

“Marco! You stupid insignificant, worthless pile of dog shit! Look at yourself! A weak and pathetic excuse for a man. Not even a man! I knew ever since you were a kid that you were born a spineless and dickless coward.” De Luca was stunned in place and took his hand away from his holstered revolver to enjoy the show a while longer. “You’ve only ever brought shame to the Romano family. You’re the reason pa left us. You were too stupid to take care of ma when she got sick. You were a tumor on my side everywhere I went, and you never learned a goddamned thing I taught you. Even now, it’s in one ear out the other, ain’t it?! What, you gonna cry? Cry your bitch tears then and let De Luca put me out of my freakin’ misery already! You can’t ev-”

Marco silenced his older brother with a swift kick from his boot, further shattering what was left of his nose. At the moment when he delivered the blow, he reflected on everything his big brother had taught him. In his mind, he could hear his brother’s voice speaking to him as they sat in his car on the night Marco decided to join De Luca’s crew.

“Look, bro, it ain’t too late to back down from this. De Luca is a tyrant and a strict and sadistic bastard that accepts no excuses and looks for any sign of weakness. If you’re gonna join our crew, you need to remember never to flinch, never hesitate, never show fear, and never question him. If you mess up, then take your licks like a grown-up. He won’t kill you right off unless you violate his trust or disrespect the family, but he will punish you. Look, one of these days, he’s gonna give you an impossible task, a delivery or a deal that he’s going to rig to go bad. He’s testing you. It will happen. That’s going to be your final initiation to the crew and test your loyalty to him and the family. Don’t run, don’t make excuses, go back to him, and tell the truth, tell him it was your fault. Take your punishment like a grown-up.”

“What’s he gonna do to me?”

“I ain’t gonna lie to you, bro. He’s gonna make you kill three people. Sometimes they’re random hobos he finds on the streets, but other times… well… they’re people you know. Look, Marco, there ain’t no question that this will happen. But you can make it easier on yourself. If the people he chooses are people you know, I want you to think of the times those people pissed you off. Focus on the bad things, and hopefully, that becomes enough to let you do the thing you gotta do.”

Marco nervously shifted in his seat before asking a question he really didn’t want to.

“What happens if I can’t do it? What if I just can’t?”

Matteo looked away and, after a long pause, finally answered.

“He’ll make you give his Smith & Wesson a blowjob and then feed what’s left of you to the fishes.”

Marco did his best to forget how kind his brother had been to him and instead focused on the hateful and cruel things he had just heard. He knew he would have failed had his brother not spoken out at that moment. Matteo looked after his kid brother even now. That outburst was a final and singular mercy he could give his little brother. Matteo had plenty of time to think while tied up in the back of De Luca’s SUV. He knew that if Marco couldn’t kill him, they’d both be at the receiving end of De Luca’s gun. If the Romano brothers bit the dust that night, there’d be no one left to watch over their ma. Marco swung the bat and focused his rage on the lies his big brother had spoken. He tried to put anger and hate into every swing. He begged his brother for forgiveness in both his mind and heart because he was shouldering a pang of heavier guilt -a shameful secret that painted Marco as a coward.

The day had come when Marco failed to deliver several kilos of coke. A bunch of thugs in masks jumped him and stole the goods. Worst of all, they left him unharmed, so he knew it would look bad when he went back with a story that didn’t match his appearance. But De Luca only sat and listened to him, his face never betraying a hint as to what he was thinking. After a long silence, he looked at Marco with stone-cold eyes and spoke very calmly.

“Look, kid, right now, I know you’re going through the motions. You and your brother are real tight. I can respect that. I know he told you to expect this. I know you know this was gonna happen. So, I’m gonna give you a choice. A one-time deal from me, more generous than I’ve ever been in years. You either let the boys and me here give you a good beat-down and send you on your way out of here with a few broken bones and a few scars no questions asked, or you stay, and I pick out three for the punishment of the brutal variety. You see, I can’t know if I genuinely trust you when you already know how the game works, so I’m giving you a way out only out of respect for your brother. Life is a poker game, kid, so count your lucky stars that I’m a nice guy because you cheated me and took a peek at my hand. That’s why I can’t let you go without first putting a few scars on you.”

The truth was that Marco was too scared to get beaten, too scared to get hurt or feel pain. His big brother had always been there to take the blows for him, to defend him from ever getting hurt. He chose the punishment of the brutal variety, not knowing that he was allowing his big brother to take the blows once again life was throwing at him. Only this time, Marco was the one dealing out the punishment.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
Please wait...


🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: Not Available


Written by Jay Corvus
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Jay Corvus

🔔 More stories from author: Jay Corvus


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Jay Corvus:

Mr. M. Wos
Average Rating:
10

Mr. M. Wos

Best Investment
Average Rating:
9.33

Best Investment

Related Stories:

The Colour Out of Space
Average Rating:
10

The Colour Out of Space

Dagon
Average Rating:
9

Dagon

The Shadow out of Time
Average Rating:
10

The Shadow out of Time

I Bought a Working Time Machine
Average Rating:
8.63

I Bought a Working Time Machine

You Might Also Enjoy:

There’s No Such Thing
Average Rating:
10

There’s No Such Thing

What Was Brought Home
Average Rating:
9.42

What Was Brought Home

SpiritHoods: The Long Lost
Average Rating:
9

SpiritHoods: The Long Lost

He’s Killing Up There
Average Rating:
7.75

He’s Killing Up There

Recommended Reading:

The Age of Reckoning: Volume 1 (The World of Naeisus)
Dawn of the Debt
Crisp Flash Fiction
The Face of Fear & Other Stories

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Skip to content