Frost’s mammoth wall shelf looms in the distance like a living creature in its den, so large it feels like it’s right next to you instead of tens of feet away. Frost himself stops in front of a column of shelves that stretches all the way to touch the ceiling, like an onlooking giant and his beanstalk.
In ominous silence, you watch as he reaches inside one of the compartments, retrieving something. An object. Your eyes dart to the label lining its resting place at the same time he draws it into his hand. All at once, the muscles in your arms and chest twitch with vigor. Your heart strikes you from within, its frantic outburst flooding your ears and your lungs collapse under the pressure of an invisible weight.
Basic Crop No. 3.
He places it on the flat surface, lining it vertically on the rack. He picks out four more, your heart pounding with each calm retrieval to add to the mobile rack.
Narrow Crop No. 5
Wide Crop No. 1
Tasseled Riding Crop No. 12
Slapper Crop No. 4
Your lips tremble as your eyes remain fixed on the display he just constructed, flawlessly assembled and evenly spaced.
Every single one.
You can’t suppress the fear coursing through you even if you try, unable to break your gaze from the tools he quietly rolls over to the H2O set up. Tools like the one he’d used on you last night; one that stung and bruised your flesh repeatedly as you were forced to count and recite the ways in which a human body loses water as you’d lost yours through tears and sweat and something else you’d rather not think about—right along with your mind.