His eyes were right there, right where they were supposed to be. They looked wrong, everything about him looked wrong. 

I never knew what to think of him, though the fear was so heavy that I doubt it really made any difference what I thought of it.

I think I was more afraid of what was under that zipper than I was of dying. If he had given me a choice to see what was under that zipper and then go free, I would have done nothing but scream. No way in hell could I handle what was under that zipper.

His voice was a bit muffled, beneath the zipper that reached from almost one ear all of the way to the other.  He said, “I will make you like me; I will make a zipper over your face, and soon, that zipper will be your face.”  His slight chuckle disgusted me.

I shook my head. This didn’t make any damn sense. In what world would he ever need to put a zipper into another person’s face? 

I wanted to scream, but still, he had me held down, tied and gagged. 

His fingers ran up and down my cheek, “It is gonna hurt.” I could hear the smile beneath his own zipper.  “It is going to hurt so badly that you’re never gonna be the same again. You’ll never be the same and afterward?”  He chuckled some more. “You will not be able to eat or drink. The only way to get through the zipper is to open it and that will just open your miserable face to the world. Huh, you’ll probably just drown on your own blood.”

His fingers ran over my ears as though he was envious of them. 

“Soon, my friend, you’ll understand what it means to be a Zipperface. Someone like me, I don’t control your fate. I can neither eat nor drink.” He pushed my body back until I am tight against the table and tightens all the straps on me until there is no hope I could ever escape. He laughs again.

“The thing about it, is that I will starve if I don’t make you. We must make a choice. Create another one like us, or you’ll starve to death. My master has given me the choice, and I don’t want to die. You’ll likely do the same thing. Then, I’ll show you what my master shows me, and we’ll eat and drink together as the one you create makes their own decision.

He took something from his side, pliers it looked like.  He says, “Look now, don’t hate me for this, it is what must be done.  Look into the future, in a few days’ time come back here, bring another for the procedure.  I will teach you what I have learned.”  He twists me a bit until I can see the side of the room. 

“All you have to do is follow the directions on the wall.” 

He took the pliers and did something I had not been expecting at all. He went to my pinky toe, grabbed it, and then twisted and turned it until it tore completely from my body. I screamed with everything I could. 

He looked at it and dropped it to the floor. “I am sorry, but the pain helps the rubber fit better to your face.”

He took out the gag, and I started biting at him, screaming and cursing with everything I had, but I was restrained too much. Everything was hopeless.

He poured strong alcohol all over my face. It burned my eyes and mouth and even in my nose and in tiny cuts I did not even know were there. He shrugged and said, “Safety first.”

There was not a bit of hope as he placed the tight rubber around my face. The rubber was thick, and he attached it to the back of my head with two screws. Using a drill to get them exactly in place. He kept looking at the instructions on the wall to get them perfect. 

I could not stop screaming, fearing and then hoping I would pass out. Strangely enough, the drilling was not as painful as I expected it to be. 

The zipper was much like a regular zipper, the kind that you have on your pants or your bag, but it was bigger, maybe twice the size.

He took a knife, more like a knife you would use to carve a pumpkin than any regular sort of knife, and he put it at the edge of my face. With a sigh, he said, “Now the real pain begins.” 

He pushed with all his might to get the knife through the rubber, and then, through the skin on my cheek.  I shrieked with every inch as he took the edge of the zipper and ran it through my face. Slowly, he edged it through with the knife as though he was sewing. I felt like my soul was being crushed into nothing.

Blackout, please blackout.

Please die, I begged myself.

I don’t know when, or how, but at some point, I found myself sitting up in the same room. The Zipperface was gone and the pain running through me was unreal. I reached up and felt the rubber on my cheek.  Even this movement hurt so badly that I screamed within myself. 

I saw the table where he held me. There were vials of drugs and syringes. A paper next to them said, Take some of these for the pain and get working on your replacement.

I closed my eyes for a second and then reached for the first vial.

Why had this happened? 

I pulled the liquid into it, careful to keep the air out and careful to jab it into just the right spot on my arm.  I stuck it in, and within just a few seconds, I felt loopy and a little better. 

Just a little better.

I sat several more minutes before getting up. 

I had no choice.

I had no choice but to create another Zipperface.