They're not going to catch him downstairs. While Marilyn gives the security office more information, as detailed a description as possible, while she hears from the security chief himself (her law firm occupies three full floors of the building, an important tenant), let me offer this aside. This digression is not without relevance: her purse gone, Marilyn thinks on several planes at once -- damage control, closing accounts and replacing her Visa, her American Express, her Broadway, and her Mobil credit cards, obtaining new identification, contacting a locksmith. She also thinks about revenge, why she might do to the thief given the opportunity.
The little time Marilyn allows herself for outside, non-law, non-work-related reading, she devotes to histories of the Inquisition. A strange choice but the absolute power of Torquemada over the life and death of his detainees attracts her. And his first name: Fray, as if the pressure of such power threatened to rupture the very fibers of self.
The first Inquisition had six principal forms of torture that repeated throughout the three hundred or so years that inquisitions moved around Europe. They were: the ordeal of water (known in Spain as the toca), the ordeal of fire, the strappado (in Spain the garrucha, a torture involving pulleys), the wheel, the rack (also called the potro), and the stivaletto. Thumbscrews and Iron Maidens did not figure into her research, nor did drawing and quartering, immersion in tar or burning at the stake.
Foucault wrote that merely seeing the instruments torture was frequently sufficient to bring about a full confession on the part of the accused. Of course the New England Puritans were far more obtuse in their methods: they bound their accused and submerged them. Witches lived, humans drowned. Neither Marilyn nor I know of one recorded incident where an accused witch survived the prolonged immersion under water. Puritans do not, however, learn by their mistakes.
Given the opportunity, Marilyn would have subjected the thief to all six forms of the torture, though she readily knew that the shock to the body of one might have been enough to induce death.
And what of this twisted piece of business? Torture and the Inquisition. Learning of her background and interests certainly changed my opinion of Marilyn. If invited to spend the night with her, I am sure I would decline an offer to experiment with "light bondage."
Story continues in Part 2
For a turn into fantasy, go to Part 9