While they were talking, he was conscious. He could hear what they had planned for him. He stayed silent and pretended that he was out of it. They hassled and moved him. They bundled him into a vehicle. The windows were black. He was groggy. They didn’t blindfold him, but they may as well have. He drifted uncomfortably from conscious, to lucid, to comatose. Like a drunk who had long since abandoned any dignity, he could feel nothing and did not care that this was his position. He awoke in a room, a cell. Did he do this? Was it the man’s fault?
Three Weeks Later
He had a window. It might have been barred, he wasn’t sure. Was he supposed to be grateful? Every day they came, and they took from him. They took his soul and tried to make him believe in that which his mind told him was ridiculous. A window, barred or not, is helpful. The view was beautiful but, when you’re a prisoner, the hanging gardens of Babylon will get old. Never mind a few sheep and a bit of a mountain. The pain he was feeling was worse than it had ever been. His mind was jumbled and a mix of the abstract and the surreal.
The same dream played on repeat in his fevered, desperate mind. He drifted to and fro. Like a pendulum, he swung from the real to the bizarre and as he smashed down into reality his body would be drenched. Rivers of cold sweat washed over him. More torture. More visitors. The council of evil is in session.
He couldn’t leave the room. He ate what he was given, and for weeks his only contact was with his brainwasher. A passive aggressive patriarch, who persisted in telling him that all of this was for his own good. The food was barely edible. It was not what he was accustomed to. He began to plan his escape.
Two Weeks Later
His pain was abating. Boredom was his tormentor now. The master of his suffering, his torturer, took him to a place, a room colder than his ex. There were other prisoners there. No names were given. Just mumblings. The noise could have been talking, it could have been planning. To him, it was muffled grunts that made less sense than the prison itself did. This went on for the lifespan of a small mammal. That, or four weeks.
The Day it Happened.
They came early. The man’s betrayer was now revealed. The one person he trusted, his confidant, was in on it. They didn’t say much. They passed him some clothes. The one he trusted looked at him. There was sympathy in his eyes, as though he knew what he was going through. “Come on. We need to go. We’re gonna have to drop you back here later. You know that right?” The betrayal almost choked him. “There is something we have to do. You look good by the way. Younger. Come on.”
They led him through a corridor and out of a side door. Another vehicle was waiting behind the one that they would put him into. He tried to stop to appreciate the fresh air and the sunlight. It was spring. April or maybe May. The sun was warm and caressed his skin. The shade was cold and bit him. The leader and two other men who cast mountain like shadows of their own pushed him into the back of the minivan. The doors slammed shut, and in unison, the vehicles sped away.
To Be Continued ……
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