Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

“I won’t say a thing!” I screamed at the darkness, “Nothing you do will make me talk!”

“Nothing we do?” a man asked, “but we aren’t going to do anything to you.” He kneeled down in front of me and took off my handcuffs. With them, he took off my watch. Lastly, he pulled off the hood.

“See you tomorrow!” he called, closing the door behind him.

I rubbed my wrists, regaining feeling in them and looked around my room. It was rather small and plain. Nothing but blank walls without windows and a single, solid, concrete door. There was a single light source on the ceiling about 10 feet above me. To my right was a toilet, which surprised me since I hadn’t smelled anything coming in. Lastly, there was a cot against the wall.

Not going to do anything to me?

I found that hard to believe. I stood poised for whatever came next. I checked for gas coming from somewhere or cameras around the room. Nothing. I knocked at the door and found it disappointing that there wasn’t any echo from it. I couldn’t tell how large the facility was outside of this room.

I started pacing and decided to go over my options at this point. They were probably going to starve me. I could just talk, they said they would let me go, but I don’t see why they’d do that despite the fact that they hadn’t injured me at all during the time they’d had me as their hostage.

My stomach growled and I sighed, knowing that the coming days of fasting would take their toll. I already imagined myself drinking from the toilet in the upcoming days just to get some sort of water. I finally stopped my pacing and fell on my cot, staring at the light on the ceiling. Constant, unwavering, white light. I found my eyes drooping and let myself fall asleep.

* * *

When I woke up, I found a tray of food at the foot of the door.

Interesting.

It was bread, a potato, water, and a number of multivitamins. I smelled the bread for a while, making sure it wasn’t laced with anything. I wouldn’t speak to them under the influence of drugs either. I left the vitamins, sure that they were probably laced with something and drank the water in two quick gulps. I then nibbled away at the potato.

I started pacing again, waiting for them to show up. How long had I been asleep for? I instinctively checked my wrist and was greeted with the sight of my bare arm rather than my watch.

Right, they took that.

Was it a full sleep or just a nap? I couldn’t tell, but my body didn’t feel all that refreshed. I started doing squats, just to get the blood flowing and once I did a set, swapped for push-ups. I started jogging in place but felt that it wasn’t worth doing and I felt kind of stupid doing that. I sat on my cot, then jumped up.

They wanted me to sleep. That’s when they came in. Probably did stuff to me. I checked my body for signs of harassment all the way down to my naked skin but found nothing. Same as always. I started whistling Fur Elise to pass the time. How much time, though?

After what felt like a couple of hours, I used the toilet, flushed and flopped back on the cot. I was tired. They would be back tomorrow. Whenever that was. I stared up at the light. White. Unwavering. Constant.

My eyes grew heavy.

* * *

My arm was numb. What had they done!? After a few seconds, it occurred to me that it was my fault because I had slept on it. I rotated it a few times and regained feeling, and spotted more food in the same tray. The same vitamins were there from the first “meal,” but there were new pieces of bread and more water. I pursed my lips and felt my stomach groan in anticipation.

“Fine.”

I ate all of it, including the vitamins this time around. They wouldn’t want me to give them false information after all and drugs wouldn’t help them in that regard. I checked my wrist again.

“Mmmm…” I remembered they took the watch. I got back to doing some push-ups and squats. I started whistling a tune that I couldn’t remember the name of but had some nostalgic feeling to it. How long until they returned? My resolve hadn’t broken one bit. I could handle any number of hours before tomorrow. They would probably be back any minute.

* * *

I rolled out of my cot. Good ol’ cot. My body ached a bit, but it was better than sitting on the floor. I started whistling while approaching the door. I started drumming on the walls to add to the tune and stopped abruptly. The food wasn’t there. Just the empty tray. I must not have gone to sleep long enough. Or they were coming back. When were they coming back?

See you tomorrow!

I’m sure he said that, right? I wonder who he was. Probably a watch collector of sorts. What a strange guy. Took a watch and left. I knocked on the door.

“Hey! You forgot the food, guys. And can I get my watch back? Please?” I missed my potato. It helped a lot. I sat on the toilet for a bit then went back over and laid on the cot to speed up the time. They’d be here next time I woke up for sure. The light looked down on me. Constant. Beaming.

* * *

The food was back. But where were they? I felt the ground around my tray. Feeling for scuff marks or something. Did they even enter the room to put the food in? How else would it get here?

I looked up at the light.

“Do you have something to do with this?”

I smiled and scratched my chin. There was a surprising amount of hair on my chin. When was the last time I shaved? Was I clean-shaven coming in? I couldn’t remember. It had to have been a day at this length. Unless I forgot to shave. But I didn’t.

Did I?

I dunno.

Did I??

I dunno.

I started to wonder how the food got here without making a sound when it crawled in. Did I even shave? I dunno. The cot looked pretty inviting. I looked up at the light and nodded, telling it I was going to sleep. It knew that. It always watched vigilantly. Protecting me. My light.

* * *

Tomorrow. How long was tomorrow? My nails were really long. I started using them to cut my potato, but then I felt bad since Potato hadn’t done anything that deserved to be cut up like that. I bit on my nails with the intent to eat them. I liked being able to crunch my teeth on something since it had been a while since I had a crunchy food. Then I crunched down on my hard bread. It had been a while since I had any crunchy food. I started chewing my vitamins next and looked up at the light. They had a satisfying crunch to them.

“Hello,” I waved, “when are they coming back?” It stayed unwavering.

“Come on, I won’t tell,” I urged. Nothing. “Tell me! You know don’t you!?” I ran and laid down face first on my cot. I wouldn’t give Light the satisfaction of me looking up at it. Then I got worried I was making him mad and looked up and him.

“Sorry.”

* * *

I stroked my beard down to my chest and nodded to Empty Tray. At least she provided me with more than just light. I could live without Light. I could live without all of them except Empty Tray. At least she was nice to me.

* * *

“What am I doing here?” I asked Toilet. Toilet flushed. “Right, I can’t talk. I can’t tell them anything. Who are they?” Toilet flushed. “Right. Got it.”

* * *

I screamed and backed into the corner.

“STOP!! STOP!! Stay away! Light! Empty Tray!! HELP!!

The door opened wider as two men in suits came in towards me.

“Stay back! I’ve been push-ups!” I swung my arm at one, but it seemed he was invincible, like Empty Tray. I started whistling something at him, but it too had no effect.

“Wow,” one of them stopped in front of me as I backed further into my corner, “you said this guy has been in here for — “

“We don’t tell them how long,” the other cut him off, “makes it all the more fun.”

“Who are you? What do you want??” I squealed.

“We’re letting you go. We have no need for you anymore.”

“Letting me go…?” I didn’t understand. I looked to Light, Empty Tray, and Toilet in turn for advice. None of them said anything. “I don’t — “

“Come on buddy.” They both grabbed me.

“NOOOO!!! NOOOO!!! LET ME GO!! PLEASE!! PLEASE!! I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I DID! IS IT TOMORROW ALREADY??” I screamed a guttural sound at them as they dragged me out.

“How are we gonna get info out of this guy? He’s completely nuts, right?” one asked.

“We had no intention of getting info out of him after the first day. We just break ’em and send ’em back out so that they can’t support their organizations anymore.”

A microfiction, flash fiction, and general fiction author. With more stories at instagram.com/n.t.lazer/

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