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-=Chapter 1=-

There was a single, dimly lit lamp hanging from the ceiling of the room, which only illuminated enough to show a man tied down to a chair and blindfolded. Another man, a dark shady figure, paced in circles around the chair where the man sat, seeming to examine him, just outside the circle of light. The light cast shadows downward off his nose and brow, giving him an eerily disturbing look; and out of his stern demeanor expanded a smile while he continued to pace. Taking his hands out of the pockets of his black business suit, the dark man began to speak.

“So,” he began, “why do you think you are here?” He inquired, in an attempt to invoke a fear-based confession. The man, now able to see with the blindfold removed, looked around momentarily before responding; attempting to figure out where he was and what was going on.

“Where Am I? What am I doing here?” he asked, flustered, “Who are you and what are you doing with me?” The man strapped to the chair began to shake violently in an attempt to free himself from the bands pinning him to the chair, but was abruptly stopped as he felt the impact of metal slamming into his face, shaving skin from his cheek. Blood sprayed from the wound, and he shivered as blood ran down his cheek and onto his neck.

“I’ll be the one asking the questions here, but the names Samuel if you must know.” Samuel stated, in more of a growl than actual speech as he wiped his brass knuckles clean of the bound man’s blood. He walked out of the light in the room, only to return in a moment with his pinstripe suit jacket removed, revealing a white button-up shirt with several blood stains present. Rolling his sleeves to his elbows, Samuel walked to the front of the bound man and resumed his speech.

“My sources have informed me that you are the leader of a corrupt corporation with the intent of stealing millions from the government, and spending that money to fund a terrorist rebellion regime whose ultimate goal is the violent overthrow of the government.” The eyes of the bound man grew large, but he attempted to keep a calm composure as Samuel continued.

Samuel paused, but resumed only a moment later. “I want an answer out of you, but if I hear even the slightest hint of dishonesty in your voice-” His voice trailed off as he stepped away from the circle of light once more, and entered the shadows of the room only to return with a hammer. He came within inches of the man’s face, he continued. “You’ll regret it.”

Samuel backed off and awaited a response. The bound man gritted his teeth and his jaw quivered while he attempted to muster a response.

“I-I-I’m” he struggled, “I’m innoce—“As if jerk reaction, Samuel swung the hammer down upon the man’s knee cap, interrupting his speech as the sound of shattering bone overwhelmed all other noise. The bound mans eyes began to water and he screamed and flailed in pain.

“Tell me the truth!” He shouted, more barking his question at the man.

“I,” He began, “I don’t understand why you’ve got me here. I did nothing wrong and you have no reason to keep me here!” He shouted, extremely disgruntled. Samuel stared back with a blank, heartless look. The bound man seemed to tense up periodically in the times when the pain from his right leg burned, and he let out another earsplitting screech as, with a swift strike, Samuel smashed the hammer into his right calf. Dealing with both unbearable pain and a heart now beating at erratic intervals, he knew his situation was dire. Not only had the man broken his calf, but he had completely shattered the bone.

“Why do you have me here?” He shouted at the man, as a mixture of blood and spit flew from his mouth. His muscles tensed and he began to shake once more, this time with greater force; but he was halted again with the restraining bands placed around his arms, legs, and chest. He then let out a combination of roars and curses, nearly unrecognizable in human tongue. The blood-and-spit, dripping down his chin and onto his neck, began to coagulate; all the while, his muscles tensed again, and the shaking persisted. It was undistinguishable whether the shouts were those of anger or pain, but they had the intensity of a man in sheer desperation.

Samuel shuffled for something in his pocket as he once again left the circle of light and disappeared into the darkness. A few seconds later, he began to speak.

“Prepare both the van and the room, he insists on innocence, but as far as I’m concerned, he is the one.” He paused. “Yes sir.” He paused once more. “Alright.” Samuel returned, slipping what was now known to the bound man as a phone into his pocket. He took a few more leisurely steps toward him as he rolled his sleeves back down to his wrist in their original position. Only in the light for a moment or two, Samuel continued off in the opposite direction into the dark void, returning with his suit jacket moments later. Flinging the jacket over his left shoulder, and flipping the blood-tipped hammer in his right, he returned to the spotlight.

“I have come to the conclusion that you’re not quite telling me the truth. I promise you, I really am a good guy,” his voice trailed off, then regained. “I just don’t like liars.” He finished. “I’ve got strict orders, we’re going on a little trip; I hope you’re ready.”

“I—“The man bound to the chair began to respond, but stopped at the realization that the hammer was being swung directly toward his face. The bound man quickly shut his eyes and mentally braced himself for the impact. This was the last thought he had before everything went silent; all turned black.

Samuel bent over and began releasing the bands that held the unconscious man in place. Beginning with the legs, he removed the straps clenching his calves then thighs; wiping his hands on his suit coat to remove blood from touching his gory, disfigured right leg. Pulling himself upward to a half-stand, Samuel began to remove the largest of the straps from the limp man’s abdomen. Reaching around and behind the chair where the inanimate man sat, he unlatched several metal clips and threw the band to the floor. The man in the chair, now free of his physical bondage, slumped over as Samuel left the illuminated area of the room only to return with a medium sized duffel bag. One by one, Samuel grabbed each band that once held the screaming individual in place and placed them in the bag.

Twenty-or-so minutes later, Samuel’s phone rang.

“I’m outside. Will you be needing any assistance?” A thick-accented man on the other end of the phone asked.

“I should be fine. Be ready in two minutes.” Replied Samuel as he hung up his phone.

He then bent over and, once assured that the unconscious man had a pulse, grabbed him by his waist and threw him over his right shoulder. Grabbing the duffel bag in his left hand, Samuel exited the room.

Weaving through door after door of this seemingly endless complex, Samuel eventually found himself at the last door before leaving the building. Grabbing a silver key from his pocket, he opened the door and exited with haste; closing and locking the door the instant his body cleared the entranceway. Clear skies and a nippy breeze met the man as he walked down a sidewalk parallel to both the building they just left as well as a paved road that looked as if it were rarely used. Walking for merely moments, Samuel turned around an outside corner of the building they just departed. Around the corner was a black, full sized van parked in a rundown parking lot. As he approached the van, a man stepped out of the driver’s seat and approached.

“Samuel, my man.” The man in the van said in a lax tone as he stepped out and approached.

“Mr. Santos, it’s been a while.” Samuel replied, shaking Mr. Santos’ hand.

“So this is the guy, eh? Scrawny fellow if you ask me.” He said, and then examined the rest of the unconscious man. “And that leg is in pretty bad shape. We’d better bandage that up or we’ll risk losing him. I’ve got some supplies in the van if you would like.”

“If you believe it’s for the best, then I’ll trust your word. You’ve never let me down James; hope you don’t start now.” Samuel Replied as a slight chuckle came from both the men’s mouths.

James went to the van and opened the large trunk while Samuel placed the body down in the back. He threw the duffel bag filled with restraining bands into the back of the van behind the unconscious man and grabbed a plastic first aid kit from the depths of the trunk. After opening the container, the two men removed several bandages and some off-brand antiseptics to clean and dress the wounds along the man’s right leg.

After completing a rustic fix of the man’s wounds, James headed to the driver’s seat while Samuel took the passenger. Taking a thirty minute drive in silence, the two men arrived at the back entrance of another building similar in look to the one they left. The two men exited the car and, after releasing the hatch which held the trunk closed, Samuel grabbed the unconscious man and threw him over the same shoulder he had carried him on before as James went and opened the back door to the new facility.

Inside, the two men walked to the end of the first dimly lit hallway, and entered an elevator. After twenty seconds of descent into the facility, the men exited the elevator. After walking to the end of another hallway, then another, they were greeted by a uniformed man in front of a closed doorway.

“Evening sir,” Began Samuel, “I brought you the man, unconscious but alive, as you ordered. It’s up to you what to do with him until this matter is settled.” He finished.

“You’ve done well. I appreciate it Samuel. I’ll be keeping this lad in solitary confinement for the duration of the trial. We’ll see if he lasts.” The uniformed man said.

Samuel nodded, implying a greeting, and was responded with a nod from the man as he laid the limp body over his shoulders and left the area; followed by James exiting as well.

The uniformed man then opened the rusty, metal door behind him. It was a small room, roughly eight by teen feet, but it would do. He walked to the opposite end of the room and placed the unconscious man against the wall and turned off the lights as he exited, shutting the door behind him. We’ll see what happens. He thought to himself as he followed the path James and Samuel took moments before, and disappeared behind the closing doors of the elevator.

The once bound man awoke in pure darkness, much like that which existed outside the beam of illumination he recalls prior to this awakening. He knew neither his location nor the reason for his confinement, but he did notice his leg was bandaged. Sitting for a moment to straighten his thoughts, he began to touch himself where his injuries lay, to see what exactly had been cared for and what had not. He felt for his leg, and was correct in his assumption of the bandage; which extended from above his kneecap to just shy of the ankle. He then felt his head, where his last thoughts led him to believe he was knocked unconscious. Touching the raw, bruised skin brought intense pain to him, and he quickly brought his hand back down to his side. Knowing well that he could not walk, he made an attempt to feel at arm’s length what he could, and possibly receive some insight as to his surroundings. After a few moments of touching about, he felt nothing but cold, hard cement flooring. Still somewhat dazed, the man found himself falling into another sleep.

Waking some time later, the exact time was unknown to the man; he sat upright against what he believed to be a wall after sleeping sideways on the rough floor. Now realizing the potential severity of his situation, he began to shout as loud as he could, but to no response did he shout. He then began to flail his good leg about, and went silent as he hit something metallic not to far from himself, and he felt lukewarm liquid sink into the cloth of his pant leg. Out of instinct as well as curiosity, he slowly maneuvered what felt like a sheet of metal within arm’s reach, then using his hands to identify what this mystery truly was. The first material he touched was soft, had several small holes in it, as well as a gooey mixture covering the side his thumb came in contact with. After a few moments of thought, he believed what he held was a piece of bread. This made sense to him seeing as this could be his meal within whatever bondage he found himself in. He then cautiously took a small bite out of the bread, now found to be stale, but it was food nonetheless.

After finishing the bread, covered slightly in tasteless, viscous slime, he felt around a bit more on what he identified as a metal tray. He felt a knocked over cup, figuring that was where the water now on his leg was poured, and sighed; half hoping he could get a drop of liquid. After just a bit more examination, finding nothing left on the tray, he slid it over toward where he found it and propped himself back against the wall. And here he sat, the hours unknown.

Believed to be ten-or-so hours later, the thin strip of light appeared bearing food once more. His reaction was that of screaming, trying to get the attention of quiet but existing voices he heard from outside this room in which he resided, but was met with silence as, after sliding his tray out the opening, the light was swallowed by darkness once again. He then, still dismayed by the lack of response his shouting seized, slouched back against the cold, hard wall and waited for some sign of an end.

This man’s life continued on as such. Receiving food every few hours in this manner, and then left to sit with no end in sight. Some days he heard voices outside what he believed to be a cell that he was trapped in, while others he heard nothing. But this confinement was not all in vain, for within this darkness, this room he became lost to, he truly found himself.

He had become accustom to the darkness, and his body followed suit. Thought he could not know the time, he had a small sense of intervals of time due to his body’s schedule accommodating to that of the food he received. His body gradually changed over this captivity, and when he would become hungry, shortly after he received his food. But on this day, when his stomach began to shout, he was not met with a glimpse of light and a tray of food, but with noise. He was baffled for a moment, but was able to distinguish the noise as the clanking of metal seconds before a large door opened on the opposite side of the room. To him, this light shone almost blindingly bright; whereas it may have been slightly dim prior to his confinement. He squinted as he saw two muscular, light skinned men enter the room.

“Get up.” One said monotonously.

“Quickly now.” The other followed in the same tone, motioning him to accompany them. The two men, after waiting and watching the man sit against the wall unresponsive, took to either side of him and lifted him to his feet. This had been the man’s first time standing up since being knocked unconscious some time ago, and he fell to the floor after attempting to put weight on his right leg. Having moved merely two feet, the men quickly brought this man to his feet and escorted him out of the room; each man holding half this man’s weight.

After weaving their way through several seemingly endless hallways, they arrived in a lobby-like room with a reception desk in the midst of the room. The man once bound was brought to face a dark, older man sitting behind the desk, eyes glued to his computer monitor. The two bulky, light skinned men, when assured the man they were assisting had a solid footing in the ground, released him from their grasp. After a few wobbles, he managed to stand on his own just as this unknown dark man began to speak.

“I just need you to sign these papers and you’re free to go.” He said, cracking a slight, warming smile at the end.

“Wh—what?” he asked, “What do you mean “free to go”?” he questioned, then retorted before receiving a response. “Are you here to tell me that, after all I’ve been through, I’m just going to be thrown out without even an explanation as to what has been going on?” He asked the man, nearly toppling as he walked a bit closer to the man.

“Please sir, don’t raise your voice. Just sign these papers and make your way out the doors behind you.” He responded, placing a pen atop a small stack of papers.

“Don’t you see my leg?” He asked rhetorically, more shouting than pondering. “Do you see what these brutes did to me, then proceeded to knock me unconscious? Not only that, but I awoke to darkness and there I stayed for a time I still do not know. Irreversible damage has been done and you want me to just act as if all this had not even happened?”

“I highly suggest you do what the man says and exit the facility with haste.” A man walking into the room interjected, wielding a gun in his right hand. “Unless you want to suffer even more, you will sign the papers and leave.”

After a moment of silence, the man responded nervously.

“I’ll sign your papers, but don’t think this isn’t going straight to the police. I’ll have each and every one of you turned in and punished to the extent of the law.” He said angrily as he slopped his name onto the dotted lines of the papers presented to him.

After signing the last of the documents, the two muscular men who brought him out of his cell returned, grabbing his arms while maintaining complete silence. They swiftly dragged him out of the room, through the automatic sliding doors, and outside the building he was confined too. They then, while still retaining an aura of mystery, walked back inside of the building and disappeared within its halls.

Dazed and confused, he stood outside the building and watched as the older man got up from his desk and also disappeared within the complex. The wind blew harshly as he stood on the pavement, but a bit of hope also blew with that gust, as he realized he was free from his captivity. But obvious to him was the fact that the man who was beaten within an inch of his life had died, and a spirit living within the mobile corpse he called a body took its place. Walking with the gait of a cripple, he slowly made his way down the path leading to the sidewalk outside the complex he just exited; completely oblivious to the sign he passed just before leaving the grounds.

Buenos Aires Police Department.

Edited by bradbradallen
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  • 2 weeks later...
There was a single, dimly lit lamp hanging from the ceiling of the room, which only illuminated enough to show a man tied down to a chair and blindfolded. Another man ... Buenos Aires Police Department.

Truly, we read it. You can see that in the tally of 58 views (plus one, now). For a haven of critics, the silence is deafening. If nobody liked it, you would have had more feedback.

It would be waggish of me to ask if the Buenos Aired Police Department has a sign in English. According to Wikipedia, they call themselves Policía de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, also known informally as Policía Bonaerense ... to their many friends, no doubt. MSK knows the Latin American scene best of all, but my intuition is that anyone they picked up would not sign a release but would just disappear. Perhaps if it were the Springfield Police Department, the internal structure would remain unimpaired.

It's fine writing, of course, no doubt about that.

(I wish I could write fiction.)

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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What do you mean you write great fiction, I have read your arguments!

LOL

;)

Edited by Selene
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There was a single, dimly lit lamp hanging from the ceiling of the room, which only illuminated enough to show a man tied down to a chair and blindfolded. Another man ... Buenos Aires Police Department.

Truly, we read it. You can see that in the tally of 58 views (plus one, now). For a haven of critics, the silence is deafening. If nobody liked it, you would have had more feedback.

It would be waggish of me to ask if the Buenos Aired Police Department has a sign in English. According to Wikipedia, they call themselves Policía de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, also known informally as Policía Bonaerense ... to their many friends, no doubt. MSK knows the Latin American scene best of all, but my intuition is that anyone they picked up would not sign a release but would just disappear. Perhaps if it were the Springfield Police Department, the internal structure would remain unimpaired.

It's fine writing, of course, no doubt about that.

(I wish I could write fiction.)

Michael,

Thanks so much for the sugggestion, that never logically came to me that a sign, more specifically a police department sign would be in English while in a Hispanic-speaking / reading country. Guess I'll go back the drawing board on that one :)

Brad

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