Where am I?
From the moment I open my eyes, a ray of light pierces through my vision causing agonising pain. Squeezing my eyes shut, I consider pulling my hand up to the bridge of my nose to regain my focus. In the attempt, I realise my hands have lost all motion in them.
This isn’t supposed to happen!
My arms feel as if someone had broken each bone in my body. It’s either that or worse: I’ve been drugged. Trying to gather whatever courage I have in myself, I look around me. I was not home, instead, I found myself in a dimly lit basement. The walls of which were covered with pictures of missing men and women. There was a table, too. Given the lighting of the room, I couldn’t get a clear vision of the objects on the table, but I could make out the shape of a hammer, from which an astounding amount of blood was dripping. Tears trickle down my cheeks unto my lips, knowing I can’t save myself.
“Iris?” A hoarse voice calls out from behind me, one I could recognise anywhere.
“James!” I cry, squirming out of the ropes that hold me down, but all in vain.
We seem to be bound together by the same rope with our backs facing each other. I can’t see James’s face, but I could sense the terror on it.
“It’s alright Iris, it’s alright. We’ll get out of this.” I lose the battle with my eyes again, and a new set of tears flow down my cheeks onto my blouse, which by now is covered in dirt and hair. James says nothing to me, but I can hear him mumbling to himself. Once he finishes, the room goes silent again, but this time a faint dripping can be heard.
The sound of liquid trickling onto the floor made my nerves weak, if I could have I would’ve cut my ears off and bled to death peacefully, but I reminded myself that my chances of survival were low anyway. I knew death wasn’t far away. Each second felt like torture, knowing our fate was in the hands of a beast with a bludgeon. Get on with it already. I can’t take this anymore.
For what seemed like an eternity, James and I just waited for death. It felt as if it were just around the corner for the entire duration of our wait, but in reality, whoever brought us here clearly wanted us to suffer psychologically too.
Then it happened
The sounds of heavy and eager footsteps echoed in the basement, each step bringing an adequate amount of terror.
This is it.
This is the end.
I turned my head to get a glimpse of James, who by now was practically suffocating. His hands brushed between mine, all sweaty and cold. To ease him, I managed to slither my hand in between.
“We’ll be alright, James.”
“I love you, Iris.” He breathes. “And I always will, no matter where I am,” I offer him a smile. The hard part was over with, the endless void through which we fell. Somehow, we finally hit the bottom.
As our captivator slowly approached us, he twirled an instrument of torture he had just picked up in his right hand. The one from the table. In a better manner now, I could see the sledgehammer, all bloody and wet. James started panting from behind me.
“Please! Please! Don’t do this. Why are you trying to kill us? Let’s make a deal, we’ll give you whatever. What do you-”
With one swift move, our captivator swung the hammer straight at James’s head, crushing it instantly. He then turned his focus towards me, his black eyes staring into mine. He crouched down beside me, anxious to hear what I have to say.
“Cash, or check?”