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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1877702
For the site contest, July 2012--Journey Through the Genres
I shrink back into the chair. Dark mulberry fabric, nubby and coarse,is rough against the bare skin of my arms. Why mulberry, I muse, to hide the blood, the dried blood of his other victims? I can feel each hair on my arm standing at attention in the overly cool room. My attention, however, is focused upwards. With my head and my jaw secured in a metal contraption that allows for no movement, my closed eyes are nevertheless blinded by the intense blue-white light shining inexorably into my face. I think of the Inquisition. My fingers flex, contract helplessly.

"So. Talk to me." His voice, condescendingly calm and kind, has my eyes flying open. I hadn't heard him enter. Shadowed beyond the light, he is naught but a hulking shadow. "After the last time you were here, I didn't expect to see you quite so soon."

I'm quite sure you didn't, I think. Trust me, I don't want to be here. I never want to be here. All I manage is a strangled sound.

"That light is so bright." Could he possibly sound more kind and caring? I am not buying it. I know better. "Here, let me take these," he says, removing my glasses. Swell, I can die blind. The blurry shadow nods, leans in close, nods again. He fits a mask to my face which effectively blocks much of the light. "This should help. You really do need to be more careful," he admonishes. I didn't do anything I soundlessly cry, but he interrupts my thought with the sharp sting of a needle piercing my arm. "I'll give that a few minutes to work," he says. "You really need to be more careful about with whom you associate," he says waggling overly long white brows.

I was with your son, you miserable son of a --

He opens a door. I hear him fiddle with the mechanics behind me. A soft hiss; he has let forth the serpent. He leaves. I hear the soft click as the door closes behind him. Overly large and steel, the door is remarkably quiet--I bet he oils the hinges on a daily basis.

I contemplate fleeing, but how far would I get? Beyond the quiet door is that endlessly long hallway, lined with more of that mulberry-bloody carpet. Deep, soft underfoot, it swallows sounds. I envision each footfall, pushing down on hollow voices pounding exclamatory fists into the ropy fibers. Screams only to be silenced by the thickness. He would want it that way, I surmise.

Beyond the hallway is that bulletproof glass wall guarded by Miss Antoinette Depew; dragon-lady bar none with her too oft bleached frizzy hair, turquoise reading glasses perched precariously on the end of her long witchy nose and those wide, wide eyes. Her eyes, amber and all seeing, could pin even my fifth grade teacher-- all 350 pounds of her-- to a wall with little problem. I stifle a giggle at the thought. But Miss Depew, really did have piercing eyes. I completely believed she could see around corners, through walls and into your soul. Her fingers, long and strong, with deep purple polish on nails at least an inch long which she would idly tap. In rooms, seemingly designed to swallow sound, her incessant tapping echoed loudly. Coffin nails hammered home.

I shake my mind -- my head won't move-- I cannot think like that. This waiting is endless. All part of it, I think. Let them sit there and worry, shake or whatever else the condemned do. I think of the lost souls that line the waiting room beyond the dragon. Mauve plastic stanchions house gaunt-eyed, white-faced apparitions. Should I be able to escape and flee, would they follow or continue patiently to await their doom? I imagine accusing eyes shooting looks of contempt or even perhaps, glee as I flee. But no, even should I escape, he always finds me or I come crawling, supplicant to his commanding presence. I am doomed. I am feeling fuzzy, muddled. Thinking is becoming a series of distorted images; puzzle pieces dancing precariously out of reach, perched on too narrow edges over a bottomless abyss.

The door clicks open; clicks closed. That ominous final click. The shadow blocks more of the light as he bends in close. Over the sound of my blood pressure rising, I hear the sound of metal implements moving around as he says, "Okay, time to take care of this problem.“

I seek solace in the back of my mind, as his hand seems to fill my mouth and I hear him remove what is left of the tooth broken during a tickling match with his son, my husband.

788 words
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