Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2296723-Trussed-Me
Printer Friendly Page Tell A Friend
No ratings.
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2296723
A prisoner meets an old acquaintance.
Trussed Me

When I awoke, I found myself trussed and bound like a supermarket chicken. This was even worse, however, since my mouth was securely gagged by a strip of duck tape.

You’ll understand when I tell you I hate that. I mean, normally I breathe through my nose anyway, but there’s something about not being able to use your mouth that makes your nose imagine itself clogging up. Just a hint of trouble with the mouth and the damn nose starts wheezing and whistling like it’s about to seize up completely.

Then the brain gets in on the act and decides it needs to yell a protest. And, of course, you can’t, your mouth’s sealed shut. So you leap and wriggle and can’t move anything at all, you just make the chair you’re sitting in wobble about. You’re helpless and now you’re panicking.

Once that starts, it can go one of two ways. Either you tip over the edge and go mad, or you manage to cling on to sanity and get control again. Me, I never did learn how to let go, so I came out of it pretty quickly.

Hang on, I thought. If he’s gagged me, there must be a possibility that someone might hear if I make a noise loud enough. All I have to do is wait for an opportunity and then yell like there’s no tomorrow.

I reasoned that he must want information and, to give it, I’d have to be free of the gag. That was going to hurt, the removal of the tape. Fortunately, I’d shaved off my moustache a week ago.

You’re wondering how I knew my captor was a he. Well, it always is, isn’t it? Females don’t tend to go in for such elaborate schemes. Straight to the point, they are - poison the shit out of you then be done with it. Nah, this guy was bound to be male.

But you’d be right that I didn’t actually know how I’d got into this fix or who had done it to me. They musta come up behind me while I was watching the house last night, I reckoned. A clout over the back of the head and it was lights out for me. And so to the moment of waking I mentioned.

As it happened, I didn’t have long to wait for my captor to reveal himself. I had hardly finished trying all the bonds he’d trapped me in, when the door to the cellar opened. It was only then that I had enough light to see that it was a cellar, but I wasn’t given enough time to reflect on this fact. Without ceremony, he walked in and stood for a moment, almost as though he wanted me to recognise him. No mask or balaclava, nothing to hide his identity. Clearly, I wasn’t expected to leave this cellar.

I waited for him to decide how things would unfold. After perhaps a minute, he moved closer and stared into my eyes.

“You don’t know who I am, do you? Well, I’m going to remove the tape and then we can talk about that. You can yell your head off if you want - no one will hear.”

There was something familiar in the voice but it didn’t help to identify him. I shook my head.

He reached forward and ripped the duck tape from my mouth in one movement. It felt as though my lower lip had been torn off and I gasped with the pain. He carried on talking.

“Of course, it was all a long time ago.” Then he added, “Sir.”

I hadn’t been addressed that way since I left teaching twenty years before. That meant he must have been a pupil but I still couldn’t place him. He saw in my eyes that his clue had produced intense thought without achieving its intended revelation of identity.

“You hated me,” he said. “All the others loved you, but you hated me.”

It was enough. There was only one kid that fitted that description. The face was partly hidden by a full beard and wrinkles covered much of what was left exposed, but that mean, shifty look remained, something about the way he looked at everything through eyes reduced to slits.

Billy Norton.

“I never hated you, Billy.” I never hated anyone, in the true meaning of the word. But Billy’s nasty behaviour toward his classmates, his determination to ignore my instructions and complete aversion to learning of any kind, had worn me down over the years. I found myself having to spend so much time trying to get some education into Billy that the others were beginning to suffer. I had to recommend his expulsion, at first temporary, but later permanent.

“You gave up on me,” he said.

“I had to in the end. You made things so difficult. And, for the sake of the others…”

He frowned. “Yeah, the others. All them nancy boys creepin’ round ya, doin’ whatever ya told ‘em.”

“That’s not fair, Billy. They were difficult too. But you were special, you could disrupt the whole day if you wanted to. At least the others were trying to learn.”

“Nancy boys.”

I said nothing, knowing that Billy’s mind was made up. He too was silent for a while, no doubt brooding over past injustices. Then his face cleared.

“Anyway, I figured one good turn deserves another. And here you are and we can have a little reunion all to ourselves.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Don’t you worry about that, Sir. I got it all figured out. You remember you used to tell us stories about things that happened to you? They all loved when you did that. Thought they’d persuaded you to give up on teaching for the day. But I knew better. You were just teaching them in a way they didn’t notice. Didn’t fool me.”

He laughed. “Bunch of idiots, they were.”

There was a pause before he continued. “But I did learn one thing. You told us once about how you ripped up your hand with a broken Coke bottle. Some crap about getting your foot caught in the safety belt of a car and falling out of it. You were carrying the bottle in your hand and it smashed when you hit the tarmac. Had to go to hospital and get it sewn up.

“You even showed us the scars in your palm. Lumpy white spider in your hand.”

I lifted my hand, palm outward, so that he could see the spider still trapped there. He laughed before continuing.

“Anyway, you reckoned it was one of the worst places to be injured. So many nerves in the hand, it hurt like nobody’s business and made it really hard to write and do other things until it healed. But you said that getting the stitches out was the worst. They’d sorta grown into the flesh after being there so long and, when the doc pulled them out, it was like having your nervous system ripped out with them.

“Never forgotten that.”

He gazed into space, as though recalling the story as it was told to a group of miscreant schoolboys so many years ago. I remained silent. For me it was an uncomfortable memory in the light of my present circumstances.

Eventually, he looked at me again. “Not a good idea, telling stories like that to bad boys. Could give them ideas.”

Then he moved behind my chair and reappeared a moment later, dragging a small metal table behind him. He stood in front of me with the table to his right. There were a few tools arrayed on the table, a craft knife, some duck tape, a cotton reel and a packet of needles.

I could guess where this was heading. “But why, Billy?” I asked

“Don’t need a reason,” he replied. “They told me in prison that I’m a psychopath and psychopaths don’t need reasons. Let’s just say it’s to celebrate old times.”

He picked up the craft knife, twisted my right hand until it was palm up, and began to carve into it.

I passed out after the first few moments.


When I woke up, I was in a hospital. Both hands were heavily bandaged but a nurse told me they were savagely cut and butchered. She found it strange that someone had sewn the cuts together, crudely and with big, masculine stitches of household cotton. Whoever had done it had saved me from bleeding out, she said.

Later, the doc came to see me. A cheerful fellow, full of jokes and a big, florid face grinning with glee down at me. “We left the stitches in,” he said. “They were all that was holding the mess together. In a month or so, we’ll take ‘em out for you.”

I smiled weakly.

Word count: 1,476
For The Endless Halloween, due June 04 2023
No prompt.

© Copyright 2023 Beholden (beholden at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2296723-Trussed-Me