One Hundred and Twenty Six

A peek into the past – Rameez:

I’ve been in this unfamiliar territory of three strange thugs for 5 hours now, yet it seems like 5 days. And the only thing I’ve learnt about my captors so far, are their names.

Venom, Scar, and Fang.

Venom. He’s the one with the green eyes and scarred face. He appears to be the leader.

He also appears to be heartless.

Scar is covered in tattoos. Completely covered. Every part of his exposed skin is inked.

The strangest thing about him is that I haven’t seen a single scar on his skin.

At first I thought Scar was another name for Venom, considering his face. But it doesn’t seem so, because it’s always the tattooed guy who is addressed as Scar.

And then there’s Fang.

Fang has the most ridiculous hairstyle I’ve ever seen. Partially mohawk partially buzz cut, his hair is shaded 4 different colours.

Despite his somewhat more laid back nature, I despise him the most. Maybe it’s because he is the one who brought me here, or maybe it’s because of how relaxed he is, but I’ve already decided, that when I get a chance, he’ll be the one I kill first.

I lean against the wall, watching the three of them speak silently on one side.

For what seems like the millionth time, I look for a way out.

But, again, I find none.

The walls bear no windows, only a single door frame leading to what I suppose is another room.

Apart from the low tones of the three men talking, not a sound can be heard.

‘Where am I?’ I wonder desperately. ‘What are they going to with me?’

*****

“Where is my father?” I ask. “I want to see my father.”

“Since you haven’t realized yet, you don’t get what you f****** want here,” says Scar.

“So what the hell do I get then?” I burst out angrily.

Venom is out, and I realize, that in his absence, I feel braver.

Fang throws something at me.

I reach out to catch it, but miss.

It’s small; tiny. It looks like a tablet.

“What is this?” I ask.

“What you get,” Fang replies with a chuckle.

I stand up slowly, drop the tiny tablet to the floor, and crush it with the heel of my shoe.

The blow reaches me so fast, I don’t even see it coming.

I cry out as my thin, weak body lifts of the floor and smacks into the wall, jostling ever bone in my body.

“F****** bastard!” snarls Scar.

“What the f*** is your problem?!” Scar yells at Fang. “How can you f****** waste shit on him?”

Stars dance in front of me as Scar kicks my shin.

“He look sad, thought I pop him a happy pill, cheer him a bit,” says Fang, trying to hide a grin.

“Boss will f****** kill you if he finds out.”

Scar walks out.

Darkness envelopes my vision as slumber overtakes me once again.

*****

1 day later..

“You’re letting me go?!” I repeat for a second time in utter disbelief.

“Give me your hand,” commands Venom.

Shaking, I stretch my arm across the table.

He grasps it around the wrist, a tight inescapable hold.

A clear, heavy band is clasped onto my upper arm.

I don’t fight, I don’t struggle.

I can’t.

My body is drained.

Emotionally. Mentally. Physically.

I watch as he turns the band upside down. A tiny metallic button shines out. He touches an object to it, causing it to beep and then light up.

“You take this thing off, it will explode and you’ll die. You die, there won’t be anyone to save your father.”

I look up at him, my gaze travelling slowly over his face until our eyes meet.

A shiver runs down my spine.

His eyes are so piercing, so full of authority. A cold fire is alight in its dead appearance.

“You will go home. You will tell your mother nothing. You will go to school. You will breathe not a single word to your friends. On Tuesday, you will be sent instructions. You will follow them precisely, not a step to the side. Am I clear?”

I think of something stupid to say, but my mind is blank.

I nod, our gazes still locked.

“Don’t try anything funny. I will know immediately. There will be no time wasted in delivering your father’s head to you on a golden plate.”

Momentarily I forget how to breathe.

“Unfortunately for you, your father has got you involved in a deadly game. I fear no one. I feel nothing. You do as I say, or you die.”

“Death sounds like a better option.”

It takes me a few seconds to realize I’ve erred.

It takes Venom only a millisecond to show me I’ve erred.

Every muscle in my body tenses as the point of the blade touches my skin.

“I’ll give you one chance, do you want to take that back?” he asks, pressing the knife closer.

A sudden surge of anger rushes through me. I barely know this guy, but my hate for his mere existence knows no bounds.

I almost defy him, the anger inside me pushing me to look him dead in the eye and say no.

A thrill rushes through me as I imagine the look of surprise on his face at my defiance.

But it won’t play out that way.

Of course it won’t.

Hell, he won’t even blink before he buries the blade inside me.

I feel the sting of my skin separating, the slow trickle of warm liquid sliding down throat.

“Sorry,” I force myself to say, closing my eyes, fighting my anger.

He withdraws languidly but doesn’t sit back down.

Instead, he stands for a few seconds, watching me like a hawk.

“You’re even more stupid than your father,” he spits out.

Then, turning around, he walks away.

“F*** you,” I say to his retreating figure.

The knife whistles past my ear.

Despite knowing it would come, I duck just in the nick of time.

A couple of minutes later, Fang comes in.

“Come on kid, time to go home,” he says with a grin.

Still raging inside, I glower at him, wishing I could wipe that stupid grin off his face.

He advances toward me, one hand slightly behind his back.

Instantly adrenaline kicks in. I jump up, alert.

But he’s too strong.

Pinning me against the wall, he sticks the needle into my wrist and pushes the syringe.

I try to fight it, but it doesn’t take long for the drug to overtake my weakened system.

The last thing I remember is Fang shaking his head, his grin widening.

I wake up on the pool lounger in my backyard.

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