Taken

June 5, 2011
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In a small room, dim fluorescent lights buzz incessantly above a metal table on which lays a tape recorder accompanied by a glass of water. A composed looking man in a suit sits on one side of the table with a white mug. His thinning gray hair is combed neatly into a middle part. His hands rest tenderly on the table, fingers interlocked. At the other side, sits a frazzled looking young woman. Her hair is a contained mess around her face, her cheeks look hollow, her skin pasty, hands shaking. She was very fidgety, couldn’t seem to focus on anything, always looking over her shoulder at the one-way mirror. The interrogator clears his throat and then presses the play button on the tape recorder.

Detective: Hi Lindsay, I’m Detective Rogan. I know you’ve had a very traumatizing experience, but do you think you’d be able to explain some of it to me? We need it to help the prosecution in the court case against the accused traffickers.

Lindsay’s voice is slow, cautious, she seems to be fighting fear or thinking carefully about what she’s saying.

Lindsay: All right, well, it was dark and it was cold, when I woke up alone. At least I thought I was alone. On my first day of that nightmare, as I have come to call it, because my therapist told me it would help me move on, I was completely disoriented. I wasn’t sure if I had been thrown into a dark room or been beaten to blindness. Both of which I could see happening. No pun intended, sorry.

As Lindsay is speaking, the scene flashes back to almost complete darkness. You can hear the shuffle of feet and muffled voices on the other side of a wall. Closer, on the inside, you can hear the ominous sound of water dropping into a puddle at a steady pace. It makes the room sound hollow and lifeless.

Lindsay: When I tried to somewhat sit-up I felt my head pound and my knees throbbed. The floor scraped the backs of my legs.

A slot in the opposite wall opens, partially revealing the 8 by 8 cell in its yellowy rectangle of light. The silhouette of someone’s head partially blocks the light for a moment.

Voice 1: Put her in there, there’s already some in here

The sound of something being dragged and a heavy door thudding closed can be heard above the shuffle of feet.

Voice 2: That one’s a real looker, we’ll get a lot for her.

The two men leave, walking up a set of stairs, laughing gruffly at a joke.

Lindsay: I distinctly remember their voices. One was a deep, husky voice while the other was slightly more feminine, but intimidating all the same.

There is a brief pause and then a quiet moan. The small ray of light catches a quick movement at its edge, it could’ve be a hand or a foot.

Lindsay: Now, I know I heard those guys say ‘some’, so I assumed I had a roommate, but we never made acquaintances. Every now and then I’d hear a noise come from the opposite corner of the room. And with the little amount of light we had, I only really saw a lump with a few features. I never worried about my roomie though. It was just a brief amount of time that we spent sharing this “room,” and she, I’m assuming it was a she, was gone one morning when I woke up. So, that was that, I guess.

The scene cuts back to the interrogation room.

Detective: I see, would you tell me more about what happened before you found yourself in this room? Do you remember your abduction?

Lindsay rubs her temples for a few moments, placing her elbows gently on the table. She seems fatigued, her body caving into itself. She looks at the water, about to take a sip, then, bug-eyed, changes her mind.

Lindsay: I do, sort of. You know, most girls, when they’re taken, they’re drugged by a glass of water. That’s all it takes. A glass of water can put you into a life of hell, you know? Well, I wasn’t quite that lucky.

The scene cuts to a sparsely populated NYC subway station. A train rushes to the platform and a tall, pretty girl who resembles Lindsay in a healthier stage of life appears. She’s dressed up on her way home from a night out. Two other men leave inconspicuously. As she walks away, the train leaves.

Lindsay: Instead I was followed out of a subway station. Literally, as soon as I left the station, I was hit on the back of the head.

Pre-occupied by her phone, Lindsay doesn’t notice the two “average” men following her. Cars drive by speedily on the road, other city dwellers walk by in different directions, making a lot of noise. Lindsay walks around the corner, and you see the phone drop out of her hand as she falls to the floor. With a bag over her head, she is thrown into the back of a car. The sounds of police cars pass by.

Lindsay: Mostly, I just remember being scared sh**less during that car ride. But there are blank spots, like, in my brain. I don’t remember some stuff.

Soft, strangled moans and smothered screams come from the bagged head. The anonymous men give it no thought and travel in silence.

Lindsay: I tried to scream, but I couldn’t do it, I think I was just too afraid. You know, they say fear paralyzes people. And I’ve always thought that was stupid. Like, when someone stands in the middle of the road as a car comes at them, they just stand there and don’t move. Now I get why.

The scene goes back to the interrogation room.

Detective: Lindsay, do you know what human trafficking is? I’m just curious.

Lindsay: Yeah, I looked it up a few weeks after I got back. I couldn’t really work up the courage to do it any sooner.

She looks down at her hands, and then suspiciously glances at the glass of water. She shifts in her seat, clearly uncomfortable.

Lindsay: Detective, did you know that human trafficking is the second most profitable crime in the world? It’s right behind drugs. I mean, that was a stupid question. You definitely knew that already.

She pauses to stare into the light, which is clearly bothering her.

Lindsay: I think it says something about humans, or human nature, or something. How they can be so heartless, so greedy. Back in the day, I mean way back in the day, with the Greeks and the Romans, they probably blamed it on Pandora. She shouldn’t have opened that damn box. Curiosity killed the cat, Detective, and we’re the cats.

With conviction she looks at the detective, leaning forward over the table. She speaks softly, almost as if she’s afraid to voice her opinion.

Lindsay: How can you treat other people like that? Innocent people. Even criminals who have committed the worst crimes don’t deserve that. I know that I was lucky. I was only there for a few weeks. Maybe, but I don’t know, days don’t really exist when you’re trapped in a concrete cage in a stranger’s basement. Especially when sunlight doesn’t show, and meals aren’t really meals, more like whatever was left over from what they ate.

The scene cuts to police cars scattered on the road across from a small, shabby looking house. Dead grass covers the front lawn. Police sirens are on, the blue and red lights flashing over the road. Young women and children are being shepherded out of the house, blinking thankfully at the setting sun. Men duck their heads as they’re brought out of the house handcuffed. Officers bring evidence out of the house and German Shepherds scout the premises. There is a pause in the conversation, the detective at a loss for words.

Lindsay: I would just really like to thank you for all you’ve done in this. I think that if you guys had come later we would’ve all been gone. I read online that they ship people every thirty days or so. God only knows where I could’ve ended up.

Detective: Well, we’re certainly working our hardest for you.

Lindsay: I just want to say one last thing before I leave. I don’t want to testify in court. I won’t. I don’t want to be related to this case at all. Use me anonymously. Or a fake name or something. I’m afraid they’ll come after me and I just want to be left alone. Therapy’s going to be a b**** as is and I’d really like to move on.

The detective stops, startled by her insistence. He hesitates and clears his throat.

Detectitve: I completely understand. I’ll see what I can do.

Lindsay: Cool. So can I please go now?

Detective: Of course. Thanks for your help, Lindsay.

The detective and Lindsay stand up at the same time. Even though the detective is clearly much older, he looks agile in comparison to her feeble movements.

Lindsay: Yeah, anytime. Well not literally of course.

She walks away without a second glance, and the detective enters the hallway behind her. He watches her walk to the end of the hallway and check out with admiration. Once she’s out of sight, he stands there for a few minutes with the tape in hand. He looks as though he is in deep thought, contemplating or pondering something. Suddenly he hears a gunshot and runs outside, along with a slew of other officers. When he gets outside, he sees Lindsay crumpled into a pile on the steps of the precinct. A red liquid makes rivulets from her head down the stairs as officers rush, in vain, to help her.

The End





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Watson said...
Jun. 24, 2011 at 9:50 am
This is fabulous.  I was mesmerized!   
 
kolto said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm
The description is so graphic, that the scenes of the story play in front of my eyes, as if I was watching a movie - forceful.
 
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