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Throbbing overwhelmed my temples, pulsing up and down as a slow ache seeped through the rest of my body. I appeared to be knelt down, crouched on all fours. My hands immediately tried to aid my injured body. But they wouldn’t move. Panic ran its course. Blood raced through my veins. A cold sweat sheathed every part of my body. Why can’t I move? Where am I? What’s happened? All spun through my mind, each question finding no answer.
Desperately trying to calm myself, I tried to deduce where I was. Beneath me I could feel a wooden floor; hard to the touch but shivered with a creek as I frantically attempted to prise myself from it. Wind licked at the black windows, testing the locks, searching for prey. A decaying odour prickled my nostrils: must, mould. The room was old; dying.
The walls advanced- slowly.
My eyes scanned the rest of the room, my head following, trying to be cautious, but my arms quivered. A thick layer of rubble lined the rest of the floor, permitting only my hands and knees to feel the wood beneath as it slowly enveloped the rest of the room. To the right, a light was flickering, illuminating its room in a blinding contrast to the dull, unreliable glow it gave to where I was trapped.
But it was not this that was allowing my room to be seen. Surrounding my paralysed form, four severe columns of light plunged into the floor. My stomach tightened.
My prison cell.
I was suddenly calm. The light danced, almost magical in its composition. A ballerina, spiralling elegantly up through the ceiling. Millions, each one as graceful as a swan, made of many fibres of dust from the crumbling surroundings. They twirled to the top of the tower, to the top of the world, where they would poof into a thousand specks of dusts and fall back to earth to start their waltz again. The wind that had previously howled now span a soft soothing chime; the song of my ballerinas as they danced, forever and ever.
My eyes began to droop.
“It’s amazing what these things will do! Never been on the receiving end have you?” A gruff voice rasped somewhere in the distance. My elbows buckled once again, fatigued from hours of supporting my own weight, as I instinctively tried to raise myself to that voice.
Wading through the drowsiness, my mind drowning in a sea of pain, I managed to make out a small plastic packet, of several white pills. At first I didn’t understand, still struggling to remember my name- then all was clear.
I lifted my eyes.
Towering above me, there he was, ghostly white against the ever growing darkness, hands clenched into fists. His eyes struck flint in his gaunt face, staring down at me with a slight smirk of victory. I was bowed at his feet, subject to his oncoming wrath. I wasn’t surprised, it all made sense now.
My eyes lowered, catching a slight gleam off of a blade which I knew was concealed within his boot.
“You drugged me.”
“I learnt from the best.
Remember?” He spat, in disgust or in triumph I could not tell, but I bowed my head to the complement all the same.
I knew he was relishing in this, finally putting me in my place after all these years. Because for once, I could do nothing; I had no way of stopping him, I was glued to the floor of this decrepit building.
He had won.
I slumped in defeat; his tongue gently caressed his lips in anticipation, waiting for me to say something more. I kept my silence. He crouched down so that we were face to face. The stench of alcohol and sweat struck me as his eyes gauged deep into my own, searching for something. I held his stare, determined to show no fear.
His arm swung back, his fist and my face made contact with a crunch. Lurching backwards, I forgot my hands were fixed, and went to put them to my broken nose. The glue held fast, the palms of my hands screaming in protest and in an instant I was pulled back to my crouch.
Blood pooled in my mouth, hot and sweet, coating my teeth with a sticky red paste. I swallowed, and then retched as the blood swam to my stomach, and remained there, a heavy whirl pool of heat.
He said nothing, only sneered at my snivelling form. Standing up, he opened the packet of pills and emptied them in front of me, each fell like a boulder, echoing around the room, bouncing off of the walls. One of the pills had landed directly beneath my face. Ignoring the throbbing in my nose and the rasping breath of the man stood above me, I bent to scoop it into my mouth, along with the dust and rubble, and swallowed. What did I have to lose?
Shivers went down my spine as he laughed; a hollow, hissing sound which I knew only meant one thing.
I would have to wait.
Then he slithered from the room, leaving me to slip lower and lower into the nothingness that was set to engulf me.
As the drug took hold, I could faintly hear the sound of a car door slamming shut with the roaring wind, and the purr of an engine as the car rode away, leaving me here. The windows offered no sanctuary, only darkness, mocking me, as I remained crouched on all fours, limbs screaming in agony, subject to the light from the columns that had somehow reappeared.
My ballerina’s had returned, guiding me with their movement to a place none of this would real. Carried by the sweet chimes of the wind- I forgot.