I woke up to hear the phone ringing. My head ached, painfully, and I struggled to sit up, trying hard to remember the details of the lunch time session I had had at the pub. What did it matter though? Basically I`d had far too much to drink, passed out when I got home, and now I was going to have to pay for it!
I staggered to the phone, which obviously wasn`t going to stop ringing unless I answered it, and snatched the receiver up.
"Jon here," I mumbled.
It was Anne-Marie. Just the sound of her voice on the other end of the line made me feel a whole lot better, but when I started to tell her how bad I felt, and she replied by telling me how good she would make me feel later, I knew her usual magic was already working. She started to giggle, whispering rude and suggestive scenarios to me. Every now and then she`d have to suddenly stop, and carry on talking as though we`d been having a normal conversation, and I knew that someone had come into her office. When they left she was back to her naughty self again.
I had my eyes closed, visualising the scene she was describing to me, enjoying the tease, but knowing that later she would act out the part she was now describing. I was lost, away in a world of fantasies and desires, and the last thing I really wanted to hear was that rapping on the door.
"Look love," I said, "I`ll have to go. There`s somebody at the door. I`ll see you tonight, when you finish work. Come straight here. I`ll be waiting!" I hung up, irritated and slightly frustrated, the way her dirty conversations always leave me - eager for the night time - and went to answer the door.
To say it was a surprise to see Ken would be to put it mildly. I stood there dumbly and just looked at him. He`s smaller than me, a little wiry maybe compared to my build, and he looks weird - eyes too close together, deep set. I wondered for a second why he had come here, though that was a mistake, for a split second later he smashed me in the stomach with something - a baton maybe, a piece of wood, and I bent over double, gasping for breath. He said something, though through my gasps I couldn`t catch it. He moved again, and there was a blinding flash, then darkness.
I gasped, gagging for breath as I was suddenly dragged for the murky depths my brain had sunken me into. I snapped my eyes open, trying desperately to recall what had happened, then suddenly wishing I hadn`t, hoped that it was all a bad dream. My head was throbbing far worse than it had been earlier, and I went to touch it. Clink. It took another second for my poor confused brain to realise that I was standing up, manacled and spread-eagled, and dressed in only my pair of boxer shorts. I was dripping wet from a pail of cold water that Ken had thrown over me.
"Welcome to Hell brother!" Ken said. "Care for a guided tour?"
"What the fuck`s going on here Kenny? Get me out of these fucking handcuffs!"
"HEY! HEY!" He shouted, his voice violent with emotion. "You`re in no fucking position to tell me to do jack shit big brother! I`m in charge here tonight. I`ve been waiting for this for some time now. Even prepared this place special." He looked round, a strange, proud look on his weird rat like face.
"Any idea how long it took me to get this place ready for you?" He continued.
I took a cursory glance around. We appeared to be in a bunker, or a cellar, with a single bulb hanging from a bare flex in the centre of the room. As yet the bulb was off, with the only light filtering down through the doorway. In the corner behind Ken was a box like shape I couldn`t make out in the gloom.
"About twenty seconds?" I replied.
He walked across to me, and I tried to flinch, to protect myself, but I was strapped down too tightly. He stopped just in front of my face and sneered. "Always quick with the funny answers, weren`t you. Well we`re going to see how quick you are tonight. And how funny!"
I watched him cross to the dark shape in the corner. He bent down, fiddled a bit, then stood up abruptly. An engine sounded, and almost immediately the bulb on the end of the flex lit up. A generator.
"So then. The guided tour!" The madman announced. "Down there, there is a door." He pointed out through the only door I could see. Without another word, he turned and left the room. I listened, and could hear him walk a good twenty paces down a concrete corridor. Next came a loud clang, as a heavy steel door was closed. A rattle - It was locked.
"That`s the first door," the lunatic continued as he came back into the room. He swung the other door closed next, and this too proved to be heavy steel. "Now that outside door has a normal lock on it you see brother. It can be picked, and hence opened. Whilst this one -" he pointed, "Has an electric lock that can only be opened from inside!" He pressed a button and three solid bolts shot across, sealing the door closed.
"We are ten meters below the soil. As well as that, we are in a very secluded area of the countryside. Your screams, of which there will be many this long night, are not going to be heard by anyone but me!" He let me dwell on that for a while, the sick fuck, then continued. "As you may have seen, you are handcuffed to a bed frame, the legs of which have been built into, cemented literally, into the wall behind you. Even you, you huge fucking beast, will not be able to pull that out." He was getting himself wound up now, and I was beginning to realise that this was quite, quite serious. To cut a long story short, I was in big fucking trouble!
"Now you`ve always thought of yourself as smarter than me. Cleverer, eh? Well think yourself out of this one!"
I was thinking. I was trying my best to think, but the only thought was that I just had to rip this bed frame from out of the wall, somehow get my arms out, and strangle that little bastard to death.
Ken smiled. He turned his back on me, went over to the generator, stooped and retrieved something. He hid whatever it was behind his back as he returned to me. "Now, I`ve been trying to figure out what might be going through your head at a time like this. And you know what I came up with? Eh? Well if I was you - which thank fuck I`m not, because you`re in the shit buddy - but if I was you I`d at least have to try to rip that bed frame out. So just in case I underestimated your strength..." A blur, nowhere for me to move, a sickening thud - then pain! Pain so bad I screamed, screamed and screamed. When I looked down I could see that my right knee was completely shattered, bits of bone and gristle sticking out a awkward angles. Ken raised the weapon up in front of my face, and just before I passed out again, I recognised it as an ice pick.
Cold! Splutter. I woke, the pain took me again, and I moaned loudly, beads of sweat breaking out on my face almost immediately. I looked down, and sure enough my knee was still shattered. My toes could wiggle, if I really wanted them to, but I couldn`t move the lower part of my right leg. And yet the pain wasn`t as bad as it should have been! I looked up at Ken questioningly.
"Local anaesthetic!" He said simply. "No where near enough to stop all the pain I dare say, and definitely only local, so that I can hurt you plenty more yet. But really, that girlish screaming was getting on my nerves! So then sport. Any more smart ideas? What next? Going to scream at me until I either let you go, or die myself? Because there`s fuck all else you can do now!"
Despite the anaesthetic, the pain was still unreal. My head whipped from side to side, almost of its own accord, trying to escape the pain. And yet a part of me was already dealing with the situation. This was real! The pain was real! Nothing was going to go away, or stop, unless I could figure a way out, get revenge somehow.
Another splash of cold water brought me back to reality. "Helps the conductivity!" Ken announced, and I saw with horror that he was brandishing two bare ends of cable. Without further ado he touched them to me, one to the toes of my good leg, the other to the hip at the top. The current surged through my leg, and I screamed again. When he eventually let go, I sagged forward, gasping for breath.
"You probably want me to explain all this to you. Or maybe you`ve already figured it out. After all, it doesn`t take the brains of a rocket scientist!" He turned and glared at me. "ANNE-MARIE WAS MINE YOU FUCKER!!!" And he jabbed the wires at me again, this time down my bad leg.
Again when he stopped I sagged forward. He was right though, I had figured it out. I also knew that I was going to die here tonight, one way or the other. My own brother was going to kill me because a woman left him for me. I was doomed, cut off from the world, crippled for what was left of my life, and already weakening from pain. My poor, sad, dejected, stupid brother held all the cards - for once not so stupid!
"Tonight I`m going to give you all the pain I`ve been experiencing over these last few months. You`re going to get it all at once. Until it kills you, just like it almost killed me!"
Jab. Down my right arm this time, and amidst the pain I knew that he was deliberately not going across my chest, lest the current should stop my heart and kill me too quickly. And it was there, in that myriad of pain, with my flesh burning and my conscious mind screaming, that my unconscious mind told me what to do, how to exploit his weakness.
As soon as he stopped I gasped, summoned all my strength, hawked and spat in his face. "FUCK YOU, YOU LOSER!" I shouted. "She left you because you were weak! She even told me you were crap in bed! The one time you were supposed to stand up for her, in the bloody pub man, you bottled out and bought that guy a pint! Remember? LOSER!"
Jab! Left arm. Twenty seconds of torture. I passed out again.
Cold! Jab. Bad leg.
"Don`t say those things!" He screamed. "I loved her!"
"You`re boring, unadventurous in bed and A LOSER!"
Jab! PAIN!! TESTICLES! Passed out again!
Slap! I woke. No water left! Jab - sort and sharp, trying to keep me awake.
"I`m not a loser!" He was sobbing. Well I felt no pity. Fuck him!
"Oh yeah? Whose got the girl! LOSER!" I didn`t know how long I been passed out for each time, or much longer I could keep this up! I knew I was dying.
And then it happened! Like a sign from God. He jabbed me, I took the current, but through the pain I dimly noticed a slight change in tone, a flicker of the light. "FUCK YOU!" I shouted, forcing him to keep the wires on me.
And then it went dark. I hadn`t passed out, but the pain from the electrocution stopped, and with it went the lights. No more fuel! I`d taken the pain, and now we`d both die together, trapped underground forever. I`d beaten him one last time!
"Electric locks you say?" And I laughed.