The Prisoner

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The floor heaved and tossed as he was being hauled down the gray hall. The edges of his vision blurred and he staggered and stumbled. He couldn't keep his legs under him. They betrayed him and turned water. The two guards, each holding one arm, didn't like the idea of having to drag him. So they hauled him upward, until his feet were under him and shoved him forward. Stumbling from the force of the shove, his weak body landed heavily against the door of his cell. The guard punched in the code of the door slid sideways. He remembered again that the 2' x 4' room was not padded as his they threw him in with the concern one gives a cloth rag. 

He hit the back wall with a groan as the chuckling guards closed the door. Once more he was in his cold, dimly lit gray home. Sitting up, he ran his fingers through his grimy brown hair and winced when his hand reached his bruised and stiff neck. Rolling his head he tried to work out some of the pain but the throbbing continued. Gingerly he felt the small puncture wound in his left arm left by his interrogators syringe. 

The realization that the metal floor was cold and his feet were freezing began to override the pain in his head. He rubbed his bare feet. Then crossed his legs so his feet were tucked under him, leaning his head back he closed his eyes and waited. 

He waited to get colder. He waited to be taken for questioning. He waited for sleep. None came. He heard a sound that he put down as another hallucination. Then something reached his numbed sense of smell: the odor of food. He looked at the tray sitting in the front of him then looked around dumbly.

Where had it come from? The thought escaped him.

He fell to eating. The bread had no taste. The water was cold, but it tasted odd. He pushed the empty tray back and wondered why the food had no taste. That thought too soon escaped him as the sleeping pill that been dissolved in the water began to take effect. 

Blackness enveloped the gray cell and the cold floor faded until only the icy chill remained. Then he felt nothing. Not cold, not hunger, no exhaustion or pain. Nothing. 

He awoke when the cell door opened and two guards pulled it out.  Once more they dragged him down the hall toward the interrogation room. They entered the room and he was strapped into the chair with wires trailing from every side. Men in white uniforms hooked him up to the machine but he watched with only mild interest. 

The men moved back and stood behind another machine. Wires ran crisscross between the machine in the chair. He stared at the man standing behind the machine and vaguely began to wonder if he cared what he was doing. 

It started. The man's arm moved to turn a dial and a stab shot through his head. Another man in white shouted at him as he had the day before and countless days before that.

“When are they coming?”

The man in the chair didn't know. The pain increased. 

“How many are there?”

The prisoner didn't know. The pain increased again.

“Where are they going to land?”

The pain in his head was pulsing increasing with each thought. He couldn't think.  He screamed. His blurred vision became steadily dimmer until blackness replaced the room. The pain ceased. 

Mumbling and cursing the men in white gestured towards the chair with the wires trailing from every side. Angrily they turned dials and flipped switches. They called the two chuckling guards to carry the lifeless body from the room to a small hatch in the wall of the corridor. They let the prisoner slide into black oblivion.

“Guess you got your freedom,” the guard chuckled looking down the hole where the body had disappeared.

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