Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chapter 29 - Micah

           The musty smell of the cold stone floor roused me from a groggy sleep. I rolled over on my back and stared at nothing. The pitch black room combined with my inability to keep track of time made it hard to stay awake. The last time I’d awakened, I could still see. I tried to remember how long it had been since they took Olivia. Had they already executed her? Had the rebels already attacked? Did they fail? I finally gave up. My mind couldn’t make sense of anything that had happened since I got shot with a paralyzer bullet.
I realized I had actually been awake several times. Always for just a few minutes. Everything that had happened seemed to be all jumbled. Once I woke up and someone had stitched the wound in my side. Another time I noticed all the “furniture” in my cell had been removed except the stainless steel latrine attached to the wall in the corner.
            I felt more alert than before. I sat up and crawled, feeling for the wall with my fingers. I leaned my back up against rough surface of the wall. This was the first time I’d woken up without being able to see, at least the first time I’d noticed.
            I began to hear a soft buzzing sound, like a broken radio, stuck on static. I couldn’t tell where the sound came from. It disoriented me. I remained listless against the wall. I tried to come up with a strategy, something to change my situation but the irritating sound made it almost impossible to concentrate.
            The more I gazed into blackness, the more my senses began to abandon me. The rough surface of the wall started to disappear. The musty stench of the dank cell vanished. The buzzing sound faded into the back of my mind. Images appeared in front of me then dissolved. After a while the hallucinations stayed. At first I ignored them. I told myself they weren’t real. The sensory deprivation was playing games with my brain. Then I gave in.
            Olivia sat next to me. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t move. She just stared ahead. I didn’t move. It felt like a dream, if I moved she might disappear. I wanted to touch her, run my fingers through her hair. I needed to hold her, feel her skin, and know she was still alive. My hand finally moved to caress her cheek. It went right through her and instead I felt the cold, jagged stone wall. The image dissolved.
My senses returned, better than before. The buzzing sound rang in my ears. I stood up with new buoyancy. I used my hands to feel the wall as I circled the cell, trying to gain a mental picture of where they held me. I found the first corner and started counting my steps. Each step I knew measured about three feet. The first wall took two steps. I took two more and reached the metal bars closing off the cell. My hands brushed across the steel bars as I counted six more feet and reached the final wall. The cell measured six feet by six feet, about the same size as my old cell.
A thought entered my mind. Not a new one, but one I had refused to entertain before. Was the room pitch black or just my eyes? Maybe in an effort to keep me put, Isoli had blinded me. I moved my hands up my cheeks and felt for my eyes. My eyelids instinctively closed in protection. My eyes were still in place but that brought no conclusion. I decided to speak. If a guard had been placed outside my cell, maybe he would tell me.
“Hello?” I spoke through the metals bars. My voice echoed down off the hard walls of the prison. No one answered.
“Hello?” I yelled louder this time. Again no one answered. I held the metals bars with both hands and stared straight ahead. I tried to focus, hoping to catch just a little light from somewhere in the hall.
“Keep quiet and sit down.” A harsh voice finally answered from somewhere in front of me.
“Someone’s there?” I asked to the voice in the darkness.
“No, I’m just a ghost.” the voice joked. “Of course someone’s here.”
“Am I blind? Why can’t I see you?”
The guard chuckled. “That’s right you haven’t had a chance to try out our new paralyzer bullets, make you go blind as well as paralyzed.”
I paused before asking the question that part of me didn’t want to know the answer to. “Is it permanent?”
“Not ‘nles we did somethin’ wrong. Should wear off jusin time fur u to see you girlfriend’s execution. It’s brilliant I think, don’ have to worry ‘bout you escapin’ if you can’t see.” The guard laughed again. “The execution’s tomorra mornin’ so I reckon you’ll be gettin’ your vision back real soon.”
I turned back toward the dark cell and felt for the wall. I sat down again, relieved that Olivia was still alive. My vision would come back, but it might be too late.
I tried for what seemed like hours to come up with a plan. I tried coaxing the guard into helping me find the urinal but he didn’t fall for it. Even if he had, and I managed to shoot him, I had no chance of escape without my sight. I would be a sitting duck. I sat back down against the wall. My only plan left was to hope for a God-send.
I started to doze. The invisible guard’s radio came to life and jerked me awake. For the first time I noticed the buzzing had gone.
“Alpha One to alpha four come in?”
“Alpha four copy.”
“Get the prisoner ready for transport.”

1 comment:

  1. Oh, no! A new complication. How devious you are DJ. Good chapter.