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The man begins to cut and the pain shoots up in currents through my body into my brain.  I am strapped down so thoroughly that I can’t struggle; I can’t even move my head.  I feel I may hyperventilate or asphyxiate as I breathe vigorously through my nose and strain to bring in enough air to keep me conscious.  My stomach turns and I fight against vomiting because it would come out of my nose and I would drown in it.  The pain is distracting and my body begins to tremble.  I begin to scream within the gag.  Tears drop down my temples.  It is not an emotional response that triggers crying, rather my eyes are watering because of the agony.

The world around me becomes blurry and the voices are hazy echoes.  I continue to scream as a cloth of sorts is draped over my eyes and the darkness consumes my psyche.  It is my screaming which awakens me.  My voice is loud and unmuffled.  I scream, awaken, and my attempts to struggle result in my falling to the floor.  I prop myself up and find that I am once again back in the room with the fireplace and the brandy.  The comfortable room.  I appear to be alone.  Efforts to stand quickly are stunted by the sharp ache at my genitals and I grab hold of myself to contain the discomfort.  It’s quite obvious at this point that my testicles are still in tact.  If it weren’t for the pain, I’d suspect it was another twisted dream or delusion, so I undo my pants and drop them to the top of my thighs in order to inspect myself.  Everything looks untainted, yet I am shaven and as my hands seek evidence of the surgery I find two areas which are dressed in small bandages or bits of tape in an X, probably to cover or close small incisions.

A noise from behind one of the doors in the room provokes me to consider escaping.  I do up my pants and retrieve the fire poker, trying to decide whether I ought to stay for more abuse in order to find my Fay, or if I should leave and somehow try to find her on my own.  I wonder if in fact I’ve willingly walked into another state of captivity.  The last time, I awoke in my own bed with the police banging at my door, so I’m uncertain as to how I escaped then, or perhaps if I was set free.

The man enters and I decide to break my vow of silence and ask him questions.  I’m sure it is clear to him how little I know, therefore admitting as much should not make me more vulnerable.  Rather, he may in fact provide me with some information that could help me.  He laughs as he sees me standing there with the poker.

“No more games.”  I say, and in a force of great will against my impetus, I choose not impale him.

“There have never been any games.  Not from me.  You should sit, because you must be sore.”

“What did you do to me.”


I slowly sit, because he is right, I am sore.

“I’ll answer your questions.”

“Where’s Fay?”

“That’s a complicated one to answer at this time.”

I want to get angry, but I believe that anger is a weakness, it prevents clarity and forethought. “Why is it too complicated to answer.”

“Because you need to know other things first.  If I tell you where she is, you will feel you don’t need me.  Then you will impulsively pursue her on your own, and fail.”

“Why would I fail?”

“Because you won’t know what you’re capable of.”

“What am I capable of.”

“Why don’t you back track your questioning.  We’ll get where you’re going, but I think we need to go back further.”

“Is Fay safe?”


“For how long?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Is she being abused?”


I lean back and breathe.  My body releases a mountain of tension.  My muscles are left trembling from the fatigue of carrying that weight.

The man responds to my relief by saying, “No harm has come to her, she has been cared for.”

Then I begin to cry.  Fear for her has been the worst torment of them all, and knowing this information makes everything I’ve been through seem bearable.  I hate that I am crying in front of this man, it makes me feel weak and breakable.  But I cry and it is a joy to know my girl has not been mistreated at all.  I just want her back now to hold her, to bring her home, wherever home may be.

The man adds, “That’s not the sort of danger she faces.”

I wipe the tears from my eyes and the mountain returns, though now it’s not a heavy weight to bear.  I am the mountain and I decide at that moment, that I am more powerful than him.