Opening my eyes, I look around but all I can see is darkness. I was hoping that it was all a nightmare but after being locked up for days I should be used to it by now. I struggle to lift my hand in front of my eyes but in this pitch blackness I cannot see it. My eyes fill with tears, but after crying for what seems like days I resist the temptation. Something crawls over my foot and instinct makes me want to jump up and scream or swat at whatever it is. However all I manage is a slight movement of my leg which brings a painful scream to my lips.
I can feel my heart start to race, I know that if I don’t try to calm my breathing I’m going to start hyperventilating and there is no one to help me. I have had a few of these episodes since being locked up. I get into such a state that I finally pass out. Maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to be unconscious and let the time pass without being aware of all the things that have happened to me in such a short time.
I close my eyes and try to focus on something positive that will take my pain away. I am no longer sure when it’s night or when it’s day in here. Someone will come in and give me water and a piece of dried bread. When I first arrived here even though I had been abused and was in great pain, I could still manage to take in water and bread by myself, but since that day … I’m not going to think about that day. I try to roll over so the pain in my back will lessen but my strength has left me. I’m sure my ribs are broken, going by the excruciating pain I have every time I breathe or try to move. My ankle is either broken or badly sprained. I had cuts down various parts of my body that must have stopped bleeding by now, but they are still painful and possibly infected. To top it, all I have had a constant headache since the beating. My face I can feel, is swollen.
“I will see you soon Granny,” I whisper.
Why? Why would they kill such a good woman? We had always minded our own business. My gran was the kindest woman I knew. We had always kept away from people, mostly because of me but on that fateful day those beasts came to our home. They broke the few items we had in our possession and they took her from me. I can still see her unseeing eyes staring up at nothing. Those beautiful eyes of hers that had so much life before, so much love, now dead. I can feel my heart contract in anguish, as I picture my gran, the only person who ever cared for me.
When I turned sixteen and everyone wanted to have me committed she was the only one who had stood by me. We moved away from the town and we lived on a small plot of land that was practically self-sustainable. I loved working the land alongside her. If we needed supplies from the town she used to go and purchase them. I hardly ever went into town. The locals used to silently judge me with their stares. Even though they didn’t say straight out how insane they thought I was, I could hear them. As time passed by, I became a recluse, not only to save myself the heartache of being judged insane, but also from the painful side of being surrounded by people.
That fateful day when those men came, gran tried to get me to hide but it was too late. I can still hear her screams in my head. I knew that they were up to no good as soon as they got out of the car. I tried to fight them, to save her, but they were too strong. They hit me, knocked me down, and kicked me until I lost consciousness. When I awoke I was in a car heading towards the hell that I live in now. On arrival they had a bucket in the corner of the room that I used as a toilet. Not that they ever cleaned it. I used to navigate my way there in the darkness, but for a while now I haven’t been able to move. So I’m dirty, smelly, itchy and I can feel that whatever is sharing this cell with me is eating away at my skin. The smell I have adapted to; and no one is tempted to stay in here with me for longer than they must. Realising that the water and the bread will also come to an end I am not sure as to why they are keeping me alive. I wish that they would just allow me to die. If I must have a guess, I would say that I have been here for maybe two weeks, but in this darkness, I could be wrong.
When I had first arrived, I heard noises coming from outside this cell but one day it just stopped. I am not sure if they took away whomever was down here with me or if they had died. On the way here, I heard one of the men talking on the phone, telling someone that the parcel was secure. I’m sure that he was talking about me. Why would they want me? That is what I have asked myself since I got here.
Gran had always said that I was special and that if anyone found out that they might want to take me away from her. I had always thought that she was just trying to be kind, but could it be true? Do these men know about me? Everyone in the town just thought that I was insane. No one knew what was wrong with me. How could they have found out? I know for a fact that they had been looking for me because as soon as they saw me one of them called out my name. They had killed my gran to abduct me. If she had only been like my parents who had let me go when I became ill, she would still be alive.
I hear a noise. My breathing picks up, intensifying the pain in my chest and back. I can feel my heart beating erratically. I see a sliver of light coming in from the bottom of the cell door, soon there will be a click before someone opens my door. I hear heavy footsteps drawing closer, there is a jiggle of keys and I hear a key turn in the lock. And then the door opens, the light from the corridor outside blinds me not allowing me to see who is standing in the doorway.
“Damn it smells as if someone died in here.” A deep male voice grumbles. I can hear his footsteps drawing closer until he’s standing over me. I open my eyes a little, feeling them burn from the light that is filtering in through the door. All I can see is the unfocused shape of a huge man, I can’t make out his features. I feel myself start to tremble. I try and take a deep breath to calm myself but the pain in my chest won’t allow it.
“I have water here for you. We don’t want you to die just yet. Do we?” There is a sneer in his voice as I feel him lower himself down onto his haunches. As soon as I feel his hand touching me under my neck I start to hyperventilate. “Not now bitch! You need to drink this.”
The water starts to gush down my throat. I cough, trying to breathe and to swallow at the same time. I feel the water running down my chin and neck. His hand is now squeezing the back of my neck. I hear myself whimper in pain. The little light that’s in the room fades as I start to lose consciousness.
The next time I awake, I know that I am again by myself, my throat is raw and painful. It always feels like that after I awake, and they have given me water. I know that they tighten their hands around my neck to hold my head up and to help me to drink while I’m unconscious, but the pain when I awake is agonising. I feel a piece of bread in my hand but from experience I know that I’m not going to be able to swallow, as my throat is too raw for that. Unsure of how long I was unconscious for, and as there is no noise, he must have left me a while ago. The smell of him still lingers on my skin. If there was anything left in my stomach I’m sure that I would gag.
He always has a scent of sweet tobacco and coriander. If I ever leave here I will never be able to eat anything with coriander again. It brings back memories of my beautiful vegetable and herb garden that I had kept at home. Who will take care of it now that I’m gone, it will die just like gran.
Suddenly the ground shakes underneath me as if a bomb has gone off. I feel particles of sand falling on my face and my body. I wonder what has happened. Hopefully they have all blown themselves up and I will be left alone to die in peace.
After what seemed like an eternity I hear a loud scraping sound and then a banging noise. “It’s as dark as fuck down here bring me a light.” I can hear a deep growly voice that for some reason calms me. There are more footsteps and then I see the sliver of light underneath the door. They must have found the light switch. Who could they be? It didn’t sound as if they knew about this place, maybe it was the police.
“Fuck, Bjarni come down here there are three cells with keypads, I might need your help in opening these doors.” I hear that voice again. Why does that voice bring me such comfort? I close my eyes, feeling at peace for the first time since I was taken.
“Damn Brother, whatever is down here must be dead going by the smell of this place.” This voice is different must be from the Bjarni guy who the first one called.
I hear banging on a door. “Is there someone in here?” the guy asks. They must have started at one of the cells by the stairs. Even though I open my mouth to shout no sound comes out. I try again but there is no sound, only pain.
“Stop!” I hear another male voice this one sounds like its coming from upstairs. “Celmund just contacted us, apparently Jas and Gabriela just saw explosives attached to a door down here.” Oh no, that must be the clicking sound that I heard when they came down here before they can open my door. They must be deactivating the bombs somehow, I wish I could warn them, but no matter how hard I try no sound comes out.
“Motherfuckers!” the guy with the calming voice calls out. It’s strange how even when he’s upset, this guy’s voice can bring me peace.
“Brandr, they say that she is down here.” Who are they talking about? Is there someone else down here? I hear receding footsteps, oh please, please don’t leave me here. Are they leaving now that they know there are explosives? I don’t blame them, why would they put their lives in danger for me, someone who they didn’t even know was alive.
I thought that I didn’t have any tears left but I was wrong, the tears are silently cascading down my cheeks. Maybe this is the end. These men are not the same ones who took me, meaning that the others are either killed or they have left. If these guys also leave no one will know that I am down here.