The strong, fear filled male voice was getting louder in my head. Pounding away at my temples. Where was it coming from? And who the hell was it! My foot, throbbing as I put too much pressure on it, I was swiftly walking to get to this voice. Was I really hearing it, or had the whole confusion of the day taken it’s toll on me? I found myself moving down a narrow corridor, grey carpeted panels for walls, with posters everywhere warning us of thieves and burglars. The dull, worn out blue carpet was never ending, I had no idea where it was taking me, and more importantly, who was it taking me to…?
I slowed down, I came to a second desk, different from the first, this had no shield, computers and file cabinets dominated the space. To my left was a huge white metal gate. I’m guessing that’s the path the criminals took when they were finally caught. I shouted again, put all my strength into the few words that fell out of my mouth, “Where are you?!” No one replied. I had never heardthe voice in the first place! I lowered myself to the floor, my back against the tall black desk. The puzzlement of the situation had taken my mind off my foot. I stretched it out in front of me, and a dense gasp of pain mixed with relief left my lips. I finally managed to relax, thinking of what to do next, I reached into my pocket. It was still there. Holding the object in my right palm, I stared at it for what seemed like hours. Why was this in the box? It must have some significance; it was bloody hard to get to!
“Help!” Ok, I heard it that time. “Where are you?!” I was trying to shout louder than the first time, so he, whoever it was definitely heard me. “I’m, I’m in a cell somewhere…” His voice was echoing from beyond the white gate. I picked myself up. Rolling my eyes at the pain of my foot. It was there and I couldn’t do anything about it. So just get on with what I’m supposed to be doing. I hobbled over to the gate, wrapping my fists around the thin poles, they felt icy cold, I shook the gate. It wouldn’t open. For God sake! I need a bloody key. I made my way back to the desk. Searching everywhere, there was no key. Paper documents were everywhere; the floor was covered with them. There seemed to have been a struggle with the last occupiers of the area. I was on my hands and knees, looking in every corner, under every piece of paper. Nothing. Where could it be! “Are you still there?” he sounded like he had been sobbing by this point. “Yes, I am. Don’t worry. I need a key to get to you. But I can’t find it!”
“Please hurry…” his voice faded. Like he had given up hope. What kind of people would leave a man in here, alone? I had almost given up by this point and suddenly as if out of no where my eyes were drawn to the filing cabinet, just above it, hidden in the dark was a key rack. Twenty keys at least were on it. Thank God. And they were all labeled. Well that’s made it a bit easier. “I’ve found some keys. I won’t be long.” There was no reply. I hope he’s ok, I kept thinking to myself. Ok got the key rack. I just hoped one of them was the right one. I shuffled back to the gate. The first six keys hadn’t made a difference. I was beginning to lose my patience. Seventh, eighth, ninth. None of them! Come on! Please work. I found myself talking to the keys! Tenth. It fit the keyhole. I turned it. Bingo! Yes, it was the right key. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The gate creaked. It was stiff and heavy. I took the keys with me. No doubt there would be a lock on the cell door. Well I hoped there was anyway! Obviously the person locked up couldn’t tell me which one he was in, so I knocked on each one. There was a row of cells on each side of the corridor. Ten foot steel doors, cold and uninviting. There was also a lock handle and a small panel for the police to check up on their latest catch. I asked him to shout, but it just sounded like his voice was coming from every single corner and every cell. It was no good. The first five on the left hand side were empty; there were five more to go on this side. I prayed he was in one of these, because my hands were becoming more cold and raw from the hardness of the metal beasts that were doors. Like the gate, I was having no luck. Until I heard, whoever it was shout to me. “I’m in this one, yes, in here! Get me out, please!” Where were the keys, get the keys, come on! “Ok, give me a minute, I’m getting the right key.” The labels of the keys were clearly not correct. If they were, I would be out of this hell hole already. I pulled the lock handle to the right. That was the first lock opened. I then put the first key into the hole. It fit. Will it turn? It did! Yes, first try and I had done it.
Pulling the dense door towards me, a rancid smell poured out from the cell. It made me heave, and fold my torso to my knees. As I bought myself back up, I saw a heap in the far corner of the cell. A person. Curled up. A tray of rotting food was to the side of him. The toilet in the opposite corner of the cold space was filled to the brim with excrement. Urine had spilled over the toilet rim to smother the majority of the floor. “Oh, my, God.” That’s all I could say I was in a state of shock.
How long had he been there?