I joined Protagonize yesterday. For whatever reason that made me incredibly insecure and so rather than stick with the single story I had I wrote a follow up and then this one and with the way my fingers are twitching probably another one soon. They're all first drafts, they're all simple.
This one is a bit on the comedic side of torture. Call it dark humour.
Warning. Language used may not be appropriate for anyone not living in the real world.
The gag came off and a stream of cuss words poured out.
"Wow." The man said in only half-sarcastic appreciation.
"He doesn't seem to be paying you the right respect skipper. Should I put the gag back on?"
"I think so. Then we can teach him some manners."
"Oh you mother-" A brief scuffle as the massive bulk reinserted the dirty rag into the dirty mouth. The hostage kicked and his heels left marks in the filth of the cellar floor.
"Ah, Jesus he bit me." The big man looked down at his little finger where, if you looked closely, he was bleeding. The interrogator leaned forward. Caution in his voice.
"Wait Tony -" It was too late. The bleeding pinky joined the others in a fist. A smack. The sound of a train hitting a cow. A groan, then a crash as the chair fell onto its back.
"Ah." Said Tony who looked startled at his victim, then accusingly at his fist, and finally apologetically at his boss. "Sorry skipper."
"No problem Tony just sit him back up and then hand me that bucket." Tony did. The skipper walked slowly over to the corner of the room and let the tap run. Once it got cold enough he filled the bucket. He walked back over and dumped the ice-cold water on the unconscious man's head. The man groaned and looked about. "Wakey wakey. There we go. Over here. Ready to be polite? Take out the gag." He motioned to Tony who pulled out the rag.
There was silence. Then, "You two-faced-dog-loving-dick-sucking-mother-fucker." Then the hearty smack of the train hitting the cow, the groan, and then the crash.
"He wasn't being polite." He sounded so apologetic it almost sounded like a question.
"Yeah. Ok Tony, just... stop KO-ing him okay? Jesus." Again the long pilgrimage to the tap and back. Again the man was drenched in cold water. He groaned softly. One of the skipper's worn hands reached out to cup the man's cheek. "He-ey." He slapped the wet cheek gently. "You awake?" Another soft groan. "Come on. Talk to me."
A soft splutter of the lips. "Fuck you."
"There we go."
"Fuck you you duck-fucker."
"You used that one already."
"Yeah. A good one too. Never even heard it before."
"Thanks ... picked it up in Bangkok."
The man's eye's finally opened. "Where am I?"
"Good question. But I'm the one asking the questions."
"Oh." A pause as the man's brow knits together in confusion. "You sure?"
"So first things first. Who are you?"
"Who-are-you?" The man slurred back through what looked like, to the skipper, two newly chipped teeth.
"Ah. There you go again. I'm the one asking the questions remember?" Either he didn't remember or he was too brain damaged to answer. He stayed silent. "Ok, I'm going to ask you again then my friend here is going to break your pinky finger. You got that?" He did because his eyebrows raised a good inch apiece. "Al-righty then. Who. Are. You?"
"Good Tom. Now Tom what? Hmm? Tom what?" After waiting what seemed like an appropriate time Tony leaned over and grabbed the nearest pinky finger. Just as he did the hostage spoke again.
"Its not Tom. Its not. Its Richard." Tony leaned back but a look from the skipper and he moved his bulk forward again. His big fist engulfed the squirming finger.
"No wait! It is Tom! It’s Tom! Tom Glover!"
"Now how can we's tell you're telling us the truthf?" Said Tony his fleshy brow crinkled in concentration.
"I'm sorry Tom, he's got a point. You just lied to us. How do we really know you're Tom Glover."
Beads of sweat appeared on Tom's forehead as Tony's grip tightened. Now his brow too wrinkled and the skipper could almost see the gears turning in his head. They were turning very very quickly now. It seemed to the skipper it he looked close enough he might see Tom's little angle on one shoulder arguing the hell out of the devil on the other. Tell the truth or lie? Lie again or lie more?
Silence prevailed as Tony forgot he was torturing someone and began to daydream, the pinky still in his fist. The skipper waited patiently for the man's answer, it’s true he wasn't getting any younger, but at his age time was a constant and could wait for whomever it damned well pleased. For instance the man, Tom and his little gears.
"My wallet!" he cried bringing the assembled party back into focus. Tony remembered he was meant to be torturing this guy, the skipper realized that living as long as he had time might not be on his side after all, and Tom remembered he was surrounded by shit-sucking-duck-fuckers and said as much. Tony, never one for words, simply broke the pinky he was holding. The next minuets were filled with Tom's screaming and Tony's apologizing and eventually the skipper's reluctant ascension to silence the wailing. The train wound up, the cow was pulled onto the tracks (eyes bulging and mouth open and wailing) and soon the familiar smack, groan and crash.
"Now what skipper?"
"You know what?" Tony did not. "Fuck it. Fuck it all. I'm too old for this torture shit."
Tony looked confused. And maybe a little hurt as if the skipper's age might somehow be his fault. "So what do we do with Tom boss?"
"Check his dam wallet. If he is who he says he is dumb his unconscious ass on some street corner. If not? Dump his ass anyway. I don't care as of now I'm retired."
And with that the skipper rose from his seat and made his way upstairs. In the basement Tony stared at Tom for a long time.
The next morning the police found a man still tied to a chair on a street corner. Both the chair and Tony's tire treads led back to the house of a man who won't be retiring after all.