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  • the second
    adam blackrock
    6 Dec 2001

    The two guys loose their grip on my arms for a few minutes to unlock the black, chipped paint covered steel door and kick it open, but I'm to weak to try to run off. I just lie face down in the dust where they dropped me, my breathing kicking up little puffs that irritate my eyes. Before I know it those two start half carrying, half dragging me through the doorway, across a white tiled floor with white lights on the ceiling. The walls are white too, and for a second I catch myself thinking about that, and not the intense, red hot pain which courses through my body. I'm dragged for about five minutes, down hallways that look just like the hallways I was dragged down only moments before. When we get to the room, they toss me on the floor again. It's massive, and completely open. I lie on my stomach, with my head tilted to the right, staring at the mural that is the room's only decoration. It is black and red and abstract, like someone simply slashed paint across a giant canvas, taking care to make all the black and red shapes that were created very jagged and unsettling. I look at this unsettling mural because I know what I will see if I turn my head, and I don't want to see it. One quarter of the room is a Plexiglas prison cell with no doorway. I still don't know how they got him in there, but he always is. Sitting at his one metal table on his one metal stool, with a needle and thread, sewing on one of his fingers. He never has all ten. I stumble to my feet and stand looking at the cell like a child who is sure there is a ghost in his closet but goes to check it anyway. Only when I open the doorway the ghost is there. He stops his work for a few seconds to look at me with is black eyes and say a few words:
    "Did you bring me the seventh? I need it, set it down."
    I have no idea what he's talking about, and my chest constricts with the pain of fear, which is acutely different from the pain of what feel like cracked ribs. This fear pain is much worse. I guess I had taken too long to consider the differences of these pains, because he begins to stand:
    "I need the seventh! You have it! Give it to me NOW!"
    Something in my mind snaps, and spills its fluid over my consciousness.

    The music was a disgusting blur at the nightclub we were having drinks at. I wanted to get away, but I knew my life was counting on this one simple engagement. It became painful to keep listening, and our conversation was going nowhere. I kept at my drink, hoping it would stop at least some of this mess, but it didn't. They keep looking at me and looking at me, and the music gets more and more outrageous. Finally I can't take it any longer: the fake smiles, the drinks, and the promises. I have only one goal in this twisted mess, and I want it done with. I've never moved my hands so fast as I did that night, one reaching into my jacket pocket for the knife and the other grabbing the guy next to me's hand. I slam it on the table just as the girl on his lap starts to scream because I have drawn my blade, but she isn't quick enough or strong enough to stop my actions. His finger is severed within the millisecond and I am on my way to the doorway. No sooner am I on the street, away from my drinks, the music and the blood when a man comes clean out of nowhere and punches me in the side, right below my heart. The knife falls to the ground, but I hold tight to the finger. He hits me again and throws me into the van he only too recently exited from. The sliding door closes with a crash, and I awake.

    And I awake screaming. I'm not sure how many surgeries that makes, but it has been made clear to me that I have done it several times, always under the direction of some other source. Flashes of syringes and injections race through my head, and I throw back my head and scream in agony and sadness over what I have done, and begin to cry; my head in my hands. I stay this way for longer than a grown man ever feels like he should before I wipe my eyes and look at the mural on the wall again. I concentrate and focus, trying hard to see only the black, and not the red. Its then that I blink a few times and look over my left shoulder. The man in the cell is standing close enough to touch me, far outside the confines of his prison.