"Dirty" Part 1
I may have screamed first, or I may have opened my eyes then screamed. Either way, very soon after regaining consciousness, I am wide-eyed and screaming. I know I’m in danger, I didn’t expect to be naked, reclined, and neck deep in a bathtub of freezing, dark water. I can’t move my arms and legs, strapped as they are to various grounded towel racks and the foot of a stone sink. My waist is free and as much as I can, I thrust it this way and that but the resulting waves climb into my shouting mouth and I choke. The gagging and coughing calms me down somewhat though I am still panicked by how blurry my vision continues to be.
The bathroom is dark, so dark that I can only tell that it is a bathroom because I’m imprisoned in a tub. My eyes refocus slowly, and the only light is a feeble stream of streetlamp through a smoky foe glass window. I hear hard falling rain on the side of the building. The images in front of me begin to solidify and I gasp at what I am now seeing clearly. Myriad barbed wire covers the walls and ceiling, dimly shining. My vision is blocked by the rim of the tub, so I don’t see how far the wire extends. As far as I can tell, every other exposed surface of the room is covered by tightly looped razor wire.
What is this? Why am I here? The fuck is going on?
My adrenaline shoots up. I scream again. I shout for help. On and on, I go. I thrash around. The leather cuffs tying me down are so tight that I see the arteries of my wrist bulge from the effort to get blood through and my veins never looked bluer. I gag several times on the choke collar around my neck, but it can’t stop my hysterics this time. I have total disregard for my comfort. Water gets into my ears, nose, eyes, and through whichever tube down my throat it finds most convenient. I hack in despair and slam my shoulders into the back of the tub. I clear my throat of water and take a deep breath. I let loose a single sentence as loud as I… fucking… can.
“LET ME OUT!”
A sheet of lightning and a tremendous clap of thunder sounds as if to say, “Shut up.”
My voice gets raspier on subsequent yells. It hurts so I give up. I lean my head back and sob. The water swishes around the tub sickeningly and the faucet drips slowly. Drip.
My head reels. I realize that this must be it. The end of the line.
Too much trouble has gone into this insane fucking trap. This is too much.
This is a killing pen. This can’t be the work of someone who wants to just fuck with me. It feels too personal. I have an enemy. But who doesn’t?
What can I remember? The last thing I can remember?
Pulling into my driveway. The yellow motion-sensing light turning on, exposing the hard shadow of someone creeping behind me. The blunt strike on the back of my head before I can turn around.
Waking up as I'm being dragged along the driveway. Not being able to speak. Moaning.
I yell again to shut out the noise and send my thoughts scattering. A violent lightning strike and roar drowns my cries out again. My voice freezes. My heart freezes. My mind...
I have seen something. Out of the corner of my eye.... I am not alone. I have not been alone at all this entire time.
I cannot turn my head to see over the edge of the tub, but I am certain I have seen the outline of someth-
Another wreath of the outside fire and suddenly I have never been more scared for the brief light has revealed the crouched silhouette of some creature or person, sitting on the toilet bowl. A shorted, but twisted obstruction in my vision.
"What-what the fuck!?" I yell in surprise. A series of quick electrical assaults illuminates the bathroom as the figure sits. It is quite still. I calm down enough to not stammer. "Hello?" I ask. "Who are you? Please-please let me go whoever you are."
I hear creaking, as if bones long-separated are snapping back into place to move in unison. More light provides the strobing image of the hunched figure lowly supporting itself to a standing posture. The last chance lightning bolt allows me to determine that it is slowly moving towards me. I hear the slide of its footwear along the tiled floor, along with some tears of cloth. It stumbles slightly. It bends and appears to relieve itself of barbed wire that has caught onto its pant legs.
I still cannot see it clearly from my angle, and the lightning has ceased. But I can feel its looming presence now over the tub, breathing rhythmically and softly. I feel tears budge into my eyes.
"There's been a mistake. Please..." I moan. I flail with an air of futility, pathetically.
The shadow falls to its knees. I feel the dry coolness of rubber-gloved hands grasp the leather collar on my neck. I am surprised how gentle the hands are. The shadow loosens the belt and for a moment I am able to my head toward my captor. Suddenly rough, the hands tighten the belt and I cannot turn my head away from the water, which fills my mouth as I start screaming again. And I can't stop. I CAN'T STOP.
Oh my God!
Over the rim, two eyeless hole stare at me out of a head covered entirely in medical tape. Twined from the crown down the neck into some kind of industrial cleaners jumpsuit. I cannot discern speck of skin. The dark patches serving as eyeholes are covered in the sort of material one sees in costume masks. In the lightlessness, it must be impossible for it to see my face. My screaming startles whoever is inside the mummified cast. Its hands rise indecisively, flexing and unflexing its fingers with an elastic squeak.
"P-p-p-p-please, LET ME OUT! LET ME GO! PLEASE!" I yell, feeling my shoulders almost dislocate themselves as I struggled.
The bandage head staggers to its feet in agitation. It reaches for a something on the sink counter. More barbed wire catches its jumpsuit and it cannot shake it loose. I cannot what it now holds over me.
"No! Stop!" I yelp at the shock of dozens of small ice cubes clacking and knocking against my skull and then hitting the water. I feel the water level rise slightly and become even colder than before. The restrained areas of wrist grow numb.
"Who-who are you?" I whimper as the last cubes drop and the ba is tossed aside. The terriying specter kneels once more. The bandaged head turns as if on a swivel. It says nothing. It reaches for something behind my head. My eyes strain and pop, following the hand as it returns with what appears to be a completely ordinary looking large sponge. A splash and gurgle murmurs in the bathroom as the sponge is plunged into a bucket out of sight. I release my tongue, which I had been biting.
"Why are you doing this?"
Again, it says nothing. I wonder if it can talk, as of yet having seen no evidence of slits for it to even breathe through. Yet I can hear a strange, irregular patterns of grunts and pants coming from inside the tape, as if the breather was light-headed from reblowing up the same balloon too many times. The bandaged head tilts down toward my legs. My body tenses as the sponge makes contact with the skin.
To my astonishment, it begins, very lightly, to wash my feet and toes.
My eye opens and I find myself watching these dimly-lit events take action.
"Yo-you're washing me..." I say in disbelief. This terrifies me more than perhaps if the bandaged head had started on my skin with a carrot peeler. I am, for a moment, fearful that the barbed wire on its arm will stab me as well, but it is caught too far up its sleeve.
Stop, stop, stop thinking like that. Find out what he wants.
"Listen, I have a lot of money... I can..." I trail off. I am about to indulge myself in more pointless questioning when something in particular strikes me about the figure's breathing. It isn't just breathing. It's speaking...chanting...or coughing.
coughing. cough cough.