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I wake up to my unmoving body. Everything is blurry like I’m waking up to a thick un-dissolving fog. I try to focus my eyes on my surroundings. I shake my head ferociously and objects start to appear in my vision. I’m strapped and tied down to a make-shift operating table. There are syringes, scissors and beakers half full of purplish concoctions on metallic rolling tables.
The room is dark and reeks of blood, tears and other undefinable chemicals. I stretch my neck and notice that there is an unconscious person on the other side of the wall. I know her. Oh God, isn’t she the little girl I helped carry back home, this morning? Where’s her grandfather? Is it even still Monday?
I bite off the straps around my wrist and bolt up. I tumble off and knock into the rolling table. There is a throbbing pain in my left arm. A needle is inserted half-way up my arm. Fucking fantastic. They drugged me up with God knows what. Someone is hammering nails on the inside of my skull. My throat is as dry as shredded sand paper that’s been road killed a million times. My fingers shake. Evidently, I’ve had blood loss. So not only they injected mixtures of fabricated chemicals into my system but also stole my blood until I’m faint.
This day can’t get any worse.
I crawl along the wall, holding my head with one hand and trying to see with the other. After what felt like a universe away, I reach the girl. She is a fragile ten- year old. If I couldn’t see the needle up her arm, I would have thought she’s sleeping. No, she’s just heavily drugged up. This is all so surreal like a schizophrenic high on dopamine.
I can’t remember how we got here. I recall taking my morning jog and encountering the girl and her grandfather along the footpath. She fainted and he was trying to lift her up into his arms…. Oh God, what if he wasn’t her grandfather? What if he is the mastermind behind this elaborate nightmare and somehow I got dragged into it like a twisted vortex? It doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t matter how we ended up in this situation but we are definitely getting out.
I gently carry her onto my back and we slowly make it to the door. It is strangely unlocked. It turns under my hand. And we step into the moonlight. This doesn’t make any sense. We’re standing on a balcony. Attached to a tower that is painfully too high above the water. We’re surrounded by nothing but endless ocean for miles away.
‘There is no escape, child.’
My head spins at the sound of a voice. An elderly man was sitting on a wheelchair on the other end of the balcony. He wasn’t the grandfather from this morning. Who is he? My knees buckle at the accumulating stress. The girl and I collapse onto the cold tiles. I watch as the old man lifts a glass of thick crimson liquid to his mouth. He smirks and stands up. Visibly, stronger and more agile. Blood. Our blood. He holds up my chin and stares into my petrified eyes, ‘There is no escape.’
There is no escape.