( 101, Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page
What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.)
When I opened my eyes, and the cloud of drugs had dissipated, I saw something suspended directly over my head. It was semi-dark in the room, and I couldn’t make it out at first. Then, slowly, the reality became clear.
A huge net was indeed suspended from the ceiling. It bulged out in some place, was concave in others. Those places changed every few seconds, and I began to realize that there was something alive in the net. Something alive and trying to find a way out.
As I watched in growing horror and fascination, I realized other things as well. I was bound hand and foot, my arms and legs spread out in opposite directions. My head was also restrained, clamped by some evil tool that kept me from moving anything save my eyes. I had a raging thirst. My throat was on fire, and I was desperate to work up just a little saliva to moisten my lips and throat. I was cold; I wondered how my throat could be so hot and dry while the rest of my body was bathed in clammy sweat. I was covered with goose bumps, and shivering hard against the restraints. I realized that I was naked. Completely.
My concern, though, was that net above my head. It was the size of a small sofa, as far as I could see. What terrified me was that I thought I knew what was contained in the mesh, and the horror of it was making my misery excruciating.
Training my eyes and ears on the net, I was sure I could see separate bodies. Writhing, wriggling, sinuous, slithering bodies. Sibilant sounds came now and then, causing the cold sweat to run freely off my body. And then, suddenly and clearly, I saw the unmistakable reddish glare of eyes that were staring staight into my own terrified eyes! Those eyes seemed to emit hatred toward me, and a determination to do me harm. I was mesmerized. I was horrified. I almost fainted with fear.
And then I heard the voice. Calm, soothing and reasonable, the voice spoke my name. “Well, Mr. Blakesly. It seems you’re in something of a predicament. You know, my friend, I’d be glad to help you out of your situation. Of course, you know that means you would owe me something in return. Do you care to bargain with me? If not, all I have to do is release the cord, and you will be smothered in poisonous, angry serpents. You won’t last long. Ten minutes at most, but what an enjoyable ten minutes–for me–it will be.”
I could hear the the insinuating sneer in his voice, almost see the satisfied smugness on his face. Finally, after chasing each other across oceans and continents, my archenemy had me completely in his power. Little fragments of the events of the previous day began to flash through my mind, but I couldn’t hope to follow those flashes. At the moment, all I could think of was finding some way out.
“What do you want?” I croaked.
“Come, come. You know exactly what I want. I want everything that resides in that magnificent brain of yours. Every contact, every password, every code, every plot. And I believe I will have them, won’t I?”
A small noise above my head had me straining to see. I realized that the net was closer by maybe an inch. A stench issued from the net. Snakes have a foul odor.
“Let me go, and I’ll give you what you’re asking.”
“Oh, no. Oh, my, no. That would be most foolish of me, wouldn’t it? You’ll empty your head to me right where you are, and THEN I will consider setting you free.”
“I can’t think straight with that horror hanging above me!”
“Well, then, let’s bring it a little closer so you can see exactly what you’re looking forward to.”
And the net came down again, hanging barely six inches above my head and chest. Individual snakes were clear now, huge ones and smaller ones, all of them ugly and evil. My worst nightmare. How did he know? How could he possibly know?
“All right. All right, I’ll tell you everything. But I have to have some water. Whatever you used to put me out is making me thirsty. Please, water, and then I’ll talk.”
“Oh, Mr. B., you disappoint me. I thought you’d hold out a little longer, so I could toy with you just a little more. Well, if you’re ready to talk, then of course you may have some water. After that, we’ll chat–just you and I and our slithery friends. If I doubt any word that comes out of your mouth–well, I think you know what will happen.”
I heard a metallic click, and the screech of an unoiled hinge. A little more light came into my dungeon, enough to show me the true horror of what hung so close above me. As the man who entered helped me drink from a bottle, through a straw, I watched my nightmare.
“Thanks,” I said to the guard. “Don’t go away. I’m going to need lots more water. There’s a lot to tell.”