I awoke to a mold infested wood ceiling staring down at me. It reminded me of ceilings in old and neglected basements. I had no idea where I was, how I got there, or long I had been in this unknown place. A foul odor enticed my senses, again furthering my previous notion that I was, indeed, in some sort of old basement. I did not know to whom the room belonged, just that it was certainly not my own.
“How did I end up in such a place?” I wondered. And, as I slowly regained full consciousness, fear began washing over me like that of a torrential downpour, and was only embellished when I tried to move.
I lifted my head, as much as I could, and looked down to see several thick, dirty, worn brown leather straps, staining my blue dress, and attaching me to the table that I laid upon. Instantly my fear rose to levels of which I had never experienced before. I immediately tried to cry out, both out of fright and for help, but was met with only silence. I continued to try to scream but to no avail. Somehow I had been silenced. No matter how hard I tried not a sound came out. Tears began rolling down the sides of my face.
How did I get here, trapped in a strange location, strapped down to a wooden table, and completely unable to cry out for help? Although, I had no idea how thick these walls were, or how close beyond those walls the nearest person was, so it was possible if I had even been capable of screaming, louder than I had ever screamed in my entire life, it might not even be heard. An actual scream would ironically be just as silent as my current screams.
Despite the unusual lose of my voice, my hearing was unharmed as my breathing was deafening amongst the silence of the dungeon.
One lone light, which hung from a weathered electrical chord, was the only source of light as there were no windows, at least none that I was able to see. The way in which I was strapped down prevented me from being able to see anything behind my head. The three walls in my view were nothing but cracked cement, covered with spots of mold and the occasional stream of water leaking through. As these surroundings left no clue to my location, I began to attempt to think deeper in order to hopefully reveal any possible information or events to aid my troubles. But, it seemed my memory was in an incredible fog. No matter how I tried I could recall nothing except memories of the distant past. Images of holidays spent with my family, and of my honeymoon vacationed in Venice danced in front of my eyes, but nothing more. It was as if I had been laying here unconscious for many, many years. The idea that began to puzzle me more was to what purpose had I been placed here. My mind began to wander at the horrors that could possibly lie in waiting.
As I laid on the cold damp wood table, trying fruitlessly to identify my location, it seemed time was either moving very swiftly, or the exact opposite. With no clock nor windows to look out on the world, it was impossible to grasp a sense of time. For some reason, I found this to be soothing to me, as if being ignorant to how quickly the world was going on without me was some sort of bliss. And not only because of time, but in general, my fear was beginning to settle. Although trapped, I was, as far as I could tell, unharmed, other than the loss of my ability to speak. Clearly, whoever placed me in this position was not out for murder or I would likely already be dead.
This I found to be most puzzling. To be kidnapped is one thing, although a motive for doing so I could not be sure, as I am by no means from wealthy stock, nor did I hold any sort of position of importance in society, being only a wife to a cobbler, although I am told he is quite good at his profession. Certainly, though, if this were only a mere kidnapping, the use of such extreme measures to contain me in this way seemed quite excessive. I could only assume something more sinister was afoot. But to what, I tried not to think, as I wasn’t sure I wanted to know, though I knew I was sure to find out eventually.
* * * * * *
Once again, I awoke below the same molding ceiling. I was most certain I had not fallen asleep as I could not recall feeling the least bit tired in my frightened state, but rather I believed something else had caused me to lose another section of time. Of course, how long, I had no idea. I began to look around and quickly realized nothing had changed. Still the same three cement walls loomed around me through the dull light of that one lone bulb hanging from the ceiling. I again tried to speak, but, alas, my voice was still gone. Upon trying to move, I realized I was still strapped to the table, which I did not expect to have changed. Yet, something seemed different, but in my extreme haze having just woken up I was unable to figure out what it was at first. I lifted my head the little I was able and looked down my body. As my gaze passed my chest, and strap after strap, suddenly my heart stopped. There, towards the bottom of my dress was a small red stain. I began to breath heavily for I was certain that red stain was blood, my own blood. The shock of seeing my own blood on my favorite dress caused me to completely ignore a most important detail. The stain, which started about half way down the left side continued down out of sight, as there was nothing to hold up the end of my dress. Instead it laid flat on the table. My leg, just below the knee, was no longer there.
I began screaming my inaudible scream, frantically writhing on the table. Someone had removed part of my leg! How in God’s name did I not notice? There was no pain, and certainly it was not still bleeding as the stain was rather small. It was, at this point, I began to think about what that mysterious fourth wall behind me must yield. There must certainly be a door. Someone, my captor, must have entered, drugged me somehow without my knowing, and removed my leg. And with great skill. To remove a portion of a limb and sew the wound back seemed the mark of someone very skilled in surgical knowledge.
Having proof now that my captor has intentions other than leaving me here to rot, I was certain he would come back. I would blackout again at any moment. Then the horrors would begin again. Only what horror I would next see I could not imagine and did not wish to do so.
My fear and sense of panic were, needless to say, greatly increased at this point. To awaken with part of one’s own leg missing I do not wish upon my worst enemies. And, for what purpose would someone remove a portion of their captive’s leg and then treat the wound in order to keep them alive? I could come to no conclusion as to why a person would do such a thing. Preventing your captive’s death seemed the most absurd of everything I had experienced. What does someone do with a leg?
I began to try and devise a plan to find more information about my location, and, ultimately, and hopefully, to escape. My first thought was to shake violently enough to cause the table upon which I lay to tip over, possibly freeing me from the straps. But no matter how hard I shook, my attempt was in vein. Either the table was secured to the ground which it sat or was simply much to heavy for my small frame to turn over onto its side. Whatever the reason, it did not matter. Tears and silent cries quickly came as I was beginning to accept the cold hard truth that this dungeon was now my home. And, would also most certainly be my final resting place.
I began to recall fond memories of my past, something to lighten my spirits perhaps. They say when you die your life flashes before your very eyes. As my captor clearly had the ability to render me unconscious whenever he so chose, I thought I should flash it before my eyes on my own, to remember all the good there had been before this most dark, and, possibly, final moment. I closed my eyes, and there I saw my mother, sitting beside me on my bed the morning of my thirteenth birthday. She looked beautiful as she always did. Her short, dark brown hair, such a contrast to my long blond locks, made her beautiful blue eyes stand out. She handed me a gift, a beautiful gold necklace I instantly recognized as the one she wore every day. She had told me then it had belonged to her mother, and her grandmother before that, past down from generation to generation. She felt it was time I had my turn with the necklace. The necklace I could feel on my neck as I laid on that table.
Wiping away that memory, I saw my father, tears of joy in his eyes as he watched me stand at the altar, marrying my lovely husband, William. Prior to that moment, and every moment there after, I never had seen my father shed a single tear, either out of sadness nor happiness. But he was always so happy to see me growing up, and to have been lucky enough to find such a wonderful man whom he knew would take care of me no matter what. I imagined that would not be the only moment in which my father would cry for me. Only the next time would not be out of joy.
As tears of my own ran down my face I began to think more of William. His broad shoulders, short brown hair, and the most wonderful brown eyes anyone had ever seen made him the most handsome man in the world. He was never cross with me, no matter what happened. Always so patient, so calm, and so helpful in whatever situation arose. And then of course, there was little Jerold. Our wonderful son, an exact copy of William. He was so adorable, and such a good little boy. Certainly he loved his father, following him around the house, helping him fix anything that needed it. But he always loved the way I would tuck him into bed. He would chose a story for me to read, saying no one else could help him sleep the way I could with my stories. Hopefully he won’t be troubled if that should never happen again. As the tears continued down my face, all I could do was hope to God I would see them both one last time.
But, alas, I knew this not to be so. For as I awoke the final time I was no longer on the table, but, instead, I am hanging from a hook like the piece of meat I had become. Both legs were now completely gone, the wounds left open so my blood would quickly drain out into a tub below me. My consciousness fading fast, every minute I hope to die, sooner rather than later so this misery may finally end i am dead
Original story by Matthew Sprouse