Missing: Part Six.

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

The small space was economically furnished with a desk, chair and cabinet.

The boy opened his eyes to a sea of faces. They all had the same swarthy appearance, large brown eyes and jet black hair. Although varying in age, their features were almost identical. One began to speak, slowly followed by another, then a third until they were all talking at once. The words were meaningless to the boy.

His next sensation hit him hard as every part of his body seemed to be on fire. The flames were inside him, not on the surface, his veins were full of boiling liquid. He tried to scream but all that came out of his mouth was a dry clicking sound. Equally when he attempted to protest with movement, he was paralysed. Everything below his neck seemed to be bound tight in some kind of material. He could just move his fingers against his chest where his hands had been strapped.

The men continued in their incoherent tongue, such was his ignorance, he tried to read their expressions. They varied from concerned to deep concern, sending terror through his already traumatised body.

The boy tried to think in the grip of his ordeal. However, his thoughts were broken, hanging like threads in the void. Void, that’s all there was beyond his immediate experience. He followed each tattered fibre to its short end then fell off into the blackness. Faces, voices, pain, paralysis, this was his world. Was he even alive? Was this hell and damnation? He knew of this place and the other but he didn’t know how he knew.

Suddenly a voice, above the others, made sense to him. The words were familiar and comforting.

“Rest young man. You are fortunate indeed that we were nearby” He opened his eyes to the face that had uttered the words. Like the others in appearance, the man commanded respect from them as they all fell silent. He placed a hand on the boy’s forehead then turned to one of his colleagues. Reverting to the strange tongue, he barked something at the man who immediately disappeared into the dark. He returned seconds later with a wet cloth. The leader placed the rag over the point where his hand had been.

The relief was instant, like extinguishing the inferno. The cooling sensation spread through his body and sent him back into a deep sleep.

His next waking experience was totally different. The pain had receded and the paralysis lifted. He raised his arms and looked at his bandaged hands. The only pain came from a point on the side of his head above his right ear. The boy touched it with the bound fingers. There was a hard lump which protested vehemently when he did so. There was another sensation, one which felt familiar. It was outside of his body, a gentle rolling motion, as if the room was moving.

The room, yes. He took in his surroundings for the first time. The small space was economically furnished with a desk, chair and cabinet. Everything was made of wood, including the room itself. He occupied the bed which was in one corner.

The door opened and the man who had spoken earlier, entered.

‘Good, you’re awake. How do you feel? How’s the head? That was a nasty blow you took,” he said in that calm, reassuring voice.

‘Where am I? What is this place?” The boy’s voice barely registered as a whisper.

“Never mind that now, son. Let’s get you fit and well again. What’s your name?” He placed a hand on his shoulder. The boy suddenly felt safe. Nevertheless, he couldn’t answer the man’s question. The void remained, with only the memory of his previous waking moments tucked in the corner.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know,” he rasped. The effort of those few words causing deep fatigue.

“I see,” the man replied, rubbing his dark stubbled chin. He looked at the spot above the boy’s ear and shook his head. “Amnesia it will be.”

He got up and opened the door, bellowing through the gap. There was a distant fuss and a young lad appeared with a mug emanating steam.

He said something to his superior and the man replied in the language the invalid understood.

“Yes, coffee. That’ll do the trick.” The other boy shrugged his shoulders and left. “I’ll leave this here. Take it steady. It’s strong and hot.” He left the mug on the small table next to the bunk and exited.

The boy eased himself up and took the mug in both hands. It was indeed hot and the strength of the coffee immediately made his heart race. Amnesia?  It was a word he’d never heard before. Was it something to do with the chasm that existed between now and whatever had gone before?

1 Comment

  1. Kenneth Childs

    Still Lost.


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