Introduction: Today’s prompt is the title, which speaks to my lack of inventiveness. I’m not very good at titles, and when posting randomly onto the internet, they’re kind of important. It’s been interesting watching which stories attract attention and which don’t. Annoyingly, it tends to be the ones that I like the most, that don’t get read, but that’s life. Anyway, onto today’s adventure.
The knife bit deep into my thigh, slicing through flesh as if it was nothing. Looking down and seeing it sticking out of my leg, I instantly felt queasy, and that was before the pain hit.
There it was, screaming through me with a vengeance as I wanted to thrash and roar, but couldn’t. I couldn’t because I was tied up and another knife was about to slam into my hand, pinning it to the bench.
‘JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!’
Now there was only pain, pain so intense that the idea of not being in pain felt a million miles away. I couldn’t remember a world in which everything didn’t hurt.
‘Will you talk now?’
‘Argh, fuck, fuck, fuck, that really fucking hurts!’
‘We can make it stop, my friend. You just have to tell us what you know.’
‘I don’t know anything, I promise, I genuinely don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.’
You’re probably assuming that I’m lying. That I did know whatever it is they wanted to know, but because I’m a tough, strong bastard I was holding out on them, protecting the world or some shite like that.
Honestly, though, I didn’t have a fucking clue. I’d just been wandering along minding my own business when a couple of goons in black outfits grabbed me and bundled me into a van. Next thing I knew, they were getting all stabbing and demanding I reveal information that I didn’t have.
‘We can go all night, friend. Why don’t you tell us what we want to know, and save yourself being chopped into little pieces?’
As he spoke, he lovingly reached down and stroked the middle finger of the hand that was pinned to the hard wooden bench beneath me. I couldn’t see his face behind the black ski mask, but I was willing to bet he was smiling.
‘Mate, I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about, I think you’ve got the wrong guy. My names Ray, I’m a fucking accountant.’
‘Uh-huh, sure you are.’
A cleaver that I hadn’t even noticed before crunched through the finger with ease. One second it was there, the next blood was spurting out, and I was never going to deliver a one-fingered salute ever again.
‘WHAT THE FUCK? WHY DID YOU DO THAT?’
I was already in so much pain that the addition of a bit more didn’t bother me that much, I was more concerned about the fact that I was now missing a cunting finger.
‘You know why I did it, friend. You must tell us where the blueprints are.’
‘Fucking blueprints? What, in the name of Jesus fucking Christ’s right testicle, are you talking about?’
He must have been out of blade-based torture as he resorted to the good old-fashioned method of punching me in the face. It still fucking hurt, and when I passed my tongue over my teeth, I could feel one of them wobbling in their socket.
‘Mate, I’m not lying to you, I don’t know anything about your fucking blueprints.’ I was crying now, openly weeping in front of this man, just desperate for him to stop hurting me. It seemed to be the first thing that gave him pause. I suppose super spies and gang bosses aren’t prone to bursting into tears when you punch them.
‘Mr Bridges, your act is very impressive. However, we have been watching you for a long time. We know who you are.’
‘Bridges? My name ain’t fucking Bridges. It’s Sterling, Ray Sterling, I promise you. It’s on the ID in my wallet. In my jacket pocket, please just look at it.’
‘IDs can be faked.’ I could hear a wavering of his confidence, though and he walked over to my jacket, pulling out the wallet. I didn’t even care that the first thing he did was pocket the money in there, I just needed him to look at the ID.
He flipped through my cards, tossing them across the room as he did so, sending various supermarket reward schemes and my organ donor registration flying through the air. When he finally got to the ID, though, it did give him pause, as he seemed to stare at the picture intently.
Finally, he stormed over to me and grabbed me by the chin, causing me to flinch away.
‘Look at me!’ He snapped, ‘or I shall hurt you more.’
There wasn’t much choice in that request, and as he looked me over intently for ten-fifteen seconds, I noticed a hint of panic in his eyes.
‘Shit,’ he stepped away, taking a walkie talkie off his belt as he went. ‘Jason, you’ve picked up the wrong fucking guy.’
I couldn’t hear the response through the crackling, but my heart was beating faster. They were going to let me go.
‘It’s the wrong fucking guy, it looks a bit like him, but it’s not him.’
‘Oh for fuck sake.’
That time the response did reach me, and I almost laughed, the overwhelming feeling of relief that was flooding through me making me giddy.
‘Yea, for fuck sake indeed, you inbred pieces of shit. If you’re not out finding the right guy when I get up there I will rip your testicles off with my teeth and fuck the bloodied ballbag, you hear me? I’ll get rid of your fucking mess down here.’
‘I won’t tell anyone, I promise.’ I was starting to babble in relief, the idea of being let loose filling me with joy.
‘Yes, you’re right, you won’t.’
The bang of the gun made me jump, and it was the last thing I ever did.