Friday, 17 February 2017

#fridayflash: Cold

The world is small and narrow and cold. You look at your trembling hands, wondering how you got here. There's a blank space in your mind, a lapse, a blackness; a hole that you can't fill. How did you get here? The only other person in the room with you is unconscious and you don't know if you were the one who did that to him. Maybe you did. Why else would you be locked up in here together?
But if you had done that to him, why would they continue to put you here together? Maybe it wasn't you. Maybe it was something else. Maybe it was him. But there is no one to ask, and you have no memories, so you sit back down, crossing your legs and putting your hands in the folds of your thighs to keep them warm. 
Time ticks by but you don't know how much of it has passed or how fast because you seem to have misplaced your watch. You stare at the white band of skin on your right wrist that marks the place it usually sits. You feel weird without it. Your unknown friend hasn't stirred. Unknown because you've gone to look at his face, but you do not know who he is. Friend because you don't like to think that you're all alone here in this strange place. Your hands haven't warmed up at all. 
There's no sound outside and you wonder if you're sitting in some kind of vacuum. Surely, there should be sounds. A clock ticking, a fan whirring, an aircon humming - why is it so cold if the air-conditioning isn't on? The last you knew, you were in a tropical country. Nothing is ever cold without help. But it is cold here and now and you have goosebumps but there is no vent letting cold air in, none of the usual sounds of the machines used to regulate temperature. The thought strikes you, leaving a lump in your throat: There is no vent
You're in a metal box, with a dead body - you figure he must be dead because he hasn't stirred and you can't tell if he is breathing - with no air vent. You can't find the outlines of a door or a window or any of the usual outlets or marks that something has been sealed. How are you still alive? How are you still breathing oxygen? Are you actually still breathing and awake? Or are you hallucinating?
You pinch yourself and feel your own fingers on your skin, but you don't know if it's real or not because it's you pinching you so whatever you think you should feel would have been manufactured by your own brain. Even in a dream. Because if this isn't a dream, then what is it?
The first sound you have heard in days - because you're melodramatic that way - startles you. It's the scratch of metal against metal, like a door opening. Like the sound of a lock being released. You wait to be released, for a sign or an indication of an exit. Nothing changes. You're still here. The world is dark and narrow and cold.  

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