His mouth felt rusted shut. His sandpaper tongue tasted the metal tang of blood on his cracked lips. One thing is for certain he thought, this isn’t what he expected. Sliding his back up the wall he had been leaning on he got to his feet, his boots clanked on the metal floor of what appeared to be a cell. His feet were numb. The only light came from a horizontal slit three quarters of the way up the door on the opposite side of the square room. Taking a step towards the door caused him to topple forwards and he slammed his hands against the door resulting in a loud slam.
“Hey!” A voice came from outside the cell,
“Is he awake?” A second lower voice asked.
“I heard summin.” Chair legs scraped the ground. Standing up straight still with his hands on the door of the cell he peered out through the gap in the door. To his surprise his gaze was met by a rectangular sample of a man’s face, eyes framed by the door peering back at him. So startled he fell backwards, his back colliding with the wall and he sank to the floor, the base of his spine sending a sudden shudder up to his head. He let out a small groan.
“He’s awake alright” the lower voice said,
“Okay. I’ll radio sarge.” There was a click and a radio crackled into operation.
A key turned in the lock of the door. The cell filled with a dull artificial light made dimmer by the shadow of a short bald man with no neck. His arms stuck out from his sides and hung stiffly off his marsupial shoulders. An ape like arm grabbed the prisoner and pulled him to his feet, grasping a shoulder he span him so his chin grazed the wall and handcuffed the detainee’s arms behind his back. Not a word was exchanged. They marched over to a black metal chair and table that were both fastened to the floor, the prisoner was sat in the chair and handcuffs re-administered so he was now shackled to the table. The bald man walked to a wooden chair, swung it around and sat in it, staring menacingly at his captive.
He had a chance to recuperate now, although he was finding it difficult. His mind was a thick slurry of blurred recollections but questions about his current situation overshadowed them. He looked at around for any feelings of familiarity. There were no windows in the room. It looked like it has been designed by three different minimalists. The black metal chair and table sat on an unpainted concrete floor, there were wooden chairs and tables over in the opposite corner. The room was ruthlessly pragmatic, unpainted pipes and uncovered wires snaked the walls and ceiling a low rumbling seemed to come out of a vent in the wall. He started to say, “What happ-”
“NO TALKING.” The up-till-now silent, egg-headed grunt sat up and stamped a foot on the floor. Silence ensued.
After a short while the prisoner realised he had been staring at his hands, turning them over and examining the fine details. Nails and creases, discolorations and blemishes tiny scars that were mostly faded but seemed somehow new. They were certainly his hands, but he hardly recognized them. The room didn’t have a door there was an opening to a hallway on the wall opposite the cell. Two men then filled doorway, one following the other at his shoulder. “Is this the first one to wake up?” Said the moustached man in front.
“Yes sir.” the man behind sheepishly looked up at the other. He looked like he thought something was all his fault. The taller man whose moustache lurked beneath a bulbous nose took a step towards the table the prisoner was sat at. His eyes bore into the prisoner’s skull, boiling his brain with a stare. The skinny man over his left shoulder leaned forward and slid a beige folder onto the table it read ‘SETH 0841-001′.
“The first one” each word fell off the end of his tongue like they didn’t want to leave his mouth, “how… appropriate.”
For the first time since he entered the room he broke his steely glare and walked over to the bald man who abruptly stood up and to attention. They mumbled a few words between themselves. Seth, it seemed distinctly familiar, not the same obvious familiarity carried by your own name, more like a nickname you had a few years ago but didn’t really like. He wasn’t sure but the prisoner assumed this file must be his. When he thought no one was paying him any attention he crept a finger across the table towards the document. “Well” in one fluid movement the man known so far only as Sir hooked his foot around the leg of the wooden chair the bald man had been sat on and sent it skidding, skittering and spinning across the stone floor. He span on the heel of his other foot and came clattering down into the chair exactly opposite Seth, stopping it instantly. A profound silence followed. Seth had stuffed both of his hands back into his lap, he thought he must look extremely guilty. “Well” said the man again, he kicked a leg up into the air and it came down with some force on the table with a clunk. He slung the other leg over it and leant on the back two legs of his chair. “I am Staff Sergeant Warwick Bradshaw but you can call me, Sir” a few yellow teeth emerged in the corner of his mouth, it looked like a smile trying to escape. “Do you know who you are?” Seth’s expression of blank bafflement didn’t change, his lip quivered and mustered a small whimper. “Well?” The Sergeant said for a third time.
“I’m not sure- Seth?” Seth said uncertainly. The Sergeant glanced over at the file and let out a short single laugh, he slid his feet off of the table and sat forward.
“Seth. I suppose that will do.” He looked into Seth’s eyes like he knew he was being lied to. Even though Seth hadn’t really said anything he still felt guilty.
Trying to recall anything up to this point had been as clear as watching static through a heavy fog. The Sergeant inhaled deeply then pushed the air back out through near closed lips causing his cheeks to inflate and making a rushing noise. Seth felt the humid air across his face. Warwick scrunched up his face staring at Seth like he was trying to see an optical illusion printed on his face.
“Take his cuffs off.” The Sergeant barked out of one side if his mouth. Startled the bald man, who had been leaning on the wall, came over and decuffed Seth. The Sergeant got to his feet and pulled up his trousers, although they were high enough, it seemed more out if habit and they quickly sunk back to where they were. “On your feet.” Seth, rubbing his wrists where the cuffs had been got up.
THWACK there was a noise like a Christmas turkey hitting the pavement after being hurled out of a 3 storey window. The Sergeants’ clenched fist was in Seth’s hand and he had skidded back a few inches. It appears the sergeant had tried to punch Seth. Before Seth could think, comprehend or ask what just happened the Sergeant pulled his fist away, crouched and swept a leg towards Seth’s ankles. Without blinking Seth placed a hand on the top of the Sergeants head and cartwheeled over the top of him, avoiding the kick. He then found himself face-to-face with the bald man, who wound back in order to head-butt Seth. Seth, like some kind of lizard bent his body in such a way that the bald man, propelling himself toward with the force of his entire body, entirely missed Seth and began to stumble forward. Tactically Seth, although partially unintentionally, stuck a leg out to trip the man as he stumbled. He then began to fall. The Sergeant, who had barely turned around by this point, did not get out of the way and the two men collided dramatically with each other and the floor. Flipping the bald men off of him the Sergeant hurriedly got up from the floor, he had a look on his face like a gorilla who had just been called a monkey for the last time. Seth however was doing his best rabbit in the headlights expression. He ran. Barging through the third man in the room Seth headed into the hallway, bouncing off the wall he ran right out of the room. The corridor in front of him seemed endless due to the fact it listed off to the right, he up to a full sprint very quickly. To his right were lots of rooms that a passing glance looked identical to the ones he had just come out of. Behind him he could hear commotion that was presumably the Sergeant hot on his heels. As he continued around the seemingly endless corner he saw two men in the same get up as the Sergeant and company in front of a bulky door not really having a plan Seth continued forward, he was quick and light on his feet. “SHUT THAT DOOR” the Sergeant who was now also in view of the door bellowed over his shoulder. The two men began working together to pull the door towards them. Seth reckoned he could make it. He stooped forward and prepared to twist his body through the closing door just before it shut. He switched from a sprint into a sort of half-sidestep and then he trod on the lace of his undone boot. His left foot, now pinned to the ground by his right foot, attempted to take off on its next step and failed. His entire body began to pivot about the pinned laces and Seth stuck his arms out. He crashed monumentally into the two men and all three of them toppled through the almost closed door causing it to swing open with alarming force. It wanged the wall on the other side of the door so hard the door shook like a gong.
Seth, fuzzy-headed pushed himself up onto all fours. He became aware of large thumping footsteps getting closer and closer until they stopped, the Sergeant came crashing down on top of the three men, flattening Seth back onto his stomach. The Sergeant got quickly up his shiny black boots one on either side of Seth, the other two men had crawled out of the way and were trying to work out what had just happened. Seth turned over certain something bad was about to happen. The Sergeant began to laugh. Not just laugh, he bellowed a loud booming laugh that came right from hit gut. He has his fists clenched and on his hips so he looked like a robust two handled mug. “Well I never!” He projected at no one really, “It bloody works.”