By convict 975468
He came again.
I heard him on the stairs, and stood as I had been told before he reached the top.
He approached and with an evil glint in his eye, he again placed his finger across his lips indicating quiet.
He didn’t need to, I was acutely aware of the rule. I had been worried all morning that I might somehow piss him off and not be fed. I was fully resolved to do whatever I could to please him. He held a mighty weapon with my hunger.
He walked up to me stopping about a foot away, staring into my eyes for what seemed a year. Then he slowly walked around me, stepping over the chain, and stopped facing me again.
I must have turned a bright shade of red, as I flushed from the humiliation. He had no fear! I was his – he owned me. Now, I knew it too.
He stepped closer. I could feel his breath on my face.
“You are doing well.” He smiled.
“Once I give you permission to move, you may request to speak. You will do so by raising your right arm, and pointing upward with your index finger. Do it now.”
Being careful not to touch him, I moved my hand from behind me and kept it aligned with my torso, extended it as instructed.
“Denied, not today. Return your hand behind your back.”
“Bring me your bucket.”
I got the bucket and stood facing him again.
“Put it on the floor.”
He took the bucket downstairs, and in a bit returned with it, placing it before me. On top was a roll of toilet paper.
“You have earned your first privilege – take care not to lose it. Put the bucket back.”
I did so and returned to face him. I could hear my stomach growling.
“I suppose you expect to eat today.”
My heart skipped a beat. I actually shuddered – my face fell.
Again, I blushed from the humiliation. He owned me, both of us knew it.
“A new rule. You wait for permission to begin to eat”, as he handed me the bowl.
We stood there looking into each other’s eyes. Again, I flushed with humiliation and a tear ran down my cheek.
“Hand me the bowl again, and sit on the floor.”
Cold terror grew in my chest, but I did as he said. He handed the bowl back to me with that same evil grin.
Hungrily and bitterly, I ate, realizing that I would have many hours of hunger to face before tomorrow. He had broken me in just twenty-four hours. All my thoughts of escape, of overpowering him – all my discussions with myself were nil – I was broken with cold rice and beans.
I finished my rice and beans. I even licked the bowl. I had no shame. The meal didn’t fill my belly. I wanted more and knew I wouldn’t get it.
He came every day. It was much the same. He emptied the bucket only every third or fourth day. Each day I would raise my hand for permission to speak. And each day he would say, “Not today.”
I started exercising. It made me feel better, and helped to pass the time. I counted the bricked up windows, the steel posts, the floorboards in the circle – anything I could count. I did math problems in my head, thought about books I had read, and tried to remember the poems I had memorized in school. Yet, I still had lots of time to worry and speculate about what would happen to me.
On the tenth day, as usual he had me hand the bowl back to him before sitting on the floor. When I was seated he walked over to my bucket, removed the lid and dumped the rice and beans in with my shit and piss. He then gave me the bowl and told me to lick it clean. Shamefully, I licked it clean and handed it back to him. He didn’t say a word, but turned and left me sitting where I was.
Later In desperation, I looked in the bucket to see if any of the food was salvageable. But he had swished the contents so that the food was mixed with the waste.
After that day, I would tremble with fear as he stood looking into my eyes. I could no longer look him in the eye, but would lower mine.
The fear and the hunger led to confusion. I lost count of the days.
As the weeks went by it got hotter and hotter, and with any activity I would break into a sweat. The mattress was filthy, but I had long got over the smell of it. I must have smelled as bad. The soles of my feet were black. I had never been so dirty. He began to leave a bit more water, but I was careful to ration it to make sure there was enough for all day. I didn’t dare to use the water for anything but drinking.
I continued to exercise, but limited it to the early morning. Even at that relatively cool time of day, I worked up quite a sweat. After exercising in the morning I felt famished, but I was usually fed within a couple of hours. I was losing weight, but even so the exercise felt right.
Hank began to come twice a day. I was often still hungry, but now I was getting more to eat, plus my diet was not limited to rice and beans – though I continued to see them.
One day as I sat eating my rice and beans, Hank said, “I know you have many questions, and I have not let you ask them, but I will answer one. No, I am not going to release you.”
A few days later, he told me I had a visitor. He went downstairs and presently I heard someone on the steps. It was Jake, my partner. We had been together for nearly five years. My heart leapt – surely he was here to rescue me. It was over!
Jake picked up an old chair, brought it over, and sat down facing me.
Hank had come back up the stairs and shouted, “Straighten up, put your hands where they belong!”
I adopted the required stance.
Jake began, “You’ve lost some weight.”
I glanced toward Hank, who approached with that grin on his face.
“You look good, though. I like you filthy like this. You look macho.”
I flushed with humiliation.
“So, I guess being a prisoner suits you after all.
“You wasted a lot of money on those trips to private jails.
“It feels different when it’s real – doesn’t it?
“And all those silly stories you’ve written, where the protagonist weasels his way into prison, and it turns out his cellie is his dream lover. Would you rewrite them now? Would you make them realistic?
“What a fool you are!”
I blurted out, “I can’t believe this shit!”
My eyes darted to Hank who made a guttural sound.
“I was reading your emails with your ‘friend’, Mateo. You thought you were clever having your sordid little affair right under my nose. Not only did I know, but I anticipated he would try to convince you to leave me and go out west with him.
“Nobody leaves me! I decide when a relationship is over!
“I’ve come to say goodbye. You just might have enough time on your hands to miss me.
“I met ‘Hank’ on one of those sites where men chat about keeping a prisoner. Interesting fellow, Hank. We understood each other right off the bat. After a bit of investigating, he proved to be exactly the right man. I supplied a little cash to help with expenses, and the rest is history.
“Don’t worry, Hank will take care of you. He has plans for an even more secure prison by the winter. You already know he has the ability to drug you and safely move you when the time comes.
“So enjoy your life sentence!”
Jake stood, put the chair back and left. I never saw him again.