I kneeled on the polished wood floor, panting and sweating. My body was writhing in pain, having been mercilessly beaten two masked men; I knew not who they were or why they had come for me. Nor did I know where I was now. I didn’t know anything anymore; everything was drowned in a rising sea of confusion. There was nothing but my battered body, slowly letting forth blood and the wooden floor, gluttonously sapping the heat from my hands and legs and hoarding it within its cold, polished surface.
My ears perked as I heard a noise outside of my elegant prison. As I strained my ears to their fullest extent, I almost grasped what the sound was. Soon, there were several noises and they were louder than the original one. After an unknown period of time, I recognized the sounds as speech even though I could not understand it. Fear swelled within my heart. I feared that the goons who had battered me and sealed me in this room were among those who conversed in the hallway and what horrific things they would do to me if they returned. I prayed for the voices to stop, for them to leave. I waited for the worst, but prayed for the best. I silently and fervently prayed to a God that I only halfway believed in.
Silence. My prayers had been answered. I let out a sigh of relief. It was the first unrestricted breath I had taken since my troubles began. I savored this breath; I inhaled solace and exhaled fear. I rose to my knees and straightened my weary back, feeling the bones crack several times. How wonderful it felt to be upright again!
The doorknob clicked. My eyes darted toward the door. Almost immediately, five men entered, all of them splendidly dressed. They walked with elegance, like kings. Two of them stood at the back of the small room, their eyes watching me like those of a bird of prey pondering ******* a rat. A large man approached me, slowly but menacingly with his great girth shifting with every step. I felt my body tense as I waited for him to strike me. Even with this, I noticed the other two men standing in the corner, continuing their conversation. I tried desperately to listen in. Perhaps they would mention why I was here? But no understanding was to be gained as I could not understand a single word. I recognized the language, however, was Mandarin. Without a moment’s notice, I felt a shove and my chest and face came into an abrupt and painful contact with the floor. It took me a moment to realize that the fat man had kicked me. He shouted at me, in an unintelligible anger. I rose back to my knees and hands and looked into the face of my assaulter.
He was massive. His body was that of a great pig in an elegant, well-tailored suit. His skin was a very tanned yellow and his hair was combed back. He had an upturned nose and small, accusatory eyes glistening with ire as he looked down upon me. He stood before me with a sinister smile as my eyes wandered to his hands. I watched as he ran a fat, jeweled hand over a gorgeous cane. As he continued to stroke the cane, I wondered how he would abuse me next. He circled me once and stopped at my side, his patent leather shoes shining brightly. I could see nothing else of him but his shoes. At that moment, he shouted something at me, and beat me with the cane.
I could not understand his question. Had he asked me about drugs, embezzling, money? I knew nothing of such matters, for I was a simple person. The second I replied “I don’t know”, he struck me again and again, over and over. He soon began to kick me simultaneously, until I collapsed back onto the floor. My stomach and legs had had about all they could take. I was already bruised and I could feel my bones aching. I began to cry. I thought of my husband and my daughter and wondered if I would ever be able to return home. Surely they would wonder why I had not returned home by now and would worry. I somehow believed that I would not ever see them again. It was a terrifying thought.
The pig man began to giggle hideously, his voice gurgling and unpleasant, sounding simple-minded and unrefined. He then began to **** my shoulder with his magnificent cane as he began to tease me, like a demented child. I thought him to be a savage, uncivilized and impolite. For some reason though, I could not completely fear him; I could only hate him. One of the two men in the corner addressed me, and scuffled to my front. His plain face addressed me with a cool and aloof manner, showing neither disgust nor compassion. His spoke to me with a tone that was calculating and observatory and it made me long to know what he was saying even more. But somehow, I welcomed his presence. He was so much less offensive, not striking me or adding to my confusion. He turned away and addressed his companion, who was now seated at the beautiful mahogany desk at the front of the room. His gestured to me rigidly and spoke smoothly to the man.
I could not see the other man particularly well, as the room was dim and most of his form was hidden from me by shadows. How I wished they could have hidden the pig man as effectively. The cold man then knelt to my level and my eyes rose to meet his. I was afraid of what someone so stoic would do to me. I knew not what he was thinking. His slender lips parted.
“Do not fake ignorance. We know it was you.” he said slowly, the words slipping from his lips like water. I was relieved to discover that one of them spoke English. Perhaps he could help me understand why I was brought here.
“What was me? I have not done anything! I promise you!” I had no earthly idea what he believed I had done. I was completely ignorant. I wracked my mind, hoping to think of any obscure reason as to why they had apprehended me and what I might have done to anger them so. His eyes never left mine. He slowly blinked and reopened his eyes. They were cold and unforgiving, shining brightly like black, polished beads. I felt shivers travel down my spine and into my legs. His blank stare somehow felt like a death sentence. He rose and continued to speak to the man at the desk, who was shuffling through papers, and rummaging through what I believed to be a cash box.
With a quiet emission of speech from the man behind the desk, the room grew silent. He rose from the desk and floated over to my limp body. His feet glided gracefully, always stepping perfectly. With only a short phrase, the cold-eyed man walked away. I panicked. He was the only one who could understand what I was saying. I scrambled after him, grabbing onto his leg, begging him to allow me to accompany him to anywhere but this frightening room. Without so much as a glance at me, he shook his ankle free and departed. I felt my only chance at freedom leave with him. A chill passed through my body as I submitted to silent desperation. I lowered my head and cried.
The man gestured me back to him, calling to me in his exotic language as he switched on the desk lamp, allowing me to see him. I was nervous from having seen the two goons at the back of the room. His appearance alone was a relief. As I crawled toward him, I felt that I was meeting a god.
He wore a red silk jacket, embroidered intricately and elegantly with gold flowers and calligraphy that I wished I could read. His hand bore a simple ring, silver with a round stone in the middle, obviously jade. His face was no less impressive. He had smooth pale yellow skin and pleasing brown eyes, large and misty. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail. His smooth lips were wrapped around a long and slender pipe. I watched him inhale and exhale a dancing little cloud of smoke, admiring how gorgeously his chest rose and fell. He looked somehow lukewarm, neither kind nor cruel, not gracious or threatening. He spoke briefly to the two men standing steadfastly at the back. I immediately knew that the graceful one was the leader of this group.
One of the two men grabbed me by my arms, shocking me while the other proceeded to unbutton my ripped and sullied shirt. Why were they removing my clothing? Were they planning to **** me and dispose of me afterward? I feared the worst as they removed my shirt and bra, revealing my upper torso and proceeded to roughly remove my pants as I struggled to free myself. Once I was completely naked, they released me and I crouched upon the ground and cried. Soon, they would have their way with me. One of the lesser men picked up my clothing and inspected the pockets as if he was searching for something. Whatever he was expecting to find was beyond me. I looked back up at the beautiful man, wondering what horrors he had in store for me. His eyes met mine and we both stared for a long time; our gazes were only interrupted once we heard the crumpling of paper.
The both lesser men were inspecting a sheet of paper that they had found in my pocket. One of them waved it about triumphantly and handed it over to the boss. He too examined the paper as an expression of mild confusion overcame his round face, like a moon as it waxes and wanes. Once he grew frustrated with the paper, he handed it to me speaking in his foreign tongue. I did not need a translation, he wished for me to decipher the paper somehow. I inspected the paper with weary eyes and gasped. It was a shopping list! I tried to explain to the boss that the contents of the paper were merely what I planned to purchase for tonight’s dinner. I could tell that he did not completely believe me. His eyes grew suspicious and uncertain. I felt that somehow, this man’s displeasure would be enough for him to end my earthly life.
He took the paper from me and twirled his pipe in the fingers of his opposite hand. He picked up a piece of paper from his desk, comparing the two papers as he delicately balanced his pipe between his teeth. The look of confusion vanished from his face, looking as if he deciphered my language. Perhaps he would set me free? Surely, he could not draw a valid conclusion from a shopping list. He spoke to his subordinates with resolve and confidence, seeming somehow certain of something. He spoke like he uncovered a key detail that unlocked a great mystery. I knew not what he was speaking of, but I knew that he had decided what to do with me. I was somehow more afraid than ever, thinking that he would somehow ****** me, despite my innocence. He kneeled to my level and took my face into his hand and plunged his hand into one of his pockets. I feared that he would pull out a gun or a knife. I snapped my eyes shut, and was afraid to open them again. He spoke a benign and gentle-sounding word and immediately, I felt something graze my face.
Against my better judgment, I opened my tearful eyes, and saw that he was wiping my face with a handkerchief. He wiped my tears away from face. After my face was clean and dry, he swept my hair from my face. I tried to decipher his eyes, looking for a twinkle of kindness of a glint of malicious intent. He gave no such signal. Instead, he placed the handkerchief into my hand. He rose, looking mighty and fearsome and rose his pipe to his lips, but not taking a puff. Even though he looked non-threatening, his lack of emotion baffled me and I was somehow more afraid than ever, despite his fleeting moment of kindness. He rose an elegant and slender hand and waved dismissively toward me. He gestured to the two men and pointed toward the door. He was completely silent. I was about to be taken away.
The two subordinates grabbed me by the underarms, one on each side of me and stood me up clumsily. I watched as the gorgeous boss began to inhale slowly, savoring the flavor of his tobacco. I somehow felt that his breath was connected with my life, that I was doomed to die the moment that little puff had been expelled. The men began to drag me away with my bare heels dragging along the ground. I watched the boss desperately, praying that he would say something that could save me as the goons dragged me over the threshold of the door. One of them placed a bag over my head just as I saw the boss emit a thick smoke which masked his face, the way that clouds hide the elusive moon. I was blinded, but knowing that I was about to be killed. I did not need any clues to be sure of it. The boss had exhaled and I knew that by the time the smoke had cleared, I had vanished from his view.
I am aware that this is technically prose, but I still wanted to submit it. I wrote it a couple of months ago, believing that it might one day be something of merit. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I hope everyone enjoys it.
I'm back, babies.