“A brand new corvette, red, with black racing stripes along the sides,” mumbled the man as he wrote. The man slammed the pen down onto the small, plastic table. He was tall, about six feet, with a small beard right under his lip. The man wore a dirty white t-shirt and jeans that one would say were “saint-like.”
“Anything else I should add?” The man asked.
Tommy could not respond. There was a variety of tapes over his mouth and hands. The room was a basement in the middle of nowhere. Tommy knew that. He had sat in the back of a van tied up for hours on end to know that. The basement was small and crowded with a number of objects including that of spiders and other insects. Boxes surrounded the room; the only true, usable part was the plastic table. And even then it was tiny and worn. The basement was silent for a while, and the unnamed man had grown tired of waiting. He trotted over to Tommy and cracked his knuckles loudly. Tommy braced for the impact.
After being kicked across the room, Tommy felt blood gush from his light blonde hair. Seeing it rush to the floor nearly made him sick. It had been five days since he was first kidnapped, and the days had not done him very well. Tommy was a small boy, about the age of seven, he use to have a childish glow to his skin and hair and his clothes were always bright and clean. Now, his knees were scraped beyond recognition, the restraints over his hands were quickly causing blisters, the remains of his jeans were covered in sweat, holes, and urine.
This was his life.
In the mornings since he was kidnapped the unnamed man would pour an ice cold bucket of water over Tommy’s frail body, waking him up immediately. Then, later on in the afternoon, Tommy would be yet again unable to respond to the whims of the unnamed man and his pen and paper, writing an overly long ransom note. It had been five days. Five days of pain and torture beyond Tommy’s belief. There was no real explanation as to why he had been kidnapped, at least, not to his knowledge.
On the fifth day, Tommy was undoubtedly thirsty. The small droplets of water in the morning were his only hydration, and it did him no good. At night he often experienced delirium and strongly believed his parents stood before him, smiling.
They stood before him, his mother and all her beauty, his father and all his strength, both looking down upon Tommy with soft yet sorrowful faces. However, Tommy quickly realized a change in his mother every time she appeared. At first, she seemed soft and gentle, now, as she stood before him, she appeared harsh and cynical; as if his mother were condemning him to a life of pure misery in the hands of the unnamed man.
Tonight his parents spoke to him. It was soft at first, a low mumble barely audible to Tommy. Then, as the minutes went by and Tommy’s dehydration rose to a critical state the voices grew louder.
“How could you?” he could hear his mother shriek, “After all we’ve done for you? You run away from us the day before Christmas Eve! Do you realize how much trouble we’ve gone through already?”
Tommy was in shock. His mother never yelled at him that way, never. He glanced from mother to father, mother akimbo while father remaining motionless. His father didn’t speak; he simply looked at him with all seeing eyes, causing Tommy to tear up.
“Are you crying?” the unnamed man shouted at the table. He marched across the room ready to hurt Tommy again, “There’s-no-reason-for-you-to-cry!” The man kicked him with every word. He ripped the tape off Tommy’s mouth and Tommy could feel his cheeks and lips turning crimson.
Tommy’s mother was slowly beginning to fade. He could barely glimpse her hard green eyes and golden blonde hair. His father was still there, standing, not a word spoken yet. Tommy saw that his father’s hair had become gray, and his beard no longer a dark chocolate. In a matter of five days Tommy’s father had grown old. Or at least that was what Tommy quickly believed.
The unnamed man sat in the corner at the plastic table again and fell asleep. For a long time the silence in the basement was deafening. Tommy looked around the room and moved his jaw back and forth trying to relieve the pain of the tape. He no longer had feeling in his lips. This was the tenth time the unnamed man had ripped taped from his lips, Tommy had counted. And the tenth was certainly the worst. His tongue was incredibly dry and his lips though had no feeling, he believed to be flaking. Tommy tried to wet his lips, but no saliva would come.
When the time came for the unnamed man to send his ransom note, Tommy had evolved to a state so unrecognizable that he believed not even his parents would realize that it was him. It was the twelve day of being kidnapped and Tommy had given up all hope. Hope was what use to carry him on and was what told him brace the pain with hope of a tomorrow with his real parents. The parents he had seen the past week had changed dramatically since the fifth day. They had become gray with age and only shouted at Tommy, no longer having the sad, sorrowful faces that he had cherished. Tommy didn’t even believe that his imaginative parents recognized him anymore. His hair had fallen out, his skin was red with millions of scars, and his dehydration caused him to be unable to move, unable to speak, unable to do anything to stop the unnamed man.
The unnamed man ended his torture on a high note. His brand new red corvette with black racing stripes along the side caused him to leave the dreaded basement, forgetting Tommy, forgetting Tommy’s worried parents. The unnamed man had snuck out, while all the police were asleep on the driveway of the small townhouse in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The man managed to drive away, headed towards God knows where, and leaving Tommy behind.
On the twelve day of being kidnapped, Tommy had a dream. He dreamed of the day before being kidnapped. The sun burning down on the back yard of his Georgia home as his mother sat on the swing beside him. Her golden hair shining brighter than anything Tommy had ever seen. She was smiling at him, as she did any other day of his life. And Tommy had felt happy.
On the twelve day of being kidnapped, Tommy had had a dream. On the thirteenth, he died. He died alone with the insects, alone with the fill cardboard boxes, alone with the small, worn plastic table that stood, mocking him. The image of the unnamed man sat at that table watching Tommy. It had been the last thing he saw.