The Inquisitor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sometimes, resistance is futile

Submitted: June 28, 2014

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Submitted: June 28, 2014

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He had no idea how long he’d been down in the lower reaches of the dungeon.  For all he knew, a week had passed, or perhaps just a day.  They’d taken away his watch and other items when his bomber had crashed in an open field almost within sight of the castle.  He’d been a bit dazed by a sharp blow on the side of his head when the windscreen burst inwards, sending the frame towards his face.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on you one looked at it, the plane had not blown up even though it was dripping aviation fuel all over the ground from holes drilled in the wing tanks by cannon fire.  His crew, at least the ones not killed by the strafing runs of the Messerschmitt who attacked them, had struggled out through various points of exit from the B-17 only to be swatted down by helmeted troops carrying carbines.

Now, sitting alone in the dark and listening to the faint groans and shrieks of, presumably, his crew, the pilot resolved to resist as best as he could.  He knew all too well the interrogation methods that could be brought to play against him and his men, but they’d all agreed that their own resistance would provide the mental crutch they needed to get through the ordeal and get, finally, sent to a prisoner of war camp.

 There was the heavy tread of hobnailed boots that rang against the stone of the dank passageway.  They stopped outside his door and the rusty scrape of a key rasped in the lock.  The heavy wood and steel strapped door crashed open and the shouting started.

“Raus!  Up!  Up!  Come mit.”  One of the guards yelled at him, grabbing his arm, and yanking him to his feet.

Pushing from behind, the pilot almost fell forward.  If there hadn’t been two more guards outside the door to catch him he would have been flung against the unyielding stone across the passageway.  A heavy blow in his kidney by the butt of a rifle caused him to groan with pain.  Determined not to give them the satisfaction of yielding to pain, he held himself to that low grunt.

Still pushing from behind, the sergeant directed the pilot forwards through darkened passageways dripping with condensation.  The thought struck the pilot that perhaps he might even be under the lake he’d seen just as their plane dropped into the copse of woods and came to a halt.

They came to stone steps and the was prodded upwards, turning several times at a landing and rising yet again.  For each floor he reached the dampness and cold seemed to diminish just a little more until he found himself being led across a wide approach that contained an actual drawbridge – now lowered.  When he turned his head to get his bearings, he received yet another blow in the back and was told in guttural English to keep his eyes front.

A tall, bronzed doorway, complete with a portcullis, was open ahead of him.  When he passed through it, he found himself in a courtyard that had been muddied by the recent rain.  In it, stood perhaps thirty American airmen in various stages of health.  Some were propped up by friends, and others stood by themselves.  All had vacuous stares that told the pilot that perhaps they’d been held the same way he had.

“Attention!”  Shouted an officious voice in understandable English from the bed of a small truck.  “American airmen.  Your war is now over.  You will all be questioned in good time, but make no mistake that is we who are in charge!  If you refuse any order, you will be shot!”  He concluded with a flourish, slamming his hand down on the roof of the truck and making the sound echo around the courtyard.

“Now, because you are probably a little cold from the cells, we will give you exercise to warm you up.”  The men stood in silence.  “What?  No sounds of discontent?”  He put his hands on his hips.  “Amazing!”

Aided by troops with rifles who prodded the men into movement, the officer told them he wanted to see everyone with their hands on their hips in the manner in which he was standing.  Once that was complied with, he then told them to bend from the waist right and left in time with the boom of his fist on the truck cab again.

Boom!  “Right!”

Boom!  “Left”

Boom!  “Right!”

Boom!  “Left!”

"That is correct.  Very good, very good.  Just like a clock pendulum – tick tock."

The guards flanking the pilot moved forward to ‘adjust’ the movements of several men of the forward rank.  Thinking he was safe from their wrath for the moment, he began to bend only to the left and not to the right.  He’d been bashed rather hard by the back of his chair in the crash and favored his right side.  So, smiling faintly with rebellion, he only bent left.  Tick.  Tick.  Tick.

Suddenly there came a crippling blow to his right kidney again, dropping him to his knees.  Shaking his head in pain, there was a voice smooth as ice behind him.

“Ve haff vays of making you tock.”

 


© Copyright 2019 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.

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