[Po]: 80.WIP- untitled

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2007-08-10 19:05:33
Work in progress - untitled
short story

Mature themes, some mature language.

Crits welcome! I even encourage nit-picks, as long as you remember that this is a first draft and hasn't been edited at all yet. Thanks! :D



Hunter’s eyes fluttered open, and he groaned as diffuse light stabbed through his aching brain. His eyes snapped shut against the pain of their own volition, and he reached his hand up to his temple, massaging with his thumb. Using his hand as a visor, he slowly eased his eyes open, blinking away the blur.

He was lying in an unfamiliar bed, stretched prostrate and wearing nothing but his shorts and a sheet that he’d kicked to his ankles in his sleep. Beside the bed was a small table, with a glass of water perched on it. Hunter blinked at it for a moment before it came into focus. The sight of it brought recognition of the foul gummy taste in his mouth, and suddenly he was desperate for a sip of water. He swung out to grab the glass, and gasped in pain and surprise as he jerked against bonds he hadn’t noticed.

Handcuffed. He was handcuffed by his left arm to the bed frame. It wasn’t a pair of play cuffs that you would find in one of those S&M bondage kits available at the mall or over the Internet, either. These were heavy-duty, presumably police-issue. He wasn’t going to break out of these by flexing his muscles.

“Must have been some party.” Hunter chuckled, then grimaced at the stab of pain the sound of his own voice brought.

He struggled up to sitting, then stretched his free hand to the water. His reach came up short, half a foot between his questing fingers and the glass. With a grunt he hauled himself the rest of the way to the glass, grasping it firmly as his captive hand protested the pull of the cuff. Easing back onto the bed also eased that complaint, and he downed the water like it was going out of style.

He leaned back against the wall with a sigh and tossed the empty glass onto the rumpled bed beside him. Then he took stock of his surroundings.

It was a bedroom obviously, and sparsely furnished. An old-fashioned cabinet console television stood against the far wall, about four feet from the foot of the bed. It had a pull-button with UHF and VHF dials set vertically beside a grilled-plastic speaker, and the screen was curved glass, dusty with disuse. Just out of reach beside the bed was the small table he’d retrieved the glass of water from. About three feet beyond that stood a door. It was closed, with heavy lintel and frame, a medallion in each of the two upper corners and all painted a subtle green to match the walls. On the opposite wall curtains hung from corner to corner, heavy curtains that fell to the floor and filtered the natural light from the windows to a diffuse glow. Along the wall with the t.v. was another door, this one wide open, and he could make out the edge of a claw-foot bathtub in the faint light.

Hunter sighed heavily, trying to focus. Where was he? He had no answer to that. How had he come to be here? He could only guess that he’d made another stupid decision. He didn’t remember leaving the club with anyone the night before, but he could have. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’d blacked out while partying.

Where was Nat? He’d been at the club with Hunter last night, slamming back whiskey sours with him, his constant wingman. No, not just a wingman, but his most trusted friend. Brothers since they were kids. Usually when Hunter did something stupid like let a girl take him home, Nat was there to pick him up off his ass, dust him off, and verbally beat a small measure of sense back into him. But Nat wasn’t there, and Hunter felt more lost after realizing it.

The club. That was the last place Hunter remembered. Colored strobes and mirrored walls, the air acrid with smoke from blowers in the ceiling, the dance floor packed with writhing bodies all undulating to the jugular beat of the deafening music. Raising his drink so he could feel the press of bodies around him without spilling precious alcohol. Smiling to the heavens as beautiful women of all descriptions eagerly rubbed their breasts and hips and asses against him while he moved to the all-pervasive beat, the safest and most anonymous form of sex available.

When had he left the club, left Nat? Nothing would come clear in his aching head. Who had he left with, and where was she now? Why was he alone, handcuffed to a bed in a strange room?

“Hello?” he yelled, as strongly as he could while fighting sudden nausea. “Hello! Anyone out there?” His shouts echoed in the spartan room, and there was no answer.

“Hey, whoever you are, you forgot to unlock these cuffs! I’m stuck in here, and it isn’t funny.”


“If this is some kind of prank, ok, you got me. Now cut the shit and let me out of here!”

Hunter yanked angrily at the handcuffs, pulling with all his might. The steel bit into his wrist, unyielding. Grasping his wrist with his free hand, he gritted his teeth and continued to pull, hoping one of the links might decide to unbend under enough pressure. His biceps bunched, a vein in his temple bulging beneath his reddening skin, his arms trembling violently with effort. With a gasp, he stopped pulling, his hands shaking.

“Shit.” He panted. “What is this shit?”

He snapped his arm up, the cuffs clanking against the bed frame. Again, he jerked up. And again. Maybe repetition would do what brute force couldn’t. His wrist and hand ached, he could feel the bruises growing as he battered himself bloody. The constant clink of frame against cuffs was numbing, almost hypnotic, and his eyes began to drift closed as he futilely yanked and released. Deep in his dazed mind, there was a glimmer of a thought.

Maneuvering himself carefully off the bed so he didn’t further bruise his wrist, he grasped the edge of the mattress and lifted it. It was heavier than he’d expected, but in one determined motion he flipped it up and away from him, flinging bedding and mattress toward the curtains to land askew against them. The water glass shattered against the wood floor.

The underside of the bed lay exposed, and Hunter bit back a curse as he surveyed it. There was no box spring, just a bare steel frame. What looked like layers of chicken wire was wrapped around a crazy jumble of metal bars, fastened with hundreds of zip-ties. The handcuffs were attached to the top of the frame, roughly in the center of the double-bed width. Three-quarter-inch steel bolts secured the frame firmly to the floor. 

Hunter blinked at it. For a second, his mind refused to register what he saw. Slowly his jaw tightened, despair and anger filling him.
“Fuck!” he shouted, grasping the chicken wire with both hands and rattling it. Teeth clenched, he grabbed the handcuff chain and climbed onto the bedframe, wedging his feet against the wall. Using as much leverage as he could, he hauled back on his bonds. Sinew popped in his hand, skin tearing under the pressure. With an anguished cry he went limp, curling himself forward to rest his head against the wall. He slapped his hand dully on the wall.

“Fuck.” He whispered.

* * *

Awareness seeped between gentle folds of dreams as Hunter grudgingly woke. His wrist and hand throbbed, and tendrils of a headache already threaded through his scalp. Aside from his own breathing, there was nothing else for him to hear. No traffic sounds, no birds chirping, no electrical buzz of white noise, not a single sound.

He was lying on the mattress again, soft sheets buffeting his bare skin, soft pillows beneath his achy head. When he’d drifted off, he’d still been propped against the wall. The mattress hadn’t even been on the bed. Yet here he was, comfortably ensconced between sheets, firm mattress beneath him. Confused, he opened his eyes.

Bright daylight backlit the heavy curtains, giving the room an unearthly green glow. The temperature of the air was warm, but not uncomfortably so. With a quick glance, he determined that everything was in perfect order. When had that happened?

Slowly, he became aware of a very big difference. He was no longer handcuffed to the bed.

He was now bound hand and foot with firm leather restraints.

Heat prickled bheind his eyes, and with a deep sigh, he let his eyelids slide closed.

“Where am I, what’s going on?” he whispered, barely audible to his own ears. “Nat, where am I?”

He didn’t bother to stem the sobs rising from his chest.

* * *

2007-08-10 Po: Comments welcome!

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