Almost as if on cue, the lights went off.
The office floor was silent, except for water dripping from a leaky tap somewhere in the distance. Drip, drip, drip. Such a cliche.
The eerie rhythm was broken by a muffled cry.
On the outside, it was a perfect Friday night – the city was getting ready to take on the weekend. But, within the 1000 square feet of this swanky office, the story was entirely different.
In an ignored and dingy corner, he curled up in foetal position. He focused his little left energy into clamping his mouth shut with his trembling bloodied hands. The effort was more than what he had in him.
How long since he stayed holed up in here? He had lost count of time.
Blood trickled down from more places in his head than he could keep track. His fingers were smashed, his hands were growing numb and useless by the second. His kneecaps were minced. Yet, he lay there, hoping against all hope that this torture was over.
“How much longer can you hide from me?” she chimed in the darkness.
How much longer, indeed? He could cave his escape with his bare fingers through these cold walls if it were possible. His feet had given up. His body crushed. He wanted to cry. This is not how he’d imagined his end.
Instead, he stuffed his smashed fist into his mouth. Silence was his only hope.
The sound of her heels pierced through the air. Click, click, click.
“There you are”, she said sweetly, as if addressing a child.
“This game has been going on for too long, don’t you think?”
“Please… let me go…” he tried to string the words together.
“You know that’s not possible”, she said solemnly, resting the crowbar on her shoulder.
“Please…” He tried to beg, the words just wouldn’t come.
“I’ll put you out of your misery. I promise.” She smiled.
His eyes widened. He tried to scream, but only more blood bubbled at his mouth. She held the crowbar mid-air.
He screamed. Or he tried. He never got to hear his voice.
One smooth swift stroke.
A third, a fourth… until there was nothing more left to count.
The sound of the crowbar against bones and flesh formed its own grotesque symphony.
Somewhere in the distance a printer sprang to life.
Although disappointed at being pulled out of her reverie, she couldn’t help but smile. She swung back to her laptop and hit send on the email to its loathsome recipient.
In another time and space, almost as if on cue, the lights went off.