This is the first of a four part continuing story on Gamboling. Check back next Friday for the next installment, but only after you’ve read part 1 of “The Empty Vessel”.
Kurt crouched down behind a low wall. There hadn’t been any shooting for a few seconds. Kurt needed to think. He only had 3 bullets left in his gun and no spare ammunition. Perhaps, he would remember this next time and try and pick up some of the guns from the people he had shot.
Kurt could hear the tell-tale sounds of a whispered order followed by the muffled footsteps that meant a trap was being laid. But what to do? What to do?
Kurt woke up.
He was in a military hospital. How long had he been there? What was the last thing he could remember? He remembered being close to running out of bullets. Of feeling that he was about to be caught in a trap but then nothing else. Had he been captured? A nurse walked up towards his bed. He tried to say something but realised that he’d been gagged.
“Don’t panic, sir,” the nurse said, “You are not trusted by our government. And so we are not allowed to hear what you say, unless you are observed by a member of the army police. Nod if you are in pain.”
Kurt shook his head. He felt no pain, in fact he felt nothing at all. He could have been just a head without a body for all he could feel. Almost as though he was without a head.
Kurt is crawling through a tunnel. A sewage tunnel. He has a torch between his teeth. One wall bright, the other black. Above him he sees a slight glint of metal. A wheel handle. He stops crawling and lies on his back and pushes himself with his legs into position. He starts turning the wheel from underneath. It’s jammed hard, but after giving it a forceful shove, he gets it moving slowly. Kurt realises that he doesn’t want to be under the hatch when he gets it open. He slides back, turns the handle. The door flies open, water gushing out into the tunnel. Kurt manages to hang on to the handle. The water is lifting him clean into the middle of the tunnel. His head is being hit from top to bottom.
The nurse is back, but with two other men. One looks like a doctor, all in white. The other looks to be a bodyguard, he is wearing a black suit.
The black suit walks over to Kurt and removes his gag.
Kurt knows they’ll be expecting him to blurt something out so he resists the temptation. Best to keep them wanting more from him.
“Kurt, we are ready to take you to the electroshock therapy room.”
Kurt wasn’t expecting this. The black suit puts a leather strip in his mouth where the gag was. Kurt can’t help but clamp down on it to stop himself from gagging.
No room to move, no movement at all, no escape. The nurse and the black suit are pushing Kurt’s cot down a corridor. Strip lights above him arrive and leave one after the other. Flashing like the strip in the middle of the road. The cot stops moving, Kurt can hear them putting the brakes on the cot. Through slits in his bedding he can see them inserting metal strips, and then he feels the cold on his skin. The first thing he has felt in his body since he has been awake. More and more metal strips are attached. Then they focus on his head. He wonders what happened to his hair. He remembered having hair before.
And then it’s happening, electricity coursing through his body, and he can remember nothing.
Tune in next week for part two of four of “The Empty Vessel”.