Category Archives: The Empty Vessel

The Empty Vessel – Part 4

This is the final part of a four part continuing story on Gamboling. Click here to read part 1, part 2 and part 3. And now for the final part of “The Empty Vessel”.

Kurt was crawling. The water level hadn’t changed at all. He was moving but hadn’t heard or seen anything change. Every part of his body was tired and there didn’t seem to be a way out of here. The only option seemed to keep going.

In the distance, Kurt saw a glint of something? A shape? Kurt takes the torch out of his mouth and points it ahead. Something at the top? A hatch?

Kurt puts the torch back in his mouth and carries on crawling. Maybe it is something. He hoped it wasn’t his imagination. He wants to stop and point the torch at it to see what it is. But whenever he stops, he decides to not look and heads towards it blind.

But it wasn’t quite blind. 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.

The Empty Vessel – Part 3

This is the third of a four part continuing story on Gamboling. Click here to read part 1 and part 2, check back next Friday for the final instalment, but only after you’ve read part 3 of “The Empty Vessel”.

Kurt’s legs felt like they had bursts of flames mixing with the blood pumping through them. Kurt was trying to force them way beyond their now-enfeebled power. Mixed with the pain was the name of Director Smith. He had spent all of this time protecting his name. But now there was a chance for freedom he could pursue his own agenda. Smith had sent him out here to this hell. Now Kurt would pay him back. As long as he could concentrate.

He couldn’t keep running along these corridors, he didn’t know where he was going. They would catch him. He needed to get out of their normal view.

He kept jogging down the corridor, looking in the windows of each room. Each room was an empty replica of where he had been kept in that bed. Suddenly one room looked different, like a store cupboard. He opened the door and entered the room. If it was for storing things, they must have been out of stock. It was almost completely empty.

In the middle of the floor of the room was a hatch with a round wheel locking it to the floor. Kurt set to work turning the wheel. Now his arms began to ache. He got it unlocked, heaved the hatch open, grabbed a torch from the shelf and started to climb down the stairs. Before he closed the hatch he turned on the torch and gripped it in his mouth.

As he climbed down the ladder he was trying to decide which way he would go at the bottom. This could be the most important decision, but how could he decide? Perhaps by dropping a hair and seeing which way the breeze took it? Air heads towards where it is fresh. He got to the bottom and reached for a hair only to remember they had shaved his head.

He looked down at his feet he could feel a small trickle of water. He decided to follow the water. Hopefully it was running out.

He started crawling. Crawling to freedom. Crawling back to Director Smith.

Tune in next week for the final part of “The Empty Vessel”.

The Empty Vessel – Part 2

This is the second of a four part continuing story on Gamboling. Click here to read part 1, check back next Friday for the next instalment, but only after you’ve read part 2 of “The Empty Vessel”.

Kurt is falling. Air rushing past him. Instinctively, he puts his arms out to protect himself and he wakes up. He can’t move his arms, they are lashed to his body.

“Good Morning, Kurt,” says a female voice. He can’t see who is talking to him.

All Kurt can see is a massive screen that is suspended from the ceiling above him. It starts playing images over and over. He closes his eyes, an electric shock shoots up from the base of his spine. His eyes open again and he remembers. He wonders why Director Smith sent him here. Kurt knows nothing about this place. Why was he sent here? He tries to remember why Director Smith sent him.

He hasn’t felt thirsty or hungry for days and Kurt has forgotten that he ever was hungry. The only basic function that hasn’t been taken from him is sleep.

The images play into his mind all day. He has to close his eyes just to stop them drying out. Just for a second each time but the electric shocks hurt so much.

The screen is turned off. He sleeps.

Kurt is falling. Air rushing past him. Instinctively, he puts his arms out to protect himself and he wakes up. Something is different. His left arm. It’s up. Somehow it has come free.

The voice comes, “Keep still, Kurt, someone will be there to assist you shortly.”

Kurt feels with his free hand for the belt that’s holding down his right arm. With a hard yank it is free. More belts come flying off and his legs are free. He rips off his gag, the most satisfying of all.

“Kurt, please remain calm, there is no need to move. You will be attended to shortly.”

There is a siren going off in the background of the tannoy announcement. As she stops talking, everything falls silent. Everything is silent except for Kurt ripping the sheets off. He carefully detatches the surgical pipes. There seem to be short lengths of pipe that are going into him. He leaves them in, but disconnects the longer pipes they are attached to. He swings his legs down off the bed, they feel tired.

His white shirt and shorts look slighty discoloured from his sweat. He stands up.

“Please move no further, Kurt, and we will not have to correct you.”

Kurt ran for the door. His muscles screaming already. How long had they let him atrophy in that bed?

He opened the door to the room. A series of hospital corridors. He could hear something approaching in the distance. He ran in the oppostie direction. The cold floor felt good on his bare feet. It felt real.

Tune in next week for part three of four of “The Empty Vessel”.

The Empty Vessel – Part 1

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”.