THE SLAVE ARTIST

Submitted into Contest #149 in response to: Start your story with the flickering of a light.... view prompt

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Mystery Suspense Fantasy

THE SLAVE ARTIST



You could see the years of service on the face of this strange man. Those years of true combatted wars and secrets that were pressed into his military attire. Even his walk as he escorted me down this old dimly lit hallway, spoke to the honor he exuded as a member of the military. I distinctly remember the lights were flickering as we came closer to the area I would soon be taken to. My mind frantically searches for answers to questions I didn’t even think of yet. The cold breeze draws out goosebumps from the foxholes of my skin. They start to crawl, sending this nervousness throughout my body as my eyes search these ancient stone walls for any information. My pace was hurried by this goon of an Uncle Sam. I guess that my legs weren’t moving in the modulation that he probably hears every time he walks. How much longer until my holding area? Who else is being kept here? Is this one of those “black sites”? Clearly, this is not a place anyone wants to be placed in. So, why am I here?


The distinctive sounds of metal to metal produces a very eerie atmosphere. Even that didn’t compare to what my eyes were seeing. As I was entering the cell there was this woman with scars and bruises in the fetal position. Her hands gripping a thinning sketch pad. The pages of its being now littering the floor of this small containment box. I began to slowly walk closer to her transversing over emerging pictures. Unable to stop glaring at the scattered pages of art, sketched drawings that are manipulating my beliefs as they turn into solid matter. Stuck in absolute amazement recognizing the creativity of small plants and objects rising off the paper. What is this place that I have been brought to? It doesn't seem like some regular human prison.


Soon thinking that if I’m unlike the people I’m seeing then.

 What am I doing here? 

I argue my placement in Hasp Confinement because it's an unheard of prison last I recall. I am not like anyone else in this place, or I assume I'm not. Taking a moment to question my reality.


My movements cause her to slowly lift her head and sit her sketch pad down. She madly crawls towards my direction as the midst suddenly arises from nowhere. I have only three ideas of things that she could do. She could greet, forewarn or threaten me. I reached my hand out to show that I come in peace. Suddenly as our skins touched, I began to feel dizzy. I started to observe her whole life before my very eyes. Skits of her past leading to her present. 


These moments I didn't understand. They were rushing to update me of what I guess I needed to know. A particular moment that slowed down suddenly. 


Visions of a life that isn’t mine. Moments that I don’t understand rushing by like a motion picture. I’m trying to reconcile with what I’m seeing. Where am I? Who am I?


The scariest part of this out of body experience. Is that I know I’m not in my own body. I can only assume that this must be the woman from the cell. Suddenly, the moments started to slow down. She is leaving. She was walking away from a woman and a man. As she went to check her stuff, she noticed some things were missing. Angry and for good reason, she was demanding to see whoever was in charge and demanded that something was done. But the police were called. He must have had a lot of complaints like this. The more I remain in her memories the more questions I have.


She seems uneasy. Something is wrong. It’s like she has changed her mind. Why? It’s like she doesn’t want to deal with the police. So, instead. She received her pay. Quickly stuffing it in one of her bags and leaving. She is headed down the road when she is passed by two military vehicles. She has increased her pace. She isn’t running but moving fast enough that the wheels on her luggage are starting to pop off the cracks in the sidewalk. As she turns the corner, she glances back to the building she just left. I guess that must be her job or something. That doesn’t matter now especially since two officers were heading her way. Her clothing was different from what she wore leaving the building all of a sudden. I’m wondering if she had magic from how fast it happened. Who is she? Why are they after her? They don’t send these types of soldiers after just anyone.


She is in full sprint. She has abandoned the luggage she was pulling. It doesn’t look like she knows where she is going. Every other step she is looking over her shoulder checking to see where the men are. Finally, she came into view with weapons drawn! Why are they aiming at her, especially in residential areas? She turns the next corner only to run into the waiting arms of more soldiers. She is quickly approached. What the hell is happening? We are fighting like her life depends on it. This almost feels like the Ninja Assassins movie from how skilled and precise her moves are. She is refusing to go quietly.


One of the soldiers that was chasing her walked up and pointed his sidearm at her head. She stopped moving. Now they are escorting me. One of the military men is radioing in to whoever is in charge. Who is demanding her capture? He is giving confirmation of acquiring the target. Another soldier is trying to contact the MPs at the apartment for a ride but there was only the static. They didn’t want her on the street. The leader, well the one that I assumed is the leader, sends two of the other men ahead. She started to stare hard at this ocean view painting with "The greatest feeling is letting go" Above the art on the side of this corner store building. Being pushed to continue walking. 


There is a chilling silence everywhere. This is weird. No people, no cars, no dogs barking. It’s like no one lives here. Suddenly, water is flowing into the street. It isn’t concerning at first but the quantity is increasing. Where is it coming from? No one seems to notice except her. It hasn’t reached the curb but now it's like small rivers flowing through town. Even the soldiers have started to notice. The once silent city is now being replaced with the sound of draining water. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the drainage system is functioning properly. The water is now up to everyone’s ankles. The head soldier has commanded the others to get to higher ground but walking has become difficult. Wading in the water that is now knee high and no one knows where it is coming from. What else can go wrong? Have you ever wished you never asked a question? Well, I have. It was at that moment because seconds later a huge body of water came.


She knew that was the perfect time to escape. One of the soldiers tried to grab her but she slipped away. She ran towards an open window in one of the houses she spotted when she was running earlier. A big wave of water came just as she made it inside washing the soldier down the street. We are safe. She turned to explore the house when everything went white. She grabbed her face and when she pulled her hands back there was blood. What happened? She is falling but never lands. She turns her head to see one of the soldiers from before then everything goes dark.


I’m still here. What did I just witness? I am still trying to piece this event together. Still trying to make sense of what is happening. She is waking up. The rattle of gurney wheels on a hospital floor is a sound I am too familiar with. There was a familiar face that caught my attention as well.


Being rolled down a dark hallway I see a bright light while going through the double swing doors. She quickly let go of me as if I invaded her space and retreated back to the corner of the room. Who was that person that looked so familiar? What was happening? More importantly, why was it happening to me?


By Victoria Halton 


June 06, 2022 14:56

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1 comment

Kendall Defoe
01:35 Jun 15, 2022

Okay, this one intrigues. Please keep them coming!

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