This was written by Warrior Jak. He is from Surat but has spent the last 5 years living abroad in Austrailia.
The prompt is: Rude Awakeing
“Get up. That’s right you, with the face. GET UP.” After the boot roughly hits your side you groggily wake up. You remember the bomb, yes the bomb you had to deactivate. That would be your top priority but your captor has a knife and your hands are bound. What do you do next?
"You have 12 hours to tell us everything. If you can't remember anything then you're gonna have to try and rack your brain. We can help open your head up too if you want. Muahahaha. Here, your food until tomorrow." The man throws a piece of long bread on the floor and a wooden bucket of water. There's a light in this room. It's just too dim too see anything but it's obvious that the man is wearing a balaclava.
"I'll be back again." he slams shut the iron door. It's got scrap metal pieces and nails everywhere, making it look like a heavily reinforced metal door.
I remember the bomb. I remember that my squad was assigned to defuse an object believed to be a bomb at the car park at Laguna Hotel. I still remember pulling the duct tape on the pressure cooker off and opening the lid, but what happened after that? There was an explosion? Maybe not. What about Neil, Gaz, and Jenna? Is this a drill?
My hands are cuffed behind my back. They hurt. All I need is anything similar to a paper clip or glasses's leg. I start to look around the room. It looks like an interrogation room without any chair or table. I finally manage to get myself up to sit with my back against the wall. What the hell is this? Am I getting held captive? By who? How is that possible? The area was cleared by the SWAT team before they could send our bomb squad in.
The door opens. I turn to look. Standing there is a sharped dress man wearing sunglasses. He's got an earphone in his left ear as well. He has the look of those badass agent characters in movies. Two men wearing balaclavas follow him inside. One of them is the one that came in earlier. I remember his deep voice. They put two chairs down opposite to one another.
"Have the seat, Staff Sergeant Lake" the man in a black suit says after the other two left. The red chess board pattern on his red tie reminds me of something. Something very strange. "My name is Agent C. and I'm here because there's a deserted SWAT team member. And that person happens to be you Staff Sergeant Callum Lake"
"I'm afraid you got the wrong person." I laugh "My name is Lee Edson. I'm a corporal and I serve the army as an EOD technician. I was assigned to...."
"Staff Sergeant Lake, I don't think I have your full attention." he pauses, fixing his sunglasses "your name is Staff Sergeant Callum Lake, you serve as a SWAT team member and was tasked to rescue four hostages held captive by two armed men in an abandoned house. You somehow fled into the wood right after getting off the truck."
"That's absolute bullshit." I shout "What is this nonsense? Where's my lawyer? I'm only gonna talk to my lawyer."
“No, you're not. You're going to talk now.”
“No fucking way.”
He turns and look at the wall on his left. “Make him talk.”
The same two men came inside, not with police batons, but a huge wood log. They quickly cuff my legs and tie me to the chair. Before I can resist, they have my pinned down against the wall while I'm still tied to the chair. Agent C has the log.
“Who do you work for?” he asks.
“Fuck you. If you touch me I'll make sure all of....” bang!, Agent C rams the log at my chest. It hurts like fuck. “Want to talk now?!” bang! There's the second. Bang! The third must have crushed my chest entirely. The pain is unbearable. This is not a fucking drill.
I wake up with my whole body covered in sweat. My hands are shaking. I'm feeling like I'm going out of my head. There's no chest pain, just a headache and it's killing me. It was all a dream.
“Told you not to mix that thing with meth and coke, Lee. I've been watching you for the last hour. You heart was jumping out of your chest” Buddy pauses “thought you were really dying.”
Buddy's been my wingman for 8 months now. He doesn't tell much about his past. Seems like he had a tragedy or something. He only told me he never knows his parents. Not that it matters anyway as long as he gets the job done, and he's excellent at that.
“Grab me some pills would you?”
Buddy opens the drawer and chucks me a bottle of aspirin. “Water?” he asks.
I shake my head and swallow three pills “After that shit water only gives you a nasty nausea.”
“So what do you say? Does it work?”
“Well it's gonna need a bit of tweaking before we can put in on the market.”
I get out of bed and walk to the toilet. I'm feeling like I should throw up. I bend down towards the toilet bowl, open my mouse. What I see is three weird faces in the water. They start talking.
“You're such a loser. You used to be stronger than this.”
“Yeah, what a faggot.”
“Loser, loser, loser ,loser....”
I feel like my chest has just been stabbed several times. I scream.
“Holy fuck!..... Fuck, fuck, fuck!” I scream as I wake up. That drug is fucking killing me. Was that another dream again? The chest pain is real. And there's no headache. And where'd my prosthetic leg go? I'm sure I had it before going to sleep. My amputated leg is burning hard.
I will never ever smoke that shit again. That sprayed chemical shit. Four months ago my neighbour got me into it by giving me some of it for free, saying that it's the best drug that cures everything, physical or psychological. Now he's selling it for a ridiculous price.
“Lee! Lee!” I hear Shaun's voice as he's running upstairs. Shaun is my younger brother and I've been living here with him for a while. There are only two of us here. I keep promising him I'll get us a better place one day. But I don't know when.
“Lee,.... it's... it's the same debt... collector!” Shaun can't speak properly as he pants.
“That motherfucker again? Didn't I pay him last week already?”
“But you still own them another five grand don't you?
“That's why I paid last week” I pause “so that we won't have to see them for a big while”
“He says you are paying today”
“I'm not paying him today”
“But you are” he steps aside, as that 130-kilogram tattoo-clad debt collector gets in the room.
“You promised me with your life, Lee. Where's the money?”
“I've got exactly zero point zero bucks”
“Don't make me make you pay” He grabs something from outside my bedroom, just right around the corner. It's my prosthetic leg. How come it is outside the room.
“You're not gonna kill me with that leg right?
“No, Lee. This is actually a shotgun. Didn't you know that?” he pulled the pump, which is where the calf is. He fires at the wardrobe, feathers comes flying out instead of wood debris. I can't stop laughing. I laugh, and laugh, and laugh, until I can't breathe anymore. I wake up again.
“Come on, Lee. Stop wasting your time down there. You've got two minutes before the bomb goes off so come on!” someone's yelling in the radio chatter. “all you need to do is cut the goddamn wire.”
I've been shot, right on my chest. It must have been a sniper rifle round, a 7.62 judging from the damage. Death would be a the only option if it went through my vest. I must have been out for a few minutes.
“Come on, Lee. Do it now!!”
I kick the pressure cooker lid out of my way. “Let me see” I reply. “This baby is wired differently from regular bombs.”
What happens to my other two partners? I want to know. Did they all get shot as well? Maybe they're safe somewhere else? Did the bullets hit their vests like it did to mine? Or did they get shot in the heads and die? Shit, what are their names again? The insomnia's been killing me.
“There” I locate the 4 wires; red, green, white, and yellow.
“You've got TWELVE fucking seconds, Lee”
Red. Must be red. Bad guys like red. No, they don't. Bad guys like black. Fuck it. I'm going with the red.
“RED!” I yell out loud as I cut it. The timer on the bomb is still going. 4,3,2,1... I close my eyes. A loud explosion is heard. I don't feel a thing. Not at all. And I don't have scenes of life flashing before my eyes. I open my eyes. I'm covered in flour all over my EOD helmet and suit.
And a voice can be heard through the speakers, “alright, enough for today. The drill's over. And Lee, you've failed again. Get your ass back here tomorrow and report to drill instructor Samuel again. Same time. Dismiss!”
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