Darkness weighed down on me before I even had a chance to open my eyes. I could hear the dulled echo of it all around, could practically taste it as its mossy dankness filled my nostrils and made me want to choke. It had started creeping into my self-conscious as I slept, transferring dream to nightmare and ripping away the small reprieve of my humdrum circumstance, the little pleasures that I hid in the only place he would never get to.
It was morning now, at a guess. I couldn’t really tell. My only hints were the footsteps above my head, the creaking of floorboards and the clanging of pipes as water bellowed through them. He’d be coming in soon, a cup of hot coffee in his hand, to pick up where he left off.
I’d lost count of the days and hours I’d spent in this room with only my thoughts for company. My thoughts and his leering, I suppose, but I’d hardly say that counted. Still, the thoughts made for good companions. Sometimes. They kept me sane, if I could even still call myself that, by feeding me titbits of memories. Some were good, some were awful, but most were just the right amount of okay to keep me waking up in the mornings instead of giving in to the pain. A lot of them were about her, and that more than anything kept me from giving up. He was still targeting me, which meant that she was still out there.
The scratching of the turning key caught me off guard, but I managed to close my eyes just in time as the door swung open letting the harsh light rip through the darkness. I’d learned quickly that the dark was the kinder of the two. The light was blinding and turned everything to indistinct blur. At least the darkness afforded me privacy and heightened senses beyond my sight. I was going to end up being one of those yuppies who always wore sunglasses no matter that weather or time of day when I got out. If I ever got out.
He slurped his coffee, enjoying watching me squirm and I tried my best not to give him a show, but the light burned red behind my eyelids and my skin tingled begging for reprieve from whatever was coming.
“Ready to talk?”
My tongue flicked at my dry lips, as though making sure that they weren’t going to say something of their own accord.
His voice was by my ear now and a hiss escaped from me involuntarily. If I’d had the choice, it would have been something a little more… profane.
“I will find her. You know that, don’t you?”
I bit down on the tongue to stop myself from saying more than I had to – not wanting to give even the smallest hint away – to the point where it bled, and I let the blood stain my tongue and my teeth, before smiling widely.
“You’ll never find her,” I whispered, my voice steady despite everything.
“You have no idea,” he said, “what a father’s love makes him capable of.”