Everything was fuzzy and dark when Meeraj opened his eyes. A gruff voice buzzed in his ears, though it was hard to make out whether it was outside or inside his head.
“Welcome,” said the voice. ” Angels brought you down, for their holy endeavor.”
His head was spinning, he fell back to sleep again.
A distant creaking of a door, woke Meeraj back again. A bright lamp was directed towards Meeraj’s face, everything outside its glow was dark. It took time before his eyes adjusted to the surroundings and the blurred shapes started taking form. There was a dusty an old tall and wide gridded window, with missing pieces of glass. Pale diffused evening light illuminated the edges of the object it fell upon, it was a dreary dead evening. Outside the window, he could see through the soot-covered glass a faint silhouette of an old building: an abandoned factory.
Meeraj’s eyes slowly adjusted to the room and he noticed, a series of pipes haphazardly running from one end of the wall to the other. The paint of the walls was chipping off, in fact, only a small section of the wall still had paint on it. He should have been able to see properly, had he not felt so queasy, very queasy indeed and a bitter bile in his throat. His eyes fell upon a sink, ochre in color; it should have been pearl white in its better days. The brass faucet was black and green from ages of unuse, a drop of water fell from it and landed onto the sink, with a clunk.
Don’t know what it was about the falling drop that made Meeraj puke, but while throwing up he realized he was tied to rusting welded bed rails. The place was creepy and he was tied, he could not make sense of anything.
“Is anybody here?” he said aloud.
Out of the dark, a hand reached for his head, coarse chipped hand; flakes of dead skin pinched his forehead. Startled he thrashed wildly, but the noose was tight. The flashlight was falling so hard on his face, he couldn’t see the face of the intruder except for his ominous silhouette against the dim light that seeped through an open door.
The intruder’s big bloodshot eyes peered into his face. Meeraj threw a fit, the binding rope scraped the skin off his wrist, yet he spasmed frantically, like fish out of water.
In the tugging and trashing, the light fell on the intruder’s hooked nose. Crooked broken nose with great holes, rather potholes, hideous yet known.
” Calm down, you are flapping like a chicken held by the neck,” said the man bending to peer into Meeraj with steely eyes.
There was something familiar about the old man’s ugly creviced face. Meeraj still tugged, but he slowly lost strength as the familiarity of the intruder became more prominent.
Meeraj wanted to ask, who the man was; but the talking wasn’t natural. Speaking took conscious effort and his jaws pained when opened. Besides, how much relief could the name of a stranger provide, when he couldn’t even remember his own.