Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Theatre/House of Pain

Darkness, complete and utter darkness. Hmm where did that come from? There should be at least some light coming in from somewhere. Then I remember, oh yes the struggle, and the hands grabbing me pinning my arms to my side, and then the bag over the head, and darkness. Body found floating by the docks is the only thought that I can form as I am wrenched out of bed, and manhandled down the stairs. I go limp, there is no use in fighting, no hope of expecting an explanation so I might as well let these bastards earn their money by having to drag my dead weight, fat ass along. An indeterminable time later, I am thrown into what seems to be a rather hard, straight-backed chair. Well this is the usual drill is it not? I have been on the other side of the bag often enough to generally expect what will happen next. However, expecting it and being ready for it are two separate things, and as the bag is whipped away from my head the light is typically blinding. Lovely, I knew that was going to happen, and yet I was still too stupid to keep my eyes closed. Blinking is not the way to meet whatever nemesis has managed to put you in your present condition. As the vision returns, a familiar voice greets me, "Well, well the Grand Inquisitor himself, welcome to my little kingdom." Damn but that voice sounds familiar. Shit I know this person! The blindness fades, and I look across a small table to see my old friend Inquisitor Wooten with a not so friendly smile on his face. "Junior Inquisitor Wooten how pleasant to see you" I say with much more nonchalance than I feel. "If you needed me to continue your training, all you had to do was simply ask." "There was no need for the enforced trip just for a bit of a refresher course in interrogation." Glancing around I see the familiar (large) shapes of Mr. Williams and Mr. Catron looming over my colleagues shoulders. Well at least it is not the docks yet. "I think my training is complete" Inquisitor Wooten says with entirely too much confidence for my liking. "Now you get to see just how well you did train me in the gentle art of persuasion." Shit, fuck, damn! I did train this ape, and a few other besides, but he was the best of the lot, born to ask the tough questions that no one wants to answer. "Bah, you never could get the questions in the right order Wooten, no matter how many times I tried to tell you." "At some point, I would assume, you are going to clue me in as to why I am here, and why a junior Inquisitor has the temerity to drag a Grand Inquisitor out of his bed in the middle of the night?" "Oh I think you know that is not going to happen, I do not give answers, I ask the questions, YOU give the answers," he said as he pulled the all too familiar plain black case from somewhere, and placed it on the table. "You know the drill my boy, time for the instruments." He opens the cases, and I see the bright, shiny instruments of our trade, MY trade, exposed. Gruesome looking things that are intended to frighten just by sight, the pain they inflict makes people scream like schoolgirls. "Of course there is the alternative," he says, and produced the little brown pill that looks like it would choke a horse. Alternative? Pain or pain which would you prefer? "You always were a bit of a bastard Wooten, perhaps that is why I liked you." "Noticed the past tense." "Give me the pill you jamy cunt, I will not give you the pleasure of screaming for you tonight." I swallow the pill with some difficulty, and wait for the effects that I know are coming. No real choice really, but that is the point now isn't it? As my eyes begin to go heavier, and heavier I think well at least I will still have my looks after this is over. Small comfort, but it is the only one I can cling to at the moment. Sleep takes me as it is supposed to do, and off I go to confront the terrors that my colleague has dreamed up when he manufactured the pill.
Starts out pleasant enough, (then again don't they all?). A old classmate and I are at a fairly swank hotel for some conference or other, and are enjoying a lovely swim in the pool. Odd, in real life they would be fishing me out of the pool, my people sink they do not swim. Wrapping a towel around myself, I begin to walk across the lobby towards the elevator to my room. That is when I saw her from a middle distance. A quick double take confirms my belief. Damn them! Of course they would have to bring someone like her into it. How fucking original. An ex-girlfriend of course who else? From about a decade ago, and one that I treated a bit badly near the end (a shock, I know). Well this is just peachy isn't it? Might as well get the screaming, cursing, and the inevitable slap across the face over with. Our paths are just so conveniently going to intersect anyway so might as well stop, and pretend this is a surprise. I stop, and begin to form the words of a pithy greeting, she however sails past me like I am invisible, and continues on her journey. This is my punishment? Being ignored by an ex-flame that I have not spoken to in ten years? Really Wooten, you must have made a mistake with your formula. This is almost fun. I shrug, and continue on my merry way whistling a Wayne Newton tune as we all are apt to do from time to time. Of course that was too easy, as I get on the elevator a stranger get on as well, and slips me a note. How quaint. Where did you get this idea Wooten? Watching too many late night film noir again? It merely has a place, time, and is signed "B." What a surprise the old flame's first initial just happens to be "B." I sigh as I look at the time of this rendezvous. Ten minutes from now? Jeez, where is the rush? No time to change since the damn meeting is of course as far away from my room as humanly possible. Great my first meeting with this girl in a decade, and I am in swimming trunks and a towel. Oh well, nothing I can do, but show up and hope for the best. Surprisingly enough, there she is at the right place, and at the right time. How do you just jump into that conversation? Where do you start something like Hi, how are you? I know I sort of fucked you over ten years ago or so, but hey water under the bridge right? Hallmark does not make a card for this situation. Oh right sorry about wearing a towel to this meeting I thought it was informal attire. What's that you got married did you? Well congrats on that I am sure he is a lovely fellow. Oh really divorced eh? Well you have to be realistic about these things I suppose. Me? Oh I am just fine and dandy. Can not really try to explain that actually I am tied to a chair somewhere, and this is a dream. That is what is happening isn't it? After a few minutes of this nonsense I decided to cut to the chase, and ask the important stuff. You know like why the hell did you ignore me in the lobby, and why the hell all this cloak and dagger stuff? She said "well my mother is with me, and I did not want her to know that I was meeting you." Ah yes, your mother large, ungainly woman with a marked distaste for being in my company. Yes it is for the best that we do not cross paths. Then of course the nice little A-bomb that my colleague Wooten had designed this little passion play for gets dropped. "Umm, I have been thinking about you a lot since my divorce, and I missed you a great deal." "In fact, I found out you would be here at this hotel on these dates, and that is why I am here." "My mother tagging along was not in my plans at all trust me." Okay this has potential to end in tears. Maybe this is not a dream. She certainly felt real when she pressed up close to me at the end of that pretty little speech. Some place private you say? Well I am not really dressed for going any place, but back to my room to change. "Oh back to your room was exactly what I had in mind and, dressed does not matter so much," she replied. Well clearly this is a great idea, and off we when in some haste to my room. Here the details get a little vague. Of course they do. Why would Wooten want me to remember the good, juicy bits of this experience. The parts I do remember where a) quite nice, and b) felt quite real. Well now, this part of our relationship does bring back some good memories, and then right on cue, bright, searing, painful light. What the hell, did I finally die whilst having sex? Do I walk towards the light or what? Of course not, just me snapping back to consciousness in the same room, tied to the same fucking chair. Once I had figured it all out, and that it was a dream. I look up to see my old friend still sitting across the table. "Well Wooten, I told you that you needed more training." "That dream had a happy ending you wanky bastard!" "Oh, I dont think the good bit has happened yet," he replied. "Perhaps you should just nod back off, and wait for the ending." "Hah" I sneered, "not bloody likely, you can't just resume a dream where you left off." "Going back to sleep will just start the process over again, and by then the pill will have lost its effectiveness." All well and good, but damn it all I am feeling drowsy again. Eh, maybe just a 10 minute nap. Not like I am going to resume the dream where it stopped anyway. Wooten is drunk on his own sense of power. "I should get back to my room, mother will begin to wonder where I have gotten off to." "Huh" I mutter "What about mother?" "Who the, what the." Bollocks seems Wooten is smarter than I thought I am back in the same dream at the same place in time, but it seems our location has changed to my actual house. Walk her to the door like a good gentleman. A kiss or two on the cheek before parting, and a wave as she climbs into her car to drive off. Who knows how many decades before I see her again? Then as she gets to the end of the block, tires screech, metal grinds, and an very loud, violent crash occurs. "Son of a bitch" I scream, and run to the scene. Twisted metal and a bit of smoke make it difficult to find her, but eventually there she is, thrown from her car lying in the grass. No last dying romantic words of loves labour lost, just an ex-girlfriend whose neck is clearly broken, and just as clearly is dead as a doornail. Then a sensation of drowning as I sputter awake to find Mr. Catron standing in front of me, bucket in hand, grin on his face. "From the screams, and the thrashing about we figured it was time to wake you," say my pal Wooten. "Guess you got to the good bit at the end after all." "Damn you all to hell," I mutter. "Don't you bastards have someone that is actually guilty of something to torture?" Then another sensation this one of a cool wind on my face. Now what are they putting me in a wind tunnel to see if I am aerodynamic enough to sink? Body found floating by the docks. No not a wind tunnel just the gentle breeze caused by the fan next to my bed, as I wake up very confused as to what the hell just happened. Was that a dream within a dream? How the fuck is that possible? What is it time to go to work already? Damn I just want to lie here, and be sad. For exactly what reason I am not sure, but I certainly do not feel in the most chipper of moods. Well, perhaps I will just have to get over it. After all, it was only a dream, and at least this one did not feature any crows.

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