This is it….A short story….

I am seeking, but not finding.

Staring from my cell, I watch. The inevitability of my torment approaches with every tick of the clock. Guards, short and tall, thick and thin, pull prisoners out of cages and escort them to interrogation. In my mind, Huey Lewis and the News sing, “This is it.” The dimly lit cell houses my bunk, a toilet and sink. On occasion, the odd guard makes a sarcastic remark.

“Don’t worry, you’re time is coming.” Sinister grins, a quick flash of teeth and then they are gone. As a prisoner, we are seldom fed, watered, showered or medicated. It is almost as if the guards want us to go mad. In my nine weeks at this facility, I haven’t had my medication. To burn off the rage, I do various types of pushups.

It doesn’t help. My mind floods with images of my past. Soldiering in foreign countries, carrying out various attacks, the corpses left behind in my wake, all of it flashes through my mind. I shadow box, when light filters through the barred window in my room. “Left, right, left, right, hook, cross…” I throw punch after punch into the concrete wall. The bones in my hands break and then heal. Repeatedly, I break and heal until pain is nothing more than an afterthought.

The unwanted weight drops off my body, and I become a lean, mean, fighting machine. As the weeks progress, the remarks from the guards cease. They watch as I break my hands on the wall. Slack-jawed, fear shows on their face. I give them a sinister grin. “I’ll see you soon.” The weeks pass, and I am left alone. I continue my training and prepare for my interrogation.

Down the hall, I hear the screams of the prisoners. To a sane man it would horrify them into submission. It’s too bad, I’m not sane. Years in the killing fields honed me into a weapon. Prison sharpened my edge and now, I’m a weapon with no war to fight. The shuffle of guards in riot gear catches my attention. Six men, armed with batons and shields, covered in armor from their heads to their toes, walk toward my cell. A cruel grin stretches across my face. Instinctively, I flex my fingers and prepare for the showdown.

Without a word, the shields take the front row, and the batons line up behind them. One of the guard’s smirks and removes his helmet. “I tell you what, Ghost. Let’s see what you’ve got. You’ve been training. These other guards will stay out of it, this will be a dance between you and me.” He unlocks my cell and waits for me to walk out. The other guards make a loose circle around us.

“I will kill you here, Ghost. Why waste time taking you to interrogation? Consider this a favor for your service to the government.” He assumes a boxing stance and I shift into a defensive position. Laughing, he throws a jab at my left eye, and steps in to throw a hook to my body. As he steps in, I avoid the jab and stab two fingers into his eye. I cackle with madness, and shove them all the way in, up to my knuckles. He is dead, before he hits the floor. Grabbing a rag, I wipe off my fingers and turn to face the other five guards.

Lifting my hands, I gesture and smile. “Well, that was easy. Whatcha say boys, a little tit for tat? Or do you want to live?” The guards throw down their equipment and slowly back away. “Alright then, see you at dinner time.” I walk back to my cell and shut the door.

In my mind, Huey Lewis and the News sing, “This is it.”

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