Part I (Recap)
We'd been trapped in the room for about 48 hours. At least, that was my guess. The talking had ceased. The darkness swallowed us entirely. I could feel people brushing my legs and arms. I didn't know if it was us or them. I didn't know how many people were in here. The room was very small and damp. It smelled like an arm pit. I just wanted this hell to stop.
Every few minutes, a blast of frigid, arctic cold air would hit us. This was followed immediately by a blast of very hot moist air. The cycle repeated 5 times. Then, there was eerie silence. You could hear the sobs but could see nothing. If I could only remember how I got here. I was walking down 42nd street. Then, there was utter darkness. I awoke here. I did not know why or how. A woman felt her way to my lap. She rested her head and asked for help. I told her to be quiet and rubbed her head to calm her. I thought this is the end for us all.
I wasn't even motivated for escape. I think they must have drugged us. I was totally accepting of the whole thing. I was resigned to death. The woman on my lap was not. Out of the silence a voice cracked like thunder. "Listen people! We only need one of you. There rest will be allowed to leave soon. If your name is Roman, please stay seated with your back against the wall. Everyone else may stand." The woman on my lap stood up and grabbed my hand to help me up. I said, "I'm the winner." She gasped and let go of my hand. A strobe light flickered. It burned my eyes. I could make out the outlines of about nine other people. I could make out the glass walls of the small room. I saw a masked man outside the walls. The voice spoke again, "If Roman behaves a door will open for you all to get through. You will be allowed to go home. If Roman does not behave, you will not go home." I yelled to the voice, "FUCK YOU!" I whispered to the others I would not cause problems. They hung their heads and silently thanked me. The masked man pulled a lever. A small door opened. My fellow prisoners crawled through. I stayed seated. The light went out and the cold air cycled again. I smiled a little.
I contemplated who could be behind this. My list was short. I knew it had to be my friend Charlie. About two years ago. I had arranged for a couple of girls from my office to go out with Charlie and myself. The girls and I went to a bar, got a few drinks, and chatted. Charlie finally arrived and walked over to our table. He said, "Holy shit Roman! Do you need a bat?" I inquired, "What do you mean Charlie?" He smiled and said, "So you can beat the fuck out of whoever sold you that shirt!" He and the girls laughed hysterically. I smiled and giggled along with them. However, I was quite upset with Charlie.
A couple of months after that, Charlie came home from work one day. As he unlocked and opened his apartment door, a huge explosion occurred. Charlie had severe burns over 90% of his body. He remained on the hospital for 9 months. The police said someone had set up his apartment to fill with gas and had a flint mechanism set on the door jam. So when Charlie pushed the door open it ignited the gas. I visited him in the hospital. I told him it was terrible what happened to him. However, maybe he should watch the smart ass comments he makes, as it embarrasses people. I tried not to imply that I actually caused the explosion, but Charlie seemed to think it was me. He notified the police and they investigated me. They could not find anything to link me to the accident. So the investigation was dropped. I don't think Charlie ever got over it though. Therefore, I assumed it was Charlie who had me kidnapped and put in this hell.
After an hour of the contemplation, the strobe lights flickered on again. The voice came from above. "Roman, do you know why you are here?" I answered, "Because you're a FUCK, Charlie." The voice laughed. "So you figured out it was me. Bravo, Roman." I could see people standing in front of the glass walls. There were nine of them. Charlie's voice boomed, "Do you recognize any of the people standing out here Roman?" My eyes had not adjusted. I could see shapes, but not faces. I answered, "No Charlie, I don't." Charlie said, "Of course you don't you sick bastard. You only care about yourself. Let me jog your memory. Do you remember your friend Charlie, for whom you wrapped up a decomposing rabbit for his six year old little girl's birthday party? How about your friend Charlie whom you poisoned for not leaving a tip? Or your friend Charlie whom you had trip down the basement stairs? Or your friend Charlie whom you made cut off his own penis in order to not be burned alive? Do these ring a bell Roman?" I snickered, "Vaguely Charlie...vaguely." Charlie snapped, "These are people who were affected by that Roman. These are the wives, children and family members of those Charlies. They helped me with this plan by kidnapping you and acting as other prisoners for a time to keep your suspicions at bay. They were willing to do anything to see you suffer Roman." Charlie laughed. I gave Charlie a round of applause and said, "Well played Charlie. You have done well. However, a detail or two may have escaped you."
You think you know? You have no idea...