Flash Fiction: P’s and Q’s

flash fictionThis is my entry to Terribleminds.com’s Flash Fiction Challenge: That Poor, Poor Protagonist

This is a little different to the other stuff I’ve written so far, so let me know what you think.

Flash Fiction P’s & Q’s

As the bright light slowly faded, leaving large green spots in front of his eyes, Tobys mind raced as he tried to remember what had happened. He remembered meeting up with a few people from work and having a few beers at that bar, then… nothing.

His thoughts were interrupted by a very loud hammering in his head. There was no way he could have drunk that much, he had work tomorrow. As he tried to cradle his head, he became aware  that he was not only lying on his back on what felt like some kind of table, but also that his hands were tightly bound. He couldn’t move his legs either. His legs didn’t feel bound in any way, he just couldn’t move them.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” he muttered, attributing his situation to nothing more than too much alcohol and a work colleagues prank going too far.

Even looking round the room, which was dark and damp with old medical equipment littered around, couldn’t dissuade him from the opinion that this was just part of one big practical joke. Behind him, he heard the sound of a large metal door being opened. The hinges screeched from lack of use and the deep scraping sound of metal grating on stone indicated the door was being opened.

“Glad you’re awake”. The voice was high-pitched and effeminate, but it wasn’t a woman’s voice.

“Yeah, very funny guys. Let me off this thing, will ya?”

“I’m afraid not, I need you to learn first.”

“Oh god, are you a stripper? Man, have I been suckered. Dude, I don’t know what they’re paying you, but… It’s funny, I get it. You don’t have to…”

Tobys voice trailed off, and there was a pause; a pause that was a little too long to be of any comfort.

Toby turned his head as far as he could to try to get a look at the other man. His heart sunk when he saw the man dressed as a surgeon;  his scrubs covered in what looked to be dried blood, and dirt. His mask, instead of a brilliant white was now a dirty, spattered by flecks of reddish-brown.

The man approached the side of Toby and just stood there, staring at him; his eyes showing pain and hurt.

“First, you can’t be listening to me, if you’re talking” The man leaned over and stuck something over Tobys mouth. He couldn’t be sure what it was, but it felt like strong tape. He tried to talk but could only manage a few muffled grunts.

Tobys blood was pumping. He couldn’t move; couldn’t defend himself, and now couldn’t even bargain or reason with his captor. The last shreds of his sanity clinging on to the desperate hope that this was all just some kind of practical joke gone wrong. An illusion that was quickly shattered when he saw out the corner of his eye, the surgeon picking up and staring intently at a small metal blade.

“Now, I think it’s best that we don’t talk any more.” his voice, which although becoming sweeter and more gentle, was more malicious and bitter with every word.

A flash of pain flared at the side of his head. The surgeon waved something in front of Tobys face. In all the pain and dizziness, it took him several seconds to realise that it was an ear. Worse still, the same earring he wore in his ear was dangling from the ear being waved in front of his eyes.

“Mmmmph phmm rffff umpp” Toby screamed into the tape. He knew it was pointless, but it was the only thing he could do to help him endure the pain or at best alert someone to what was happening.

Reservoir Dogs. Have you seen it? It’s a very good film, I recommend it.”

Another flash of pain, and a dull cracking sound, and this time his right hand felt like it had exploded.

“Oops! Lose something?” The surgeon waved another very recognisable body part in front of Tobys face. “You should be more careful, you’ve only got nine left.”

Toby was in too much pain to speak, his head becoming heavy, and as the blood thickened his head started to stick to the table.

“I think you deserve a break. How about some television?” The surgeon spun the table round and tilted it so Toby was stood ‘Hannibal Lecter-like’ facing a flat screen television. “It’s my own film. I think you’ll like it.”

The picture clicked on and he found himself staring at Massie and Becky, his daughters. They were also bound and gagged, and Tobys fear turned into terror, as he watched the surgeon walk into view on the screen.

“They understand politeness, don’t you?” said the TV surgeon, bringing his face close to the younger of the two girls. “It’s just a shame your dad doesn’t. He’ll learn though.” The TV surgeon brought a small handgun up to the head of the youngest girl and after turning to smile at the camera, pulled the trigger.

The eldest of the two girls, screamed hysterically behind her tape, as the youngest daughter was knocked down by the force of the shot.

The film clicked off, and Toby felt paralysed; he couldn’t move; his mind was numb.

“You might want to talk now.” As the surgeon ripped the tape off Tobys mouth.

“Where’s Becky?” was all Toby could bring himself to say.

“You know what?” was the surgeons response “I just can’t remember where I put her. She’s with the sleeping on. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t intrude on your time any more, you’re probably a very busy person. I’d better go. Don’t get up, I’ll let myself out.”

With that, the surgeon turned around and started to walk towards the door.

“Oh, by the way” the surgeon said “Maybe next time when someone sneezes, you’ll be polite enough to say ‘Bless you!”.

The surgeon walked out of the door, and with the same loud clanking and scraping sound, the door closed and Toby was left in the room, alone.


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