*Warning: the following story is quite intense. It contains a variety of themes that could be triggering, including: torture, abuse and pedophilia. This story is NOT for everyone. Please read with care.
“Nothing happened, I swear it. I would never do that, I’m not a monster.”
Despite how cold it was inside the holding pen, Jankov was sweating profusely. The chains around his wrists clinked as he pulled the already soiled handkerchief from his pocket. He wiped his brow slowly, having previously cut himself with the small razors that were attached to his bonds.
The soaked cloth no longer had the capacity to dry anymore, rather it just moved the sweat away from his eyes towards the side of his face.
It was not like the movies, there was no bright lights in his eyes. No beatings occurred. No good cop, bad cop routine. They just left him there, alone, with nothing to look at other than the plain white wall.
The chains around his ankles and wrists bound him to the chair, which itself was bolted to the floor. It wasn’t uncomfortable, except for the fact that he couldn’t rise from it. Artificial light shone from above. Always on, never altering. He had long since lost track of time, taking to counting the small squares on the tiled floor below his feet, or looking for imperfections in the paint work in front of his eyes.
Jankov had never spent this much time in silence. His mind wandered. The wall began to dance, voices whispered.
“Play with me Jankov, I love the horsey game, it’s so fun.”
Her deep brown eyes looked almost adult. Penetrating, always observing, intelligent. But the shape of her nose and the chubbiness of her cheeks betrayed her age.
“Sonja?” Jankov exclaimed, unsure of himself. “Come back, my lovely niece … please … don’t leave me here alone.”
But as quickly as she had come, Sonja’s face disappeared. Her laughter trailed off into the distance as her face turned away, smiling.
“Confess!” boomed an unknown voice from behind him, a younger male this time. The sudden appearance caused Jankov to jump from the chair. He would have fled the room had he not been halted by the grasp of his restraints as they cut into his wrists.
He wiped his brow once more, ringing the accumulated sweat onto the floor beside his chair, then he wiped the folds under his chin. The years had not served to keep Jankov’s body healthy. As he progressed in age, his size also grew, leaving him with an excess of skin that was now perspiring once more.
“Confess.” That’s all the voices ever said. It was a different voice each time, but always the same word. It was played loudly whenever he fell into a delusion. Sometimes it was male, other times, female. Some sounded like children. Some even sounded like people he knew.
They didn’t want him drifting into his mind. Dissociating away from his confinement. They were monitoring his words, keeping him there.
“I told you ... I have not done anything, we were just playing together … I love her … I would never harm her.”
Silence returned to the room. All-encompassing, it was as if there was never a voice at all. Although Jankov knew it was pointless, he pulled at his chains once more, desperately trying to break his bonds, but to no avail. He only succeeded in breaking the skin around his wrists where the metal had bitten into it.
He listened and counted the droplets as his blood splashed onto the floor. But eventually that stopped as well, once more returning the room to silence.
Jankov contemplated pulling harder to open up his wrists, but he decided otherwise. They were monitoring him. It was clear they wanted him alive, for now at least. They wanted his confession, they wouldn’t let him bleed out. All that his attempt would earn him would be pain and further bondage.
Instead he grasped the soiled handkerchief once more. It was all that they had left him with, when they came for him in the middle of the night. He had been holding it to his nose, breathing in the delicate fruity smell. It was her perfume, her essence. It engulfed him, never failing to vividly bring back memories from those nights many years prior.
It was all he could do to hold onto it as they forced his hands behind his back and the hood over his head. He hadn’t tried to fight, they were many and he was now old and frail. Still, he grasped the treasured garment with strength he didn’t know he had left.
He had intended to keep it pure and unsullied, but as his confinement went from hours to days, the stale accumulation of sweat beads had weakened his wits. Over time it grew easier to use it to clean away his filth.
Still, despite the extreme use, a slight perfume still lingered on. It still held her smell. Bringing it close, he breathed deep. She just managed to show herself over the musk of his own sweat. Soon that too would be lost.
As time continued to pass, Jankov just watched the wall and counted the tiles.
Sonja appeared once more. This time she was crying, her hair was a mess, and there was a bruise on her lip. The bruise did not take away from her piercing eyes. They stared unwaveringly into his.
“Please … stop … why are you doing this to me.” whispered Sonja.
Reaching to wipe a tear from her face, Jankov began to cry as well.
“I am sorry, I thought … I thought you were ok … I thought you were having fun … I … I never meant for this to happen.”
The bite of the chains against his wrists brought him back into the room.
“I’m sorry.” he whispered once more, to no one in particular.
“Confess.” boomed the voice. It was an older female. This time Jankov did not jump. The pain having returned him to the room, moments before the voice rang. Still the memory of Sonja’s battered face, her tears and her eyes lingered within his mind.
He was still crying. In between sobs, he gasped, “I never touched her that way … please … I just liked to look ... her smile, those eyes… they … they are intoxicating … I swear it … please believe me … I could never defile something so pure.”
Jankov recognised the voice. It was Sonja’s. Only it seemed older, colder. It no longer had the innocence of a child. This time he did jump and began pulling hard against his bonds. Leaning against them he pulled and thrashed violently. Blood began to flow once more.
“Confess, confess, confess!” screamed Sonja, her voice growing louder with each iteration.
The sounds from his chain and blood dripping onto the floor did little to drown out her voice.
Just as her eyes had once done, her voice pierced him. Penetrating his mind, breaking him down.
“Ok!” Jankov screamed. In his desperation to escape, he had dropped the handkerchief. Calming himself, he lent down to recover it, but his bonds were too tight. All that he managed to accomplish was to soil it further. This time with his falling blood. It began to pool, quickly drowning the small cloth in a growing sea of red. The excess beginning to travel across the room in the grout between the tiles. Defeated, he slumped back into his chair.
“Ok.” Jankov repeated, softer this time.
With sweat and tears stinging his eyes, and blood from his wrists wetting his pants, he whispered, “You … you always laughed … you are just so special … I … I thought we shared something …”
He felt woozy and lightheaded, the blood was still flowing unabated. The trickle was now becoming a torrent, filling his shoes each time his arms dropped to his side.
“Please … not like this … what do you want me to say?”
“Confess!” boomed Sonja’s voice, growing louder and angrier once more. Jankov felt sick, his vision had become blurred. Closing his eyes, Sonja’s face appeared in front of him. Her eyes held an intensity that was well beyond her years. They stared directly at Jankov. Looking through him. Into him. Searching for something, but coming up short. Fixated upon him, he couldn’t escape their gaze.
“Confess!” Sonja screamed.
He thrashed about desperately attempting to rid himself of those eyes, desperately trying to drown out her voice, but to no avail.
Sonja’s voice turned into a wail, “Confess!”
“You never said no … I asked you as much … you just smiled at me … you took my hand … you guided me.”
Jankov could now barely hold his head up. It was getting difficult to talk. Sonja’s eyes continued to pierce. With each beat of his heart, more blood fell and her eyes grew with intensity.
Jankov began to shiver, the sweat on his head was no longer warm, but cold and clammy. Swaying in his seat, he slumped forward, the restraints being the only thing that saved him from hitting the tiles.
That’s when he saw her, laughing, playing in the sandbox, creating her own world, talking to people that were not there. She was beautiful. Her innocence was intoxicating. She was so young. So pure.
The sandbox disappeared, and she was now on his lap. Seated on a reclining chair by her parent’s wooden fire. He could feel its radiant heat, but her body on his provided much more warmth. He held her close, breathing in the smell from her hair.
“Let’s play horsey!” Sonja exclaimed, a smile coming to her face. With that, she clasped her arms around Jankov and began to bounce on him.
Jankov chuckled quietly, “Shhhh … not here … there is a new game that I want to play with you… but not here … somewhere more private.” She giggled as he picked her up and placed her over his shoulders. Whinnying, he galloped out of the room and up the stairs.
Her giggles fell away and were replaced by tears. Sonja was now nude. Only her handkerchief remained to wipe her tears away. Her small hands became fists as they beat against his chest.
“I don’t like this game … please ... I don’t want to play horsey anymore.” More tears fell.
“Quiet.” yelled Jankov and his hand collided with her face. Her lip was now broken, her jaw disfigured. Yet her eyes remained fixated upon him.
“Please stop … I want my mummy.”
“I don’t want to play anymore … you are hurting me.”
Jankov raised his head and opened his eyes. He became fixated on the handkerchief, which was now well and truly ruined. The sheer volume of his blood had begun to carry it further away from him.
Jankov stammered, sputtering his words, “I … I’m sorry … I know I hurt you … you were so young … it was not my place.”
His voice now grew quieter, falling to a whisper, “There is evil within me … desires … lust … I … I hate myself for it … I was not strong enough to stop myself … not strong enough to say no … I’m sorry.”
Jankov began to shake. As his chains rattled and blood poured, Sonja’s voice sounded once more. It no longer demanded confession, it now asked to be heard.
“What you did to me, so many years ago, cannot be taken back. You changed me, altered my very soul. I no longer know who I am. I feel defined by you, trapped in that room. Fighting to escape and failing.”
Jankov’s shakes grew more violent. He now lost control of his bodily functions, soiling himself in the process. Closing his eyes for the last time, Sonja’s words became his entire world.
“The evil within you, that was your demon to fight, not mine to bear. You claim to have loved me. Perhaps in your own twisted way that’s true. But know this, you are a monster, only capable of a monster’s love, and that’s all that I will give you. Each time you took my body, you also took another piece of my soul. All of my innocence, hopes and dreams died in your hands. The demons you left me with, are the ones that I am leaving with you now. You can have them back. Please. Take them with you to whatever hell you end up in. I want to be free of you.”
Authors Note: When I sat down to write, this piece just came out of me. I wasn't in control of the creative process at all. It seemed to have a life of its own.
I often analogize writing to a dam breaking. When the pressure builds up, it has to be released in one way or another. Writing is a way for me to express and overcome some of the abuse that I suffered during my childhood.
Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
More: Book | Blog | Podcast | Poetry | Fiction | Videos
Read more fiction from Zachary : Rituals