One minute I was driving and the next thing I knew I was chained up in a cold and dirty cell with burning torches providing the only light in this place. I was naked, confused, afraid, and seemingly smaller than I should’ve been. Through the bars of my cell I saw men, women, and children in the same condition as I was chained to the ground in their own cells all around me. My legs were being rubbed raw from the dirty straw I was sitting on, my arms were tired from the chain and cuffs weighing down my wrists, and my head was throbbing with a dull pain that just wouldn’t go away.
I had stopped trying to call out for help an hour ago when my throat began to hurt from all of my yelling, no one had come anyway and from the looks some of the other people gave me over this past hour calling for help might’ve been useless anyway. Now I just knelt down and prayed, I prayed to every deity I had ever heard of for salvation or enlightenment. The gash I made on my leg earlier that had just begun to scab up proved to me quite easily that this wasn’t just a vivid dream.
From what I could hear of the mumblings and whispers from the people in the cells around me no one here spoke English, Spanish, German, French or any other language I could identify. The insane sounding laughter and sobbing that I had heard occasionally in these last few hours utterly terrified me though, I had no problem with understanding those for what they were since those sounds were universal.
I didn’t know where I was, what was going on, why I was here, or even why my body was so much smaller than it should be, but what freaked me out most of all though was the fact I couldn’t remember my own name, or the name of anyone I might know.
I could recall facts, remember things I was taught in school and learned from the internet or television, but who I was and anyone I might’ve known I couldn’t remember. I thought it might be amnesia or maybe Alzheimer’s, but I could remember doing all sorts of things like driving, gambling, reading, working on budgets, eating food likely to give me a heart attack, swimming at a gym, along with plenty of other things. I could remember all these minor things but they didn’t seem connected to me somehow, they were just things that I could remember once doing with no more feeling attached to them than there was attached to breathing.
I contemplated the question of who I was for hours, but my thoughts were interrupted by a man wearing a strange outfit that looked like it was straight out of a medieval fantasy movie or game. He was gruff looking with a dull blue tunic like shirt and loose flowing brown pants, and he carried a bucket full of something chunky and yellowish. He walked inbetween the cells and throw handfuls of the yellow stuff into each cell, people were eating it so I guess it must be some sort of food. When the man got to my cell he stopped for a moment and looked at me carefully.
“Who are you? Why am I here? This is illegal, you can’t treat people like this!” I yelled at the man. He just said something I didn’t understand, took out a handful of the yellow gunk, spat in it, threw it at my chest, and then moved on laughing. I looked down to look at the mystery yellow food that was slowly and disgustingly sliding down to my stomach, then I started cursing at the man in every language I could remember the curses to while I scraped the slop off of me. I wouldn’t eat anything that someone spat in, especially not when it looked like congealed vomit already before that. I could go without food, at least I could for a while.
This… This is so messed up. What’s going on? Why am I here? Who even am I? I didn’t know the answer to any of my questions, I couldn’t think of anything that could help me in this situation. Hell, I didn’t even understand what language these people were speaking, so I couldn’t even try gathering information. I was clueless and that meant I was also helpless.
I looked down at my hands, then my arms, then down at the rest of my body. What I saw was small, my body looked like that of a child but I knew a child couldn’t do all of the stuff that I remember doing, a child also shouldn’t normally know all the stuff that I had knowledge on. Out of curiosity I leaned forward and pulled at my hair, when I sat back up I saw a few strands of snow white hair in my hand. Albino? That doesn’t seem right, albinos should be fairly rare… I stared at the hairs in my hand for a few moments before the fact that those were my hairs sunk in.
I looked up at the ceiling through the bars of my cell, my mind was lost in thought as I struggled with my confusion, fragmented memory pieces, and the many unknowns of my situation. I could feel something wet rolling down my cheeks, but I ignored it. I was feeling too lost to care much about the fact I was crying.
Eventually I realized that someone nearby was trying to get my attention by rattling their own chained manacles, I turned towards the sound and saw a woman who was naked and chained up in the cell next to me looking at me with pity. She was making a forced smile and saying something I couldn’t understand in a soothing tone to me, I tried smiling back at her but the tears wouldn’t stop. “I can’t understand what you’re saying, but thanks. I’m feeling a bit calmer now…” She tilted her head before making a sadder smile then laying down on the floor and shutting her eyes. That was when I noticed that all the other people in the cells I could see seemed to be sleeping or at least trying to, it was also when I realized that the lack of windows and the constant torch light destroyed any sense of time I had.
I don’t even know if it is day or night right now… It was a thought that sobered me, it also drive home the total reality of my situation. I was completely nude, locked and chained within the bars of a cell, surrounded by people speaking a language I didn’t recognize, had no memory of who I was or anyone I might know, and something was seriously strange with my body. The only thing that might explain my situation that I could think of was the idea that I was the victim of some human trafficking group that used strong drugs on me. It was the opposite of a reassuring thought.
I shifted around trying to find the most comfortable position in the straw before laying down and using my arms as a pillow. Why me, what did I ever do to deserve this? This isn’t fair… I thought as I closed my eyes. I could feel that I was crying again right before I fell asleep.