Aside from a bleeding nose and a cut above his right eye, bleeding profusely as such wounds did, Harry thought he looked worse than he felt.
Five minutes had passed. Was it only five minutes. As a distraction, he had been counting the seconds.
He hadn’t cracked yet.
It was the same question, over and over, “What else did you overhear, other than time, date and a place?”
And Harry's answer was the same, without embellishment, “Nothing.”
The smaller man stood back to look at his handiwork. The taller man had stood and watched, perhaps appreciating, or perhaps learning from his colleague.
A nod from the smaller man to the taller, and he moved to the wall and took what looked to be a hand control off the wall. He pushed one of the buttons and Harry heard the rattling of metal chains. He looked up. It was chains and bindings coming down from the roof.
This session, Harry thought, was about to move to the next level.
The chains stopped just above his head. Both men untied him from the chair and the taller put Harry’s hands in the restraints. After checking they would not open unexpectedly, he went back to the control and the chains went up, pulling Harry's arms apart, then lifting him slightly off the floor.
Harry felt an agonizing pain as it traveled through both shoulders.
The smaller man went to the back of the room and came back with a bucket, then threw icy cold water over Harry. Stretched out un-naturally, the water caused involuntary movement as it wrenched at his shoulder joints.
He tried to stifle a groan and failed.
The smaller man put the bucket down and looked up at him. To Harry, the man was little more than a blur, the water mingled with the blood distorting his vision.
“Now, Harry, if you tell me the truth, this will be all over.”
A thought struck him. Even if there was something else to tell him that might or might not be the truth, would they believe him? Hadn’t he read somewhere that if you gave up the truth too quickly they would think he was lying just to save himself, and make the punishment worse.
It was not going to get any better.
“I told you the truth, all I heard was a time and a place.”
He shrugged. “Don’t say you weren't given every opportunity.”
As Harry thought. Truth or not, it was not going to stop.
Three punches later, the first two knocking the wind out of him and making it impossible to breathe, on the third Harry heard the cracking of a rib.
So had his assailant, bringing an evil smile to his face.
This was not going to end well.
© Charles Heath 2016- 2019