Harry couldn’t breathe, and yet there was a strange sound coming out of his mouth, like he was an asthma sufferer. Every breath he took, when he could, hurt.
He wanted it to stop.
He thought about asking the smaller man to stop, but he knew what his answer would be. Not in words, but in punishment. He was being used as a human punching bag by a man who enjoyed his work.
After another short, sharp session, the smaller man stood back, also now a little breathless but from exertion, and Harry could see sweat forming on his brow.
The whole time the interrogator had been hitting him, Harry thought about all the times the same had happened to him a school, where the bullies always picked on the smaller weaker kids, of which he was one, and how they had tormented and hurt him with impunity. It had been a school where its students were expected to ride the punches and toughen up.
Harry had survived, but only just. He’d lost count how many times he ended up in sick bay or the hospital, where the staff had been convinced he was one of those hapless boys who continually fell over or walked into doors.
There was no point talking.
The taller man had pulled on his gloves and took up position to restart the festivities when the five thousand dollar suit man reappeared.
He walked over to the smaller man and asked, “Has he said anything yet?”
“It’s been half an hour, Fred.”
“He’s not talking, or he’s telling the truth. Or we have stumbled upon someone who is not who he says he is.”
The boss shook his head. “Don't be daft. I checked him out. A beginner, basically a fool who looks for lost cats and dogs.”
“You want us to keep going?”
The boss looked at Harry, then back at Fred.
“No. Kill him and make sure the body isn’t found.” A last glance in Harry’s direction and then the boss left the room.
“You heard the boss, Jim. Go ahead and give him the injection.”
The taller man took off his gloves, went over to the case and took out a syringe. He took the cap off and crossed the room to stand beside Harry.
“Luckily you won’t feel a thing.”
He jabbed it into Harry’s arm and Harry could feel the liquid being injected. He’d expected an instant result.
It took longer than that. Counting to ten, Harry reached nine, resisting to succumb as hard as he could, looking for those last few seconds of life.
Harry’s last thought: He was too young to die.
© Charles Heath 2016-2019
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