by John Pilling
I left the soundproofing till last, using big panels of four inch thick wall insulation, glued to the walls and ceiling. There were no windows to worry about of course. It was very effective, I couldn’t hear a radio turned to full volume from outside.
“Where am I?…Hello, is there anyone there? Where am I? Hello”
“Ah, jolly good, you’ve woken up at last, hang on I’ll put a light on.”
“Who are you? Where am I?
“Don’t you recognise me?”
“I can’t see … the light behind you.”
“Is that better?”
“That’s right, Simmonds, Peter Simmonds…Jane Simmonds’ husband.”
“I thought you were in Saudi.”
“I imagine you did…I imagine you both did, but as you see I’m not.”
“Where am I?”
“You’re in my cellar.”
“That’s right, the cellar underneath my house. Would you like some tea and biscuits? You’re probably rather thirsty.”
“Tea, would you like some tea?”
“I don’t want your bloody tea, why am I in your cellar? What are these bars? What the hell’s going on?”
“No need to swear old chap, it’s very simple. What’s going on, is that you are about to learn that you don’t seduce my wife without some pretty nasty consequences and you’re in my cellar because no one can hear you down here, the bars are part of the cage.”
“The one you’re in.”
“Why have you put me in a cage? Have you done anything to Jane? Where is she?”
“Strange you should ask me that… don’t you know? I understood that you and she had made some plans, to continue your bloodline so to speak. Maybe she’s already there, waiting.”
“What have you done with her?”
“Why on earth should I have done anything with her…I thought it was you who had been doing things. Anyway, forget Jane, I’d start worrying about myself if I were you. Are you sure you wouldn’t like tea and biscuits, it’s the last you’ll get.”
“You’re going to starve me…you’ve put me in this cage to starve to death.”
“Oh no, I have a much more interesting fate than simple starvation in store for you my friend.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Ah, yes, now this is where it gets interesting…wait a minute I’ll put another light on… there. Now, if you look around the cage, you’ll see that the two end walls have a series of spikes on the inside. If you look closely, you’ll notice that those particular walls are on tracks enabling them to move towards each other reducing the size of the cage. The walls are controlled by this electric motor and once I’ve started it, they move inwards by roughly ten centimetres an hour, you can however stop their movement by turning the handle on the box in front of you …it’s that simple.”
“And if I don’t turn the handle?”
“Well in that case, the spikes will just keep coming until…well I’m sure you can work it out.”
“You’re insane, you can’t do this to me, its murder.”
“Not at all, it’s entirely up to you, you can choose to stop the spikes any time you wish by simply turning the handle.”
“But I can’t keep turning a handle for ever.”
“That’s true…and that’s the fun of it you see …how long can you carry on before the spikes close in? Hopefully you should have plenty of time to think about things.
Right, there we are, I’ve switched the motor on, so I’ll leave you to it. I’ll pop back in the morning to see how you’re getting on.”
“No please…please…please don’t leave me in here. I’m sorry about your wife, it wasn’t my idea you know. It was all her…I said to her, ‘what about your husband?’ but she just said she was bored… she said you didn’t love each other any more and…and… you were always away…and she wanted some fun. That’s all it was you know, just a bit of fun. I didn’t really like her all that much…too intense for me …just a bit of fun.”
“Oh dear, that’s not very gallant old boy, and do stop crying, I hate people crying. Look, I’ll tell you what, I’ll leave the lights on for you so you can see how far the walls have moved. Perhaps you could take a break now and then.”
“But you can’t just leave me to die…no …please.”
All in all, I was pretty satisfied as I made my way upstairs to my study. Sinking into my favourite armchair, I picked up the earphones and listened happily to the babble of pleas and screams being transmitted from the microphone I’d installed above the cage. I couldn’t see him being much use to Jane or anyone else for quite some time.
Of course he wouldn’t really be hurt, I’d fitted built-in pressure switches on the spikes that operated on contact and the tracks stopped a good metre apart, but he didn’t know that. Hopefully, he was in for a very nasty few hours.
As for my dear wife, he was welcome to her, I hadn’t loved her for years, ever since I met Tania in Saudi. A divorce on my terms suited me fine.
Mind you, I doubt if the relationship will survive very long after she’s listened to her lovers comments on the tape I’m going to send her.