Kent woke surrounded by rusted iron with the taste of copper in his mouth. The strings of sleep that had sewed his eyes together snapped as he tore at them. Blinking rapidly, he looked around, trying to let his eyes adjust to the endless blackness that stretched out around him. It only took a few moments for him to realize that he hadn’t gone blind, and at that thought he sighed and chuckled to himself, wondering how late at night it was and what had happened that had led him to such a place.
That was, until he tried to step forward and walked into the bars of his cage.
Fear wrapped itself around Kent’s heart, and tightened like his grip on the flaked steel rods that kept him imprisoned. He spun in his cage, bashing his hands against the faux walls that surrounded him, unable to see their proximity in the increasingly terrifying blackness that covered the world. He called out, his voice echoing out in the dark. He took to shaking the bars furiously for a time, yelling out for anyone that could hear him, anyone that could, for the love of god, help him.
Once Kent calmed himself slightly, determining that his wailings were futile, he began to examine his confinement as best he could. He felt over every inch of the cage, top to bottom. There was no lock, no latch, no way that he could find to open and close the cage. He ran his fingers across the ceiling which hung low over his head, and the smooth metal floor, again, finding nothing. Confusion began to mix with anxiety, and Kent returned to yelling.
Wrenching himself away from screaming out to no one, Kent sat, and tried to think back on how he could have arrived in such a place. He muttered out the last events he could recall, head in hands. He remembered waking up, sitting around the house until nightfall, then getting ready to leave… He stared in silence at the floor for some time, unable to conjure up a single idea of what happened next. The next hour or so passed slowly, with Kent angrily pounding a fist onto the floor and not being able to remember what had led him to be locked in a cage in some dank hole, hidden from the world.
After a time, Kent sparked with life. He jumped to his feet and patted himself down, cursing aloud for not thinking to check his pockets until now. Breaking out into laughter, Kent pulled his phone from his pants pocket and fumbled at the power button. A heartbeat later, the startup logo appeared on the screen and flashed to the home page. He found he had no service while trying to call 911. He breathed slowly, trying to remain as calm as he could. He had his phone, he could work something out. With shaking thumbs, Kent pulled up the flashlight function on the device and recoiled at the sudden blinding light that poured from his phone.
He turned his phone this way and that, trying to examine his cage with newfound vigor. But the more he looked, the more he was dismayed to find that his original findings had been right, and the cage had no discernible locks or hinges to allow for release. He became horrified when he found the welding points at the top of the cage.
He screamed out at the sea of ebony that he was lost in. What kind of twisted creature would kidnap a man and weld him into a cage, then hold him prisoner? He let his head hang for a moment before his phone let out a singular beep. Looking down at it, he began shouting no’s at the small piece of technology, until the battery finally died and the light faded into a piercing stygian veil. In a rage, the phone was thrown out of the cage entirely, clattering across the ground until it fell silent, lost in the vacuous expanse of the makeshift prison.
Kent gave up for the most part as the day stretched on. He was trapped in a cage, unable to remember what had led him to be there, with no phone, no one close enough to hear him call out, and as his stomach rumbled, he realized he had no food as well. The isolation and desolation took Kent late in the evening, and he fell into sleep, unable to cope with the gravity of his situation.
The next day slipped by much the same. The fits of yelling became shorter as dehydration and hunger set it. Energy became a dream that seemed more obtainable than escape. He relieved himself through the bars of the cell, but tried to hold onto his bowels as long as he could, in hopes that life would deal a better hand, and that his luck was going to change.
Those thoughts left him around the time he emptied himself in the corner of the cell.
On the dawn of third day, Kent had given up on just about everything. No one was coming. No one could hear him. He had quite literally pissed away any hopes of getting a drink, and sat in constant fear that he was going to shift and sit in his own excrement. The dark had become an old friend that he whispered to at all times, unloading old secrets, wishes, and fantasies, all which seemed to be slipping away with every passing second.
As far as Kent was concerned, all hope was lost.
Then, I turned on the lights.