He sat there staring at the phone, willing it to ring. Just one phone call, just one. Inside he was a broken mess but outside he remained poised. The truth was, on the outside he did not look that pretty either. His poise was all he had left and he was damn sure that sullen bastard was not taking that.
The phone was an old one, with a dial rather than buttons. Age had dulled its lustre but to him it glistened like gold. The only sounds in the room now where his laboured breathing and the drumming of fingers.
“5 Minutes left”
It was the only thing said but it it hinted at a sinister future. The question he asked himself was, would it be more sinister than his past. He had been taken a few days ago. They had come for him in the dead of night. Bright torches shone in his face, effectively blinding him. Shouting at him to keep his hands in the open. The noise coupled with the blindness as he came awake had been disorientating.
“4 Minutes left”
There was anger in it this time. Like it was his choice it had not rung. He remembered being alone in this very room. Strapped to this very chair. They must have drugged him, his head had been pounding. It had felt like a brass band rehearsing. Tuning their instruments in a discordant drone. The room had slowly come into focus, the mist clearing gradually. Finally the room had been revealed.
“3 Minutes left”
He almost flinched at the tone. A dreary grey metallic finish. A steel box complete with a matching table and chair. He had tried to move which had bought about a wave of nausea. There had been something wrong with the chair. It was bolted to the floor, just like the table. Why would it be bolted to the floor. As all of these thoughts had materialised so had a man through the doorway.
“2 Minutes left”
The words almost spat out. The man had been huge. Not saying anything, strolled over and punched him in the face. If the chair had not been bolted to the floor it would have toppled over. His hands pulled against the bindings in a vain attempt to block the blow. His head was still ringing with the first blow when the second followed.
“1 minute left”
This time said in a quiet and calm manner. There was a certainty in that voice that chilled him to the bone. He had lost count of the beatings he had endured. Poise became everything to him. They could take away his dignity, proven by the mess he sat in. They could not take the satisfaction of breaking him. Even though he was completely shattered, they would not know it. He stared at the phone, silent in protest on the table.
This was it, seconds to go now. His life to be extinguished and his body to be dumped in and unmarked grave. The sullen man pulled a gun from his pocket. The double click as the barrel was pulled back and let go. A bullet in the chamber now. A bullet that had his name on it. He stared back in defiance. He would face this moment of truth bravely. There who be no crying, no begging and no flinching from his fate. The gun pointing right at his face now. Finger whitening on the trigger, this was it.
Bring Bring, Bring Bring.....