Darkness, confusion, his nose is itchy, a dank smell. He sneezes and that puts his head into gear. He's in disarray, where is he ? why is it so dark ?
He tries to move, his hands are tied and there is a band covering his head. memories start coming in pieces, he was in the back seat of the car, skids gun shots -but no one dies- and he's taken, the driver (abu ali) trying explaining 'we don't have the ambassador !' a went pungent cloth over his mouth and nose; and now he's here.
Panic starts setting in, is he going to die ? are the kidnappers going to cut his head off ? flashbacks of his dad telling what to do if he's kidnapped, but this boat of logic won't float in the sea of panic washing over him. He starts whimpering quietly, the headband over his eyes is damp with his tears, he imagines his mum crying over his grave, wailing that he died before hitting 11th birthday.
A sound, a door opening, foot steps cause him to stiffen, tries to be quiet maybe they won't see him, he starts talking to himself, " I'm like a chair, he won't notice me, I am the chair, I am the bed, I am the room"
Of course the steps move towards him, he imagines a knife, a gun, will they torture me ? He imagines the kidnapper - a dark man with a large beard, he'd never seen any faces though- telling his accomplices that he couldn't use the knife 'coz the kid turned to wood'
a rough textured hand pulls the headband from over his eyes, he pulls back as best he could, now fear gripping his heart rendering him almost dead with terror.
Over him standing in a long white dress is a man, the man's face is covered by a black and white almost checkered scarf, he's big, but he has no knife or gun in hand, but a book, which eases the kid almost to a point of sanity.
The man ruffles through the book like he's looking for a passage, finds it, reads it out.
waat izz your neeeam ?
The kid has some hope, if they don't know him they might not need him ! "my name is Chris, Chris Ponde"
The man looks at the kid for a bit, he's thinking, Chris looks back, he must be wondering how he kidnapped me.
looking through the dictionary, he looks at him again and makes another effort to speak
yiour father, weear he woark ?
"At the embassy, the Australian embassy"
He looks again with wonder at this young kid with his messy blond hair and scared blue eyes.
You are hangery ?
"Yes, do you have anything to eat?"
He walks out, which gives the boy time to look around the room, it's an almost empty room, old, raggedy rug on dirty floor. No blood, he thinks with hope, maybe it's just a ransom that he wants.
There are noises from the other rooms, he feels like he's in a storage room of a house, he can hear a kid, a woman, a family maybe ? He remembers his mum, she must be so worried about him, he allows two tears for missing her, then he resumes looking and thinking.
Finally, the man comes again.
We kidnab you, yoar father bay maany for you, you steay here two weeks
"Then you'll let me go ?"
He's holding a tray with him, he sets it next to the boy and untangles his rope. The smell of the rice and the curious red soupish thing overpowers the more subtle smell of the rotting rug. immediately he starts eating.
The man seems satisfied, he walks out
The man turns around, he's surprised the boy has courage to talk to him like that, the boy himself is surprised, but the food and the prospect of surviving all pump more clout into him
"what will I do for two weeks?"
A simple question, but a very difficult one as well, the man looks to see if the boy is serious or not.
You steaa aliev
walks out, closes the door behind him.
Chris thinks about it, staying alive bored is better than getting his head chopped off. that'd be excitement he doesn't want.
Before his meal is over, the door opens again, this time the man has a television set with him, which he connects to an ancient power socket.
Wow, TV for me ? great !
The man walks out and comes back with a playstations2 console and plugs that to the television.
You liek this ?
"Yeah, yeah that's fine"
finally alone and full, Chris can't believe his luck as he grabs the console and starts playing the newest ps2 game around.