âTake off your clothes,â Bill says abruptly.
âWhat?â I ask.
âYou want to know why you are here? Take off your clothes,â he says.
âNo,â I say, the feeling of cold dread returning.
âTake off your clothes, right now or spend the night in the trunk. Itâs up to you,â he says calmly.
âNo,â I say again.
He walks towards me, seemingly unfazed by my refusal.
âCausality is a genetic connection of phenomena through which one thing under certain conditions gives rise to something else,â he says, repeating what I said earlier word for word. I hold my breath.
He casually grabs me and carries me towards the trunk. âNo!â I scream. He tosses me inside.
âCause-and-effect Samantha,â he says and slams the trunk shut. I start to get a panic attack as he padlocks it.
âWait! Please! Not again! Please let me out,â I plead.
I hear the distant sound of the banging door. Heâs gone. I thought I was all cried out but the tears are back and this time they donât stop flowing. He said Iâd be in here all night. I didnât even make it for a few hours last time before I passed out. Theyâll open this damn trunk in the morning and Iâll be dead. Asphyxiation is a pretty horrible way to go. If I donât fancy slowly succumbing to lack of oxygen, I really need to stop panicking!
âCome on, Samantha, keep calm,â I whisper to myself.
The only way I will preserve the air I have is to relax. I will have to force myself to meditate. I took a class in transcendental meditation once, and I know I can easily lose myself for half an hour or so. The only problem is that one needs to be comfortable and Iâm anything but, in this cramped space. Iâll have to make the most of it. I start chanting my mantra, my tears still flowing silently. I chant and chant until finally I slowly float away from the trunk.
In my mindâs eye, Iâm far away from this place. Itâs so beautiful. Iâm in a field. There are sunflowers everywhere. I run as fast as I can with the wind in my hair. I laugh. I feel so carefree. Every time I begin to cramp from the uncomfortable position, I go back to the mantra and return to the field.
By the time the door to the room opens, Iâm at peace. My breathing is controlled and I donât even feel the heat. The mind is truly a powerful thing. The padlock is removed and the trunk cover is lifted. I slowly open my eyes. Itâs not recommended to jolt out of a meditative state.
âGet up!â a male voice orders. I slowly rise up, every joint in my body embracing the release. When Iâm fully upright I realise itâs the other captor, not Bill. Oh, crap. Iâm better off in the trunk!
âYou were better off doing as Bill said,â he says as though reading my thoughts. âYou would have been better prepared.â
âPrepared for what?â I ask, still disorientated.
âOh, youâll see,â he answers mysteriously then closes the door behind him.
Ten or so minutes later, a short, stout man walks into the room. He has a briefcase.
âHello, Samantha,â he says.
I eye him nervously. âHave they hurt you?â he asks.
I shake my head. âGood, let me see,â he says. He raises my face to the light to check for bruises and finds none. He grunts with satisfaction.
âTake off your clothes,â he says.
Oh crap. This again?! I want to shout âNo!â but this time I bite my lip. I say nothing and instead I do as he asks and take off my dress.
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