“Take off your clothes,” Bill says abruptly.
“What?” I ask.
“You want to know why you are here? Take off your clothes,” he says.
“No,” I say, the feeling of cold dread returning.
“Take off your clothes, right now or spend the night in the trunk. It’s up to you,” he says calmly.
“No,” I say again.
He walks towards me, seemingly unfazed by my refusal.
“Causality is a genetic connection of phenomena through which one thing under certain conditions gives rise to something else,” he says, repeating what I said earlier word for word. I hold my breath.
He casually grabs me and carries me towards the trunk. “No!” I scream. He tosses me inside.
“Cause-and-effect Samantha,” he says and slams the trunk shut. I start to get a panic attack as he padlocks it.
“Wait! Please! Not again! Please let me out,” I plead.
I hear the distant sound of the banging door. He’s gone. I thought I was all cried out but the tears are back and this time they don’t stop flowing. He said I’d be in here all night. I didn’t even make it for a few hours last time before I passed out. They’ll open this damn trunk in the morning and I’ll be dead. Asphyxiation is a pretty horrible way to go. If I don’t fancy slowly succumbing to lack of oxygen, I really need to stop panicking!
“Come on, Samantha, keep calm,” 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 I’m anything but, in this cramped space. I’ll 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 mind’s eye, I’m far away from this place. It’s so beautiful. I’m 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, I’m at peace. My breathing is controlled and I don’t 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. It’s not recommended to jolt out of a meditative state.
“Get up!” a male voice orders. I slowly rise up, every joint in my body embracing the release. When I’m fully upright I realise it’s the other captor, not Bill. Oh, crap. I’m better off in the trunk!
“You were better off doing as Bill said,” he says as though reading my thoughts. “You would have been better prepared.”
“Prepared for what?” I ask, still disorientated.
“Oh, you’ll see,” 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.
“Hello, Samantha,” he says.
I eye him nervously. “Have they hurt you?” he asks.
I shake my head. “Good, let me see,” he says. He raises my face to the light to check for bruises and finds none. He grunts with satisfaction.
“Take off your clothes,” he says.
Oh crap. This again?! I want to shout “No!” but this time I bite my lip. I say nothing and instead I do as he asks and take off my dress.