He took a thin band of leather, about 8mm wide, and wrapped it around my wrist tightly. The leather was old, dry, and cracked like the old man’s face, but was still strong. Strong enough to hold me anyway.
I deserve this. This is only part of whats coming to me, and I deserve this. These are the only thoughts in my head as he placed my hand palm side up onto the table. The table wasn’t so much of a table as it was a giant block of wood, hulking, heavy and stained. A butchers block. That’s what it was. There was an old rusty iron peg hammered into the table. The rusty peg was like a relic from days long past. It had been hammered into the filthy block of wood ages ago and stood testament to what has occurred here.
The old man tied the other end of the leather band to the rusty peg. He tied his knot tight and true, his experience showed. The way he expertly tied it, there was no way I could move my hand. I was sweating bullets. I wanted nothing else but to turn and run as far away as possible. I knew that I couldn’t. There I was, my hand tied to this butchers block, staring this old man in the face. His eyes where at the same time blue as the sky, yet black as coal.
“You think you’re ready, kid?” the old man said.
His voice was harsh and labored. It sounded as if his throat was full of gravel and his voice had to fight to climb out of the gravel pit.
“I think I’m ready.” I said in a meek, nervous voice.
“BULL SHIT!” The old man suddenly bellowed, causing my heart to nearly jump out of my chest.
“There ain’t no being ready for this.” he added laughing.
He laughed and laughed, his face an inch from mine. As he laughed he spit on me. I could smell his breath, it was horrid, like death. It smelled the way the stains on that butchers blocked looked. He stopped laughing as suddenly as he started. Then his eyes burned like fire as he looked at me. No, he looked right through me. There was no hiding anything from him. He then turned and walked into the other room, muttering to him self.
My mind was suddenly racing, busy. I contemplated an escape attempt. No. I couldn’t escape if I wanted to. Funny thing was, deep down, I didn’t want to escape. I deserve this. So, I want this. But, still the flight or fight response within me was fighting, flopping like a fish gasping for air. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I deserve this, I thought to myself for the hundredth time.
“You had better keep those damn eyes open.” The old man said, interrupting my thoughts.
As he walked towards me, I saw he was carrying something. It was a hammer. As old and rusty as the peg I was tied to. As filthy and menacing as the table. As horrifying as the old man.
He looked into my soul with his burning, knowing eyes and he raised the hammer over his head.
I deserve this, I deserve this, I deserve this.