The only sounds which now stirred the bare walls were his breath, low and deep, and the whisper of rain as it fell upon the silvery rooftops of the city. It sung musically against old sash windows, and made fragrant the filthy streets with its gentle dance. It was almost sneering in its carefree chatter, oblivious to the pain of the creature who longed to greet it with his bare arms.
Because the current occupant of this space could not watch the rain fall. Not with the shutters in place which barred his view of the outside world, and concealed him from prying eyes down below in the street. Instead, he had been forced to languish here, high up in a sorrowful little backroom with its dirty pale walls, bleached of all life and vibrancy. Where there were few furnishings, an old wooden chair, a few crates used for storage, and a bed.
The bed that held him hostage, kept him bound uncomfortably by his narrow wrists.
He was only a boy, no older than twenty or so.
His features not yet corrupted by the toil of poverty, but marked by hardship all the same. His skin gently browned by the sun, from hours spent in the open air, performing, entertaining. The hair which curled over his brow and about the curve of his neck was likely the colour of warm sand in its natural state, but was so clumped with grime that it had dulled to sickly ashen grey. But most distinctive were his eyes. Though currently hardened by anxious plotting, they were as dark as storm clouds, and ringed with a lazy application of greasy soot. This was no doubt designed to draw attention to their fine shape, to evoke sympathy and awe.
But here, in this place of lust and violence, they had not served to protect him. Over the rise of his cheekbone, a bruise had begun to spread and darken, black as a shadow. There the flesh had started to swell, to compress around his eye until it would soon be forced to close. Blood too was encrusted in the corner of his youthful mouth, the lower lip of which had been split open by some violent force.
His clothing, likely mere rags when he had arrived, looked as though they had been half torn from his body. The stained linen shirt ripped open to expose his gaunt chest, marred by the evidence of unwanted affection. The signs of it were everywhere. The youth was clearly underfed, the pinch of his bones sharp beneath the skin, but not yet too disfigured by hunger. Not yet.
But oh, he had suffered. For three days now. Unrelentingly, until this moment.
It was no doubt the reason for his stunned silence. The way his eyes fixated upon the ceiling, and traced the vague silhouette shapes which emerged from smoke stains, and the gangrenous mould festering in the corners. Though motionless, he was fiercely attentive. So much it seemed, that even the softest creak in the floorboards, the gentlest murmur from the downstairs rooms, caused him to flinch.
Now, in this moment, he could hear those voices grow firmer, louder, closer, just beyond the door. When the floor groaned anew, the boy’s heart began to throb erratically, and cold sweat broke across the surface of his skin. He began to haul his weight into the coarse rope above his head, and strained until his thin arms were stretched taunt and trembling.
This had not been his first escape attempt. The flesh around his wrists was already blistering and swollen from rope burns. But now his attempts were fuelled by panic, and he desperately worked the skin over and over until it began to split apart and bleed.
“Merde,” he muttered, the word trembling over his broken lips.
It should have been so easy. He had slipped free of ropes and shackles more fearsome than this a thousand times. But the knots were so tight, and his position so vulnerable, it was impossible to muster the strength.
“Merde, merde, come on, s’il vous plaít, s’il vous plaít... ” he hissed, and continued to strain viciously against his bondage.
Last edited by Fabien on Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:35 am; edited 1 time in total