This piece may be a tad disturbing to read. Please continue reading at your own risk. Contains descriptions that are slightly graphic in nature.



She had been hearing the voices more frequently these  past few days.


Though it was difficult to say, it sounded like people arguing. Muffled voices, one slightly feminine and nasal; the other loud and gruff. The latter, she knew belonged to him. The person who had made her life, or what was left of it, a living hell. She was curious about the other. Today, the voices were closer. In fact, she was tempted to scream, just to get some attention. But,  she knew it was pointless. Nobody would hear her screams. He had made sure of that. As the voices continued to argue, she thought she heard her name.


‘Maybe my abductor and his partner had a fallout and she’ll free me. she mused jovially, trying to give her battered mind and body a glimmer of hope.


Sitting on the rickety cot in the corner, she looked around in the darkness. She knew every inch of the tiny 6×8 cell that had become her home for many days. How many? She did not know. But it had been far too long. Months even. The only light in this prison of hers came from a very dim bulb on the ceiling. The bulb holder had a wire that disappeared into the ceiling but there was no switch to turn it on or off. Not that a switch would have mattered anyway. The light only responded to her abductor’s whims and wishes. She had no control over it.


Right now, it was off. Based on her calculations, she knew it would come on in the next hour or so, when her lunch – two slices of dry bread, some milk, a container of shrivelled up raisins and a salad of sorts with some meat – was sent. She’d found it  very peculiar. She’d been abducted and kept captive, but they always fed her a healthy meal. It was almost as if her abductors wanted her to remain in good health.


In the darkness, she waited. Alone. Tired. Dirty. Semi-naked.



There was a feeble grating sound, as the cover to the metal shaft slowly moved inwards. It moved with stealth-like precision, but with almost no light to power her sight, her ears had learnt to tune into every single sound that they heard – no matter how weak. There was a brief whirring sound, as the plastic tray containing her food quickly moved down the tiny shaft. And then a loud clatter.


‘That’s unusual’ she thought, ‘Must be something wrong with the mechanism.’


Despite the darkness, she slowly inched across the cell and pulled the plastic tray towards her.


She knew the schedule like clockwork now. The food arrived on this nondescript plastic tray, devoid of any cutlery. She had no option, but to eat with her hands; not that it mattered much to her. A hygienic way to eat was the least of her concerns; she had bigger things to deal with. As she ran her dirty fingers over the food, the light bulb suddenly flickered on. She winced, as the bulb gradually started to light up her cell.


The first few times the food had arrived, she hadn’t known what the sound was. She had been too scared out of her wits to think straight. Her abductor’s voice had floated in through the tiny shaft, instructing her what to do. She was to take the food, leave the tray back on the little base that moved up and down the shaft to bring the food. Nothing more, nothing less. Panic stricken, she had screamed into the shaft, every time the little door had opened. She soon realised that there was no one else apart from him at the other end. She could waste all her energy screaming or yelling; not a soul would come to her rescue. Or she could play along with her abductor and eventually figure a way to escape. Except, she had not had any luck so far. 


She blinked a few times, to adjust to the light in the cell, and stared at the tray of food that was on her lap. It had exactly the same number items as expected. Except, something was different today. It took a few glances for her to figure out what it was.


If she had figured out one thing about her abductor, it was that he was a creature of habit and predictable. Every single day, the items on the plastic tray were arranged in a particular order. It hadn’t changed for as long as she could remember. Today though, it was different. Everything seemed to be thrown together haphazardly as if the person  had been in a hurry.


Suddenly, she felt a glimmer of hope. What if someone else had put the dish together. Maybe someone else had sent the food down today. Which meant that someone else would be there to listen to her yelling. 


As the adrenaline started to rush in, she felt goosebumps rise up on her arms.


‘But, surely that ‘someone else’ is in cahoots with your abductor’ said a little voice in her head, gently nudging her back into reality.


She let out a loud sigh as she realised that the voice was right. It would be pointless to even try. Dejected, she picked up the bread. She had always hated bread; yet, here she was, forced to eat it three times a day. She smirked at the irony.


As she separated the two slices of dry bread, something fell out from between them and onto her lap. She stared at it as if it was part of something alien. Throwing the bread slices aside, she gingerly picked it up. It was a small, carefully folded, piece of paper. She could feel her heart start to beat rapidly against her chest. Taking care not to soil the note with her dirty hand, she carefully opened it up. Her eyes widened in surprise as she read the four words scribbled in the note. 


“Look in the shaft”


She re-read it multiple times. That’s all it said. Look in the shaft.


‘What sort of message was that?,’ she wondered as she gave herself a pinch in an attempt to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating. She had already searched every nook and corner of the tiny shaft previously; there was nothing in there.


‘But what if?’ said the little voice in her head again.


‘Can’t be. Anyway, the shaft door shuts automatically as soon as I pick up the food’, she replied out loud, to no one in particular.


But the coincidence was too much to not give it a look. Carefully placing the tray on the floor, she leaned towards the opening of the shaft. Looking around, she gently gave the shaft door a push. It made a creaking noise but did not budge. She pushed again, this time, a bit harder. It creaked some more, but still refused to move. She paused for a moment, pricking her ears like a dog, to listen for sounds of her abductor. Her eyes fell on the plastic tray that contained her food. On a whim, she emptied the food onto the floor and picked up the tray. It looked sturdy enough. Taking a deep breath, she charged the tray into the shaft. There was loud thud as the edge of the tray collided with the metal opening of the shaft. She fervently hoped that her abductor hadn’t heard it. It was unlikely. He had often reminded her that nobody would hear her scream down here.  


And then, just like that, the shaft door popped open. Cautiously, she put her hand into the shaft and felt around the space. There was nothing.  Her eyes started to well up as the realisation hit her – the shaft was empty. As she started to pull her hand out,  she suddenly stopped. There, at the corner of the shaft, partially hidden by the open door, she spotted the gleam of something metallic.


For the first time, since she had been abducted, she found a genuine smile forming on her lips. And then, the bulb went out.


She heard the loud thud somewhere above her head. This was followed by the rough screech that metal made against metal – the familiar sound of the trap door opening. As if on cue, the dim bulb lit up her cell once again.


 She knew he was coming for her. Her ordeal was about to begin. Again.

Without a sound, she watched as the trap door in the ceiling opened up and the round face of her abductor peered in. He unfolded a rope ladder from the top and slowly clambered down, his huge body causing the flimsy ladder to shake vigorously. He landed on the floor with a thud. Without a word, he started to undress. It was time.


 As she got off the floor and walked up to the rickety bed in the corner, she felt the muscles in her body tense up involuntarily. She had cried, yelled and even hit out the first couple of days. Now, she no longer had the energy to protest. There was no point. He always had his way.


To him, the entire thing was like a perfectly choreographed scene. He hardly spoke, but from their previous encounters, she knew he liked it rough. She still remembered the first time, he had raped her. He had not spoken a word. She had felt his stubby fingers dig into her cheeks, stifling any sound that might escape her. His unspoken message had been clear. If she so much as made a sound, it would take him less than a few seconds to unhinge her jaw. Now, she wished he had done that. At least, it would have been less painful than what she endured daily.


As she reached the bed, she turned around and faced him. He was a beast of a man, well over 6 feet tall and bulked up like a heavyweight fighter. Well, like a heavyweight fighter who had seen better days. Now, he was just fat; his large paunch extended over his waist and fell well into his groin area like a tub of lard, almost covering his ugly-looking tiny erection. Next to him, she was at best the size of a doll. A life-sized, ragged doll that he violated almost every single day.


She watched the ugly beast walk towards her, his every step causing parts of his body to wobble like shapeless jelly pieces. She knew her piece in this play down to a T. Closing her eyes, she unhooked her bra, removed her torn underwear and tossed it on the floor. Those were the only two pieces of clothing that she had been given to wear after he had been done with her the first time. She shuddered briefly, as his grubby fingers ran down her flat stomach and down the sides of her thighs; and then up to her chest, cupping her breasts with such force that she almost yelled out in pain. Even with her eyes closed, she could almost sense the anticipation in his alcohol-laden breath. Like a predator closing in for the kill. 


He pushed her onto the rickety bed, asking her to roll onto her stomach, and thrust her hip up, while being on her fours like a dog. That was Act One. It was always Act One. She had only two lines in this drama that had been carefully choreographed by him. She had to praise his small manhood and beg him to rape her, by telling him how badly she wanted it.


She had refused the first two times; he had retaliated by tying her hands and legs to the posts of the bed as he entered. Each time. The third time, she complied with his instructions. The insult to her dignity was much less hurtful compared to the pain she had to endure otherwise. Now, she had become oblivious to the pain. It had all become part of the act. An act that she couldn’t wait to finish.


But not today.


As he prepared to enter her from behind, she leaned forward and clutched the pillow tightly. She had been playing this scene over and over in her head since noon. It was now. Using her nimble frame to her advantage, she flipped over before he could enter. As his eyes widened in surprise to her retaliation, she swiftly took the cold steel knife that she had removed from under the pillow and shoved it into his lower abdomen. Before he could react, she gave it an almighty push, burying the knife into his abdomen, right up to the hilt.


Letting out a blood-curdling scream, he fell on top of her, trapping her under his bulk. Mustering every ounce of strength she could gather, she pushed him to the side, and swiftly climbed over him. In the dim light of the bulb, sweat beads glistened on her naked skin, slowly gliding down the arch of her back. She felt weak, but the adrenaline rush kept her going. As he slowly slipped into unconsciousness, she slapped him tightly, forcing him to stay awake.


Staring into his half-closed eyes, she smiled. And then she spat. Calmly, she pulled out the knife from his lower abdomen. Blood gushed out from the gaping wound, rapidly drenching the bed sheets on the bed. Without warning, she plunged the knife down with all her might. Right down into his genitals.


As his screams filled the tiny cell once again, she said. ‘Scream all you want. Not a soul will hear, remember?’


She wondered about the knife that she had found in the shaft and the note.


‘Maybe it was the other voice that I’d heard in the morning’ she thought, as she climbed up the ladder.



Author’s note:

I had a difficult time writing this. Partly because I try to visualise scenes before I write it. And the scenario made it relatively difficult for me to do so. The story came out of two different conversations that I had with two of my close friends, about a book and one involving a real-life abduction/kidnapping. If you have read this piece, thank you! I honestly appreciate it, and please treat this work as what it is – a piece of fiction.

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  1. After a really long time on your blog, back from my hibernation mode, I’m happy to be here… Reading your work is always a pleasure Sid. How deftly you craft every piece of your work always leaves me in awe of your writing style.
    Be my teacher… Puhlleeezz !!!!

    I loved the end and each and everything for that matter!


    1. Hey Geets!
      Welcome back from your ‘hibernation’ mode !
      Thank you so much for that lovely compliment. I think we can all teach each other something or the other 🙂
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  2. Sid! You always push the envelope in this dark and gritty story depicting imagery hard to swallow and shock. But, it’s your creative call in depicting in the pain and anguish in the character. Each scene and emotions come alive and whatta brilliant end. Effortless.

  3. Such powerful writing! It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time hoping that she would gain the upper hand and survive which she did. Hooraay! So well written with just the right amount of description and plotting without giving too much away. Well done, Sid!

  4. Beautiful imagery Sid. I can imagine it would have been hard to write. Since you obviously went through the effort of imaging it first, the descriptions were vivid enough for me to picture the entire thing. And the suspense was great. Loved it!
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    1. Woah, Sanch! Thank you! Especially more since your comment gives me the opportunity to welcome you to my humble online abode. 🙂

      It was a little difficult to write and research; but, i’m glad it paid off.

      I saw your request for feedback on your piece of fiction – off to read it now 🙂
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  5. Wow.. this gave me goosebumps. I can imagine it is difficult to write about something you are not comfortable with. But, this is well-written. Almost felt like the scene in Silence of the Lambs at the end. Guru, need to learn a lot from you.

    1. Thank you, Modern Gypsy. And welcome here. I assure you – most of my writing isn’t as dark as this 🙂 Some are even funny. Well, to me anyway 😀
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  6. It’s been written really well, Sid. I can imagine if you had difficulty penning down. You’ve written everything in such a finesse detail. The small cell, the abduction, anger, wait, desperate hope against hope, and much more 🙂

    1. Thank you, Shanx.
      I love the little details in short stories; yes, it lengthens the story a bit at times, but I prefer it that way. Gives the ‘oomph’ that some short stories lack these days.
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  7. Awesome writing, but a painful read. I could visualize the whole story, Sid. You narrate in such a captivating way the even the gruesome details didn’t let me stop reading half way. I hope she reached back home safely. 🙂

  8. As much as I loved this (I’ve been reading a lot of dark fiction these days, as you know), I somehow felt it was incomplete. What was the voice? Her inner self? If yes, what took her so long to hear that? If it was someone else, why would they want to help her? I loved the story so much that I want my answers now 😛

    While the writing and description is brilliant, it did remind me of a few scenes of the Hindi movie ‘Zinda’. You should watch it if you haven’t!

    P.S: Don’t hate me for this comment.
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    1. Hehe…you know I’m always receptive to feedback. So, there’s no question of ‘hating’ 🙂

      I appreciate the suggestion and question; in my head though, a short story need not have all the explanation; which is why I have not given her a back story, or even a name. But that’s just the way I approach it.
      Which voice are you referring to? The other voice arguing with her abductor? That’s an actual person and that would be the person who sent the knife.
      Why? Well, in my head there’s a reason, but I didn’t want to put it out there.

      I’ve not watched Zinda. Am aware of it – it’s that Sanjay Dutt movie / John Abraham movie right? I used to like a song from it,

      Thanks, Soumya

    1. Thanks, Rekha.
      No, I haven’t. As much as I write such posts and tales, I don’t think I have the stomach to watch it 🙂
      Maybe some day!

  9. It was dark and very unusual coming from you but written really well. I was left wondering about who, what and any more? Disturbing definitely but after that disclaimer I had expected worse. 😀

    1. Thanks, Rachna. Just experimenting with different types of stories.
      Yes, I edited out the real graphic parts; even then this spooked a few people and made a few squirm. So, preferred to keep the disclaimer 🙂

  10. I like reading dark pieces, so no wonder I liked this one! Very different from what I have read on your blog in the past. Somehow, it also made me think that this was part of a larger story. If it is, then it will be good to read that too.

    1. Thank you, Rickie. Always a pleasure to get compliments from a good writer.
      Ah yes! I’m experimenting with different styles – hence the change.

      It was part of a larger story. Has some background, but I haven’t gotten down to writing it yet. Might do it soon.
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    1. It was. Thanks, Rajlakshmi. I’m glad that the effort that goes in to tell a story is recognised by its readers.
      Thank you!
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    1. Thank you, Alka. Always a great feeling to hear such lovely words from a fellow writer whose writings I admire. And of course, a sensible reader 😀
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    1. Haha! Only you call me that 🙂
      Thanks, Shilpa. Especially for the detailed compliments you gave me over chat. Really made my day,
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    1. Yes, she did. Lucky…chance….who knows 🙂
      Maybe there was someone helping her all along.

      Thanks, Inderpreet.

      I did battle with making it a bit more descriptive and gruesome; but then again, I’ve not been big on ‘horror or gory’ details. However, thanks for the feedback 🙂 Will try and incorporate it in future.
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  11. Sid, this is perhaps one of your best works of fiction. Very painful to read, let alone fathom the suffering of people who have really been through this. Kudos for writing this. And I think it was really clever to add that trigger warning.

    1. Thank you so much, Hema.
      It was quite challenging to write too. I wanted to make it readable and touch on her experiences but at the same time, portray as someone who is constantly looking for a way out. Like most would be in this case.

      It is only fair that I give people a warning. It’s not an easy read and thank you for taking the time.
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    1. And, I can only apologise for ‘tempting’ you to read, Shantala. I know it is a disturbing read. But, I’m just trying to challenge myself as a writer and it is a journey of self-discovery. Thank you for the lovely feedback. I really appreciate it.
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  12. What a piece! Marvellous as always. Gave me jitters.
    I’ve seen a movie and I’m not able to remember the name but I guess xxx days. This abductor got a eight year old girl and kept her in the basement for many years. The movie was sad but in the end she escaped and he committed suicide. It was a true story.
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    1. Thank you so much, Parul. I wondered where your comment had gone; guess your self hosting put your comment into spam. Retrieved it from there.
      Sounds like a dark movie. I don;t usually read or watch such movies; disturbs me a lot.
      But some days, I end up writing like this.
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    1. Thank you, Ritu. Always a pleasure to see you here and of course, get such a lovely compliment from a talented writer like yourself.
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  13. The despondency of the girl comes through in your words. The amount of control that the abductor had on her life mirrored in that light bulb. And the hope in the end. That is what makes the story powerful. Amazingly well written Sid!
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    1. Thank you, Jaibala.
      It was a difficult piece to write, as I’d written in the notes. And I suspect that reading it wasn’t too easy either. But as long as the ‘scene’ comes through, I think job done.

      Thanks, once again.
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