Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Story 186: Interrogation by Massage

The Prisoner was brought by two guards, each holding one of his arms, before the Interrogator in a subterranean, dank, hewn-out-of-rock cell.
“So,” the Interrogator opened with, artfully dropping a quill onto his desk and leaning back in his chair for utmost effect, “you still refuse to speak, eh?”
The Prisoner clamped his mouth shut.
“You can answer that one without losing face,” the Interrogator said.
“Yes, I refuse!” the Prisoner burst out; the Interrogator rocked back in his seat a bit.  “You’ll never get anything out of me, never!  The rack, the thumbscrew, the garrote – I laugh at their pitiful attempts!”
“Well, the garrote would pretty much prevent you from speaking, so that’s a poor example.”  The Interrogator stood and gestured the guards to follow him with the Prisoner to another room.
“All right, then I will not be swayed by the breaking wheel, the iron chair, the iron maiden, the – ”
“Good gracious, man, what kind of sick mind do you have?!”  The Interrogator paused before opening the door.  “Ripping apart the human body has got to be the most disgusting thing imaginable; how could you even think that’s the kind of operation we run here?”  The Prisoner stuttered as the Interrogator shook his head in disbelief and unlocked the door to The Torture Chamber (as the sign above the molding read).
The Prisoner braced himself as the guards dragged him into the room.  He stared at what awaited him: a comfy bed with fluffy blankets and a cushioned face cradle; candles artfully arranged to provide minimal yet adequate lighting; and a harpist seated in a corner, gently plucking a soothing tune.
“I… don’t understand….” the Prisoner said.
“Perfect,” the Interrogator replied, checking off “Step 1: Create Confusion” on his list.  “You may disrobe now.”
“Oh right – everyone out!” the Interrogator yelled, taking the guards and harpist with him back to the other room.  He added as he closed the door: “Lie on your back under the blankets with your head towards the cradle, and just give a shout when you’re all ready!”
The Prisoner experienced a few moments of crisis, prayed for strength and understanding of what exactly was going on, then did as instructed.  Clad in only his underwear, he had never felt so vulnerable in his life.  “Um, I-I’m ready?”
“Good!”  The group re-entered, this time accompanied by an extremely short woman.  “This is Lenore – she will be assisting me today.”
“He-hello,” the Prisoner said as the harpist resumed.
Lenore nodded and began rubbing oil onto her hands.  “Is the bed nice and warm?
            The Prisoner, alternating between the sweats and the chills, only just then realized the pleasant warmth that radiated through his back.  “Why, yes it is, thank you.”
“That’s great,” the Interrogator said, checking off “Step 2: Make Uncomfortable.”  “Turn it up, Lenore!”
Lenore added another stick of firewood to the controlled blaze under the bed; the Prisoner now had only the sweats.  “Now,” she said as she stood behind his head with her hands raised, “speak up when the pressure gets to be too much.”  She began working on his face.
The Prisoner braced himself, refusing to make a sound as Lenore knuckled his scalp, crushed his temples, pulled his hair, and smushed his cheeks.  Surprisingly, he felt a great opening inside of him: a deep insight into the mysteries of the universe that he had never before experienced or even considered.
“You have a lot of knots in your muscles,” Lenore observed as she drilled her piston-like fingers into his shoulders and upper back.
“Hmmmm…” the Prisoner replied.  “Yes, well, as you can guess, I’ve been under quite a bit of stress lately.”
“Uh-huh.  Judging by your lopsided arms and body ridden with scars, I assume you’re a soldier – do you warm up before battle?”
“Well, they do come on rather suddenly – ”
“Lenore,” the Interrogator drawled, “could you step this up a bit?”  His checklist was starting to fall behind.
“All in good time,” she said moving to wash off the Prisoner’s nasty feet before she began assaulting them.
“Yes, but this doesn’t seem to be – wait a minute, are you doing the Regular?”
“Of course.”  The Prisoner giggled as she worked on his soles.
“I’d said ‘Deep Tissue,’ Lenore!”
“That’s not recommended if he hasn’t had one before – ”  The Interrogator bugged his eyes and pursed his lips at her.  “As you wish.”
The fleeting flashes of pain transitioned to unceasing stabs of torment: it took all the Prisoner’s willpower not to cry out in agony and reveal everything, especially since he had been feeling so good not a minute earlier.
“Now,” the Interrogator leaned towards the Prisoner’s face as Lenore pulled one of his arms almost out of its socket.  “Tell me where your king is hiding his cowardly self.”
The Prisoner found it hard to speak, since Lenore had pushed his head to the side and into the bed while unravelling his biceps.  “The only word – I can say – is ‘Nev – er!’”
Right on schedule: the Interrogator unobtrusively checked off “Step 3: Lead With the Inflammatory Question.”  “Very well, then: YOU LEAVE ME WITH NO CHOICE.  Lenore!”  She froze in mid-gouge.  “Proceed to the back.”
She resumed her activity: “He’s not ready yet; I haven’t even finished this arm.”
“The back, I say!”  Enough of this fooling around, he thought.
Lenore shrugged, then flipped the Prisoner onto his stomach in one move.  “Put your face in the cradle, please,” she said; he unthinkingly did so.  “Need me to adjust it?”
“Actually, can you make the opening wider?”
“No, sorry; it can only go up or down.”
“All right, never mind, then.”
The Interrogator smiled.  “Lenore: attack!”
The Prisoner braced himself but almost lost it as fingers, wrists, and elbows turned in varying-sized knives that destroyed his back.  He was ready to reveal not only the king’s whereabouts but those of his childhood imaginary friends if that would have made the petite demon stop, once and for all.  A small whimper escaped, upon which the Interrogator pounced.
“Aha!”  He placed himself under the face cradle so he could stare into the Prisoner’s eyes at an awkward angle.  “You can end this all now with just a few words!”
“But you paid for an hour.”
“Silence, Lenore!”
The Prisoner growled against the pain, then defiantly proclaimed: “I – will – never – betray – my – oooh….”  His eyes suddenly glazed over.
The Interrogator shot up from the floor to see Lenore digging her elbow into the Prisoner’s lower back.  “What did you do?!”
“I think I relieved his sciatica,” she said.
“That’s it!”  The Interrogator slammed his now-useless checklist onto the ground; the harp music twanged to a stop.  “This torture session is over!  Take him to his cell to change, then throw him back to his army, he’s absolutely useless!”
The guards lifted the Prisoner off the bed and each held an arm and a leg as they carried him, with a dreamy look on his face, out the door.
Lenore stared at the Interrogator.  “Ahem.”
“What?!  Oh yes, here you go.”  He handed her a bag of coins; she took it and gave him a card.
“There’s a discount for referrals, and four sessions get you one free.”
The Interrogator glared at her, then said, “Book me for tomorrow.”

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