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Srishti-2019   >>  Short Story - English   >>  THE CAPTIVE



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He felt severe cold in his spine. It emulates his body limb to move into a serene posture. He had

no other choice but to open his eyes. He felt a cool breeze on his face, but he could not identify

its source. He was inside a white chamber, a room with no furniture and windows. There was not

even an air hole for ventilation. Although there was a door, it was locked, apparently from

outside. The most disgusting truth was that he was lying on the white floor, bejeweled with white

Italian tiles. And it took him a moment to perceive that he was nude.


He could remember nothing. He couldn’t remember his place of birth, his parents or even his

name. The revelation hit him slowly that his memory has been washed off. In that white-painted

room, there was nothing, but a small hand-sized sculpture of Jesus Christ, glued to the wall. This

made him presume that he was a Christian. But why was he imprisoned in that congested white

room, nude. This thought kept haunting him. He was too frail to shout out for help. He somehow

pulled up all his energy and began to cry. In a few hours he understood that his attempt was

futile. He prayed in front of the sculpture. He tried hitting hard on the door with all his strength.

But nothing hopeful happened. He wanted to excrete badly. He had no choice, but to do it there.

He cried aloud again and again. After a few hours he felt asleep.


When he woke up, he was surprised to see his excreta washed off completely. Someone had

cleaned his body too. There was placed a paper plate of food, along with a note. The note said:

“The key is within you”. His surprise molded soon into deep agony and made him cry. He felt

that someone was probably playing a game on him. He could sense somebody listening to him.

But he didn’t know who it was. May be he was held a captive for a huge ransom. But who would

pay for him and above all, who is he? He prayed again.


This routine continued for days. He realized that whenever he goes to sleep, someone enters the

room. He tried pretending to have slept several times. But he couldn’t fool the visitor. It took him

months to realize that he was not a captive held for ransom. He slowly withdrew from shouting

and trying to escape. He learned to accept the fact that his life was going to end in that doomed

cavity. He would only wait for his daily food and the same note that conveyed nothing to him.

How could he possibly hide a key within him when he is all nude?


Days passed by. One day he woke up to see a gun beside his daily food plate. And the note said:

“Now you can choose your destiny”. He looked at the gun for a moment. He stayed there

expressionless, but tears started flowing down his cheeks. He chose his destiny. He took his gun.

He stared at the sculpture and told Jesus Christ in his mind: “You never helped me. I prayed to

you every day. But you gave me this destiny. What was my fault? May be I’ll get an answer

from you after death. Or maybe this will remain unanswered.” He placed the gun pointed over

his forehead. He kissed the sculpture of Jesus. The gun recoiled within seconds to spill blood all over, adding a red design to the white walls. He fell motionless on the sculpture, and the sculpture moved back ward.


His eyes were open, with blood flowing out on them with all its vigor. As the sculpture moved,

the wall opposite to the door began to slide. Two men walked into the room. One began to wash

the floor and other wrote a note and glued it on the chest of the dead man. The note said:

“Subject number: 183 – The man who never understands that GOD is within him will never find

his way out of the prison”. The dead man’s eyes still remained open. But he couldn’t see the note

for sure. The man was taken away and a few minutes later they came in with a new man. They

place him on the floor, and on his back they wrote” Subject number: 184”