Back in that room – a dark, cold room. I can still see the outline of the window, but it seems smaller now. It’s just a square of pale light, the only light in the room, barely 8 inches wide.
The train is passing again; the room seems to shake and the noise is loud enough that I know, without speaking, that my voice would not be heard anyway. Not that it matters, when there is no one to listen.
But then I hear it, as the train fades away; there is that voice again, spiteful and bitter. I can’t understand the words – what language is that? – but I understand the tone well enough. Teeth chattering with fear, I reverse away until my bare back is pressed hard against the plaster, cold and damp. I don’t want to make a sound, don’t want to risk revealing my position.
The voice spits and hisses and then I hear something else; a liquid sloshes at my feet, and I smell petrol. Heart racing, thoughts muddled, I start to really panic. My chest is tight and I’m finding it hard to breathe, and all I want is light; all I want is to be able to see the face in front of me and understand.
And then my wish is granted, as he lights a match. Then I can see him, as he lets it fall and the room is awash with flames. That face I know. I’m screaming, as he laughs. No door, no escape route but that tiny window.
My hands bleed as I strike the glass and break it, clearing the shards with my fists. My wrists are cut, and I’m watching myself bleed out, knowing that time is gone, seeing the red fade to black.