I could hear the footsteps from down the corridor causing me to tremble all over. What would they do next? What could they do next? It was so cold in the sterile room, and as I looked to my left and right, unable to move anything other than my eyes, all I could see was white walls and a table in the corner covered in strange metal devices. I struggled to free my arms, but the leather straps held me tightly against the rock-hard table. The footsteps came closer still and I clenched my teeth. Why am I even here? I don't understand, I thought to myself having no memory at all of arriving in this...place, whatever it was.
"Ms. Jones, have you decided to tell us what is going on yet?" the voice asked.
"I don't know what you're talking about," my voice cracked as I answered. I tried to see his face, but my forehead was already hurting from the strap pressing me down. "Who are you?"
"Ms. Jones, we've been through this before. When you tell use the information we need, we will let you go."
I could feel the tears forming in my eyes, "I told you, I don't know what you want. How did I get here? Who are you?" I asked again, but this time there was no response. He just moved to the table in the corner.
He began moving items around on the table, I could tell by the sound of the metal clinking against each other. "Please tell me what you're looking for and I will try to answer you," I begged.
This time, he moved to my side. "Ms. Jones, I will only tell you this once more. I need to know where the item is. If you don't tell me soon, we will resort to other devices forcing the information from your mind."
A second set of footsteps started down the corridor getting closer with each step. These steps were much lighter than the man's, but I still had no idea whose they belonged to. "Stephanie, don't make this harder than it already has been. Tell us where it is." The woman's voice was kinder, but firm. I could see her blonde curls in my peripheral vision, but that was all. She came closer still and actually leaned over me allowing me to see her face. She wasn't stunning, but she wasn't ugly either. Just plain.
"Please just let me sit up. I can't think strapped to this bed," I cried. My breath was restricted from the position of my back making my panic stronger with each gulp.
"I will see what I can do, but until then, we need something to work with," she answered.
I decided to play along to get my way. I tried regaining my breath by imagining myself at home on the couch reading a book. It worked...enough. "Ok, I will tell you what I know, but I need to sit up."
I could hear them whispering behind me, but no words were forming in my ears. They were quiet enough for me not to understand.
After what felt like many long minutes, the man came to me and unstrapped my head. The release of tension was immediate. I could move my head around freely, but my neck was stiff and ached with each motion. "Thank you," I said sincerely. Once my muscles loosened, I looked for the first time around the room I was being held in. The walls were stark with no decorations. I could see the white marbled tile on the ground and no other pieces of furniture, aside from the corner metal table. It appeared I was in a hospital, but there was no one else in the hallway outside the open door at my feet. I was alone. There was, however, a camera in the corner hanging from the ceiling behind my head. Then I looked at the man. He wore a black suit with matching tie. There was nothing identifying about him at all. I had hoped to at least recognize something with my new freedom of sorts.
The woman's back was to me, but her white lab coat scared the hell out of me. There was something sinister about a white lab coat in this environment mixed with a table of foreign metal devices. Fear took over me again. "Please tell me where I am," I pleaded, but she told me nothing.
Before I could respond again, I heard the motor of the table kick on. I began rotating to a standing position allowing me to gain my bearings a tad more, but still there was little for me to learn. "Stephanie, now's the time for you to give us the information we need. Where is the item?"
"Which item are you speaking of?" I asked playing along as best I could. I did NOT want to return to laying down.
"Do not play games with us. You know where the box is. Now speak," he commanded.
It began to come back to me. The box. This was all about the box. "I told you I don't where it is, but I know who does."
The woman leaned against the wall. "Who then?" she said growing tired from this process.
"He took it and told me I'd never see it again."
He crossed the room and whispered in her ear again, but this time I heard one sentence, "Then it's done. She doesn't know and I believe her. He stole it and will never be back. It is lost."
"We can't be sure of it. If we give up now, there's no more hope," she answered.
"It's done," he replied and began untying my wrists and ankles. "You may leave."
I couldn't believe that was all I had to say to be free, but then I had no idea where I was. "Where do I go now?"
The man looked me in the eyes. "Go down the hall and knock three times on the door. They will let you go."
It couldn't be this easy. How was it that they changed their mind so abruptly? But I wasn't going to argue either. I had to get out of there before they strapped me down again. The floor froze the bottom of my feet as I took once step after another slowly then quickly down the hall. I could hear them talking behind me saying things like, "What a shame" and "Waste of potential." I had no idea what they were referring to, but I had an idea they were speaking about me.
I arrived at the door and knocked as they told me...three times. The door opened, as did my eyes. I found myself lying on a leather sofa in a doctor's office. When I turned my head, the doctor tapped her pen on her clipboard. "Did you find the cause for your block?"
"I think so," I nodded. "It was there all the time, but I didn't know what to say to get rid of it."
She nodded with me. "Good, Stephanie. I think we've made real progress today. You should be writing again in no time."