Another two meals came and went. David kept his head down, all while the phantom prisoners jeered and the phantom guards disappeared after feeding them. During lunch he’d been given some dark, reddish-brown goop that he’d assumed was chili due to the presence of a few beans. It had come with a roll, a small carton of milk, and a small packet of salt. The roll had disappeared before he’d returned to his cell, but had been replaced somehow before he’d sat down. He’d muttered a barely audible ‘thank you’ that had received no response before sitting down on the hard metal of his cot, feeling the edge of it bite into his hamstrings.
Scooting back had given him no relief, as the edge then dug into his calves, while sitting cross-legged did no good since he couldn’t drink his milk and had to almost lay down to do so. Even then he was afraid to shift his gaze to the door, for fear of what might be there, leering at him, just waiting for him to make eye contact. He’d already heard a few of the others cry out after what he assumed was poor judgment on their part. David didn’t want to join the chorus of crying he’d already heard over the course of the day.
The chili was bland, but the salt overpowered it in such a way that David found himself gulping his milk, which emptied the carton quickly as he looked to the sink. He found himself wondering if he could keep his eyes down the entire time while filling it up. The roll was dry but edible, and stuck to the roof of his mouth as he did his best to work up enough saliva to choke it down. He could’t help but wonder what his parents were dining on tonight, if they were able to live with themselves for keeping him here. They had to know what this place was, right? His mother had even asked they were doing the right thing.
What was this place?
(to be concluded)