It’s that time again, readers, time for me to share another portion of my novel. If you didn’t get the chance to read the other two and want to read them, the first one is here, and the second one is here.
In this scene, Saul is stuck in prison where he’s being treated worse than an animal, and has reached the end of his rope. Despair and depression are setting in. This is rock bottom for him. This was a very hard scene to write, not for a lack of words, but a difficult scene because of what Saul is going through. Please remember that this excerpt is a vomit draft, so it’s rough and had hardly any editing. Enjoy!
Saul woke to the sound of his stomach growling. It had been a week since he spoke with Kleverland and got to see Jill. Since then he saw no one other than his guards. Not Kleverland, not Jill, not even Colonel Fenstermancher. He hadn’t left his cell except for once when the guards cleaned it out a little.
He had grown weaker. His fever had gone away, but he never felt any better. He was starting to lose his mind a little too. It didn’t help that they kept him hungry and thirsty. Every few days he would get another drink of water, so he could live, as well as a little bit to refill his hand’s reservoir with, which he assumed Kleverland had ordered. He had been tempted to drink that water too, but he needed the use of the clockwork hand, no matter what it cost him when it came to thirst.
They fed him only once, which was cruel, because if he didn’t eat, his stomach would grow used to it and he wouldn’t feel the hunger. But they made him eat. It was just enough bread and rice to make him feel hunger again. It was torture.
They still threw buckets of ice water on him at random times, but it was always when he was sleeping. Between the hunger, the thirst, the loss of sleep, and the damp clothing all the time, Saul was beginning to lose all hope.
He wasn’t even sure of the time. He had no window, but his internal clock, which was usually right due to his training, told him it had been a week since he spoke with Kleverland. He could be off by a day, but he was pretty sure at least that much time had passed.
His cell stank, and it was often cold, but not enough to kill him. He often had to sleep near his own waste, and now that he had spoken to Kleverland, there was no reason to ever take him out of the cell.
His beard and hair were getting longer, and his clothing was becoming more and more ragged as time went on. They guards never spoke to him, he longed for the sound of another human being’s voice.
He longed for Xandria’s voice. He still worried about her well-being, he stopped thinking about Tanya. All he cared about was Xandria, Jill and Sam at this point.
He often cried, but because of his sorrow or his situation but because he was so upset that they wouldn’t let him see Xandria. Every time the guards would come in he would beg them to let him see her just once, just to know she was alright, but they ignored him.
He never begged for food or water, or for some dry clothing, he only begged to let him speak to Xandria. But they never listened. He never asked to see Kleverland again though, he had no reason to see him anymore. He wanted Kleverland to die a slow and horrible death.
Every now and then he would hear the shots of gunfire coming from somewhere outside, it sounded like target practice, but what did he know of such things?
He was at the end of his rope. He had hit rock bottom. He was a prisoner of war in Germany in the middle of one of the biggest wars the human race had ever known. He was tired, hungry, thirsty, dirty, ruff; he was broken. His thoughts were falling back to that dark place he experienced when he first lost his hand, that deep darkness that once held him captive, only this time he didn’t have a bottle to lose himself in.
His belly growled, but there was nothing he could do. He needed to sleep, because he wasn’t sure when the water would be coming back to wake him up. So he adjusted his position and closed his eyes again. The dark thoughts were there to meet him. They gripped his soul, and was trying to drag him further down, wanting to slowly destroy him. Images of death were starting to become clear, and his thoughts followed suite. It could all end if he could find a way.
But then a sliver of light would slice through the darkness, a light with Xandria’s beautiful face. She would be offering him her hand and telling him it was going to be okay. He needed to push through, he needed to carry on, even if it was only for her. He needed to know that she was going to be okay. He couldn’t give up.
-Excerpt from True Automaton; Chapter 26, by Andrew Ronzino
I know that was a bit heavier than the excerpts I normally put up, but I’m proud of how this turned out.
Current word count for True Automaton: 58,381/50,000!
Until the morning sun rises,
Andrew Ronzino, A Guy Who Finds Torture Hard To Write