Put yourself in the picture. No, come on now, humour me and put yourself fully in the scenario. Your arm is being broken. Snapped at the elbow by powerful hands that extinguish any hope of being released. I’m not talking about the sudden, violent kind of break either. The man (or monster, if you will) who has you at their terrifying absence of mercy, sits on your back as you lay prostrate in the dirt, your right arm stretched out, straight and taut in his vice grip. At its fullest extension, and with his nightmare voice drifting around your ears, informing you of the slow and agonising process of your impending death, the burn of muscles stretched to beyond their capacity is merely the introduction to a universe of pain. This man intends to break you, limb by limb and oh, so slowly. Build a back catalogue now in your mind. A recounting of every fright and fear you have experienced throughout your life; from the most trivial, to what you had previously considered soul destroying and life ruining, then roll them all into one big ball of fear. All of those fears you have endured and subsequently carried with you throughout your life, even those that had at the time, seemed so real and devastating, were all unfounded. Fear of the unknown and nothing more. You are still here, right? Then what were you afraid of? This? Well, ok, that’s fair enough, but your lifetime’s worth of fear you have just recalled and neatly bundled is still only empty husk next to what you are experiencing now. This is fear. True, real and entirely validated fear.
Now, you are face down, in a quiet, deserted place that swallows your screams into a vacuous, uncaring oblivion… and you are alone with him. His sadistic narrative places your fears in the undeniable realm of the ‘known’. You are going to die, but it will not be as simple as just having your candle snuffed out. This is going to take some time, and the worst pain imaginable…beginning Now.
Adrenaline is making your heart ache, with the frantic pounding that accompanies your predicament. You tell yourself many things, all of which you know won’t come to pass. Somebody will come to your rescue. Yeah, right. Nobody comes here. One of the reasons why it has been your favourite place to come to for such a long time. You can’t die; not like this! Sure, you can. What makes you any different from any other victim of torture and brutal murder? It happens every day, somewhere in the world. Right now, somebody somewhere is being tortured mercilessly, with no regard to the sanctity of life. There are some evil people in this world of ours…and there is no shortage of victims, among whose ranks you have now joined.
Stress is increased on your elbow slowly, as your ligaments begin to tear. The bloodcurdling screams of cinema’s greatest scream queens sound like soothing morning birdsong, in comparison to the horrible sound that escapes your lungs. Yes, this is what a real scream of agony sounds like. The sound, not unlike plastic bubble packaging being mashed under water, of your tendons and ligaments stretched beyond their limits to ripping, makes you vomit in pain. The white noise in your skull, dulls the din of your screaming to the background, and you feel you are about to pass out. You can’t struggle, or wrench yourself free, no matter your hunger for survival. All the fight has been crushed out of you. Your assailant is far too strong and too heavy to resist.
SNAP! Your elbow joint is loose but still attached. The extreme pressure applied to your outstretched arm was such that your ulna has splintered and become deformed, but your radius has snapped in two and now tears through the flesh of your forearm as a jagged, meaty white protuberance. By instinct, to escape this unnatural agony, you fall unconscious for what seems to you, only mere milliseconds.