The hall is a large dominating, windowless space, approximately sixty feet long and forty feet across. The sole illumination comes from a single row of dim florescent lights, which run across the length of it, the centre bulb of which is burnt out. As a consequence of the lights placement, the sides and especially the corners are murky and gloomy with ominous shadows. Cockroaches can be heard scuttling around in the dark. Rattling water pipes enter the hall at odd junctions and twist around the room only to exit at even more irregular points. Watermarks and rust stains pepper the room as a result of this pipe maze.
In the centre of the detention hall, screwed to the cement floor, is a wooden chair. The chair is clearly new and beneath it is a large black ring, probably six feet in diameter. It looks like whatever was there before, perhaps another wooden chair, was burned to nothing. There is evidence of someone trying the clean the black spot but they gave up only after a blotchy attempt. The odour in the room becomes more apparent suddenly. It increases in intensity the closer to the heart of the hall one is. Strong enough now to taste, the smell clogs up the senses and numbs the mind with the graphic horror that accompanies it. The smell of burnt flesh and hair.
The chair has a simple design, no flourishes. A straight, thick, rectangular piece of wood acts as the legs and back to the chair. The back is so straight; I am immediately uncomfortable as I sit in it. The seat, which is at a 90-degree angle to the back, only adds to this. My wrists are tied with metal wire to the chairs arms, the join of which has been reinforced with nails. Probably to ensure it doesn't break if I struggle. Adding credence to this thought, my arms are also tied at the elbows. The wires cut and wood splinters prick at my skin as I move, so I don't. Finally, my legs are also tied. The men who do this leave and I am alone for a while.
At last, two new individuals arrive through the solitary entrance. They bring with them a tall standing lamp, with a moveable neck, that they shine directly in my eyes. The lamps electrical flex stretches off into the darkness. I can't see who is talking to me but I can just make out the person beside him. He is a short, athletic looking Asian, wearing grey army trousers, a belt with the Japanese flag as the buckle and a white vest. He is holding something big in his hand but I can't make it out for the light. He smiles menacingly at me, squinting his eyes. He seems genuinely excited.
In broken English, the second man slowly says "Tell us what you know and we will make your death painless." He moves the lamp from out of my view and leans in closer. In his eyes I see empathy. This man isn't Japanese but European. Although I can't pinpoint his accent, I guess he is Swedish. He is balding and wears spectacles. He brings his face close to mine but I withdraw, close my eyes and clench my teeth. I don't see what the two men do next.
What I feel, though, is a liquid pouring over me. The gasoline fumes flow up my nose and into my stomach making me nauseas. I let go a little scream but I close my mouth again quickly because the Asian is still pouring.
"Tell us what you know now and spare yourself agony."
I spit some gasoline and vomit from my mouth and manage to say "No".
"This is your last chance."
I spit again but this time at the two men who look at each other.
"We have exhausted all other possibilities.", the Swede says to the Asian.
I struggle and the wires begin to cut into my arms and legs which trickle blood. The Swede nods and the Asian removes a box of cigarettes and a pack of matches from a pocket. He does it casually, like he's done it a million times before. Means nothing to him. He lights a cigarette, sucks on it, enjoying the taste. He makes like he is going to flip the match at me. I flinch but he blows it out and throws it away, laughing. I begin to snarl at the Asian and call him a "fucking chink". He laughs and sucks on the cigarette some more. By this time, the Swede has left the room taking the lamp with him. I struggle some more but the cuts only get deeper. Finally, the Asian, nearing the end of the cigarette, takes a step or two back from me. We look each other directly in the eyes. I stop breathing and he just flicks the butt.