The crack of the punch in his sternum almost drowns out the prisoner’s screams. He collapses on his back, his breath taken away by my violent hit. On the dusty floor, dirt and blood slowly mix, forming a filthy layer on which his breathless body lies.
I massage my painful phalanges before moving quietly towards him. Panic-stricken, he gathers his last strength to raise his trembling hands and protect his bloody face. Behind me, I can feel the kid’s gaze. He has guts. When I began the interrogation, translated by Ramiréz, he tried to dissuade his father from using force. It didn’t work. You don’t reason with a monster, much to my delight.
— I’m asking you one last time. It’s now or never.
Oscar translates as he goes along, from the beginning.
— Where is that bitch García ?
The man does not answer. Now he’s sobbing like a kid, despite his well-packed 50 years. I gain momentum and, with all my strength, kick him in the ribs. Something cracks. He screams even more. I like that, even though he doesn’t let go.
I like to hear people screaming their deliverance. I like to have a hold, psychic or physical, on them. Like they once had over me. First that old bastard Seed, then the scumbags who adopted me and my brothers, and finally those Duncan creeps. I’ve spent my whole life saying amen to everything, just hoping that the beatings and torture would stop and I’d be appreciated for who I am. The only thing that ended it was my torturers’ death.
Now that nothing is holding me back, I let my rage out. Thinking back to my childhood, I unleash a second kick, this time into his legs. I don’t even hear the man’s wailing anymore. All I hear are a child’s sobs. That child is me. And today I am taking my revenge on the whole world. Everyone will pay for what “God” let me suffer.
Someone grabs my shoulder, trying to calm me down. Fulminating, I glare at Ramiréz. I can see an indescribable anguish in his eyes. He looks like he has seen the devil. I am the one scaring him. Until now, he had only seen of me what I had been willing to show him. A quiet man with an impeccable appearance, a sharp lawyer appreciated by all.
I grab his wrist and pull it away from my shoulder, leaving traces of half-dried blood on it. Castillo intervenes in his turn.
— Well, it seems that this one doesn’t really know anything. If he did, your treatments would have made him share with us the information in his possession.
I try to calm my heart rate. Sweat has flooded my open shirt. With a nod, the leader lets us know the interrogation is over. I take one last look at the man on the ground. He is barely breathing.
We leave the cell. Silence reigns in the jail. The other prisoners have certainly been terrified by the screams. As we walk through the dark corridor, a bright reflection catches my eye. My gaze follows it, only to land on a grimy hand clutching at rusty bars. The ray of light comes from an object on his wrist : a watch. A very nice watch. My gaze searches for the person wearing it.
It is a young man with a tan skin and green eyes. The beauty of his features strikes me almost as much as that of his watch. My heart speeds up and I stop despite myself to face the rebel. Noticing that I no longer follow the troop, Ramiréz comes back.
— What’s the matter ?
— This guy, what’s his name ?
Oscar quickly translates. The young man stares at me with an air of defiance. He grins petty, not looking down. Then suddenly, he spits on my polished shoes. I can’t escape the provocation, which I didn’t expect. He smiles at me again in a condescending way, then mumbles :