On the other side of the gatehouse the world fell into darkness once more, a darkness that grew deeper the further away we moved from the bonfires by the fence. Still the two men upfront ignored me. We drove on. I don’t know for how long. I dozed off and on – there was nothing else to do – until something caught my attention.
Out of the darkness appeared a multitude of lights, illuminating the strangest building I had ever seen. In the city, buildings, no matter what they were, be they houses or factories, were all concrete and glass and metal. Most people described them as being cheap and functional unless you were an architect, who preferred the words “fresh” and “clean”. The building in front of us was different. It was made out of brick, a material I had only read about in old books, and it looked really old. At each end of the long rectangular structure, that was perhaps five or six floors high, was a tower that rose up into the sky, dwarfing the central part of the building. To say that it looked imposing would have been an understatement.
The car pulled up at the front of the house, where the lights were brightest. The glare from them hurt my eyes. Then the door was opened.
“You’re to come with us, sir.” Two men were waiting by the side of the vehicle.
I got out and stretched my legs, which were stiff after hours of sitting still. “Where are we?” I asked, wondering if this time someone might give me answer, but my question went unnoticed.
“This way,” one of the men said, before turning and moving towards the building. The other one waited for me to start walking and brought up the rear. I felt suspiciously like I was under guard.
On entering the building, people stopped whatever they were doing and openly stared at me, making me nervous. What made me feel worse was that in our wake, I could distinctly hear my name being said in amongst the excited whispering. How did they know who I was and why did it warrant this kind of reaction?
Up stairs and along corridors we went. I tried to remember the route taken, but it was impossible. Doors that I assumed would lead to rooms instead led to other corridors full of more doors. I very quickly became disoriented. Finally we stopped outside one room. The man leading pushed open the door and indicated for me to enter, which I did. I had assumed that there was someone in there waiting for me, hopefully with some explanation as to what was going on. However, as soon as the door closed behind me, I heard the sound of a key turning in the lock and I realised my mistake.
I was trapped.