Eowyn’s hands trembled in the restraints that were confining her to the cold, hard surface she was laid upon. She had never actually woken up in this room before, normally being locked in her ‘hotel room’ before the morphine and anaesthetic had worn off. She squinted as her eyes slowly became adjusted to the harsh fluorescent light of what she assumed was the medical room.
She breathed carefully, not wanting the beeping machine to alert the officer that was undoubtedly in the room to her arousal, her eyes finally became adjusted as her blurry surroundings became focused. In the left hand corner of the room, behind the loud TV monitor, was the stereotypical guard who was devouring snacks like they were going out of fashion. As he looked up from the screen towards her, Eowyn noted the sweat patches and soiled t shirt and panicked. He hadn’t left this place recently either. He was confined to it as well, forever trapped behind locked doors and security cameras.
Forcing herself to look away, she looked around the room to take in her environment. The typical medical equipment was scattered around the room; scalpels, pressure bands, retractors, grasper’s and clamps. All meticulously clean, all perfectly organised and all ready to help the next person recover from whatever hell they were going through. But something was wrong, out of place, but in her drug induced state Eowyn couldn’t put her finger on it.
She let her eyes drift to the door, it was open, could she escape? She attempted to move her legs and hands but found that they were all bound by metal restraints, the various scratches and dents told her that there had been attempts made before. She assumed these were all unsuccessful as the connecting line was still shiny and new. They had never been forced open. Her eyes glanced back up at the door and she jumped. Someone was there.
She stared at the piercing blue eyes of the man in front of her. Although she was petrified, she forced herself to keep eye contact, implying she was not afraid. Her mum had taught her that, or was that about dogs? She couldn’t remember home, it had been that long. She stiffened as he stepped towards her.
“Guest 67854, you..”
“My name is Eowyn”
Unhindered he began again “Guest 67854”
His eyes steeled, somehow becoming even colder in colour, ‘Eowyn’. Eowyn smiled smugly over this victory. It was petty and would have appeared to be little more than insolence to him but to her it was everything. He carried on as if she had never spoken out “you have attempted escape seven times in the last 30 days, three of which have resulted in you spending prolonged periods sedated in the healing wing, are you not tired of failing?”
Eowyn flinched. Her last seven attempts had been over a month long period? The scratch marks on her cell wall had marked over 50 attempts, she had been here longer a lot longer than she first thought. She let the strangers words become muffled as she thought of home. Were her mum and brother even looking for her anymore? Had they given up after the first month or were they still agonising over her location?
The word “death” bought her back to reality with a snap. The stranger was striding out of the room, an air of victory upon him, did she hear the word death? What was that about death? “Wait, wait, wait”, Eowyn pleaded, hoping he would stop. He stopped but didn’t turn to face her. “Death?”
” You didn’t think there wouldn’t be a limitless amount of attempts did you? That you could spend eternity with us attempting to fight your way out?” he smirked slightly, he was enjoying this. “We can up the stakes whenever we want, change the rules. No more medical help, no more healing and no more attempts to face your fears. One more chance and then an infinity of nothingness; you will be left alone in the dark open space with only your thoughts for company.”
The thought of a future of nothingness petrified her. She’d always enjoyed the company of others, drawing energy from her friends and family. If she was alone too long then she was forced to think about her past and never seemed able to draw on the positives. She never wanted to go to that dark place again, it was done.
“You have just five more attempts. Use them wisely, when they’re finished, you are on your own”. The slamming of the medical room door showed her that he meant it.