Joshua had noticed the drop in temperature. “So?”
“Please can I have some clothes or a blanket?” Justin tried not to beg.
“Please I’m so cold.”
“You didn’t eat your food.”
“Its horrible. I don’t want to eat it. Please can I have some clothes if I can’t have anything to eat at least let me have some warmth?”
“Only good little prisoners get clothes. Prisoners that eat their food.”
“I’m not hungry.” Justin’s stomach growled calling him a liar.
Joshua pushed the bowl back through the bars. “Eat it.”
Justin pushed it back at him. “No.”
“Eat it or I will starve you till the end of the week and I will leave you to freeze. You won’t wear clothes for the whole two weeks. Now EAT IT” Joshua yelled.
Justin caught his upper lip between his teeth and looked at the gruel like substance with distaste.
Swallowing hard he took hold of the bowl and dipped his fingers inside, scooping a little up. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, pushing his fingers into his mouth. Almost immediately he gagged. He swallowed repeatedly as his stomach tried to reject the foul paste. He looked up, tears glistening in his eyes and scooped more into his mouth, gagging again. Eventually he had emptied the bowl and he pushed it at Joshua, shaking all over, trying to control his heaving.
“Wipe the bowl clean.”
“I did what you said, I ate that shit, that’s what you wanted wasn’t it?” Justin screamed back at him. He pulled his knees up to his chest and hid his face.
“Wipe the bowl around and I will give you something to wear.”
“You’re enjoying this aren’t you? Making me beg, forcing me to eat that shit!”
“I’m not enjoying it, I hate that I have to put you thought this, just wipe the bowl around.” Joshua spoke as softly as his could, running his fingers through his long hair.
The caged man reached through the bars and picked up the practically empty bowl, his hand shaking. “You’ll give me clothes?”
“Wipe the bowl.”
Justin wiped his fingers around the wooden utensil then licked them clean, heaving as he swallowed. He passed the now clean bowl back to his captor. And lowered his head.
“Please sir, may I have something to warm me?”
Joshua put the dish on the table and picked up one of the piles of clothes, he passed them through the bars “Before you put them on do you need to piss or anything else?”
Justin nodded, “I need to piss.”
Justin turned his back and pushed his hands through the bars, wincing when the cold metal snapped closed over his wrists. He stood up and waited for Joshua to unlock his cage and lead him to the toilet. He tried not to shiver as Joshua’s hand closed around his girth, aiming him. He returned to his cage, his shoulders drooped and his head down. Obediently he turned and allowed his jailor to take off his restraints. “Goodnight prisoner.” Justin never spoke he just stood hugging the clothes he had been given to his chest.
“I said goodnight.”
The captive man pulled the jump suit over his nakedness, grateful for the thin fabric, it really didn’t afford him much heat, but it helped a little. His stomach somersaulted again almost making him vomit. He lay on his mattress and rested his head on his arm; the lights were so bright he doubted he would be able to sleep at all. He closed his eyes, shivering in the rapidly cooling air. He was trapped, frightened and helpless. He had come into this experiment because he was desperate to own his own wheels, so that he wouldn’t have to rely on anyone anymore. “Please.” he prayed, his voice little more than a breathed moan. “Give me the strength to see this through, please help Me.” he scrubbed away the tears that started to roll down his face and took a deep breath. He could do this. He would do this. He opened his eyes and stared over at the closed door that led to his jailors apartments and wondered what it was like in there, was he sleeping on a dirty mattress on the floor, with nothing to keep him warm or was he tucked up comfortable in a nice warm bed, his belly full. He curled up, hugging himself and closed his eyes again and waited for sleep to take him.
The channels on the TV clicked over and over as Joshua held his finger on the remote control. His apartments were warm but he had noticed how much the temperature in the cage room had been allowed to drop. He switched off the TV and lay in the dark, not able to take his eyes off the thin strip of bright light that shone under his door. Shit, they weren’t even going to close the lights off for his captive to sleep. In all his life he had never felt so sorry for a person as he did for the man he had caged in the next room. He turned over so that his back was to the door, but it didn’t help, the light burned into his back. Sighing he got out of bed and grabbed one of his blankets. He padded softly into the cage room, unlocking the door as quietly as he could. His prisoner had managed to fall asleep, but lay shivering, his lips slightly blue. Joshua draped the blanket over him. “Goodnight.” he whispered. “Sweet dreams.” He kissed his fingers and brushed them softly over the sleeping mans brow. Before going back to bed.