Oscar Proust stood still. The straitjacket, fashioned in white and fastened securely behind his back, caused him to lift his head slightly, due to the high collar. The man behind him had said nothing. His boots made no noise and his hair was grey. Dull grey, like everything in this interesting world.
Grey floor. Grey walls. Grey faces from within grey cubes of grey hopelessness. Grey lives on the road to a grey, grisly end.
Oscar walked slowly and could smell pungent putrefaction in the air like someone's sick idea of rotten fruits. He smiled up at the yellow light that fell poorly in small, staggered pools on the floor.
"Not very clean, are we?" he murmured to nobody in particular. The man behind him ignored him determinedly. It had been this way since he had tied this kid up.
One of the cubes opened and Oscar was thrown in. He fell in a heap and didn't move. The clang of metal on metal rang in his ears.
Oscar Proust waited for the man to tie the sleeves of the straitjacket up. Despite his situation, he seemed relaxed, maybe even euphoric. The light from three brilliant suns in an otherwise featureless sky was potent, toxic and it imbued a sense of extreme happiness within all the children in his school. He had been taken away from them, round a corner, behind a white, plain van. It could've been a Mercedes, or one of those high panelled vans that weigh a few tonnes. He couldn't see. All he saw were wheels beneath the light blindfold.
His red and black jacket was yanked off and cast aside.
His skin pricked as velcro scratched it.
"What's this?" asked a male voice in a tone mixed with apprehensiveness and shock. Oscar's neck was tilted painfully to the side. He strained and rolled his eyes beneath the blindfold.
"A mere tattoo, my friend. A mere tattoo," he said condescendingly. He was hauled into the van and the blindfold was ripped off. Chained to the floor and immobile, he sat there reciting the lines of poetry that he had memorised from Annabelle Sarcosa's Volume of Illusory Languages.
the sky is falling
the clouds are weeping
the planets are aligning
we are all falling
we pop pills
and sit atop private hills
things never get better
red hills streaked with pain
a girl kills her mother in
the twisted pain of her incurable fame
take me away to a land of dreams
where there are no people
who are struck up and enfettered
As he came to the end of the poem, he gazed meaningfully at the man across him and smiled.