Aiden opened his eyes and blinked the sleep out of them. His head was pounding with a headache at the front of his head and he was having a hard time focusing in on his surroundings.

The cement underneath him was cold and pressed on his body in all the wrong places. As he slowly sat himself up, every muscle in his body ached. It had been three, maybe four, days since he was taken from the tunnels. At this point it was hard to keep track. His tiny cell had no windows and only one small door that let in some light through the viewing slot, but that was it. Otherwise, Aiden sat in darkness day after day. To keep track of time and his sanity, he would keep track of the times they brought food. They’d bring it twice a day, and if Aiden’s internal clock was correct, they brought it once in the morning and once in the evening.

When he wasn’t eating or sleeping he was praying and singing songs to keep his spirits lifted. When confined in the dark with no sound and no light, it was easy for Aiden’s mind to wander into the dark places. To dwell on the negative, but so long as he could sing and repeat verses he had memorized over the years from the Sacred Book, he was okay.

When he didn’t, fear would slither in like a venomous snake. It would wrap around him and constrict every part of his body and mind. His throat would constrict, his heart would start pounding and even his vision would go blurry making it difficult to focus on what was real and true. When those moments came, it would take Aiden some time before he could finally calm himself and refocus on prayer.

Today, Aiden’s body felt weaker than it had before. The lack of movement and conversation was eating away at him. He needed to figure out a way to get out of this hell hole, but the walls were thick and the door was strong. He had no tools of any sort in his prison and even when they brought food, there were no utensils.

Aiden pulled himself up and stretched, trying to work out the kinks from sleeping on a hard floor. He took a slow deep breath in and let it out even slower, taking in the oxygen to help wake his mind up and calm his anxieties.

As Aiden continued to stretch, he started to hear footsteps that grew louder and louder. Breakfast, he assumed. Aiden turned toward the door and walked up to it. The food always came through a tiny slot at the bottom of the door, but Aiden hoped that today, if he was lucky, when the guard bent down to slide the food in, Aide could grab hold of the guard’s arm or neck or anything that he could dig his nails in to and somehow convince the guard to open the door all the way. It seemed improbable, but Aiden was desperate and was willing to try anything.

The footsteps stopped and he waited patiently for the scrapping of metal as the food slot opened, but that’s not what he heard. Instead, he swore he heard keys jingle. Aiden’s heart raced, but not with fear, but rather with excitement. Were they actually opening the door? If they were, Aiden would be ready to charge whoever was there and bust out of this place.

Aiden took his stance, like a football player ready to tackle. The instant that door opened, he would charge, no matter what.

The door creaked slowly and light spilled into the room. Aiden squinted at the blinding light he was no longer used to. The change made his head hurt even more as his eyes tried to adjust. Still, it didn’t matter. Aiden waited to he was certain the door was open all the way and he was about to charge when he felt hands grab his arms firmly. Aiden tried to kick the men next to him and get loose, but he had no strength. Not after being in that prison for so long.

“Don’t fight it Aiden, it’s no use,” the woman standing in front of him said moving closer to him.

Aiden’s eyes adjust just long enough to see his mother hold up a syringe and plunge it in to his next. That’s when he felt his entire body go limp and his vision go black.