Side Story - Allen
He opens his eyes. The room is pitched dark. He is lying down still. Gliding his fingers down along the side of his body, he realises he is on a bed, smooth and soft. It even smells fresh and clean.
Bo Jinyan gives a faint smile.
This is the first day he is kidnapped. The Flower Cannibal seems to be treating him well.
After pausing for a while, he stands up. His slender figure seems to be melting into the darkness. Like a solitary tree standing alone in a cold dark night.
In the same room. In one of the corners. A man is staring at him with interest. A pair of blue eyes spark with excitement, like a falcon eyeing his prey.
- Hi Simon.
- You belong to me. Finally.
Ten minutes later.
Suddenly all the lights are turned on. Bo Jinyan instinctively covers his eyes with his hands. When he got adjusted to the brightness, he looks around. A narrow room. Hanging light. A blond man standing in the corner. Behind him is a cage. There are other victims in there. They curl up in the corner of the cage, like ants curling their bodies before their moment of death.
- Hi, Tommy.
- We meet in person. Finally. And I am about to be the food in your plate.
Nobody spoke. They are just looking into each other’s eyes. Tommy keeps a smile on his face. Bo Jinyan...... takes his eyes off his rival. Without the slightest change of expression, he looks at his surroundings again. Then, with a smile filled with disgust, he sits down on the bed.
"How does it feel?" Tommy speaks to Bo Jinyan like he’s an old friend of his.
Not looking in his direction, Bo Jinyan gives a faint smile, in his usual supercilious way.
Tommy smiles, showing his white teeth: "You're mad."
He falls to his hands, but it seems he fails to see who is in control here.
Turning toward Tommy, Bo Jinyan says in an indifference tone: "Oh, what should I do? Should I be celebrating the fact that I am the most intelligent man that you will have eaten in your life?"
Puzzled by what he said, Tommy looks up: "What?"
He walks out.
In a different room.
Xie Han stands up. His eyes are still staring at a monitor screen: "it seems the two of you are not getting along."
Tommy grunts. He walks over to the refrigerator, takes out a dish with some meat in it and starts eating. As if he has been revived, he smacks his lips and smiles again.
Han Xie is familiar with this scene. “He’s been here for half an hour, talked to you no more than three times, but every word makes you angry - Do you know why he is able to do that?”
Tommy lifts his eye towards him.
Xie Han smiles: "Because both of you are aware - he is different from your other preys, he is invulnerable, you can’t break him. You don’t know what to do.”
Tommy loosens the tie around his neck: “That is not true.” He stares at Han Xie. He has a cold and stubborn look on his face:. "Starting tonight, we'll deal with him with mind control technique plus your drugs. We will have some fun."
Xie Han lights a cigarette, slowly sucks a few mouthfuls and passes it to Tommy. Han Xie smiles: “These tactics are useless to him , besides ......." His eyes glances at the man on screen - this time Bo Jinyan has closed his eyes, lying back on the bed, without a a trace of nervousness in him.
“These tactics are desecrating for someone like him.”
Tommy’s heart feels like it’s been pricked by a needle.
What the …. Does Xie Han think that Bo Jinyan is a god ?
Hiding his feelings, Ty asks causally: “So, what do you suggest?"
All the hassles just to catch this man. Now he’s in our hand. But how do we tame him?
"Grind slowly." Xie Han replies.
The first time Bo Jinyan cut human flesh, is three days later.
Threatening him into submission is more simple than Tommy has expected, a woman and a baby is thrown in front of him, together with a selection criteria: "You will decide the life and death of this baby. Do as I say, and I will let this baby go."
Bo Jinyan takes a look at him. He picks up the scalpel, and walks towards the woman who is tied up. Tommy sits down and looks at him in silence. The baby is sound asleep, oblivious to what’s happening around him. The woman shrills screams that fills the room.
When the first booty is thrown into the tray, Tommy emerges with grin: "Maybe I am lying to you. Maybe I'm just teasing you, both of these people, in fact, will not survive. How can you not think of this ? Smart guy.”
Bo Jinyan answers contemptuously. “Whether you are lying is your business, whether I choose to give up hope for a life is mine."
Tommy no longer speaks.
He knows. The longer he stays with Bo Jinyan, the more frustrated he will be. Yet the boss does not allow him to torture or eat him.
From that day, cutting human flesh becomes one of Bo Jinyan daily routines. He can see the fear and hatred inside the eyes of these victims. Bo Jinyan never speaks to them, because he can’t explain himself to them. He knows that his life is safe at the moment, and as long as he is unharmed, these people will have a higher chance of surviving. But how many of them will be able to escape from here? He is not sure.
But the person hiding behind the video camera ...... Tommy, has different views.
Tommy says to Xie Han: "We should not waste any more time on him. Cutting human flesh everyday does not seem to bother him. There has been no progress. Just kill him. We don’t need him, we have each other. We are partners, right?"
Han Xie is carrying a small dish with the flesh Bo Jinyan harvested today. Hearing Tommy’s words, he laughs: "Who says there is no progress?"
Tommy looks at the dish. With appreciation for his skills, he says: “Despites the things he says, he’s turning into a professional with the scalpel.”
Xie Han picks up a piece of meat with a knife, examines it closely under a lamp. He gives a satisfying smile.
A person in law enforcement, a crime-fighting expert, has become an abuser of the weak and innocent. Tommy can only see his scalpels skills, but he can see the devil that’s hiding in Bo Jinyan’s body.
What they fail to see, is that Bo Jinyan is turning their temptation for him into a trap for themselves.
Han Xie's second phase of the program is to make Bo Jinyan eat raw human flesh, together with physical torture.
Abuse, both mental and physical, can break any man’s will, no matter how strong. And eventually, he'll surrender, even fall in love with the feeling of being abused, or abusing other.
Because within every one of us lives a hidden demon, Bo Jinyan is no exception.
So it is the routine - every night, Tommy brings a plate with red meat to Jinyan and tell him it’s beef: “I like it raw.” Tommy says and passes to him. Bo Jinyan will thank him, then eats all of it as if he believes the meat is actually beef.
Then, Tommy will walk around to his already heavily bruised and wounded back, find a place that is unharmed, and stabs him. Then he will collect the thick blood that runs down his back with a tall glass tightly pressing above his tailbone. Tommy has obsessive-compulsive disorder. The wounds on Bo Jinyan’s back are very evenly spaced and symmetrical. Han Xie likes his tidy workmanship.
Every night, Han Xie looks into the camera. He sees Bo Jinyan’s scarred and etched back. He eagerly waits for the birth of a new man. And now, Tommy sits beside him, slowly drinks the cup of blood and sweat mixed with some meat residue from the stabs. He offers it to Han Xie, who shakes his head and declines. “This is disgusting."
For Bo Jinyan, time seems to be standing still.
In his dark and narrow cell, as time passes by silently, more and more people are no longer there. You just do not know when the lights will be turned on suddenly and Tommy will come in. No one dares to make a sound in this heavy darkness.
Sometimes, he will keep his eyes open for a long time, even though all he sees is nothing but a deep black surrounding him. Even when he is extremely tired, he can’t fall asleep as easily as before.
This year, he is twenty-four years old.
And thousands of miles away across the Atlantic, Jian Yao enter university this same year, living a simple and safe life.
Events finally takes a turn after his fourth month of captivity.
There is a fire around midnight. Nobody knows the cause of it. When Tommy is aware of the blaze, smoke and flames have surrounded the cellar. Han Xie is not there at the time.
Later, when Tommy is in prison, when he thinks about the fire, he reckons it is one of Bo Jinyan’s tricks, that he used it to try and escape but failed. Xie Han, though, believes that this is just a bad short-circuit accident.
Nevertheless, the fire, is where everything started.
That night, the fire is fierce. Tommy cannot get close to the cellar entrance. People inside are burned by the scorching iron that’s become very hot due to the fire outside of the cellar. Hot water vapours dripping from ceiling scald their skins. There’s screaming everywhere.
Bo Jinyan wraps himself in a blanket, and waited. Finally, the metal bars of the cage starts to warp and melt and a gap big enough to fit through a person emerges. Bo Jinyan takes the opportunity and gets out of the cage.
(Note from TB: Is this possible? if it’s so hot, all of them should be dead by now, right??)
The cellar is in chaos. Women, the elderly, children, and several young men are all trying to get away, pushing one another. But their freedom is short lived. Tommy shoots each one in the head as they run out of the entrance of the cellar. After a while, the bodies blocks the entrance and no one can pass through anymore.
That night, Bo Jinyan understood two things.
1. Tommy wants to kill him.
2. The cellar is located close to ground level, perhaps only separated by a wall.
"Come with me. I will help you escape." He tells the crowd. Everyone is scared. They turn around to see this young man.
He has not spoken to them once in the last four months. He is one of those who tortured them, yet he himself is imprisoned with them.
"Why? Why should we believe you?"
"Kill him, kill him. He’s one of them”
Everyone is in panic. Bo Jinyan frowns. He starts to walk without a moment's delay.
“Why should you believe me?" He lightly replied, "Because you have no other choice."
Most of the people are skeptical. But really, like he said, there is no other choice, so they follow him.
“We’ve kept ourselves alive for this long. Let’s not lose anymore lives." He said.
A woman hears these words, and immediately tears come to her eyes.
Bo Jinyan leads the way. Others follow. He leads them through to a different room of the cellar. In front of them is a wall that is partially collapsed. They can see a small hole with light coming through.
Even though it’s only a small hole, they see half a slice of ink blue sky, and the moon that illuminates the grass.
Can we finally escape from this hell? And live to tell the tale?
People are starting to push each other away to get ahead. This time, Bo Jinyan gains control of the situation: "Women and children will go out first, I will follow after."
One, two, three ...... Bo Jinyan stands at the end of the queue. He counts silently. Occasionally, he will look up and see a wall above the bright moonlight jade.
Seven, eight, nine ......
Then Bo Jinyan hears footsteps and gun shots. Unfortunately, Tommy has found some of them. He hopes that some of the people will be able to escape from Tommy and run to safety.
Twelve, last one.
As Bo Jinyan helps to push the last man up the hole, he positions his body so he can be pulled out of the hole.
A hand is extended toward Bo Jinyan to put him out.
Bo Jinyan smiles, and reaches out to the hand.
As half of a metal rod is inserted into him, sharp pain rips through his chest. He looks down, and he sees his blood spreading.
A man screaming in pain. "! I know it...... You are one of them. This is just another sadistic game of yours. I will kill you first. I will kill you first!!"
In extreme pain, Bo Jinyan closes his eyes, and opens them. He sees the moonlight. He smells the grass. Then he hears a ma laughing insanely, and other panic voices: "What are you doing? He saved us!"
Everything starts to spin around him. He feels his body fall, back into the cellar that has been roasted too hot by the heavy flames coming from all sides....
Before he loses consciousness, he says to himself. The man, whom he has rescued, is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was in a coma for a few days. He knew he had a high temperature. His forehead, throat, eyes felt as if there were ten million needles poking him.
He kept dreaming.
He dreamt about going fishing with his mother during his childhood days. Then when his mother died, his father locked himself in the empty house, and lived like a dead sculpture.
He also dreamt about his first encounter with Fu Ziyu - the boyfriend of a serial murder victim. Fu Ziyu was standing at the corner of the school library, smiling at him.
Then, he dreamed of the scene before the coma - the man he saved, picked up a piece of metal bar, turned back and stabbed him in the chest.
"What is the purpose of life? You think you are risking your life to save others? But is there any value to it?"
"Those mediocre beings whom you saved, does anyone of them really know you?"
A voice whispers into his ear.
Bo Jinyan wakes up.
He opens his eyes to see the cellar and find it a very different environment. Silver ceiling, new cages and new rooms.
Only he is left in the cellar, still lying in his bed. He has no idea what has happened to the rest of the prisoners.
His lips forms the sarcastic smile. He raises his hand to touch his forehead. The fever has broken.
He stands up slowly.
Behind the monitor, Han Xie is looking at his face, stunned.
Bo Jinyan still has those slender beautiful eyes, yet they look different.
His eyes scans the cell, stopping at the camera lens. It is as if Bo Jinyan is looking at Xie Han face to face, staring into his eyes. Xie Han’s heart starts to pound.
Then he hears a strange, unfamiliar sound. A sound that he’s been waiting for.
"Hello, precious. As you wish, I am awake."