Zawmb’yee Continues The Blog, Chap 9
When we had arrived at the mevltikacle, James Ziohat wasn’t looking well. He was very weak and the guards had to hold him up as he stood with his hands behind his back.
Gacplk sat in front of him next to a small table as he moved several objects around on the table: a hinged steel neck collar, a tape measure, a pitcher of water, and a full glass of water.
Picking up the tape measure in his massive hands, Gacplk stood and pulled it around James’ neck. “Yes,” his insidious voice affirmed, “the perfect size.” Next, he picked up the collar, opened it onto James’ neck and snapped it shut. James Ziohat still had tape on his mouth, and struggled to make a sound. Another guard came from behind, put his hands on James’ face and tilted the head back a little.
Gacplk slid the collar up and down and said, “Perfect fit: firm, but not too tight.” He rotated the collar a few times. “Chafes a little though, doesn’t it. Oh, and here’s something interesting: there are many lines and buttons all around the collar. It’s hard to tell where the hinge is and where the opening latch is. Each button looks like it might open the collar. I wonder what would happen if I pushed the wrong button.”
James Ziohat struggled a little while Gacplk turned the collar around a few more times. Then Gacplk casually sat down and took a sip of water from the glass.
A guard yanked the tape off James’ mouth. James screamed, “You’ll never get away with this. My friend will have gone for help by now.”
“Oh?” said Gacplk, “you mean the friend who was waiting with your equipment at the mouth of the cave?” He looked across the room to a cave entrance. Two guards dragged a body across the room by the feet and dropped it like a lump in front of James. “This friend?”
“Charles?” James gasped.
“He’s dead, you know.”
James ranted incoherently, trying to jump up and down, but the guards held him up in place. He repeated, “You’ll never get away with this.”
I observed all of this, a safe distance away with my entourage. Gacplk turned and looked at Gavicte Yenkoi and me.
Yenkoi said, “Fevepo Zawmb’yee, Gacplk needs your permission to use an acacizg. May he?”
Without knowing what I was approving, I said, “Yes,” and nodded toward Gacplk.
A guard pointed an acacizg at the body and Charles vanished in a burst of light. There was a slight trace of ash and dust on the floor. Gacplk stood, took a deep breath like he was about to blow out the candles on a birthday cake and blew the ash and dust away.
The guards continued to hold James up while Gacplk walked around James like on an inspection tour. Gacplk came around to face James again. Gacplk turned the collar again.
James yelled, “Ouch.” Red marks were appearing on his neck.
“Hmm,” said Gacplk, “perhaps it’s not the right size after all.” He suddenly changed tone and put on his odd and sweetly warm voice: “Shall I remove it then? We can count on your cooperation, yes?”
James was confused. He said, “Yes.”
“Alright then, I’ll open the latch.” Gacplk pushed one of the buttons on the collar. “Oops, I think that’s the wrong one.”
The collar tightened. James struggled, went limp and lost consciousness. The guards let him fall to the floor.
Gacplk strolled over, bent down, and pushed a button on the collar. It loosened. After a few minutes James opened his eyes. The guards lifted him to his feet again.
After sipping a little more water from the glass, Gacplk said, “would you like a sip of water, James?”
“Um,” said James, “Yes, um, I mean no. Uh, what do you want me to say?”
“See, James, I took a sip — it’s just plain water…”
Gacplk brought the glass to James’ lips. James sipped a few drops tentatively, and then took a gulp. Gacplk pulled it away, carried the glass to the table and sat down again. Gacplk glanced over at Gavicte Yenkoi and me.
Yenkoi said, “Gacplk wants permission to begin phase 2.”
I carelessly said, “Yes.” Poor James.