I woke up with my head pounding. A dark room, concrete walls. A door on the far end. An explosion of white. I shook my head, no, there couldn’t have been an explosion of white, that didn’t make sense. Another explosion. My whole world went white. There was light everywhere, covering the whiteness, covering me. There was no one else around, but it felt as though there were. The vision faded, and I was back in the concrete room, trying to remember why I was here.
It had been so dark out last night, or was it last night? For all I knew it could have been several nights ago. My car had broken down, and I was walking to the gas station. Someone had pulled their car up beside me and asked if I needed a ride. Before I could answer, something from behind me hit me in the head, and the world went black.
That still didn’t explain the cold, dark room I was sitting in. The person who knocked me out must have taken me here. That was the only explanation.
A pang of terror shot through my spine. Jaxon. It had to be, why else would I be picked up for no apparent reason? Jaxon.
“Oh, God,” I whispered, “it’s been ten years. I thought he’d forgotten.”
Of course not. As I had stood at the witness stand, testifying against him, the look in his eyes told me he would not forget. That he would hunt me down. As I walked down from the stand, he’d whispered, “I never forget anything, Thomas Martin, you will pay.”
I slowly tested each muscle in my body, surprised that it seemed I was only bound, and not beaten. In fact, I wasn’t even gagged.
A door opened on the far end of the dim room. Light flooded the area and Jaxon’s face appeared in the brightness. Older, of course, but the same face as ten years ago. And he was laughing.
“Didn’t think we could find you, did you, Thomas?” He said the words with enough evil filling his voice to make me wince, “No, you didn’t. You ran off to the Witness Protection and thought you’d be safe with a new name and a new home. You forgot one very important thing, though, I have connections everywhere.”
The man was evil. He was possessed. I mumbled something incoherent.
“Talk to me, boy!” Jaxon demanded, “I’ve waited ten long years for today and now you won’t even talk to me?”
He pulled out a gun.
“Now let’s play a little game.” Jaxon said, his dark eyes glinting, “You took away ten years of my life. So now I’m either going to take away yours or let you go free.”
An explosion of white. The vision re-appeared and I was back in the white place. He could hear Jaxon’s voice, but it seemed far away.
“You claim to love God, huh?” He said, “So try this, either deny God or I’ll put a bullet through your skull.”
I moaned as he hit my head slightly harder than necessary with the gun, “I’ll never deny my God. Never.”
“Really?” He positioned the cold metal near my ear.
“Never. I love God. Take my life. I would rather die than live with the shame of denying my king.”
An explosion. This time it was the gun.
I was back in the white place, and this time I knew I wasn’t alone, because there were people all around me. And above all, I heard a voice say, “Welcome home, son.”
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