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The Dark Room

It happened so suddenly I scarcely had time to react.

I had just finished dinner at home when I felt rough hands lifting me up and dragging me into the darkened room next door. There, helpless and confused by shock, I was pushed into an armchair and forced to endure an unspeakable torture that I can only assume had been carefully planned. 

I will spare you the details, but for two hours I endured the agony.  All the while, my captors laughed and made jokes about my predicament.  I vaguely remember flashing strobe lights, which filled my eyes with dancing stars, leaving me dazed and half-blinded.  The accompanying noise, a series of high-pitched screams, was incessant, unbearable.  From time to time I could hear voices I did not recognise.  They seemed to be coming from the lights.  The language employed was English, but the accents were foreign.   

At one point, in a futile gesture of defiance, I attempted to raise myself up to leave, but a harsh instruction was issued from the enveloping gloom.  “Stay where you are.  We haven’t finished with you yet.”  

No threat had been uttered.  But then no threat was necessary.  I knew now that one false move on my part would bring severe retribution.

And then, finally, it was all over.  The harsh lights were abruptly extinguished.  The awful sounds receded.  I realised that, in the now silent gloom, my assailants had quietly slipped out of the room, leaving me stunned, humiliated and exhausted, leaving me to crawl to my room alone.  

There was to be no sleep that night.  The recurring horror of the evening haunted me until daybreak.  I may not sleep for days.

The perpetrators of this outrage are shameless.  But I refuse to name them.  If they can live with their cruelty, the utter infamy of their actions, then all I can say is that I feel sorry for them.  I hope that one day they in turn will be made to suffer the same anguish that I have just been forced to endure.  

That, and the knowledge that millions of others have been through a similar ordeal, can be my only solace.       

My persecutors will return, of that I am sure.  Next time I will be ready for them. 

I have exactly a year to prepare.  I shall start right now. 

There must be some way of looking up the date of the next Eurovision Song Contest.   

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