The Solitaire Series Reminder: Each week, a story will appear on my blog, and be free to read for one week only. The next story will take its place, and the first story will be available on Amazon and other e-retailers. But if you follow this blog, you can read the stories for free every single week! Read more about the Short Story Deal here.

Throughout the series, there will be collections of stories, and we will even be producing some really cool swag along the way. Watch for contests, prizes, and even some fun “in-person” events!

“Who am I? I think I’m asking the questions here. Who the hell are you?”

The walls of the room were pure white, and nothing set any one of them apart from the other besides a door, steel gray, windowless, and dull. He could faintly smell bleach, or at least chlorine, but he couldn’t tell if it came from the hissing, purified air that he both felt and heard even though he couldn’t see a vent anywhere, or it was from a recent residual cleaning.

The two men standing in front of him wore matching suits. Their shirts matched the white of the walls, they wore black ties, pants, and suit coats. Not the cheap kind, though. That ruled out local cops or the FBI.

The chair under him felt like it was steel. It was hard and cold at least, and handcuffs held him to it. His feet were also shackled.

“I’ll ask again,” the larger of the two said.

“You tell me first.”

A fist slammed into the side of his head before he even saw it coming, but the smaller of the two took a step back after it happened, so he must have been the one to deliver it.

He could punch, but he’d have to do better than that.

“Whew! That was a good one. I think I saw stars. No, wait, I did.”

The fist struck again. This time he tasted blood.

He shook his head, slower this time, and the motion itself set off waves of pain. “I did see stars that time.” He tried to lift his hands, but the chains of the handcuffs didn’t let him get them far. He didn’t care.

“You’re the Rock,” he said, indicating the big one with his chin. “The wrestler that became a movie star. And you’re the other guy. Jason something-or-other. You did a Fast and Furious thing didn’t you?”

The time, the larger of the two men moved, and he felt his lips split and his nose break at nearly the same time.

He spat blood and tried to laugh, but fuck, his head hurt.

“Why do they always think you look like the Rock?” the smaller man asked the larger one.

“Because no way is your skinny ass as muscular as mine.”

“I can probably kick your ass though.”

“Don’t threaten me with a good time.”

They both laughed at each other and then turned to look back at him, their faces returning to impossible to scrutinize blankness.

“Where were we?” the thinner of the pair asked.

“Who are you?” the larger one said.

“Mine name is Yu.”

“You look pretty white to be named Yu,” the smaller man answered.

“It’s fuck you,” the man in the chair said. “I ain’t telling you my name.”

The larger man shrugged and punched him again.

This time, the world went black for a moment before it came back into focus, slowly. The room seemed to flicker for the moment, then twist, then straighten.

“Jesus, that hurt.”

“Enough for you to tell us your name?”

The man in the chair shook his head. “Nope. Look, nothing you can do to me will make me tell you shit. If you’re going to kill me, do it now. I guarantee if you do, you will live to regret it. But not for long.”

“How much pain can you endure?”

“Quite a bit, actually. I’m pretty sure if I start by telling you my name, you’ll want to know more.”

“What do you have to hide?”

“Not a thing. What do you have to gain from knowing my name?”

“What if I told you we already know it?”

“I would doubt your word.”

A kick came next, to the gut, and the man in the chair expelled every bit of air in his lungs. He gasped, blood from a previous punch flew from his mouth, and finally the room had some color.

Red polka dots from his own blood, but it counted.

His vision doubled and then his eyes decided to behave. He mentally checked off a list.

Head trauma? Check.

Lack of oxygen? Check.

A concussion seemed likely, even if he made it out of this alive. That was a big if. That, some dental work, and some time to heal the internal bruising, and he would be back to normal.

Fuckers. He wouldn’t tell them a goddamn thing.

The larger man grinned at him. Had his hands been mobile, he would have flipped him off.

Then it happened, just like he knew it would. The door clicked open and someone new walked in.

Read the rest now on Amazon!

I hope you are enjoying reading this series as much as I am. You can the rest of this series on Amazon here! Stay tuned for another FREE story right here next week. I hope to see you then!

Troy Lambert
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.

Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.