The story so far:
Time was passing too quickly for Zach. He didn't know what time it was or how long his captor had been gone,, but he was all too aware that if the cop was coming back then every second mattered.
His hands and fingertips were tender and aching from feeling along what must have been every inch of those damp, stone walls that seemed not to close in on him but rather to expand making his efforts seem gargantuanly futile.
The question of why he was here kept running through his mind, tormenting his thoughts. And thought of his mother, why her?-what kind of sick bastard would--? He tried to shake the thoughts away.
He had to stay focused. Had to keep from getting emotional right now. There was no time for emotions. He had to find a way out.
The torturous dripping persisted, but from where Zach could not make out. It echoed in the room and threatened to drive him crazy. He had thought about, then decided against yelling for help. Somehow he knew that no one would here him from whereever it was that he was imprisoned. His captor was too smart to take a chance like that, he was a cop afterall wasn't he? Is that how he found this place? Zach wondered.
'But why me, why this?' Zach wanted to know.
Suddenly something caught his attention. From the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of--of light. Light that he had not noticed before near the top of one of the walls. He moved towards it and as he did so his eyes slowly began to adjust better to the darkness. He reached up to feel the crevice with his fingers and as they passed over the tiny spot of illumination it disappeared then reappeared again. He wasn't imagining it. It was really there. His eyes weren't playing tricks on him. A crack in the wall that must lead to another room or, his heart raced, maybe to the outside. Outside, that must be it. He hadn't seen the light before because there was no light, only shadows. The sun, rising, setting, or midday, Zach didn't know or care, must have moved into a position-- the right position to expose that tiny flaw in this cavernous tomb.
He wasted no time stretching to reach the spot and scratching at the opening with his already raw fingertips. A few pieces of dirt or mortar fell away easily but not much after that. The wall was thick and the area of light was not getting any larger. He needed something. He needed a tool, anything to work away at the opening before the sun moved and it was lost to him.
Zach tried to look around the room with his newfound, albeit faint, vision. He could see nothing and could remember feeling nothing in his blind search of the room. His captor had been very thorough in making sure that Zach would be completely unarmed and vulnerable.
'Unarmed?'--Zach's heart stopped for a beat. His thoughts reluctantly went to the reality of his mother's dismembered arm still lying on the floor. The arm that the cop had thrown at Zach so callously, so easily, with that malicious smirk evident in his voice. But the arm could have been any arm--any arm except for the one thing Zach recognized. The one thing that the cop knew Zach would recognize--the ring.
Zach's stomach lurched at the thought at once again touching his mother's severed forearm but he knew that he had no choice. He could use the ring as a tool to dig into the wall for however long it would hold up. He had to do this.
Moving quickly, blindly across the room, he felt carefully along the floor until his hand landed on the cold, wrinkled, and now stiff flesh of the forearm.
He swallowed back a dry heave and felt down to her fingertips and to the ring. It was snug, her fingers felt swollen and they were stiff and curled. To remove the ring he would have to snap the finger, breaking the bone. He closed his eyes, hoping the effort would also close his ears to the sound.
It didn't. Zach heard the snap and his entire body cringed. Tears welled in his eyes as he worked the ring off of the swollen index.
Standing up, Zach inhaled deeply. He pulled himself together and returned to the crevice in the wall. He began working quickly, using the ring he had always thought to be so gawdy but now gave thanks for, to chisle away at his prison.