Dane murders his cellmate and is kept in solitary confinement, and the prison keeps him in total darkness in order to conduct a study on sensory deprivation. He seethes like a caged animal in the endless black of his cell, until a student named Clara comes to question him for the study. The beautiful, naive girl enraptures Dane, as speaking to her provides his only stimulus through his bleak imprisonment. His lust grows insurmountable, and Dane obsesses over how to get the girl into his cell so he can taste, feel, smell, and release into her body. Clara, however, is unsure of what she wants; is the beast-like man in the cell still dangerous?
Clara hasn't shown up for two days. There's been nothing to write between the last four meals, just a building aching and burning throughout my entire body. It feels good, but it feels like hell. I am a sentient ball of fire. The cement feels like its covered with sandpaper. My skin has grown spongey from the darkness. I'm able to keep myself strong by doing push ups in a slightly bent position, but at the end of workouts I'm nearly tearing at my own skin with the fury my burning muscles leave me in.
The pent up energy is incredible, and I need to release it. I have an erection for most of my waking hours, and my hands keep crawling towards it for release. Every part of me thinks and wills for relief, but the iota of me encased in an impenetrable metal box, the part impervious to bending to any will but my own, has stayed true. Unfortunately, it renders me merciless to my other faculties.
My voice rips out of my throat and throughout the small room. I yell incomprehensible threats, relishing the taste of blood and the searing, dry pain in my throat. My body flails against the door as if it means to bend the metal backwards for just one sliver of light.
When the slide opens and Clara's eyes appear, they have the dream-quality of a vision.
Clara backs up a bit from the door. "Sorry, I've been gone." I can see the remnants of the fear I've instilled in her during her last visit. The half of her face I can see is a hyper-reality. I come close to the door and let myself look at her full body again. She seems less human and more animal. Her dress is more paint than clothing. It extends to mid-calf, but she may as well be naked. I can see the outline of her form down to how she might twist and squirm when laid on her back. She seems to sense her own nakedness. She glances down at herself for a moment, and then comes close to the door. Her smell floats by me again.
"More questions today, Dane?" she says. I register each grain of sound coming from her, and I can pick up the small breaks between them that reveal her nervousness.
"I'll tell you how I feel. I've lived a black eternity in this box. I've been given two windows out of it: bland food and you, Clara. What do you suppose I feel? What sort of thoughts do you think go through me? I want you, and my whole body shakes for it. Everything I'm made of shivers at the thought of the small part of the day when your eyes are at my door."
Clara's eyes turn to the guard, and quickly back to mine. "Do you feel in control?"
"I don't know."
"What would you do to me if the door wasn't in the way?" The way her mouth twitches, the way she flares; I can tell that she's taking a risk.
"I would use you. I don't think I could control my body. It would take you, and I'd watch as it pinned you and released into you. I wouldn't be able to stop it. Maybe I'm not in control."
"You seem afraid. Are you afraid of yourself?"
I shake my head. "No. How else should I react?"
Clara watches me for a long time. We read each others' eyes through the small window. Hers seem to try and dig into mine. She focuses harder and harder, trying to find something in me. I wonder if she finds what she's looking for.
"Would you come in here?" I ask.
Clara laughs. The sound and the small puff of air through the window are as refreshing as a drink. "Even if the guard would let me in, I wouldn't want to come in, Dane."
"Why wouldn't you?"
"You're a killer. You just told me you would 'release into me.'"
"And you wouldn't want that, even if I didn't kill you?"
Clara's eyes search me again. When I look at their blue I feel colder, as if she's looking at me through a porthole. "I wouldn't want to risk it." she says.
"What do you have to risk?"
"Well, my life."
I smile at her. The thought of ending the life of something so beautiful seems absurd, and the frustration it causes boils through me. "Well I don't want to kill you, Clara."
"I don't think you would be able to control yourself with me in there. You said that you wouldn't be able to, anyway." She starts to back away, but I step back into darkness at the same time. She stops moving.
"Clara. I'd just like to be close to you."
"You mean rape me."
"I've never mentioned rape. I don't think I would rape you. For me that would mean weakness."
"You don't have control. You said that yourself."
I smile. "You think that I would succumb. I haven't for years."
"You've been in prison for three years, now. You haven't... released since you've been in here?"
I can see her face soften, almost imperceptively. Perhaps if my senses were dulled I wouldn't see it, the skin under her eyes relaxing, the easier fall of her breath.
"Why should I come inside?" she says.
"Ask yourself, it was your idea."
"Well, it was just hypothetical." Perhaps if she were older she wouldn't be so easy to read. Her soft features tighten with worry. Her light eyebrows furrow, and her mouth opens slightly, as if they might start to quiver, as if she's begging me of something. Her youth makes her candid.
"You want to be near me, though." I say.
Clara's face flashes soft, and then instantly hardens. "You're a killer. I don't want to be near you."
I step back into the cell. Her eyes shift away when I'm far back enough for her to see my nakedness, but she looks again when I'm hidden in the shadow.
"You're so big, how do you sleep on that cot?"
"I sleep on the floor."
She peers into the darkness. "You haven't asked for anything. Let me argue for you, light during part of the day, more food, a trip out for a shower... I can visit the warden."
I step back into the light from the door-slot, and she keeps her eyes on me now. "I haven't wanted anything like that. I don't mind the hose. Everyone gets the same food. I'd rather not have any special treatments."
"I'll want something more. I try not to worry about that sort of thing."
Clara nods. She shuffles her papers. Suddenly her tone is cold and professional. "Okay, Dane. Well, I'll be back tomorrow." she leaves the slot open as she walks away, and I measure the clicking of her heels down the hallway.
In a minute the guard closes the door, and I'm in the dark again.