Book Preface

I no longer had the strength to conjure thoughts of rescue. My body and mind, weakened by starvation, blinded and ravaged by pain, no longer responded. I sat chained to the wall and tried one last time to garner enough strength to visualize my children in my mind’s eye.
The invisible clock ticked down to what would surely be the last moments of my life. Numbly I sat there, aware of what awaited me. No more trying to fool myself that events would take a suddenly favorable twist. I knew my fate and reluctantly accepted it. The cavalry had never arrived, and I was now convinced my ideas of rescue were merely an illusion I’d created in order to survive the torture and humiliation of my captivity.
It had been a month of torture, humiliation and darkness that was now coming to a close. In a way, perhaps it was best that it was finally over even though the ending was not the way I had hoped.
That evening they came to me and told me I needed to wash up and change clothes, which would have been the first time in a month. They happily announced I was being let go since they had financially ravaged me and there was nothing left to take. They’d grown just as weary of me as I of them. I wanted to believe them, yet I recognized their subtle hints and knew it was just another lie. Besides, I knew who they were and I was sure they knew that, and dead men surely tell no tales.
This, as everything else they had done, was comical. They wanted me to change my urine-drenched clothes and wash up, so they could kill me looking and smelling good? It didn’t matter to me and I might as well die with some dignity.
A month-long tour of hell with my own personal demonic guides was ending: A month filled with pain from the burns, electrical shocks and assorted beatings. I hadn’t seen any light for a month and food was almost non-existent.
Perhaps the most difficult part was the rollercoaster ride of emotions I had endured. I never imagined that I would be chained to that wall for so long.
So I waited for them to come take me away one last time. I sat and prayed and asked for forgiveness and I prayed for my children.
I did not know how they were going to kill me. I just prayed that it would be quick and relatively painless. But what I had learned from my experience was that my captors enjoyed seeing their victims suffer. I braced for whatever was about to come my way. They had taken everything from me and humiliated me and made me suffer, but they were not successful in smothering my spirit and perhaps in the end that was what infuriated them the most.
Little did I know that the coming evening would set off another chain of events far, far beyond my wildest imagination. That was typical of my stay in Hotel Hell; everything that happened was as surreal, as if the scriptwriter was a deranged, drugged madman who saw no boundaries in a world of lunacy.
So, I just sat there on the edge of darkness waiting for the lights to be permanently turned off and to make my final exit from that stage.

Pain and Gain – The Untold True Story – By Marc Schiller
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