I Can’t Free Myself From Him

Will we remain shackled until the end?

Claire Franky
4 min readFeb 26, 2024


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

My eyes sprung open. The dark, purple ceiling seemed to be closing in on me. My arms lay by my sides; they felt heavier than normal. Something hard was behind my head. Something hard was beneath my body. I shuffled slightly. It was a table. I was lying on a table.

I don’t remember drinking tequila.

A crackling sound caught my attention but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. Perhaps behind me or in front of me? Maybe both. I tried to sit up but my body didn’t move.

Frustrated, I clenched my fists and felt it on my wrist. Something cold. Metal maybe? Uncomfortable. I turned my head to the left and glanced down. It was a handcuff.

Oh, I definitely drank tequila.

The handcuff was attached to my left wrist. My eyes followed the chain to a second wrist. Not mine. A mans. I gazed up his gray t-shirt to his upper arm where I saw it. The tattoo.

Oh, no. For the love of twatting swans, no.

It was him. I glanced up at his face. My husband lay beside me on the table, asleep. We were handcuffed together.

Butterflies filled my tummy and my eyes widened. I stared at his peaceful face. I hadn’t seen him at peace in a long time. It was as if it wasn’t even really him. What if they cloned him?

That would be a plague of shit.

Ok, I want to go now. A bead of sweat began to trickle down my forehead and my clenched fists were clammy. Willing myself to calm down, I relaxed my tense body, closed my eyes, and took some deep breaths.

The crackling sound was louder now and it seemed to be coming from all directions. Wait, I’m not clammy, I’m hot. The smell of smoke finally hit my nostrils as a wave of terror swept over me. It’s fire. The crackling sound is fire.

I forced my body to sit up. Black smoke was billowing in from under the door in front of me and the door behind me.

My eyes danced around the room. There were no windows.

Just what I wanted — an escape room.