Banged up a-broad
Fiction- Title is a little play on words here with ‘abroad’.
This slang term became common around 1912 and by 1914 “broad” was being used, among other things, to refer to a prostitute, thus a pimp’s “meal ticket”.
The idea came from the US allowing passports holder to change gender. It is rought around the edges and will need help.
Standing in line after a long flight, making slight clothing adjustments to himself after the red-eye flight from JFK to Casablanca, Mohammed V Airport. Mike had no bags, other than an old leather satchel that looked like it had stories to tell. The trip was a self reward for a life changing event, it was time to let one’s hair down and celebrate.
Mike was nervous, but excited, his dream has always been to return and explore Morocco, without his past constraints that made his last trip feel somewhat in the shadows and restricted. His only concern is smuggling a bit of Charlie (Cocaine) in for his friends and it is making him feel paranoid, however this is the only way he can be able to pay in order to be complete, you only live once, and this was the start of a new life for Mike. All he knew was a contact would be made, and the name Yusuf ibn Tashfin.
Each metered social distancing step closer to the passport control booth the more Mike perspired, some forty five minutes later, he hands over his passport with his little finger raised, the female immigration officer notices this, and looks at Mike, he in turn switches to a thumb and index hold cupping the rest of his fingers without a blink.
“Sir, I am confused, you are Mr. Mike James Peterson correct?” She is examining his passport and him with a perplexed look. Mike tries to stay calm, “Yeah in the flesh darling, Is there a problem?” She types something and frowns; then speaks “ no-no…. index finger please” as she points to the fingerprint device. Mike places his finger in the standalone device, she says thank you and looks at the screen again, her eyes now squinted and mouth slightly agape.
The officer holds up Mike’s passport without looking at him like a schoolchild eager to answer the question. Two guards flank the booth from her side, and Mike senses that behind him the same had occurred.
A well groomed athletic mid 30’s male officer enters the booth, he does not make any eye contact with Mike, pulls a roller chair and sits beside the female officer, she taps the screen, looks at Mike, the male officer nods, he gets up, turns away and clicks his fingers high in the air a few times.
Mike feels a hand on each shoulder, one stronger than the other as two men hold him left and right, a third man in a suit appears, along with a scent of strong aftershave, he speaks to the officer in Arabic while picking up Mikes passport from the officer, her little finger raised and smiles at Mike as she hands it to the third man in the suit who shows his badge and ID to Mike, ‘Chief security Officer CMN’ Nabil Hammouchi .
“Mr. Michael James Peterson, do you mind coming with me, we have a technical issue and some questions, it’s better we talk in private, we will be going into that room” he directs with a open palm hand towards a door, the sign reads ‘Interview room 3’.
Mike feels a slight push, and moves with it, he knows this is not optional and tries to stay calm. “Huh, sure, I guess, what is the problem though?” The investigator maintains the hand posture, flashes a smile back at the female immigration officer and does an eyebrow raise, she blushes slightly. Mike sees the flirt, and makes it obvious that he did, the third man looked slighted and sped up the pace to the interview room.
The door to the Interview room is opened by the flankers, Mike enters first the third man behind him, the flankers are now outside as the door closes and locks with a definitive click.
Inside the room are four men, excluding the third man and himself, there are two armed guards, who are now behind Mike. At a table is one Dr. of sorts, white coat, older and stern, seated at a nondescript desk with a outdated Computer terminal, and a dumb phone, some forms and next to him is what seems to be a eager and excited younger assistant both staring at the screen and looking at Mike the same way the female immigration officer did, perplexed.
The room was sterile and simple, desk, chairs, a stainless table that would suit a morgue, a weighing scale, a height measurement device, a rail with a draw curtain, a shelf with towels, boxes of gloves, sprays and a stainless roller trolley with intimidating tools of someone who’s trade is akin to a coroner.
Fluorescent strip lighting, one with a slight flicker, made the room sinister, fear started to creep in, Mike started to perspire more and more, he even felt light headed at this point.
The room had an exceedingly long large mirror with a second door that has a green and red light above it. Mike thought to himself ‘Oh my God, a two way mirror’, and the panic started to intensify. He asked for a glass of water and he was obliged unusually fast, but he never drank from it, just held the glass with a slight tremor. Mike now is extremely paranoid, he had watched ‘Locked up abroad’ and seemed to be living that nightmare.
His thoughts went to the water and what if it was drugged?
The Doctor’s assistant and the third man were chatting, both looking at the screen and making overly hand gestures, the assistant whistles a catcall tune where all the others apart from the guards started laughing, the younger man looked at Mike, his face oozing disgust, and shook his head and looked back at the screen. The other two did the same, the third man’s face exuded hate with his temple vein protruding unlike before. Mike thought he could hear the third man’s heart beat then realized it was his own.
Mike tried to relax, and again observed his surroundings. Next to the door with the lights was a cubicle with swing doors, these doors would cover a person’s chest and groin and nothing more, it had a visible mesh container and a clear large plastic bag, on the floor, on a hook outside of the cubicle was a white thin robe. To the right was a grey metal table, on it more clear zip lock bags, what seemed like labels and a marker. Above the table was a metal frame, what seemed like a black plate with a light and some pegs, it looked out of place. Mike guessed that it was not a family photo missing and it must have a function that eluded him.
The room looked unused in general and smelled clinical but also like an electrical burn.
As the third man was speaking to the Doctor, the acoustics echoed as the Doctor clicked away on a keyboard, the third man pulls a chair out and indicates Mike to sit. Mike complies and forces a smile that was met with a snap of rubber gloves being put on by the assistant. Mike winced at the glove smack, the younger man smirked and made a fist, Mikes heart rate increased and one could see physically his breathing was erratic, he now drank the water he was clutching and he passed out.
Mike awoke, he was wearing the robe, and cuffed to the morgue like table, he felt sore, like he had been beaten, overwhelmingly vulnerable, confused and invaded. Turning his head he saw beside him the tools, one had blood stains, his groin was hurting but he could not see as he was strapped down.
He looked around, he felt groggy, and in pain, he turned his head again and could see the table next to the cubicle, it had the bags filled with what seemed to be his clothing, he commented “Fuckers could have folded it”.
He looked further left and winced as he pulled his neck and a hot searing pain went from his ear to the base of his skull, he utters “fuck, fuck, fuck” noticing he was alone, more and more pain areas seemed to appear. He uttered “What the hell was done to me” his eye is now trying to frantically scan what it could see of his body, he raised his hands and feet as best he could given that he was shackled.
The same smell as before but more pungent lingered in the room, an addition of a chemical smell taunted him, the light flicker was more obvious as he was under it, he just realized and spoke out aloud “I am on the fucking autopsy table, strapped in with fucking blood on torture devises that have been inside me, what is happening”.
Mike then started screaming “somebody, somebody help… ” he shouted and shouted, after 5 minutes his voice became raspy, his throat dry. It was scratched on the inside and he could taste blood, he thought what did they do to him.
He now knew what the rod and pegs were for, it was a x-ray photo holder, his eyes freaked, had he been x-rayed! He blinked in rapid succession, then focused, his brow wrinkled, it was him in the x-ray, he looked crucified, they hung him on some sort of frame, on the groin area, was a white patch. In his head he said ‘my stash’, the voices of his friends boomed in his head; bring some China White, Chico, Snow, nose candy, put in a Johnny bag, and he did, fuck! – Realization just set in.
He looked around more, he saw the tool table again, the blood must have been from the retrieval of the condoms, and the pain verified that. Another tool, looked like something from a horror movie, and now knew why his throat hurt, and sides of his lips ripped, he licked and tasted the metallic taste of blood and feeling stinging sensations, he whimpered to himself, and thinking that must have been used to open his mouth and keep it open.
He tried in vain to move, strapped and cuffed, in pain and wondering what they did to him, as he lay weeping and passed out again.
Mike awoke, a noise startled him, he clenched his fists, it’s not a dream, his wrists now stinging where skin once was.
He saw new guards, not the airport guards, these were police guards, the straps were being released, cuffs removed and as good as that felt for a brief second he was now being roughly manhandled, he winced in pain as all wounds played in torturing harmony.
He now stood barefoot and upright clasping at the robe to hold it closed, his body language was that of a scared young girl, the guards surrounded him one handed him a jump suit and indicated to put it on, the others guards were young, wide eyed and looked at him as much as each other, they emoted the surrealism of this situation.
Mike was handed plastic sandals, he could smell the plastic, it cut through his nostrils as did the smell of mothballs from the jumpsuit he was wearing.
Again he was manhandled, he never resisted, yet he was shoved and banged over the table, arms twisted up his back, he felt the coldness and the clicks of the cuffs, then immense pain on his wrist bone. The cuffs ripped his soft skin more than before, it burned as if salt was being rubbed into a fresh wound.
The next arm was now being wrenched, this time he thought his shoulder socket snapped, he reacted and pulled away, someone put his thumb in a lock, and snapped his thumb with a loud crack. This shot a lightning bolt up his arm, he yelped out an uncontainable high pitch squeal, the guards laughed, this amused them as they continued his ordeal. His ankles were now being clamped, he stood again, but not voluntarily, he was hoisted and dumped hard, this was accompanied with a jingle jangle sound of his new constraining jewelry.
The pain now amplified, translucent snot ran down onto his lip, the corners of his mouth were bleeding, his throat burning, his eyes stinging, red and brimming with tears. He now stood breathing in whimpers like a small child who could not stop crying and was unable to talk because of the crying.
With his legs chained, he was pushed towards the chair in front of the desk, his last real memory, the ankle cuff chains were short and he fell, now on his hands and knees he was kicked in the ribs, this took his breath away and added excruciating pain, he was instructed to get up, he did, he did not want that pain again, Mike was sure his rib was cracked if not broken.
As he stood by the chair, in agony, a punch to the liver crippled him as he was pushed down to sit. Mike had never experienced a liver shot, he wanted to throw up, he felt like he shit himself and again passed out.
The door opened, then slammed thunderously shut, a man bellowed in English but with a thick Arabic accent, shouting at him, he felt spittle land. Mike smelled cardamom and coffee from the warm breath as his face was being slapped, harder and harder each time, the mans ring clipped his tooth in one slap, it jolted him, the tooth snapped and a nerve exposed, sucking air now was micro shocks.
His vision was blurry and the slaps started to discombobulate him, the voice now just became bass noise and warm scented air. The liver punch from before dismantled all else other than to simply breathe. Except he can’t really breathe, it’s what a liver punch does, and the chipped tooth compounded the problem, and the harder he tried the worse it got. He just wondered how long is it going to last, it superseded all his other pains- He passed out again.
He felt cold and wet, as they threw iced water on him. Then the voice started to become audible, words becoming coherent.
He heard having a supected fake passport is what led to a body search and because he passed out, he was told that the x-ray was done because he passed out and they were worried he might have had a suspected burst condom in him, and drugs overdosed causing death, they pointed to the door with the red and green light, that was the x-ray room, pointed to the x-ray, his finger circling the white patch, his stash!
A second man, an American spoke, “Listen to me, hey, hey” (snapping his fingers) this man was soft spoken, caressed his face, then a brief moment of calmness occurred “We can help you. 50g of Coke is a throw-away-the-key spell here, we just need names buddy, and all this can go away.
Mike spoke, “ was a Ki of Coke a fucking kg!” He curled up, stiffened, jackhammers smashed him, he urinated on the spot. Saliva sprayed from his mouth, then it stopped, like nothing happened, he then understood he had been tased, he spat thick white foamy spit from his mouth and asked to please stop. He did not want to feel that again.
The second man interjected again “I don’t think you are getting it” the voice changed from a comforter to the devil himself, “You traveled in the past and under your previous name ‘Mary Peterson’ to Morocco the finger scan confirmed that”.
“You do have a secondary problem ‘Mary’, you are being sent to a male prison, based on your claim to be a man, and based on the passport which I have expressed from the Embassy side, and me being a US Embassy official, it is not fake.
He pressed the taser, ‘clack, clack’ a crazed energized blue line danced before his eyes. Mike was visibly shaken, he trembled, held up his hands to protect himself, urine dribbled down the chair leg.
The American Officials voice boomed again, and followed with another taser press ‘clack clack clack..’
“Let me spell this out, you piss stained, shit filled mule, male jails for a gal like you that has not transitioned fully, in my eyes something that needs damnation, is going to be a living nightmare, you are going to be sweet candy in the spoiled kids store, this jail is at 172% over capacity and you are helpless at this time to do anything, you will be passed around for sexy time like a rag doll.
He paused, placed the taser on Mike’s temple while gripping his hair. As he spoke he bashed the taser into Mike’s temple after each few words as if that would assist in leaving a message.
“Ok, listen carefully Mary my little lamb (bash) you are being sent to a male maximum security Moroccan Jail (bash) Casablanca’s Oukacha prison (Bash) where suspects are often tortured by the judicial police (police judiciaire) during incommunicado (garde à vue) detention (Bash) until you sign a confession, ( Bash) and are then convicted on the basis of that confession alone, we have appointed an officer to be your handler Yusuf ibn Tashfin.” (bash, bash)
Mike raised his eyelids, and instinct allowed him a small snigger. For that he got a zap, ‘nothing seemed to matter now.
The voice continued.
Mary did not….