The Busboy


It was all happening too fast. He couldn’t get any idea at all what was going on. One minute he was building his nest for the night, then he was grabbed. Two big guys. He knew they were big by how high above him their voices were. But he couldn’t see them because the first thing they’d done was throw a bag over his head.

They were much stronger than he was, and fighting was useless. He’d tried struggling and screaming at first, but he’d been hit in the stomach hard enough to knock all the air out of him and make breathing impossible; he’d thought he’d die before he was able to get just a bit of breath back.

Then one of them had told him if he resisted or called out, they’d stick him with their knives and leave him to bleed to death. He believed them.

They’d thrown him in a car and driven him somewhere; he had no idea where. He still had the bag on his head, and they’d handcuffed his hands behind him. They were in a building now. He could tell by the way the air felt, and the sounds of the voices were different here than outside. He’d been spending almost all his time outside. He knew the difference.

A hand grabbed his arm and said, “This way,” and he was walking. He couldn’t see a thing, didn’t know where he was walking to. Finally, they stopped, and the hand left his arm. The handcuffs were removed, but not the bag.

“What’s your name, boy?” The voice was hard. So hard it made him tremble.

“Noah,” he said, more a shaky whisper than anything else.

“You touch that bag, Noah, you’re dead. Understand? You don’t see us, you might live. You get that bag off yourself, you’re just a piece of meat we’ll need to dispose of. Got it?”

Noah squeaked out a yes and then heard, “OK, you two, get his clothes off him.”

Noah began crying, but could do nothing else as two sets of hands, smaller than the ones that had grabbed him, began working on him.