I had talked too much the night before. I really should have known better; this happened almost every other night. Then again, the only real difference between the hellish nights and the especially hellish nights was a dryer mouth, so perhaps the few words I managed to say were worth it.
It was certainly hard to feel that way now, though. Mr. Hillary’s favorite punishment for talking was a sponge shoved in my mouth and a rag tied through my teeth, so rough and scratchy that I was positive it left red streaks on my cheeks. I simply lay in bed with my eyes closed, trying not to think about how long it had been since I’d heard a friendly voice. That had become my only pastime.
I groaned and shifted a little upon hearing the door rattle. That meant Mr. Hillary was back, and the worst part of the day was about to begin. In addition to the gag and the normal restraints on my wrists and ankles, he’d gone ahead and buckled a belt around my chest and thigh