And right at the end, one of the torturers comes in, and it's his father. And there's this horrible affection in the way he's treating his son, the "I only hurt you because I love you" vibe. And the story ends on him putting down his instruments of pain and gently picking up his son and carrying him to the torture table.
But that wasn't the really freaky, disturbing part. No, the creepy disturbing part was that throughout the whole story/dream there had been this theme with the food he was being fed being _wrong_. Meat on skewers, but the skewers snapped like shards of bone, not wood. Things like that. With this underlying sensation that the entire story was a hallucination of the prisoner, and that in the real world he was being forced to consume himself. And no, I hadn't read any Iain Banks lately.
Augh. My sleeping brain is a scary thing when I'm sick. At least the evil cold waited until I was done with exams to hit. Though my mother is cranky because she figures she's going to catch it too, which is probably true, but not really my fault.