The first thing that registered was the dry metallic taste. A singularly unpleasant but not unfamiliar sensation. And then the cold – she realised that she was in her underwear and a t-shirt, how she usually slept, but she felt a gritty dampness beneath her side. She heard herself moaning as she tried to lift her head. The effort was immense and excruciating. Letting her head drop back, she cried out as it hit what felt like concrete.
She was still dazed and unaware of both her surroundings and her situation. She lifted a hand to the stabbing pain in her head and was shocked to notice how heavy her hands were. And then she realised. Her hands were locked together. What? How did..? Finally she jolted awake and the horror set in. She was handcuffed!
At this point, adrenalin kicked in and she lurched into a sitting position, her head screaming and it was then that she felt the massive pain in her side, causing a dizzying wave of darkness to cross her vision and her whole body wavered back and forth as she fought for control. She wept. She wept as she realised that she had no control right now.
She looked around the room, carefully, as each movement caused the stabbing pains in her head and ribs to intensify. There was very little light. But she could see that she was in a cavernous room, with little else besides two tables and a couple of old wooden chairs.
Her legs were unchained, but she couldn’t stand. The pain was too intense. She shuffled herself backwards to lean against the wall behind her, the movement slow as she tried to cope with the sharp stabbing pains in her side. She thought that her ribs might be broken. As she breathed shallow breaths, leaning against the wall, she noticed that it was stone – rough stone. And there was water dripping beside her – she couldn’t see the source, it hurt too much to look up.
She slumped back, trying to remember what had happened. She’d gone to bed quite late but had the next day off from work so was planning a leisurely sleep-in. She’d spoken to John just before she went to sleep. She remembered lying in bed, settling against the pillows. She’d changed the sheets that day and had loved the feeling of sinking into fresh crisp white sheets, the voice of her lover on the other end of the phone. They’d been talking about the house that he’d found for them and she couldn’t wait to move. They’d been apart for almost three months now as she finished up her projects while he scouted out a place for them and started his new job. She felt blessed to have him in her life and couldn’t wait to begin their next chapter together.
Shaking herself out of her reflection, she looked around the room again. Whatever the hell was going on, she was going to figure it out. She was going to take back control. She had no idea how, given that she was shackled and alone but she resolved to get out of here.
Her head whipped to the right as she heard footsteps echoing in the overwhelming space. Terror filled her as she suddenly remembered heavy gloved hands roughly dragging her out of bed, her head hitting the timber frame as he let her drop heavily to the floor. She remembered screaming and then a series of rough kicks to her side forcing her into a whimpering curled-up mess. After that, she didn’t remember much, except a cloudiness and heaviness. Darkness and movement. Roughly shoved into a confined space. And then nothing until … here.
The footsteps were closer and she started to shake. She was terrified. How was she going to escape?
This story is part of a collection which started with Ended and Beginning. A rough idea is starting to take shape in my mind for where this could go and so I’m trying a few things to see what happens.
As usual, I’m on an airplane as I write this. Today I started writing before we even took off as I had the idea percolating for a while.
I look forward to your comments as always.