A flash sparked across the sky. Within minutes, there was pounding and kicking of feet against the outside of the door. She was paralyzed with fear. What would happen if that door gave way? Would that door give way?
For the past day and a half, she’d pounded and kicked on that door from the inside until the fatty pads on both her fists and the balls of her feet were so swollen and bruised, she couldn’t bear to think of doing it again. She was certain her left shoulder was dislocated too. She knew they’d been out there, peering at her panic through the peephole. She’d heard their mumbled grunts and snickers through the old vents overhead. One of them had yelled once for her to shut up or he’d put one bullet through the steel-encased door and the next one through her. By the tiny holes of light that spilled through, it looked as though that wouldn’t be the first time a bullet had hit that door, which meant she hadn’t been the first one brought to this stink hole out in the middle of this abandoned city area. She wanted so badly to be able to climb up to the boarded, vented spot that looked like it had once been a window; but it was too high. She couldn’t scale block wall.
What had her brother done to get her into this mess? She knew it had something to do with him; with the people he’d chosen to hang around since they’d gotten to this God-forsaken country. He’d been getting into trouble since the day he was born – and she’d always been there to take the fall for him – or run. Why should this time be any different? After all, he’d talked her into coming there with him; said they could take care of each other. She’d been so starved for love since all other relationships had blown apart, she’d foolishly agreed.
Speaking of hunger, her stomach had growled for the past several hours in protest to the 36 or so before that since she’d been locked away in this drab, mildewed concrete box. Dark would be coming again soon. The vented openings afforded her this knowledge, as did her cracked wristwatch. Her lips also cracked as she tried to salve them with what little remaining saliva was stuck to her tongue. She’d slid her back down the length of the cold metal door whenever her butt had found a resting place on the colder concrete slab. She’d closed her eyes, eventually resigning herself to another night, more miserable than the first – except for the fact that she was done screaming to herself…and they might not allow her to live through another one. What did they want, anyway?
She’d wondered if she even had an audience anymore. She hadn’t heard anybody stirring outside for hours. They’d probably run out for Chinese, if you could get that out here. She wondered. Her lip snarled at the thought, a little fantasy of where she might jab a pair of chopsticks if given a fighting chance. Those two monsters who’d snatched her off the bus, in front of a handful of in country citizens who weren’t willing to come to her aid, gave a bad name to gorillas. Okay, maybe they’d said guerillas. But she hadn’t doubted their animal instincts for a minute, particularly because of the way the one had bent her fingers back until they felt like they’d been yanked out of their joint spaces. She’d cried for him to stop, to let her go. Truth be told, she’d never been that brave; and she’d always been adverse to pain. Yet, the unfairness of this situation had her angry enough not to care anymore. She wished she could get her revenge and seal both those mongrels up in here permanently – as an entombed memorial to their dirty deeds.
With nothing more to do as she’d become ensconced by the darkness, at some point, she’d succumbed to sleep. She hadn’t been aware of what time it was, as she couldn’t read her watch in pitch blackness. But at some point in the night, she’d heard the automatic weapons being discharged, closing in more tightly around her. She’d slid over to the far corner of her hollow concrete box, as far as possible from the door, remaining low while covering her head. Her body had involuntarily shaken from the mixture of cold and fear, as she’d heard groups of men shouting out low, baritone calls. Suddenly, the high vented barricade had splintered into pieces, flying inward and showering her with wood, plastic and small shards of metal. She’d bitten into the inside of her mouth and winced quietly, too afraid to cry out with the shattering pain that had accosted her.
Thereafter, everything had become deadly silent. Slowly, she released the cramped squeeze on the muscles encasing her eyes. With blurred vision, she glanced up towards the gaping hole, still full of frustration that she couldn’t scramble up that wall to reach it, but also knowing she’d be too scared to go out there, even if she could step right through it. That’s when she’d heard the blast, like a missile being launched; then she’d seen the flash. Strangely, it had reminded her of a family fireworks show she’d once had with her brother, where one of the cans had tipped and sparks had gone flying. Her brother had steadily held his place, un-phased by the danger, smiling in satisfaction over the chaos; while she had run away, crying.
A round of bullets took the doorknob from its place. She covered her head in fear once more. Someone yanked the metal barricade unsteadily from its encasement and stomped through the opening. “Found her, sir!” The cry went down the alley, as the sound of boots scuffing the walk obviously approached in a hurried fashion. She peered up to see that same un-phased grin from her childhood.
This one was for the Speakeasy #100 at yeah write…
Yeah, yeah. I’m a teacher & a mom. Shame on me for NOT READING OR FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS!!! Lesson learned…
I’m limited on time this week for rewrites as there’s a dastardly dissertation chapter with a self-imposed deadline on it, so…I’m not going to link it up to the challenge grid, but I’m going to post my story and keep this badge up, in case any readers want to know how to link up and participate. (As I recall, the linking deadline is tonight.) Peace, -jody