Her sluggish brain struggled to pull
out of unconsciousness. She opened and blinked her eyes against
the impenetrable blackness. The sharp smell of wet iron
assaulted her nostrils. Blood. She felt the pressure of a hard
wooden floor jab against every part of her body. The stiffness of
her muscles and joints prickled with heaviness as she slowly
worked her hand to her throbbing head. Something wet and sticky
smeared upon her forehead as she checked for a wound. No gaping
With small, tentative movements she sat up, her muscles
protesting. The chill of the air against her bare skin made her
shiver. Naked and confused, frantic thoughts filled her mind.
What is happening to me? Why am I here? Where am I? She gasped
as she moved her leg and heard the distinct sound of metal
scraping the floor. Her ankles burned with tenderness. She
reached down and felt cold metal bands clamped around each ankle
attached to heavy chains. Disbelief and panic made it difficult
to breathe and her heart jumped so violently she feared it would
burst out of her chest. She jerked on the chains and found them
secure. Small animal-like whimpers escaped her lips as she
continued to pull and jerk the chains.
The door opened and the click of a switch threw a blazing
brightness into the room. The woman in chains squinted and
shielded her eyes against the sudden glare. The tall, hefty
woman in the doorway had a myriad of expressions cross her face.
Sadness, guilt, love. The woman spoke.
"Not too much longer, Anna. Sunrise is in an hour."
The woman looked toward the corner of the room and Anna followed
her gaze. They both stared at the shredded, ripped and bloodied
body of what had once been a man.
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