July 20th, 2017
The first thing Sophie felt was the suffocation of a damp blanket, like webbing wrapped all around her body. The second thing she felt was the gag in her mouth, and how it pressed her tongue onto her teeth. She wished she could vomit because the blanket tasted of gasoline and of salt.
She gasped. Gasping made her choke faster. Choking that made her struggle.
She looked like a silkworm in its cocoon as she wriggled to and fro in the back seat of the police car. Rope bit into her legs and arms. She could not see anywhere her and only knew they were moving and that the trip was rough because every few feet she would jump in the air.
“F***,” She tried to say. She coughed more than she could speak. The car came to a stop, and she rolled off the car seats and onto the floor. Her head struck first, she felt the blood trickle down. Then she felt the aches all around her. Sharp, swollen pains across her chest and head. It felt like jumper cables strapped right on to her, connected to a voltage cranked to the max.
More than hurt, she was angry.
“You f****** moth-” She started mumbling. The car came to a stop though, the momentum made her jerk and hit herself against the seats.
She tried standing, lifting herself off her knees, but found the rope too constraining to help. The doors opened, she couldn’t even make it all the way up before someone else grabbed her. It pissed her off. Everything pissed her off.
It didn’t help that she felt so much pain. Somewhere along the line, her rib cage must have gotten hurt. Because roaring, and screaming and just breathing felt like a thousand prodding needles stabbing into her lungs. She waggled her legs around. The rope cut deeper into her legs and thighs and arms.
Hands grabbed her by the back of the neck, then the leg as she was lifted up.
“Get off me.” She said between the fit and struggle. It was hard to be afraid, though she should have been. Anger was just too damn overwhelming, maybe that was a blessing. Better to be angry than afraid, better to struggle than to wait. Behind the fabric covering her face she could tell that wherever she was, it was smoky. Or dusty. Because the air made her choke and cough and the mouth gag did not help. She kicked someone. They dropped her. She wiggled on the floor. They grabbed her feet and dragged.
“It’s like fishing,” She heard someone say. A man.
They went to a building, concrete. They traveled through rooms, her face hitting every bump along the way as they dragged her through. And finally they made to stairs, and then she really felt it. Each sharp angled step, hitting and smacking her face as they dragged her up. Her nose bled through the cloth. It made it stick to her face and made it even harder to breath, like a kind of self-waterboarding. Finally, they stopped. Opened a door. And they threw her. She landed on… something. She couldn’t tell what it was. The floor? No, it was elevated, her feet hung. A desk then? She could feel something rough, like splinters. It must have been wood, old wood. It was sturdy.
It was a good thing, the gag came undone from the throw. But she didn’t speak, not yet. Couldn’t give it away. Sophie bit into the sack around her face, gnawing and chewing on the bloody cloth. She ripped a hole open, swallowed the cloth and spat it out onto the floor. She stuck her nose out and breathed. Wherever she was smelled damp and aged, with small particles of dust effervescent in the air around her. It was like a tomb, and her, the great sarcophagus. Another sniff. Mold. Asbestos.
She stuck her eye through the small hole. She saw the figures. Long, shadowy people with great garbs of all black. Masks, some of them wore, with horns and antlers. Others wore shawls. All of them adorned a particular flower. Purple? A purple something, with large pedals pinned to their shoulder or chest.
They looked human but were anything but. Because they laughed like hyenas and acted like madmen.
She looked up to the grimly dressed figures, walking shadows in the light of the moonlight that seeped through broken windows. They adorned white clothes, covering them over their eyes. Handkerchiefs to blind them? Strange. Their movements and dances, stranger then. Now she wished she was still angry. But the eeriness, the child-like dance and the laughter and the masks seemed…all too much. She took a deep breath, they caught her. All three veiled eyes in the room looked back.
They didn’t even care that she could see. Or talk.
“Wasn’t there already a sacrifice yesterday?” One of them said. “Who’s the girl?”
“She was snooping around, asking about the boy.” A woman spoke, her lips were yellow behind the thin white cloth. A man nodded next to her, he had fat on his chin that shook with him, like a prideful turkey with its hanging neck.
“Do you think Dr. Alestor will be happy?” The woman was more desperate, giddier in her speech. She skipped next to Sophie and knelt down over the table to see her. Sophie spat at her cheeks.
And the woman, smiling, licked it off.
Sophie felt her stomach drop then and there. The blood in her cheeks dropped. That was about the time she actually struggled and wiggled herself off the table. She hit the floor face first and groaned.
“You’re just so obnoxious, aren’t you? A young girl should be a polite girl.” The fat man said. Sophie shimmied her way in the direction of the door. It was just so slow, so pointless. She only made it halfway before she realized the futility of it. She laid on the dirty floor, feeling what appeared to be sharp, broken tiles and glass puncturing her. A man dragged her back, through the glass and tile, which scraped her arms and chest and face.
She really screamed. Mostly for the pain she felt, and a little for the fear that was beginning to float up within her.
But still aware and though her arms and legs were tied, she opened her hand. She felt something stab her palm and immediately closed it.
She had a small shard of glass, sharp, but just enough to hide in her hand. She gripped it hard and felt her hand bleed. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered, but the time she’d be able to use it, the patience needed to wait, and the will to act.
They plopped her on the table, face up. Arms behind her.
“Is she ready yet?” The woman asked.
“No, soon though. Very soon.”