Chapter 1: Taken
Red-hot throbbing in Deidra Smith’s wrists morphed her dreamless slumber into a nightmare of anguish. She awoke to find both wrists and ankles bound above her head. She was on her feet restrained at the ankles.
A chill in the air wracked her nude body with shivers. Confused, Diedra attempted to lower her arms to cover herself and succeeded only in causing the ropes binding her wrists to slice deeper. She moaned at the sudden gripping pain, involuntarily arching her back.
Deidra shook her head, tring to clear away the mental cobwebs. Memories of the previous night were cloudy at best. She had been with some of her classmates. The “it” crowd at her school liked to sneak into the park at night. Deidra had always considered the group out of her league, herself being bespectacled, thin and gawky with a haircut that left her with wisps of hair which inevitably chose to flip up and outward.
The only attention they paid her were thinly veiled verbal jabs at her awkwardness and total lack of fashion sense. Yet, she didn’t allow herself to question the ringleader Heather’s sudden interest in her. Deidra had jumped at a casual invitation to hang out with them. She spent an hour picking out an outfit for the occasion and fried her naturally curly hair straight with a flat iron, in a failed attempt to make herself look less geeky.
She had slipped out from her first floor bedroom after midnight and found the rowdy group down by the lake, already blitzed. She approached timidly, expecting to be turned away. A few of them greeted her enthusiastically, so Deidra relaxed and started to enjoy herself. She silent at first, careful not to draw any attention, afraid to break the spell. Finally feeling a part of the group, she joined in with the others laughing when Robbie’s failed attempt to jump over a park bench.
One of them handed her a rolled cigarette. At least that’s what I think it was, she thought blearily, recalling a sensation of lightheadedness. When Diedra had attempted to stand, a wave of nauseous dizziness knocked her back down. After that, her memory was a series of disjointed flashes, leering faces and rough hands bruising her body.
I have no idea how I got here…wherever here is, she thought fearfully. The room was dark and dank with narrow windows high up in gray stone walls. She guessed that she was in a vast basement or warehouse, judging from the steady echoing sound of water dripping somewhere off in the distance.
Forceful coughing caused the ropes to saw deeper into Deidra’s wrists. A droplet of blood sprung from beneath the binding on her right wrist. She flinched at the tickle of it rolling slowly down her arm. A sudden sound issuing from the darkness startled her. It had sounded like a sigh.
Realizing that she might not be alone, Deidra attempted to focus her bleary eyes, but it was too dark to see more than shadowy outlines. I must have imagined it. Suddenly exhausted, Deidra closed her eyes. Her knees buckled and another droplet of blood slid down her arm. This time, the sigh was unmistakable. It began softly and increased in volume, like air being forced from a tire. Her throat was painfully dry, but she forced herself to speak.
“Who’s in here? Please help me!”