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Lucy H
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A mix of blood and sweat ran down his body. Breathing heavily, Leo sat alone, tied to the chair. He could make out the dim lights flickering through the cloth wrapped around his head. He felt paralyzed. After weeks, or was it months of torture, this wasn’t surprising. Moisture gathered around his eyes, why was he crying? He thought he had given up, that he gave his best. Right now, his children are safe, they will live a better life. But no, he had failed. He remembered the terror in her eyes as she collapsed from the attack. His wife was dead. “Come with me,” a muffled voice echoed. A blurred image of a woman appeared in his mind. Where to? He thought. For a moment he felt warmth and saw light spread over him. He wanted to go there, but he knew he shouldn’t. He remembered his daughter screeching as he hid her in the closet. He remembered his son clenching his fists. “No.” “It’s okay.” This time it was clearer. The soothing voice sounded disturbingly familiar. No. It wasn’t okay, he told himself strictly. The voice wanted him dead, he knew. He can’t die. He had to make sure his children were safe. He will find a way to stop those attacks, one way or another, even if it meant losing his life. He knew his wife would approve. “No she wouldn’t,” the voice cracked. The woman came closer, if that was possible. The image of her in his mind began to clear up. A warm smile stretched across her face. Leo’s heart picked up its pace and his breathing became shallow. He recognized her, but who? He thrashed around in his chair. She is dangerous, he scolded himself for having a moment of doubt. He had to get away from her. “Come with me.” “No!” He shook violently until finally falling over with the chair. The side of his face burned. His muscles stopped obeying his orders. “Let’s escape from this world.” Leo shook his head once more. “Sarah and Bryan are safe.” The names of his children stopped his breathing. How did she know? The torture must have made him mentally unstable, Leo thought to himself. But he had never felt so alone. “Come with me.” The woman had honey-brown braids dangling at her shoulders. Her eyes were filled with hope and her hands reached out to offer him the way. Leo sobbed, it was her. “I can’t.” He wheezed, but found himself extending his arms. “I can’t,” he told himself. “I love you.” She held his hand firmly and pulled him into her embrace. He smiled for the first time.
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Jul 1, 2016