Awakened by the silence ringing in her ears, Nadia finds herself in a dark damp cell, lit only by the moonlight. Her fingers seized the rims of her gown, seeking something familiar. The flavor of the air was bitter, and blood spatter stained the walls. Skin and crusted blood was buried underneath her fingernails. There were grainy hairs on her shirt, but they didn’t belong to her.
She proceeded to the window to see where she was, but all she could see was the moon. Her eyes adjusted between the shadows in the dark world, and her reflection. The beams of the moon lit up one side of her face. Using her forefinger, she traced her black and blue eye. A dry blood trail ran from her ear down to her shoulder, tugging at the small hairs on her skin. The Grains of dirt, between her teeth, loosened as she licked her wounded lip. Her right arm bruised to match the black marks that decorated her legs. While outlining the crows- feet, she shook her head in disbelief, tugging on the bags under her eyes. She realized then that she was no longer the five-year old girl she once knew.
Collapsed on the floor, she buried her head between her knees. Torn between the natural instinct of a child, and the woman she saw in the reflection, she closed her eyes, desperate to recall her past, or how she ended up there.
A sigh was heard nearby. Nadia stopped what she was doing. She waited for the sound again to confirm that she was not imagining things. Minutes went by and still nothing happened.
Oh my god. I’m losing my mind.
‘’Who’s there?’’ she asked, rapidly shifting her eyes.
She searched all corners of the room. No one was there. Minutes went by, and still no response. Convinced it was her imagination, Nadia continued to look for a way out. No latches, secret doorways, or buttons were found. The only exit was a massive steel door that had no handle to fight with, nor a keyhole. She went back to the window, it was locked. Out of desperation she threw a wooden chair at the glass.
‘’Great. Now I have no chair, but I do have firewood. I wonder if they have marshmellows.’’ Nadia rolled her eyes and laughed, ‘Why am I talking to myself?’’
Nadia used the built-up frustration to lift her bed, and slam it into the window pane. The small bed bounced off and landed on her foot.
‘’Momma!’’ she cried. The familiar echo of her scream caused her to pause. For a brief moment, she remember something.
‘’Momma? Momma! Where are you?’’ She cried, tugging on her ear.
She remembered the last morning with her family. The smell the fresh pancakes in the air, the taste of jam on her tongue. She could hear their dog, Max, begging for more bacon. Her father was reading the newspaper, while she and her sister Bellamy created dolls out of their napkins. But she couldn’t remember what happened to the family, or even growing up.
The cold cement floor kept her awake, but the pain inside numbed her. A breeze swept by her ear. She looked at the window. It was still closed. She looked harder into the shadows.
‘’Who’s there?’’ she whispered. Curiosity turned into fear.
‘’I know you’re there. Come out.’’ She said.
All was quiet. She froze in a kneeled pose, numbing needles pricked at her feet. She waited for the same noise to appear again.
I know someone is there.
‘’Hello? This isn’t funny!’’ she said.
(I’m here Nadia.)
‘’Hu– Who is there? Where are you?’ Nadia said.
Sharp pains struck Nadia’s temples. Her vision went blurry. She dug her fingers into her ears, desperate to yank out the high pitched screech that pierced her drums.
(You are not alone.)
‘’Who are you?’’ She said, grinding her teeth to drive her attention away from the pain.
A low pitched growl followed by a loud ringing sent Nadia to her knees. A warm substance dripped out of her left ear, down her jaw bone and onto her shirt.
‘’Why am I bleeding?’’ she asked, ‘’Did you do this?’’
(Let me out!)
‘’Let..Let you out? How did you get in?’’ Nadia asked, jerking her head side to side.
The pitch increased.
(Let me out!)
‘’I…d…d..on’t know how,’’ Nadia cried, ‘’Stop!’’
Nadia yanked on her hair, tugging at her scalp, her nails ripping through the meat.
‘’Get out , get out, get out!’’ She implored.
The ringing stopped. Her eyes scanned over the room
‘’H-hello?’’ she said, whispering, fearing that it will answer.