My Shining Light In Darkness-Chapter One
Two months ago.
"Bella, you need to be careful."
"I know, dad." I said distractedly, the phone held to my ear with my shoulder as I finished painting my toenails hot pink.
"I'm serious, Bella, I'm getting closer to closing this and they're getting antsy. They might come after you. Is your door locked?"
I snorted, internally. Right, like anyone would come after me. And if they did, I could handle them. I had a can of pepper spray in my purse. "Yes, it's locked. I'm being careful, dad." Walking on my heels, trying to keep my toes spread apart, I hobbled over to the front door before flicking the lock with my free hand. I wasn't technically lying, it was locked now. It's not like I wouldn't notice someone walking in my apartment. It was my first year of college and I wasn't going to spend it locked in my room because of my dad's paranoia. I couldn't wait for tonight, Lauren was throwing a giant party at her cousin's party while he was on vacation.
"Damn it, Bella. You need to stay inside. I know you're just blowing this off but it's serious."
"I know it is, I'm not blowing this off." But it wasn't serious enough to warrant missing what was going to be the greatest party of the century. I glanced over when I heard a key turning in the lock. "Hey dad, I've got to go, my roommates back."
"Fine, just make sure you tell her the same things I've told you."
"Yup, I will. Bye." I hung up the minute I heard him say good bye as Kristen walked in. "Bella!" she said. "God, I love that color on you!" She exclaimed as she gave me an air kiss, gesturing to my freshly painted nails.
"Ditto, girl!" I smiled at her, "I just love that shirt, you've GOT to let me borrow it some time."
"Of course!" She pranced into her room.
"God, I hate that bitch," I mumbled as I waddled into my room to change.
I stumbled into my room, kicking off my heels. As I tried to make it to my bed, I tripped and with a curse, I face-planted into my bed, not even bothering to remove my dress. With a groan, I stretched and fell into a drunken slumber. The last thing that ran through my head was the thought that missing that party would have been a major mistake.
An Unknown Amount of Time Later
My head was pounding. Unable to control my stomach, I rolled over and vomited. I heard cursing and felt something slam into my stomach. "Son of a bitch! She fucking threw up in my goddamn car." The swearing continued as I fought to make sense of everything.
"I told the bitch that the drugs don't mix well with alcohol."
"This is what you get when you pay a college student to do something instead of doing it yourself."
"It was fucking free. I told you, I didn't even have to pay her, she did it because she hates this chick's guts."
"Still it was a shotty job and now I've got fucking nasty shit on my floor. You're cleaning it up. Put her back to sleep before we have to deal with her. Boss doesn't want her awake until he can meet her."
I heard someone rustling around and then felt a sting on my arm. As I tried to push it away I felt very sleepy. Letting my arm fall back to the ground, I drifted back into unconsciousness.
Waking up the second time was a thousand times worse than the first. The painful clenching of my stomach wouldn't seize and I painfully dry vomited, there was nothing else left to come up. I heard a cackling, but when I pried my eyes open, a hard task considering they were crusty with dried...something, the sunlight sent a burst of pain through my skull. A few dry heaves later, I tried again and opened them wide enough to see a blurry outline of someone. "Well, well, well. Look who decided to finally join us." The image started to come in clearer and I could see a fat man setting on a seat that resembled a throne, eating what looked like Cheetos. He was completely surrounded by men with guns.
"Where am I? Who are you?" My throat hurt as I forced out the hoarse words.
"Who am I! WHO AM I!" He roared, throwing himself to his feet. He stood their taking deep breaths, his blubbery face purple with rage. "Who am I." he said softly walking closer to me, seeming to be under control. He leaned down next to me, his face inches from mine, his sick sour smelling breath blowing hotly over my face. "I," he started, "am Caius. And you, my sweet, are Isabella Swan, daughter of the police chief." He ran his finger along my jaw and I flinched away. He laughed. "What shall I do with you? Felix," he snapped his fingers and instantly a man with a very thick neck and broad shoulders was by his side. "Do you have the camera?"
"Right here, boss." He held up a camcorder, snapping the side open and aiming it on me, the red recording light coming on. I flipped my wide eyes back and forth between Caius and the camcorder, afraid and unsure of what they were going to do. Cauis stroked a hand through my hair and I struggled to get away, my body still weak from the drugs and what had probably been days comatose. He smiled at the camera.
"Hello, Chief Swan. Look who I have here," he gestured Felix closer and the camera was brought closer to my face as I struggled to get away from Cauis. Suddenly, he slapped me, "Stop it!" I cried out at the sting on my cheek, my eyes watering. "I warned you nicely to stop but you just couldn't listen could you?" he spoke directly to the camera now, "It's not my fault I was forced to do this, you know. It was all your own fault and now your daughter will have to suffer for it."
With a quickness that was surprising for such a large man, he grabbed my hair and yanked it painfully backwards. I was openly crying now, scared, hurt and confused. When he ran a hand down my hip, I noticed that I was still wearing my dress from Lauren's party. Fighting to get away from him, I feebly brought my hand up and aimed a punch that he easily deflected. Sobbing, I threw my body into it, chipped pink nails, teeth and all. With an ease that humiliated me, he subdued me, throwing a hit into my gut that left me gasping for air and struggling to breath. "You took my brother away from me. You took Marcus. Now I'll take your daughter. And you're never going to get her back."
With those words, defeat swept through me. I couldn't move, held down by a man who apparently had been pissed off by my father and was taking it out on me. And if he was part of the gang my father had been investigating then he was dangerous. I thought back to all of the warnings that my dad had given me that I'd just blown off and ignored; and I hated myself. If I'd just listened to him, if I'd taken him seriously... tears dripped out from behind my lashes.
Apparently he was done talking, he threw a few more hits and kicks that I couldn't block and I laid there in misery. Hurting inside and out, until I felt something grab me by the hair and start pulling me. I screamed, scrambling to get onto my feet, to stop the pain radiating from my skull. Eventually, I was picked up and flung over a hard shoulder, the breath being knocked out of me once again. My head grew dizzy and apparently there was something left in my stomach because it came up on the man's back. He cursed loudly and threw me to the ground, I cried out in pain as my back hit the ground and lay sobbing on the floor as the door slammed close and I was left in complete darkness. I heard a scratching noise coming from behind me and I dragged myself away from it when I heard a soft voice.
"What did you do to piss them off?"
It was too dark to see anything even with my eyes opened as wide as they could possibly go. "Who are you?" I whispered fearfully.
The cell stunk of rotten flesh and feces. It was ten paces to one side, five on the other. There were no windows and the only light was the faint glow coming from underneath the door. The soft buzz of some sort of radio could be heard most mornings right before the morning meal. When the buzz started, it was time for a bathroom break. That meant being stuck in loose handcuffs and dragged out of the cell into a large room at gunpoint and shoved into a bathroom that lacked everything but the essentials. Nothing detached, nothing was sharp enough to do anything with. And even the hot water was turned off. After five minutes, regardless of whether that was enough time or not, someone would barge in through the door that couldn't lock and drag you out, pants up or down.
I scratched another mark into the wall before counting the number I knew by heart. Fifty-three now. Each mark standing for another day in hell. Another day since I'd been kidnapped, blindfolded, and thrown in this fucking cell. I wrapped my arms around my legs and rubbed my face over my legs, shoving my hair away from my face but it fell right back in place. With a sudden burst of helpless rage, I yanked my hair backwards, the roots yanking painfully as I fought to keep it out of my face. When it fell back, touching my neck, I burst into tears. I couldn't do anything, not even keep my hair out of the way. I was fucking useless. And no one was ever going to come for me.
I heard a noise that sounded like a hurt animal. It took me a minute to realized that the helpless, whimpering was coming from myself. I'd given up praying after the second week. Around the time that Bree had been yanked out and I'd heard her screaming. That had been when one of the guards had lost his temper and taken it out on me when I tried to stop them. I couldn't move without pain, I was almost certain that one of my ribs was broken or maybe I was bleeding internally. Whatever it was, it wasn't sever enough to kill me...damn. I almost wish that it was.
There wasn't a God. There was no reason to pray. No one was coming for me. Nothing was going to miraculously happen to save me. If there was a god, he wouldn't have allowed them to rape and kill Bree. I couldn't fathom why they hadn't done the same to me. But then again, I couldn't fathom why I was in here in the first place. It must have to do with my father and the gang he'd been tracking down. He hadn't come home much in the month before I'd been kidnapped. When I asked him what he was working on, all he would say is that he'd found something big and I needed to be extra careful. I'd taken that to mean locking the doors and windows at night, not to have my roommate background checked to make sure she wouldn't drug me when I was sleeping.
I remembered my frivolous life back in Forks. I'd wasted it, spending hours talking on the phone about trivial things, starting fights over meaningless slights. When my mom had called me, the day before I'd been kidnapped, I'd blown her off because Lauren had been on hold and I wanted to bitch about what Jessica had been wearing to the party we'd gone to the night before. I couldn't even remember what had happened between myself and Jessica, we'd been best friends up until freshman year before we'd got into a huge fight. I'd wasted my life up until this point and pretty soon I wasn't going to have a life to waste anymore. If I got out of this, I was going to make up with Jessica, she'd always been there for me before we'd split apart. And I was going to dump Mike, I doubted that he even noticed I was gone. He'd probably already moved onto some other girl. Not that I had any hope of getting out of this alive. I could only hope that they would send my body back to my parents, but I doubted that there would be much left to send back when they'd finished with me. My only real hope of escape was suicide. The first chance I had, I would take. There were too many men and too much security that I'd seen so far to have even a hope of getting out alive. Suicide was the least painful option.
I jerked when I heard the buzz. My wide eyes turned to stare at the door, my breathing becoming unsteady. No, no, that's not right. It only happened once a day, why would it happen now? The buzz already happened, I already got my morning meal of dry, flavorless oatmeal, there was no reason for it to happen again. My breathing came faster and faster, jerky as the one constant in my world was altered. The door opened in time for the jailor to find me hyperventilating. He laughed at me, cowering in the corner as he threw a small, dark bundle onto the floor before slamming the door.
Frozen with fear, I stared at it. It didn't move, didn't look like anything besides a bundle of cloth. I inched slowly forward and poked it, scrambling backward as fast as I could when it moved. I burst of movement jolted my ribs and a shot of pain slammed through me. Gritting my teeth, trying to breath through the pain, I moved forward again, yanking the cloth covering the bundle.
I don't know what I expected to find, but this small, bruised child wasn't it. With a gasp, I gently uncovered the rest of her body. She was clothed in what looked like a dark,ripped potato sack. There was blood on her upper lip and her eyes were both a sickly yellow, like a fading bruise. I wasn't sure what had happened to her or why she had been thrown in here with me, but she looked so small and fragile that I wanted to cry. She whimpered and started struggling, but I just whispered to her and stroked her hair. "Shhh, shhh. It's okay. I won't hurt you. I promise, I won't hurt you." I hugged her, rocking her gently, until she quieted. "Can you tell me your name?" I asked her gently. She shook her head, quickly, her eyes wide. "Okay, that's okay. I'm Bella. What should I call you?" She stared at me, with vibrant green eyes that once must have been full of life but now looked detached and dead. "You don't want to talk, do you?" She nodded. "Okay, we'll find another way to do this." I swept my hair out of my eyes again, focusing on this child. "Does your name start with an A?" She nodded.
"Amber?" She shook her head. "Ashley?" Another shake. "Alex? Amanda?" Two more negatives. "Alice?" She gave a small nod. "Alice? That's a pretty name. Well, Alice, I'm going to find a way to get us out of here." I didn't know how I was going to do it, but suicide wasn't an option anymore. I wouldn't leave this child by herself and helpless, the way I'd been. I needed a way out. Great, Bella, I thought. Like I haven't thought of every possible way to escape and crossed them all out as impossible. Damn it, there had to be some way. I sat there in near dark, with a tormented child in my lap for the rest of the day, trying to solve an impossible problem.
I changed the first chapter from how I'd originally planned it. What do you think?