Full Circle by Erin – Chapter 12

Republisher’s Note: Carmen and Mick have Michelle held hostage.

Full Circle by Erin – Chapter 12

Three weeks have gone by.

Funny. It doesn’t seem that long.

I have no real concept of day or night here. Just the cracks of light around the door. Carmen’s thugs usually come by once a day. They leave me enough food and water for 24 hours then leave again without saying a word.

My handcuffs are off at least.

But my ankle is still tethered to a thick chain that only allows me to go so far. I can reach the tiny bathroom off to the right of my “bed”, but that’s about it. The chain pulls me short a good four feet from the door.

Boredom is my worst enemy. Day and night, my mind goes around and around. I think of Danny constantly.

He’ll be back now.

Miserable because his awful wife left him.

At least I don’t cry anymore.

For the first few weeks, that’s all I did. A nonstop flow of misery.

I spend most days talking to my baby. Not out loud of course, but I tell him, or her, stories in my mind. I talk about my parents, I tell the story of how Danny and I met…anything to keep my mind off my circumstances.

Today, I am walking in narrow circles, trying to, believe it or not, exercise a little. At first, I didn’t care if I lived or died. But now I have to live, not for me, for my baby.

Around and around I walk.

I will get out of this. I don’t know how just yet, but somehow. I’ll get back to Danny and I’ll tell him what his mother did and-Suddenly I become aware of a commotion outside.

I stop my pacing. The walls of my prison are thick, but I can make out muffled voices.

“No…I can’t….sorry, sir…”

“Why…I….no, it’s…”

The voices are getting louder, more distinct. Then-
“Mr. Santos, I can’t-”

My heart begins to pound and I feel lightheaded. It can’t be…

But a spark of hope begins to flutter.

“Dammit, I said I need to get in there, now let me through!”

The spark blossoms blindingly into a flame.

I’d know that imperious voice anywhere.

Danny.

Without thinking, I bolt for the front door. Of course, the chain catches around my ankle and I nearly go sprawling. Luckily, I’m able to catch myself before I fall. Banging on the door is out. So I open my mouth and scream, “Danny!”

To my horror, nothing but a whispery shriek comes out. My voice, suffering from three weeks of unuse, has left me.

Hysteria rising, I scream again. Nothing.

I can’t reach any of the walls to pound on except the one behind the mattress. So I go at that with all my might. Pounding, sobbing, attempting to yell.

I can still hear Danny and the guard arguing outside.

Please, oh, please, Danny don’t leave! I beg silently. I know this is my only chance. After Carmen finds out Danny was here, she’ll move me.

I know the pounding on the far wall is doing no good. The wall is too thick and I’m too weak to pound hard.

Then I hear Danny say, “OK…forget…I’ll be…tomorrow.”

I curse the walls for not allowing me to hear what he said and even curse Danny for not yelling as he had before. Then I hear a car door open and shut.

“No…no.” I cry in a raspy voice.

The car drives off.

I fall against the wall, sobbing for the first time in weeks.

He was so close.

I could hear him, dammit!

I lay down on the damp mattress and cry until I see the light fade from the edges of the door and finally, my eyes, gritty and swollen, close in exhaustion.

**************

I wake up the next morning filled with resolve.

I’m sick of sitting around, waiting for this situation to fix itself.

I hobble over to the place where the guards set my food and eat a hearty breakfast. I’m going to need all my strength.

When I’m done, I run my hand over my tummy. “Come on, sweetheart,” I murmur to my child, “We have a lot to do today.”

First things first, I have to get this damn chain off my leg. That’s the hard part. The rest should come easy.

I sit down to inspect my bonds. The chain in thick, but the lock looks old and rusty. Determined, I make my way into the bathroom and spot the loose floorboard I had noticed the other day.

Laying on my stomach, I manage to pry the board up just enough so that I can get what I’m really after.

The nail.

It takes some work, a lot of sweat, and even a little blood, but I work at the nail until it’s free from the board.

I hold it in my hand like a precious treasure. Knowing Carmen’s guys could walk in at any moment, I work feverishly, shoving the nail into the lock. I jiggle it back and forth. Nothing.

I jiggle harder.

Still nothing.

To hell with jiggling. I dig the nail into the lock until I think it’s going to break.

Click!

The lock springs open.

I stare at the bloody, raw ring around my ankle in fascination. I’m free. I did it.

“We did it, baby!” I cry out, relief almost making me weak. But I can’t afford weakness now. Instead, I crawl on the floor to more rotting boards.

It takes me over an hour, but I’m able to pry up enough of the boards to make a small hole in the floor.

I grimace as I lower myself into the mud beneath the house. On, my belly, I lay in the dark muck and try not to think about what else could be under the house with me.

Think about Danny, I tell myself. And your child. And the life you’re all going to have together.

But even the picture of a rosy life with Danny doesn’t comfort me when I feel something slither over my arm.

I shudder, but look around and plan my next move.

All I would have to do is crawl five feet, towards the light, and I’d be out.

And right in front of Carmen’s goons.

I creep closer to the edge of the house.

Laying as flat as I possibly can, I can see the man assigned to watch the house. Just one guy. And, by the looks of it, he would make Dietz look like the brains of the Santos family.

If I’d known it was this easy, I’d have escaped the first night.

Something furry skitters by me then and my hands, their skin rubbed bloody by my efforts, begin to throb.

OK, so this isn’t THAT easy.

Keeping my eyes on the thug, I feel around in the dark for a rock, a bottle, anything.

My fingers close over, ironically enough, an old lock.

Good enough.

Knowing this is my only shot, I take a deep breath, pull my arm as far back as I can while laying flat on my stomach, and hurl the lock to the far right of my guard.

Just as I predicted, his head swivels towards the sound.

Drawing a gun, he goes to investigate.

I slither backwards and crawl out on the other side of the house.

As soon as I’m out and standing, I run.

There’s a copse of trees only three yards away.

Those nine feet feel like 900 as I make my way to safety. I thank God I’d thought to “keep in shape” while I was imprisoned.

The whole run, I’m waiting for the crack of a gunshot.

But no shot comes and I make it into the cover of the trees safely.

Hidden safe in the dark interior of the grove, I sag against a pine, panting.

I rub my belly again.

“We’re almost there, honey, don’t you worry.”

I don’t rest for long. I figure I’m about 20 miles out of town.

I’ve got a long journey ahead of me.

Back home.

Back to my husband.

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