Riley was kidnapped at age six and for ten years she has been continuously tortured, with no chance of escape.
Then when a boy comes to work for the place where she is trapped he tells her thatb he will get her out, but what will happen when -or if- they do get out.
Will they find out why they kidnapped Riley?
Will they found out where Riley's brother Tariq is?
And will they ever be left alone?
I woke early resulting in me having very dim lighting come through the window on the ceiling and some time to read, but it was enough for me, I crawled over to the corner of my small, square concrete cell. I clutched the thick book to my chest as I got comfortable against the wall before opening the book, I read the word, practising how to say each new word in a whisper then learning to spell it.
â€œEmancipate,â€ I whispered softly, staring at the book intently, studying the letters before closing my eyes tightly, â€œEmancipate. E. M. A. N. I. C.A. P. A. T. E.â€ I back down at the book, grinning widely when I saw I had finally spelt it correctly, after trying to do it for the last few days. I closed the book, placing it in the corner again and whispered the spelling to myself over and over again to make sure I wouldnâ€™t forget it.
When I heard footsteps echoing down the hall I quickly scrambled on my hands and knees back to my bed, jumping under the covers and feigning sleep, hoping would leave me alone, but there was no such luck. Like every other morning they injected me with something, just in case I was awake like this morning and Iâ€™d fall unconscious. When I woke up Iâ€™d be strapped back on that desk with Doctor Codas ready to begin his torture on me again.
â€œLearnt any new words lately?â€ Codas asked, the only thing he ever says to me, and he asks it every morning, his voice in unnaturally quiet, like he is whispering, but not quite, it was smooth and sounded almost as if he was a child.
â€œYeah,â€ I responded like the guy wasnâ€™t going to make me feel my limbs being ripped off, like this was just an everyday casual conversation, â€œEmancipate, I can spell it and everything.â€
Codas just nodded, I knew he wasnâ€™t going to talk for the rest of this session, but I continued to talk to him anyway, â€œSo, anything new in your life, Doc? Got a girlfriend? Maybe youâ€™ve seen a good movie lately, what was it called, what was it about, was it good?â€
Codas just continued to get his needles set up and all his other tools, â€œAnything new, today? Or is it all same old? Maybe you have more of that purple stuff? That was good, new, exciting!â€
â€œWell I do have some more,â€ I heard him mutter.
I grinned, and if my hands werenâ€™t pinned to my sides I would have thrown my hands up in celebration, â€œAnd I get him to talk some more! See that, you should do that more often, I love talking to you, considering youâ€™re the only one there to talk to, but that isnâ€™t really the point now, is it?â€
Codas said nothing but when he turned he was grinning slightly, but when I saw the syringe in his hand I realised it wasnâ€™t from what I said, it was the violet liquid again, â€œAnd here comes the fun part,â€ I muttered as I felt the liquid seep into my blood stream, then the screaming started.
When the day was finally over someone came to bring me back to my cell, normally the guy who brought me back to my cell was a big bulky guy who had no hair and tattooâ€™s covering his head and looked about early forties, I had learnt in my years here that his name was Rob, but Rob didnâ€™t come this time. Instead a guy who looked just a few years older than me came, he had light blonde that was jelled into a stylishly messy hair-do, he had bright green eyes framed by long, dark lashes, and though he was considerably smaller than Rob, I could still see that he had a fair amount of muscle.
As per usual Codas injected me with yet another drug, though this one didnâ€™t knock me out, instead it just made me weak and unable to move quickly and efficiently, not that I could do that anyway, I didnâ€™t get proper food and I got hardly any water, I got next to no exercise (they would take me outside once a week, twice if I was lucky) and I was just overall completely weak.
Slowly the new guy helped me off the bench I was on and placed my arm across his shoulders-around his neck- it was much more comfortable then when Rob helped me places because being so much taller than me I couldnâ€™t do this so instead he would keep a strong grip on my arm and pretty much drag me places.
â€œWhereâ€™s Robby? My buddy hasnâ€™t ditched me has he?â€ I asked, my voice was quieter than normal and slurred a little but I knew that it was the drugs, I wasnâ€™t worried.
Codas stayed silent as we began our journey back to my cell and I heard the guy chuckle a little. â€œYouâ€™re stupid,â€ I said to him quietly as we arrived at the door of my cell. The guy looked at me and for a moment I thought he was going to slap me, which was what Rob used to do when I first arrived and would try to get away or Iâ€™d talk back to him. But instead the guy just looked at me before asking why.
â€œFor doing this job,â€ I explained, â€œYou know what they are doing to me right?â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t go so far as Pear of Anguish but I have a rough idea,â€ he replied, leaning me against a wall so he could unlock the door.
â€œWhat is the pear of-â€ But before I got to finish my question the boy began laughing. I glared at him, â€œWhat? What is it?â€
â€œSomething from a very long time ago,â€ he said, wrapping an arm around my waist to support me as we made slow steps into my cell, â€œNothing you need to worry about.â€
The boy lowered me onto my bed and I asked for his name, â€œJean,â€ he replied before standing up and walking to the door.
Just as he was half way closing the door he stopped and looked at me, â€œTrust me, I am definitely not stupid for getting this job, Iâ€™m going to love it,â€ he flashed me a smile, showing perfect white teeth before the door closed with a thud and I heard the deadbolt lock.
The sun shone brightly as I stared at my small feet, studying the mark on my foot, it was shaped like a rubber duck and was a light shade of brown against my pale skin, â€œTariq!â€ I yelled out and a few moments later my eight-year-old brother emerged from the house across the yard.
Tariq jogged across the backyard to the far corner that I sat in and looked down at me, pushing his long black hair out of his face but every time the wind would just blow it back.
â€œWhatâ€™s on my foot?â€ I asked, pointing to the mark on my left foot, just above my little toe.
â€œItâ€™s a birth mark,â€ Tariq explained, â€œYou were born with it on you, like mine.â€ Tariq pulled up the short sleeve of his shirt, showing me his bare should, were the was a mark, the same colour as mine, on his shoulder that looked like a very rough â€˜Tâ€™.
I giggled before beginning to sing to a song I made up on the spot, â€œTariq was born with a T, T, T and I was born with a duckie. Tariq was born with a T, T, T and I, Riley, was born with a duck-ie!â€
Tariq chuckled before jogging back across the grassy yard and into the green house. I continued to sing the song to myself for a while, picking at the grass around me when I heard a loud crash coming from the house.
My head snapped up and over looking at the peaceful looking green house, â€œMummy mustâ€™ve dropped something,â€ I muttered before continuing to pick at the grass.
I jumped when I heard yelling coming from the house, looking up I still saw no disturbance, but what I heard told me differently. Though I couldnâ€™t understand what was being said the tone of the voices, the way things were yelled, people were angry.
Slowly, I stood up, and took a step towards the house, I was completely unsure of what to do, it was then I saw Tariq running out of the house, full speed towards me with blood running down his face from some wound on his forehead.
â€œRun!â€ he yelled at me before tripping over.
â€œTariq!â€ I yelled out running towards him, but I only got two steps in before someone grabbed hold of my arm and pulled my back into their chest, muffling my screams with their hands. I struggled, and struggled but his grip was tight, I tried biting his hand but he kept it firmly over my mouth.
â€œTariq!â€ I yelled out again, though I knew he couldnâ€™t hear me through the hand on my mouth and it was too late anyway, wearing completely black from their shoes to the balaclavas that hid their identity grabbed his arms and pulled him up, covering his mouth with their hand, muffling his cries for help.
My captor began dragging me away and I found my struggles were useless, I took one last glance at Tariq to find him struggling as much as I had been, though he actually got out and began running towards me, his grey eyes locked with mine as he ran, then some type of invisible force seemed to pull him back, he yelled out in shock and I tried to break away again but it was completely useless, whoever was holding onto me was so much bigger and stronger than I was.
I was pulled out onto the deserted street and into a van where I felt a sharp pain in my arm before darkness took over and when I woke up later I was strapped down and there was a searing pain in all my limbs.
I screamed as much as my small lungs would let me and cried until it felt like my eyes were completely dry.
When I woke up I was drenched with sweat and my breathing was laboured, the cell was pitch black, I couldnâ€™t even see my hand when it was right in front of my face. Sighing, I ran a hand through my greasy hair.
It was then that I heard movement in the corner, my head snapped in the direction of the noise but I could see nothing. â€œHello?â€ I whispered.
I was met with silence for a moment before I heard more movement, soft footsteps getting closer and closer. I then felt something warm open my closed fist so my hand was flat, I stayed completely silent and still, I felt something placed in my hand before my hand was curled back into a fist and the footsteps retreated and went through the door, closing and locking it behind them.
I lay awake until the sun began to rise and the room was lit up dimly. â€œThursday,â€ I muttered to myself then recited my word from yesterday, â€œEmancipate. E. M. A. N. C. I. P. A. T. E. To set somebody free from slavery, serfdom or other forms of bondage.â€ Potato.
Slowly I opened my hand to find a piece of paper; it must have been what was placed in my hand last night. I unfolded the piece of paper and read it, whispering every word under my breath, â€œDonâ€™t worry; I will get you out of here. I told you I wasnâ€™t stupid for getting this job, and I told you I would enjoy it. I donâ€™t know how long youâ€™ll have to wait though, hold up until then, I promise, I will get you out. Jean.â€
Jean is going to get me out of here? How is he going to do that? Was he crazy? Despite all the dangers that would place he and I in, that could potentially lead to death, I couldnâ€™t help but feel relief. I also calmed down a bit, knowing that someone had come into my cell, not to scare me, but to ensure my safety. I crawled over to my dictionary, where I placed the piece of paper inside on the page that had the word emancipate and placed it safely back in the corner before I heard the same footsteps that came every other day. When Codas arrived he stared at me, before reaching into his pocket pulling out a syringe and walking towards me.
I held my arm out, not fighting and had a massive grin on my face as I spoke to the Doctor before passing out, â€œWhatâ€™s up, Doc?â€