It was a dirty, rundown city. First she’d run from her kidnappers, only to discover she was far from home, in a foreign country, now again facing the mouth of the cellar where they’d kept her bound up.
She ran harsh, coarse fingers through her dirty yellow hair, feeling stress and fear overtake her once again.
They’d find her. She was still lost in this building, and soon they’d find her. They’d beat her again. Oh, why was she here?
It was impossible. She broke down for a moment under the window, crouched down close to the ground, fingers still in her hair.
Maybe they wouldn’t find her if they couldn’t see her through the window. Even she knew that was a lie. How long had she been running? It was inevitable now. She almost wished they’d find her now, so they could complete her torture and be done with it.
But wait. Footsteps.
They clacked down the adjacent hall just to her right. Any moment now, it didn’t even matter how soon she wished for it or not. Any minute…
He emerged, freezing as he spotted her. He looked from her, to the mouth. She followed his gaze to the sign, engraved into black-painted wood: 出口 deguchi… Exit.
She sounded out each syllable in shock, speaking slowly. “De… guchi…”
Suddenly, the stranger spoke. “Hayaku!” Pulling her up, he yanked her startlingly along. Who was this man? Was he trying to save her, or…?
They burst outside. Safe… or maybe not.
“Hayaku!” he cried, and she was yanked again, double shock to her system. She looked ahead of her, beyond the sight of him beside her… a pair of gates. He was helping her escape.
Then everything exploded as the air ripped into a whirlwind around her and dust flew up, dirtying her more.
So close… she was almost there…
Her skin was ripped open, her bones feeling bent and her blood gushing. The man pulled her harder…
And somehow, they escaped.
Prompt inspired by Trifecta and the header of this site.