Missing is part of an ongoing story, which I aim to turn into a novella – a prequel to Brothers in Arms (Book 3 of the Morgan and Fairchild Series). I’m taking part in the StoryADay September 2015 challenge and, where possible, I try to incorporate the daily prompts. As Missing is a continued tale, it’s not strictly a story a day. It’s more a story within a story. I’ve given myself a word limit of 600 words.
Prompt: Sept 11th – Friday Favourites (A person just starting out in their field takes a prestigious, entry-level position in a big city, but the result is not as perfect or exciting as they imagined.) I haven’t used the prompt today (I failed to weave it in).
Recap: Justin Chambers, part of the team at Morgan & Fairchild, is approached by a friend who needs a favour. Justin accepts the missing person case, and agrees to look into it in his own time. Elsewhere in the story, Holly awakes in an unfamiliar room with no memory of how she got there. She soon discovers she is being held in an abandoned airfield, and her life is in danger.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Holly felt her freedom seeping away like sand in an hourglass. The relentless clock in her mind warred with the frantic drumming of her heart. She tried to remain calm, to stay focused, but with each passing minute she felt the impending danger like a touch across her sweat-dampened skin.
‘You have to be as quiet as a mouse, and as cunning as a tiger.’ Her brother’s twelve year old voice echoed in her head as she dodged from behind the crate.
Her smile was bitter sweet. Holly missed her brother every minute of every day, but she felt oddly close to him as she navigated the large hanger, trying not to draw attention to herself.
The memories were unavoidable, they always hit her hard when she thought of him, remembered finding him in the filthy hovel which had been his final resting place. Lucas had been four years her senior; he had protected her, made her existence bearable. She had lost him because, like their mother, he had been unable to break free of his addiction. That addiction had killed him, and stolen what was left of her childhood.
Shaking the thoughts away, Holly saw an opportunity and took it. At that moment nobody was guarding the door, so she slipped out and plastered herself to the side of the hanger; heart pounding.
She didn’t have a plan, though she had played out the fantasy of finding keys in one of those vehicles. It was a game she used to play with Lucas. There were times growing up when they had been so hungry they could barely function, so they had escaped inside her brother’s imagination. He had told her stories, described the food they would eat so eloquently she could almost taste it on her tongue.
Holly clung to those stories now as she crept along the side of the hanger and searched her surroundings. She saw nothing but wasteland, a wide open space which gave her little to no cover.
In her mind she saw herself running, running fast and sure across the ground until she came to a road. The fantasy vanished the moment a guard stepped around the corner and spotted her. Instinctively, she turned to run. But he was fast and he caught her with ease, squeezing her arms and dragging her back toward the door.
She wanted to scream, to fight, and to cling to what little hope she had left. Instead she allowed him to drag her back inside the hateful building.
Holly barely managed to hold back a gasp when she spotted her personal guard stomping toward them. His eyes were cold and dark, and they burned with anger. She had hurt him, humiliated him by catching him unaware. He was about to make her pay.
She stood her ground, gritting her teeth as he raised a large hand in the air; his intention clear.
The slap, when it came, sent a shock of pain across her face. It burned so hot her eyes began to water. It was less of a shock the second time, but it didn’t hurt any less.
Holly relaxed her jaw and dropped her eyes. She had to fight the compulsion to spit in his face, not because she feared what he might do to her, but she wasn’t quite ready to show her true strength. They would never break her, she would continue to fight until she had no fight left. If they believed her escape had been a fluke, that she had now learned her lesson, she would allow them to believe it. Even as she plotted and waited for another opening.
So she presented herself as a weak creature, no longer a threat. She didn’t say a word, and didn’t protest or even look up when they led her back to her box.
Thanks for stopping by.