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?
Jean led me outside, supporting me only slightly by having his arm wrapped around my waist, he had done this every time he helped me anywhere, it made my legs grow stronger so instead of my usual exercise in which I walked around on wobbly legs for ten minutes before I became exhausted, I walked with only a small shake to my step and I was sure Iâ€™d be able to walk for longer.
I took a step away from Jeanâ€™s arm and began walking, seconds later Jean caught up and walked next to me. I glanced at him, shooting him a confused look but he just ignored me and stared forward. We walked around the field for around ten minutes and my legs began to ache, ignoring it, I continued walking, I realised I was breathing deeper than usual, I was getting tired.
I continued to push on with Jean beside me, I could tell the pace I was going at was painfully slow for him, but he didnâ€™t say anything, just continued to slowly walk next me.
Another five minutes went past and I was proud of myself for walking this long without giving up, though I was now covered in sweat, my lungs ached and my legs felt like jelly. I glanced at Jean who still walked silently beside me; he had not been affected by that walk at all, his breathing hadnâ€™t even picked up speed in the slightest.
For some reason that made me more determined to continue walking, but after another five minutes my legs shook uncontrollably and I fell, I wouldâ€™ve hit the ground too if Jean hadnâ€™t been there to catch me.
He looked me dead in the eye, â€œDonâ€™t be an idiot,â€ he said, â€œIf you feel exhausted you stop walking, okay? Or youâ€™ll hurt yourself, and that will just make my job that much harder.â€
I nodded silently and without another word, Jean wrapped his arm around my waist again, giving me more support than usual.
Jean led me back to my cell and locked me in for the night. I rested into the few blankets I had and instantly fell asleep.
I skipped along the path, just a few metres in front of my mother who kept a wary eye on me, though, I guess if my kid were as uncoordinated as I am then I would be to.
â€œMummy! Mummy!â€ I shouted catching sight of something, I pointed over at my discovery and shouted at my mother, â€œCan I go get my face painted. Please, I really want to be Spiderman.â€
My mother laughed, â€œSpiderman?â€ She questioned, â€œIsnâ€™t Spiderman for little boys, he is a man.â€/
I stopped and turned around to my mother, eyes as wide as saucers, â€œI. Am. Not. A. Boy,â€ I deadpanned, â€œBut I want Spiderman.â€
Mum laughed again, â€œFine,â€ she agreed, â€œYou can get your face painted as Spiderman.â€
I squealed in joy and raced forward towards the line of people waiting to get their face painted, I only just heard my mother shout out a frantic caution when I tripped over a large rock and fell to the ground, scraping my knee.
I groaned and sat up, clutching my knee to my chest as tears sprang to my eyes at the sight of my grazed knee. The blood oozed out in small droplets and the dirt in the cut stung. I sniffed trying to be a big girl and hold back my tears. Mum raced up to me and got onto her knees to inspect the damage.
After a few second of looking she grabbed my hand and pulled me up, â€œCâ€™mon,â€ she said, tugging me towards the face paint line, â€œBe a big girl, after you get your face painted maybe we could get some ice cream.â€
â€œBut it hurts, Mummy. Can I have a Band-Aid, please?â€
â€œYou donâ€™t need it,â€ Mum assured me, â€œIn a couple of minutes it will all be healed, promise.â€
â€œIt hurts, though,â€ I protested as tears slipped down my cheeks.
Mum sighed and stopped walking, kneeling in front of me, â€œRiley, listen to me. A Band-Aid truly isnâ€™t going to make it hurt less, anyway, look at it.â€ I did as I was told and saw that it was almost completely healed; there were only a few scabbed bits left and it didnâ€™t even hurt anymore. I looked back up to mum and she smiled at me, â€œSee? No need.â€
I nodded, and as we began walking towards the face-painting station I couldnâ€™t help but to continue looking down at my knee and seeing the scabs get smaller and smaller each time I looked.
On the way home mum had told me that I could tell no one of how fast I healed, that if I did they might be in danger. When I questioned her she just assured me that when I was older she would explain everything.
I awoke to a completely dark room and knew that it was late at night, I wished to get back to sleep, despite how awake I felt, the dream lingered in my mind, and I knew it would stay there for a while. Not a dream, a memory. It was weird, for the ten years that I had been here I had forgotten pretty much everything about my life beforehand and only remembered a few key details, but now I was suddenly dreaming up my memories of when I was a child, when I was free. Thinking about my dream I remembered my wound healing unnaturally fast, maybe it was just a dream, wounds didnâ€™t heal that fast did they?
Sighing, I decided to go back to sleep, I had nothing better to do but after a while of twisting and turning, trying to get comfortable, I found couldnâ€™t; there was something that kept making my position uncomfortable. After a few more position changes I realised something was poking into my head.
I sat up and moved my pillow, letting my eyes adjust to the darkness to see there was nothing there. Confused, I placed the pillow back down and laid my head on it, finding whatever it was dug into my head once again. I checked under my pillow again to find nothing.
After a few minutes of thinking I realised I hadnâ€™t checked inside the pillow case, I reached inside the light grey pillow case and moved my hand around until it finally came in contact with a cool, hard surface. I wrapped my hand around it and pulled it out.
I couldnâ€™t actually see what it was, only a silhouette. It was a cylinder shape that slightly went outwards at one end and was about the size of my hand from the very bottom of my palm to the tip of my middle finger. Feeling around it I felt the cool metal that had small bumps covering the small cylindrical part of the object. The larger part was smooth and the same cool metal, and at the end of the large part the end dipped in and then changed to glass.
I turned it in my hands, trying to figure out what it was when I touched the end of the smaller end. It felt rubbery, squishy, I pushed it down, gasping loudly and dropping the object when a bright light came bursting out of the larger end. I stared at it for a moment, letting my eyes adjust to the brightness, when it did I leaned over and grabbed the cool, black object, realising what it was. It was a torch.
I smiled at my new toy, wondering just how it turned up in my pillow. â€œJean,â€ I whispered, coming to the realisation of who it mustâ€™ve been.
I crawled over to my book pile and instead of getting the dictionary; I retrieved a Doctor Seuss book, feeling like the child from my dream, and not like the sixteen-year-old girl that has been tortured for most of her life.
I held the torch up to the book and began reading it in a soft whisper, â€œI wish I had duck feet.â€
I opened my eyes to find Doctor Codasâ€™ sparking blue eyes searching my face.
â€œIs there a reason why you arenâ€™t causing me pain?â€ I asked, â€œIs there something on my face.â€
Codas just grinned and turned, writing something on a clipboard before turning back to me, talking in his tiny voice, â€œI figured because itâ€™s your birthday soon, I should give you a present,â€ he told me, â€œThough I donâ€™t know what to give, maybe I could come up with something newer and more painful. Or I could let you just choose the first two to be used on you for the day, or the order I guess, I was thinking all three.â€
â€œWow, Doc! Didnâ€™t know you were so thoughtful, Iâ€™d love a present, I canâ€™t wait, and for once Iâ€™ll know the exact day of my birthday, today is, what, Monday? What day is my birthday, considering you obviously know?â€
â€œYou know, this is the most youâ€™ve ever talked to me, does this count as a present as well?â€
As soon as I mentioned the lack of talking that he did, he turned silent again and turned towards the table behind him.
â€œI have an idea,â€ I told him, â€œFor something new, but Iâ€™ll only tell you if talk.â€
Codas turned to me and raised an eyebrow, I donâ€™t know why I was always so desperate for him to talk to me; I guess it was because he was the only one that ever spoke even a little to me, until Jean came that was. Anyway, all these years of trying to get Codas to speak to me arenâ€™t going to stop because someone else is talk to me now, I guess all these years Iâ€™ve just craved any sort of normal, human, communication, even if the topics of conversation werenâ€™t entirely normal.
â€œTalk first; then I will.â€
Codas seemed to hesitate a little, â€œI hope you arenâ€™t lying about you having an idea, I might take way your birthday present.â€
â€œIâ€™m not; tell me about yourself, do you have a family?â€
â€œTell me your idea first.â€
I swallowed and chewed my bottom lip nervously; I had to think of something fast, â€œEyeballs, youâ€™ve never done anything with my eyeballs; theyâ€™ve always stayed in my skull, I mean, what is with that? And Iâ€™m sure I could think of more, just give me a moment.â€
Codas laughed, â€œSo desperate for any attention, itâ€™s okay, Riley, you have my undivided attention.â€
It was weird hearing someone speak my name, until my previous dreams I never really thought about it, it seemed pointless to try to remember such a stupid thing that I would never use. â€œNow you have to tell me about yourself, you promised.â€
Codas stayed silent and I thought he wasnâ€™t going to talk, I breathed a sigh of relief when his mouth moved and words came out of it, â€œI have no wife, or children. I used to though, have a wife that is. I had to kill her though, because of you, all because of you.â€
I flinched at the coldness in his tone, â€œBecause of me? How could it have been my fault?â€
â€œWhen you were smaller, I used to work on you at my own home, one day, my wife came home early, and walked in on meâ€¦ doing my job,â€ he told me.
â€œSo why did you have to kill her?â€
â€œWell after a while of trying to calm her down she ran upstairs, claiming she was going to call the police, the only thing I could do was kill her, get rid of her. Her last words to me was, â€˜you sick, disgusting bastard.â€™ It was your entire fault.â€
The way he told the story you wouldnâ€™t think he was talking about killing his own wife, but instead reliving the memory of getting a new puppy. He sounded almost happy.
It made me angry that heâ€™d talk about killing someone he was meant to love and someone who loved him like that, in a happy tone and then blamed it on me, and acted like I was the bad guy; â€œYou know what? She was right, you are a sick, disgusting bast-â€ but the rest of my words were smothered when Codas covered my mouth and held my nose shut, causing me to not be able to breath. I saw the crazy, angry look in his eyes as he suffocated me, â€œI loved her, donâ€™t you think I didnâ€™t,â€ he yelled in my face, his spit covering me, I kept trying to breath, to get my face away from him, my lungs felt as if they were on fire, I thrashed around in my binds, trying to get away, but what he said next made me freeze, â€œI loved her and the thing growing inside her, itâ€™s your fault theyâ€™re both dead. YOUR ENTIRE FAULT!â€
Black spots began to cover my vision and I felt the pull of unconsciousness at my mind, and welcomed it with open arms. Suddenly the hand on my face left and I could breathe again, I gulped down air and looked around to see Codas across the room, glaring at me before a small smile slipped onto his lips, â€œLetâ€™s get started shall we? I think I might give your idea a shot now.â€
He turned around and grabbed what looked like a spoon, bringing it towards my eye, â€œThis might hurt a little,â€ he told me.
â€œNo, wait, now,â€ I panicked, â€œYou arenâ€™t meant to actually do this to me, Iâ€™m just meant to feel it, what are you doing?â€ I squirmed trying to get away from Codas and his spoon.
â€œWhat are you talking about?â€ He asked me, â€œIt has always been real.â€
I then felt the spoon go into the sockets as Codas held open my eyelid and dug the spoon in, laughing when he heard my scream resonate through the small room.