Paul, Again


Paul woke alone in the darkness. He felt around the blanket nest, but did not feel his captor. After a few moments, his eyes began to adjust, and he was able to see, somewhat. This was not the utter darkness of before.

A sound caught his attention – a groan, perhaps. Paul stepped carefully to the left, looking for the source. The wall was dark and featureless save for one door. The door was locked with a beam set into simple brackets on either side of the doorframe.

Another moan, and definitely from behind the door.

Paul looked around the room behind him and turned back to the door. Then he paused, chewed his lip, and went to survey the rest of his place of confinement.

Facing away from the door from where the noises were coming, Paul could see a boarded up window on his left, a doorway covered by draped cloth opposite him, and a solidly barricaded door on the farther end of the right-hand wall. Between the two doors was some counterspace and holes for appliances – what used to be a kitchen. Closer to Paul was the blanket nest where he awoke. Paul remembered that through the draped doorway was another room, and the bathroom, so he contemplated the door to his right.

The bar over the door, along with the several locks,  indicated that this, unlike the other doors, was a way out. Paul thought about last night’s warning about a possible attack, and decided that he wasn’t ready to venture out, just yet. Besides, he was curious about the last door, next to him. There was a thud from behind that door, and Paul became very conscious of his pulse.

He lifted the beam from the door and turned the knob, swinging the door open to reveal a mid-size closet. Huddled on the floor was a girl. Her hands and feet were tied behind her, leaving her laying on her side. In her mouth was a thick cord that prevented her from talking, but did little to muffle the groans that had attracted Paul’s attention. A bowl with some water in the bottom sat in the corner.

The girl looked up at Paul with wide, wide eyes. She scooted back and tried to sit up, and Paul realized that she wasn’t really a girl – she was fully grown, at least sixteen, just of a slender build. He knelt down and untied the cord and removed it from her mouth. She remained still and tense all over.

Paul reached down to untie her. He was struggling with a particularly  tight knot when the girl started to tremble. He ignored it and tried to finish untying her quickly. It was then that he saw a shadow in front of him shift. He whirled around, still crouched, to find himself face to face with the sharp-toothed lady of the house.

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