Short Stories : Walking Down The Road Less Traveled
“Curiosity really did kill the cat,
do you not think so?”
The door opened and a man entered the room. He donned a three day stubble and a neat pressed suit, the kind you only see on high priced lawyers and gangsters. He took in the room with a single sweep, before settling those set of eyes on me. He stared at me with piercing grey eyes and quietly closed the door behind him.
My heart hammered in my chest upon seeing him enter the room. I have no idea who he was. More importantly, I have no inkling of clue how I ended up here.
I took a step back involuntarily. I wanted to put as much space between us as possible.
He continued staring at me, watching me as one would an exotic animal. I trembled despite myself. My senses went into overdrive. I felt a trickle of sweat slide down my back. It was as if the room was closing in on me. Casting a desperate glance around the room, I saw nothing that could serve as a weapon. My mouth was dry like the desert, my breathing harsh as I kept my eyes trained on him. If he as much as lay a finger on me I would fight. I steeled myself before I could fall even deeper into the rabbit hole that was panic, I heard him clear his throat.
“Would you like some water?”
I was dying of thirst but I didn’t trust him to not drug the water, or worse, poison it. After all, I still have no idea who he was, and what he wanted from me. I stood my ground and said nothing. He pushed himself off of the door and took a step towards me, and I took a step back. And another and another, until I felt my back my pressed against the wall and he was standing just a few feet in front of me. I took a sharp breath, acknowledging his proximity. I tensed and fisted my hands, prepared to defend myself. But he merely held up a bottle of water and offered it to me.
I stared at him, and then at the bottle of water. My eyes flitted to the door infinitesimally, the decision was already made for me before I could even process it. Without thinking twice, I bolted toward the door. I pushed harder, willed myself to run faster, a little bit more, just a little bit more. Freedom was so close I could taste it.
Suddenly, I felt something hard knocking into me. It caused me to lose balance and fell face first onto the ground. I grunted and tried to get back up, only to realize that he was already on top of me. He used his knees to pin my body down and his right hand to grip both of mine in an iron hold behind my back. With a flick of his wrist, he yanked hard on my hair, forcing me to arch my back.
I shirked and squirmed against the carpeted floor, trying to dislodge him. He chose that exact moment to lean closer, his mouth so close to my ear that I could feel his warm breath. “Don’t make this anymore difficult for yourself,” he whispered harshly.
Grunting, I fought harder underneath him. Tears prickled my eyes from the pain in my scalp, but I ignored it. I was determined to try to worm my way out of his iron grip. I continued to trash wildly, hoping to distract him enough for him to lessen his grip on me.
All of a sudden, he yanked me up by the hair. His movement was so fast I didn’t have to time to scream before I felt his hand wrapped around my neck. His hand felt like ice as it closed in a vise like grip around my neck. His fingers curled around my neck, pressing, closing. My eyes widened in shock. I fought back instinctively, frantically clawing at his hand. My nails dug into his skin but his grip was unyielding.
“Stop, stop,please,” I choked out. I struggled in his hold, continuing my futile attempt to pry his hand away. I tried to lessen the force of his hold on me to no avail. If anything, his grip tightened.
Dark spots began to dance across my vision. I became more and more frantic. I reached for his face and felt my nails connect with his flesh, drawing blood. The pain in my chest grew worse by the moment as I writhed under his grasp. I tried to scream again but instead it came out as a whimper. Tears streamed freely down my face. The world started to spin and I felt my grip on consciousness slipping. I gritted my teeth and struggled to keep my eyes open as darkness enveloped me, threatening to pull me under.
“Please,” I begged, barely audible.
Just like that, he let go of me. I fell in a heap on the ground, wheezing and gasping for air. My hands shook as I dug my nails into the carpet, dragging myself as far away as I possibly could be from him. I coughed and was still trying to get my breathing under control when I felt him move. My body tensed. The air scorching my lungs with every breath I took.
“Drink your water. I’ll be back soon and we will start then, ” he said. Then he walked out of the room.