The night had moved on, a set of hours, deepening. The longer it lasted, the more frightened she grew. The night was a world of its own, bearing horrors and frights more treacherous than what any storybook nightmare could foretell. The air was chilled and icy, but it was not actually cold. It was the paired effect of the wind with the already cool air, and the shaken nerves of the late teen girl wandering in such conditions.
Red had been searching for some place to settle to try and get a few short hours of rest before the sun rose. A place that wasn’t so dark that she’d be faced with lonesome, yet somewhere far from the open where she could be captured once more. The Black Dragons were all around her. This was their territory. She may have been set free from her cage, but she was still in the pound- so to speak. And finally, after great exploration, she’d found a place.
It was a house. Solitary and small. It had perhaps one bedroom, and the other necessities that made a house. The windows were cracked if not shattered here and there. No lights were on, no life detected. She had circled carefully around this ragged shack for a while, checking everything. She had to believe that she wouldn’t be caught here. She knew that the goons of the Black Dragons would be hunting her. They’d be searching for the girl, hoping to find her only to take her back to that cellar. To the place where she was killed, only to murder her for the final time. The thought made her shudder involuntarily.
She slowly maneuvered up the steps and onto the porch. Red was careful, cautious; yet two years of confinement to a basement of sorts leaves you unable to move with the precision of others. She stumbled here and there, catching herself quietly, and hearing only the soft mews of Kiwi, tucked safely in her shirt. Red reached around to press her fingers to the several shards of glass that jutted towards a central point from the rectangular frame near the door. Where the foggy glass did not cover, she could see the look of tattered blue curtains, tied together and bound from opening by nails holding them to the frame. She decided to take the door then, letting her fingers press against the old wood before finally grasping at the brass knob. Her fingers wrapped around the object, twisting it with what she would’ve said was a good half of her strength. The door opened, and she was inside.
The house was dark. Eerily so. The living room was small and somewhat crowded. In the far corner across from her was a dreary blue sofa, with a few blankets hanging off the arms and onto the floor. Before the sofa was a small wooden table, and upon that were a good group of papers, some with handwriting scribbled about, others that looked like bills or letters even. A coffee mug sat there, some fluid sitting still inside of it. Across from the sofa was a ratty entertainment center made of several boards placed perfectly, and scarcely nailed together. It looked almost as if a sneeze could send it to shambles.
Red traveled past those things though. She wanted to look around a bit more, make sure she was safe. She paid little attention to the small kitchen to her left, and instead aimed her direction for the frame before her. It led into a bedroom, which had an open door along the inside wall that was supposedly a bathroom. She moved carefully into the bedroom, staring about just as frightfully as before. A bed lay in the center of the room, and a dresser to the right side; next to a broken window. This window had plastic taped over it though, keeping the moonlight from entering. It was extremely dark, but Red’s eyes were use to the pitch black tone. She stepped carefully, pulling Kiwi from her shirt and settling him in her arms as she moved along the wall.
Finally, she found a corner. It looked comfortable and safe. Why? Because it was in the dark corner, between the bed and the dresser, with little leeway to be seen. Red quickly moved back to the living room, quiet as a mouse, picking up a blanket and moving back into the bedroom. She returned to that corner, avoiding the bed and the mass of comforter and pillows piled upon it. She curled into the wall’s edge, and pulled the blanket up over her legs and chest.
Kiwi jumped from her grip, walking about for a moment. He got up onto the bed, his tail curling curiously as he meowed softly. His bright eyes settled on Red, and he gave off another sound. It was short, and purr-like; pleased and not distasteful. The wise kitten blinked, before jumping back down, and hopping into the dip between Red’s drawn up knees and chest. The cat squirmed a bit, but settled quickly. And with that, Red closed her eyes. Hopefully, hopefully… This meant sleep…
“Tonight we’ve got plans. You got me Little Red?” Ace chuckled. Ace was a bad man. The worst man. The nightmare, the demon. He was a gang lord for the Black Dragons. He ran the prostitution industry on this side of Los Angeles. He was tall, with a broad chest and a bit of a tan. He had a crew cut of dull brown, and a wide grin with a gold tooth or two shining bright from his dark expressions. Now, he was leaning towards her. His hands on the arms of the chair she sat on, his eyes staring into hers. But Red had lost the will to look into his- or anyone else’s- eyes. She looked down at his knees, trying to stare at anything but his eyes.
Red felt the quick hard sting of Ace’s hand crossing her cheek. Never would she overcome the pain that accompanied that man. Every time she saw him, he always brought her pain. She could feel the water along the lower lids of her eyes, where tears were pushing to form. When she looked up, she saw his lips. No further would she look though. Those eyes of his held lust, hate, and greed. And that was something she had seen enough of. She never wanted to see the eyes of a man who had those emotions within him again. She never wanted to see his filthy intentions written on his face so obviously.
“I said, you got me Little Red?” He growled to her. Red nodded slowly, tears rolling down her cheeks. The large man reached towards her, pushing his chest against her as he undid her restraints. And before he could move back, he had both her wrists in his tight grip. And he jerked her, ripping her upward with great force from the chair. The girl stumbled forward until his body was the only block from her weak momentum. She bumped into him and winced at the way the very touch had so sensitively summoned pain from her bruises.
“Good girl. I’m proud of you, y’know? You’re a good girl when you wanna’ be.” He whispered, his hot breath smelling of alcohol.
The morning had come just as easily as it always did. No matter the circumstance, day and night never ceased. Not like they should. But this morning would be different. This morning, she had shelter.
Much like most of her mornings, Red did not open her eyes. She realized that she had actually slept for once, and was feeling the real aches and pains of her bruises and cuts now as well. She had extended her body, stretching slender over the floor with Kiwi perched on the side of her hip, curled into a ball. Her chest rose and fell in the smallest fashion, she herself almost as frail as the kitten upon her side.
Finally, she moved. Shifted her legs ever so slightly. Kiwi’s eyes popped open and he shook his head furiously, licking his paw once before hopping off and onto the floor. Red pushed her arm down, her fingers taking the blanket from her body and pushing it aside. It was then that her body clenched tight with the tension to come. An instant reaction to merely a sound.
The front door had been opened. The sound of a man’s heavy footfalls was nearing quickly. Red felt her guts twisting and contorting underneath the skin of her stomach. She looked at Kiwi, who also seemed to be on edge. She raised a finger to her full lips, making the quietest “sh” she could manage. She then took the kitten and slid underneath the bed, feeling fear. Was it one of them? Were the men coming for her? Was it a thug of the Black Dragons? It was so many possibilities; too many for her to think of. She could only manage to stay completely and utterly silent.
The footsteps were there. She could turn her head to see the dirty and greasy boots; perhaps steel-toed things. They sounded heavy because they were heavy. They seemed to rock and wobble, until the man had stepped out of them. He sat on the edge of the bed. It sank a bit where he was, as he then pushed the comforter over. The mess of thick quilting plopped beside Red, where she had just laid. Of course, she jumped- but the nervous jolt was nothing loud and she was still remaining hidden quite well. He groaned a bit, laying back. The bed springs seemed to pop and whine, but held up nonetheless. She listened. But nothing happened. Just the heavy breaths of a large man.
About ten minutes passed, and the man had done little but turn on his side. Red had been boring her eyes into the underside of the bed. Kiwi had merely been sitting, staring at Red instead of at the bed. He seemed interested in her beyond the stranger. Another shift, and the man muttered something to himself. Red’s eyes widened more, though she hadn’t caught what he said. He had reached over the edge of the bed, grasping the comforter. She had turned sharply, watching every detail as the tanned masculine hand dipped into the fabric and drew it on top of the bed. He shifted again, and Red didn’t dare to move.
And he had gone to sleep. And Red didn’t even think about getting out from underneath his bed to get away. It was too great a risk. For now, she was going to sit under this man’s bed until he left again. And then, she’d run like hell. As far as her weary legs would take her. Until she either died, or was captured. Hope was dead. And in her eyes, she was too…
Her will was ill-fated, ever since the beginning. If Red were not human, then she would’ve been fine. She would’ve been able to suffice underneath that man’s bed for what could’ve been forever. She and the kitten. But, sadly, Red was human. As human as any other, no matter what she thought or felt of herself. She had urges that had to be dealt with. And in this instance, she had to pee.
The teen was under the bed, fidgeting away with her fingers against the worn wife beater over her upper body. She felt her chest quiver with the ache in her bladder. She hadn’t gone since yesterday, and some great time ago. The sun had risen now, and it was surely morning. There was no denying that daylight was here. So why was this man here, sleeping of all things? She whimpered to herself, but not loud. And after the small sound had escaped her lips, she quickly hushed herself with a hand over her mouth. Finally, she could not take it. It was too much.
Red nudged the kitten and Kiwi trotted out from under the bed. Brave little thing, she thought. Red soon followed. She crawled out from under the bed, sliding out and coming to her knees. She was afraid to look back at the man. Just simply moved slowly and quietly enough so that she could hear his breathing. No changes, no fluctuations. He was still there, sleeping soundly. She didn’t want to see him. Just use the bathroom, and get the hell out. So she crawled to her feet, and moved to the open door that lead out of the bedroom- yet not back into the living room.
The bathroom was small and pale, with a clutter of male products at the porcelain sink, and a roll of toilet paper on the floor next to the toilet. The seat was up, but it was a man’s bathroom, so Red expected no less. She set the seat down, closing the door a bit, but not letting it click shut. She sat upon the toilet and relieved herself, watching the door crack open just barely as Kiwi nudged his way in. Red waved her hand at the kitten, as though he should shut the door or leave. Kiwi but blinked, his big green eyes gazing up at the woman as a soft rumble formed in his chest. A purr. A purr that lead into a meow.
“Sh!” Red whispered quickly to the kitten, grabbing the toilet paper. Kiwi came up to her leg, rubbing against it, before returning to look at her. He meowed once more. A soft sound, simple and cute. But it was distressing that that sound could wake the large man from his slumber, not even ten feet away. Red moved up from the toilet, setting the seat down and moving to the kitten, lifting him onto her shoulder.
“Be quiet.” She whispered, her voice holding some ginger quality to it. Red leaned towards the sink, the kitten smacking at her hair with his paw. She wet her hands, enjoying the soothing cold water. She washed her face, running her wet fingers back into her hair. She took a long breath, and cut the water off. A sigh of relief passed from Red’s lips. No major intrusion, no death, no being beaten or raped. She had survived. Now she just had to make it to the front door.
Red moved to the bathroom door, and opened it up. And she gasped. Standing in the doorway was a large man, standing about 6’3’’. He had deeply tanned skin, and oily smudges over his arms and shoulders. His upper body was strong, and he had long legs, all beneath a pair of jeans with a studded belt, and a black tank top. The man had full lips upon a gaunt jaw line, and dark brown hair that was a little grown out and slightly shaggy. He had a bit of facial hair about his chin, as though he needed to shave. Not messy, just a couple days gone without. But Red didn’t look to his eyes. She stared at the ground. She backed up a step, and felt her body trembling with panic.
“If you wanted to use my bathroom, you could’ve asked.” He said, his voice deep and oddly laid back for this certain situation.