Mandy had been through a lot in one day, but for the first time in her life she could taste the freedom. At least she hoped she was free. She continually watched over her shoulder to make sure that they weren’t going to get her. Can it really be called freedom when one is living in constant terror? It had been three days since she had gotten away, and they still hadn’t found her.
Today had been an interesting day. She had met with her mother for the first time in her life. A particular man gave her instructions on how to find her; a man who betrayed his “higher ups” to help rescue her. At first her mom thought she was someone else: a name she had never heard before. Yet, after a few minutes, she was able to convince her otherwise. Her mother tried to apologize for what had happened, but Mandy already knew it wasn’t her fault. She didn’t love her mother; she didn’t know her enough to love her. They were able to sit down and Mandy told her story. Her mother was both in shock and tears. She made sure her mom promised to keep the story a secret, for she was very afraid of what would happen if her whereabouts became known.
The house was warm and welcoming. Mandy wished she could stay, but that may bring unwanted guests. She had never met a person as kind and gentle as she had this day.
She had left her mom’s house in torment. Images continually raped her mind. They were both from the recent and the distant past. At times, the stress was so great it felt like blackness was going to consume her, and death would take a hold. Death was not something she feared. While dying seemed to be a fear that most people held, she would embrace it in order to escape a life of torment and agony.
She was currently walking out in the town park. It was dark, and Mandy felt like the shadows of the trees were going to reach out and grab her. It was quiet…too quiet. The wind was as still as a lake on a cool autumn morning. The moon was too faint to help guide her steps. Sweet aromas from nearby flowers were the only pleasant sensations she was encountering.
As she walked, images of the scar faced man overcame her, and she sat down by a nearby tree trying to control her breathing. This man was her greatest torment, and he haunted her constantly since her escape. From childhood to adulthood he was there. She wished the man dead. A harsh wish, but appropriate for a man like that.
Once she caught her breath, she was able to stand back up and walk. In the shadows of the trees, she thought she saw an outline of a man. When she turned her head to look, there was no one there. Passing it off as simple imagination, she continued on.
This was the first time she had ever been in this park or any park for that matter. In fact, this was her first time outside of her home, if one could call it a home. She could hear the sound of running water faintly; a sound she was vaguely familiar with, as she only could recall hearing it from running faucets. It seemed soothing and would probably put her at ease had the situation been different. She attempted to focus on the smell of the flowers and sound of water to block out the horrid images. It slowly got louder as she neared the river, until it was loud enough to drown out most sounds except for the occasional nearby siren. The sound was no longer comforting, but it came on her as an avalanche was about to crush her. The smell of flowers became overpowered by a scent of death. Even though she didn’t recognize the smell, something near the water was dead…it appeared to be a mangled animal of some sort. She began to walk faster, almost running. Something was not feeling right. Then again, it might have been the eeriness of the park at night mixed with her paranoia. Memories flooded her head increasing the terror. She wanted to be where it was safe, but no place was safe; not for her. She knew they would be searching for her and would soon find her. She did not know the world, so she did not know where to hide. The money her mother had given her offered no comfort, since she knew she couldn’t trust anyone.
She saw a man by a fence that blocked children from falling into a river. She realized it was a man in some uniform. She thought it was a police uniform, but she had very little understanding of what a policeman was for. She only knew that they visited her once in a while, and were cruel. In fact, everyone she met was cruel, with the exception of the man who gave her instructions on finding her mother. She had heard that there were good people in the outside world, and hoped the man in the uniform was one of those people. As she was looking at the policeman, a rough hand grabbed her in the chest. She screamed out, but a cloth was put over her mouth. An unknown scent overwhelmed her, and the last thought she had was that the police officer must be one of “them” because he stood still while looking directly at her.