Week 280 – Ariel had woken after being sold more determined to escape

Ariel shivered in the cold, dark room.

How long had it been since she was taken?

Long enough for her to have given up hope. At first she was so sure that Sebastian would find her, come for her, but with each new day that hope died a little more.

Coldness, darkness, and pain were her three constant companions, and spending all day every day with them she lost a little piece of herself each time she woke to find she was still trapped in hell.

At first Ariel had woken after being sold more determined to escape, now she just wanted to die. Anything to end the suffering.

She hadn’t even known people could hurt each other in the ways she’d been hurt. After the childhood she’d had she’d thought she’d known what evil was like. Turns out she’d had no clue.

The man who bought her liked ice. Somehow managed to come up with new ways to torture her with it every time he came to this dank little dungeon where he kept her.

The usual clunk of the lock told her the door was about to open. She’d fight if she had anything left to fight with. But between the cold, being half starved, and the fact he usually kept her trussed up, she was too weak to do anything. Her mind was weakening too, fracturing off and hiding itself away in a warm, sunny little corner of her mind.

Two figures stepped through the door. Two? Had he brought a friend? Usually it was just him, here to play with his ice and his ropes. Why did he bring someone with him?

Ariel would have whimpered in fear if it didn’t take more energy than she had.

A hard voice muttered a curse. “Its going to take us too long to cut her out of all those ropes.”

She froze.

That voice.

Could it …?

No.

Of course not.

He was never going to find her.

“Ariel, sweetheart, can you hear me?”

That was still his voice, and a gentle hand cupped her chin. Her eyes were open and she could see the shadowy outline of Sebastian’s face.

How?

Hallucinating?

The hand holding her chin have a small shake. Hallucinations couldn’t shake you, could they?

“Come on, Snow White, snap out of it.”

He was still there, his hand warm on her chilled skin, and the ropes around her seemed to be loosening.

“Sebastian?” Her voice was a croak, she wasn’t allowed to speak, and her throat was dry from not enough water to drink. Still he seemed to hear her because lips touched her forehead.

“I’m here, baby. I’m so sorry it took me so long to find you.”

Arms cradled her as another man continued to cut at the ropes until she was free. Ariel sagged in Sebastian’s hold, her deadened limbs not strong enough to do anything, and she braced herself for the coming rush of agonising pins and needles.

“Lets get you out of here, sweetheart,” Sebastian said softly, his lips touching a kiss to her temple.

Was this real?

Was she really being rescued?

Sebastian carried her out of her prison, but just as he started up a flight of stairs someone started shooting at them.

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