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Running, putting as much space between myself and the house where I have been kept as prisoner. Running with all my power to get to safety. I don’t know where I’m going, I just keep running and I don’t stop.
It was an ordinary Tuesday in October. The leaves were starting to change into vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow. I was dragging myself home from a long, tiring day of school. My mind was off in another place when a furious voice shook me back to reality. “ Excuse me,” I turned my head and noticed a middle aged man sitting in a rusty pick-up truck. “ Could you tell me how to get to Park Avenue?” he asked, it was clear he was frustrated with me. Cautiously I replied “ Just go straight up the road and take a left”. The man stared at me with piercing blue eyes, then pulled something out of his pocket and everything went black.
Slowly I open my eyes. My head is throbbing, my muscles ache, and my throat is craving water. Where am I, I ask myself. I discover I am in a small rectangular room. The walls are made of concrete and musty carpet lines the floor. The room is bare except for a mattress, worn out and flimsy and a hand-made blanket that barely covers my body. The only source of light is from a flickering light bulb dangling from the ceiling.
“ Hello,” I yell weakly,
“Hello,”. Suddenly the wooden door in the corner flys open revealing a figure, a tall, erie shadow, standing right before me.The man enters the room and slams the door shut. He stood at least 6 feet tall. His greasy grey hair drooped below his shoulders, his beard tangled up like a birds nest hid his face that was dripping with sweat. He knelt down next to me and flashed a smile revealing moldy, broken teeth. We stare at each other for a moment and in one swift motion he places a firm hand on my arm and drags me out of the room.
I am pulled through a maze of hallways when he finally stops at a door and throws me into a room. Inside there was a washer, a clothes line and a pile of dirty clothing. The man wraps a heavy chain around my ankle and pulls out a large bottle of water.
“ Do the laundry and I’ll give you this water,” he offers. I remember my dry throat and chapped lips, if I don’t do what he says I’ll surely die of dehydration. So I proceed and do the laundry.
This is all I do for the next several weeks, being a slave for this man in return for food and water . I feel isolated from the world, trapped.. Why, Why does it have to be me, I ask myself when I realize , I don’t have to live like this...I can escape.
I wake up the next morning and put on my game face. I wait and wait until the man brings me a long list of chores, then he leaves to go work outside.
I wait long after I hear the door slam to begin. When I am 100% sure he’s gone, I pull an old bobi pin out of my hair and try to unlock my chain. Click, the chains off. Carefully I search until I found what I have been looking for, stairs! I slowly creep up the wooden stairs, holding my breath when they creak. I reach the top,drop to my knees and start crawling around. I find an open window and peer out, the man is walking into a large pullbarn. When he disapears into the darkness I slip out the window. I look around, studying my surroundings. The whole house is surrounded by woods, so I go with my instincts and run.
Running, putting as much space between myself and the house where I have been kept as prisoner. Running, with all my power to get to safety. I don’t know where I’m going I just keep running, and I don’t stop. Finally I reach a road and slow down to a jog. Up ahead I see a sign, Welcome to Mattawan, I blow past the sign and sprint to town. The police department is the first thing I see in this tiny village. I sprint up the marble steps and burst through the doors. Everything goes silent, all the heads in the room turn towards me, everyone looks at me with the where-did-you-come-from look. I remember my tangled hair and raggedy clothes and my face goes red. An officer aproaches me
“ Who are you?” he ask pitifully. I take a deep breath,
“ My name is Rachel Woods, take me home!”