Sneak Peek of the Unreachable Perfection Chronicles

April 23, 2013
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Running desperately, oh-so desperately through the mud and rain, my hair plastered against my face by an equal mixture of rain, sweat, blood, and tears. Help me, help me, oh god somebody please help me! Suddenly, my foot catches on a tree root and I fall to the ground. Maybe I should just lie here, I think to myself as I sink into the muddy grass. Just die. This wasn’t so terrible. Why keep fighting death when I knew it was inevitable?
“Shawna?” A voice says. I barely hear it. I concentrate on the pitter-patter of the rain as it falls onto the leaves on the tree above me. Such a pretty sound. My eyes stay fastened shut even when I dimly sense a person’s arms go around me and lift me up.
“Shawna, look at me.” I don’t move. He takes a deep breath. “S***,” he murmurs. “Shawna, please.” I do it. It takes all my will power, but I do it. It numbly registers in my brain that it’s Jake. He might be rained on and full of mud, but it was definitely Jake. He carries me into an alcove in the hill.
He carefully sets me down, propping me up against a wall. “Who the hell did this to you?” Although his voice is calm, his anger is easy to see. I see him once again taking in my appearance: the bruises, open cuts, burns, and the terror frozen in my eyes.
“Who did this to you?” He asks again, slightly less composed. When I don’t answer, he simply sighs and wiped some of the dried blood of my face.
I finally manage to form words. “I don’t know.”
He looks at me, meeting my eyes. “Are you okay? Did they… did he…?” He trails off; obviously afraid to ask the question he doesn’t want the answer to.
“No,” I say. “Not that.”
His relief is obvious. “Then why?”
A memory suddenly comes jolting back in vivid detail. Lying on the ground, arms pinned down as a lit cigarrete was pushed against my cheek. “We want to see how long it takes to make you crack,” the man said, laughing quietly. “But you’re a stubborn one.”
“They’re testing us,” I whisper.

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