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The Basement

Elizabeth woke with a startle. Heart racing. Ragged breath. Skin sticky from sweat. She began to sit up, and her muscles ached with pain. Hands tied behind her back, ankles tied together. Elizabeth looked around what appeared to be a very poorly lit basement. She couldn’t remember how in the world she got here, and who the hell had tied her up. She had to figure out what happened, the last thing she remembered was… she was with Phillip. Phillip. Where was Phillip? Elizabeth continued to scan the basement, and found Phillip; he was across the room lying on his side, also tied up, facing away from her. She could see he was still breathing.

“Phillip?” she tried to whisper, but choked on his name.

Nothing.

Elizabeth began to scoot over towards Phillip but was stopped by the excruciating pain that shot through her legs, Elizabeth really looked at herself for the first time. Her legs were covered in dark bruises, cuts and dried blood, and she was pretty sure something was fractured. So, she lay back down and rolled towards Phillip, this option being considerably less painful.

“Phillip. Wake up,” gaining more control over her voice.

Nothing.

Elizabeth kicked him, to her best ability. Phillip moaned, and seemed to wake up.

“Phillip,” she whispered more aggressively.

“What?” he croaked. “Why am I tied up?”

“I don’t know, I don’t remember what happened. Do you?”

“I had my knife in my left front pocket, can you get to it?”

“Uh, yeah I think so,” Elizabeth pivoted around so her hands could reach his pocket.

Elizabeth retrieved the knife from Phillip’s pocket; Phillip cut the ties around his wrists and ankles and then Elizabeth’s.

“So you don’t remember what happened?” Phillip finally addressed Elizabeth’s earlier question.

“No,” Elizabeth shook her head.

“You must have been drugged,” Phillip concluded.

“So you remember?” Elizabeth questioned.

“Yeah,” Phillip paused. “Are you okay?”

“Am I okay? Do I look like I’m okay? I have been drugged, I’m covered in bruises and cuts, and I’ve got some broken bones. What the hell happened? Tell me!” Elizabeth shouted.

“Liz, please lets not shout. We need to get out of here before we can talk,” Phillip answered.

“Fine,” Elizabeth sighed.

Phillip stood without too much pain; he hadn’t suffered any major injuries. There was a door on the North side of the basement. Of course it was locked, Phillip looked around the basement to see if there was anything he could use to get the door opened. Phillip found a screwdriver on the nearby table, and used it to take the door off the hinges and pried the door from the frame, then leaned the door against the wall.

Phillip walked back over and kneeled beside Elizabeth, putting the screwdriver in his back pocket for safe keeping, he slid his arms under her knees and back, then slowly lifted her trying not cause her pain. Elizabeth winced once, but sat comfortably in his arms once he was standing again, and rested her head against his shoulder.

“I’m really sorry about all this.” Phillip kissed the top of her head, and carried her out the basement door.

It was just before dawn, Phillip and Elizabeth were somewhere out in the woods. Phillip had no idea where they were, but he decided to head East towards the sunrise. Phillip carried Elizabeth for about half an hour before they reached a stream and decided to stop. Phillip carefully cleaned Elizabeth’s wounds. They sat in silence for some time until Elizabeth finally spoke.

“So, can we talk now?” Elizabeth asked.

“Yeah, I guess,” Phillip paused.

“Phillip. Tell me, I think you owe me at least that much,” Elizabeth demanded.

“Yes, you’re right. Okay, I witnessed a murder four years ago, and put away two guys from this big gang in Los Angeles. Then I was placed in the witness protection program. Somehow someone with a connection to the gang saw me and recognized me. They came to get me and you must have been there, so they took both of us. I’m so sorry you got dragged into this mess, I never meant for you to get hurt,” Phillip finished.

“It’s okay, it’s okay. I thought you were in debt from gambling or in debt with your crazy drug dealer. This is quite a relief almost,” Elizabeth sighed.

Phillip smiled and kissed Elizabeth, “You don’t know what a relief that is for me to hear, I’ve had no idea how to tell you that I was in witness protection before this.”

“It’s okay, I understand,” Elizabeth smiled.

“Elizabeth, did you hear that?” Phillip suddenly whispered.

“Hear what?” Elizabeth murmured. Elizabeth finally heard the twigs cracking and voices in the distance. “Oh my god, what do we do?” Elizabeth panicked.

“There isn’t anything we can do.” Phillip looked down at Elizabeth’s legs. There was no way she could walk on her own, and there was no way Phillip could outrun these men while carrying Elizabeth. They were screwed, trapped in a corner with no way out. “They’re coming, they’re going to find us, and they’re going to take us again.”

Elizabeth stared at Phillip hoping he had an actual plan besides just sitting and waiting for the men to find them. But she knew, logically, that there was no way out, nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide; and a tear ran down her check as she wondered if they would get out of this alive.




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