It was dark when she woke. She was alone. Looking around, she saw the room around her was empty but for the bed that she was lying on. Her hands were tied above her. A breeze blew into the room and she felt cold, like there wasn’t a stitch of clothing on her. A bead of sweat trickled down the side of her head and, after hanging for a moment, fell from her chin. She tried to move her feet, but she could feel a rope cutting into her ankles. Her frantic struggle only managed to make the knot tighter.
From her right side, she heard the slow creak of the door opening, and light entered the room along with her captor. Try as she did, she couldn’t turn her neck to see his face. The door creaked again as it closed and darkness fell upon her again. She heard the sound of his feet as it approached her, and felt the bed sink as he sat near her hips.
She felt a finger, cold as ice, touch her neck, and move slowly downward, between her breasts and past her navel. Finally finding her voice, she screamed…
… and felt him shake her. The lights came on, and she stared into the eyes of her father. The stranger had vanished, and her room was back as she knew it. She was in her pyjamas. The book she had been reading in torchlight was lying open on the floor. So deeply absorbed was she in the story, that she had become a captive in her imagination, and everything had felt real.
“No more reading by torchlight, Annie,” said her father, sternly. Then seeing her look sheepish, he added with a grin, “I can’t have you waking up the neighbors shouting for help, you know.”
(© 4th June 2015)