She couldn’t hear him gaining on her. Her panted breathes echoed through the narrow long cave. There was an urge to glance over her shoulder. But her heart stammered and panicked her. No! If she looked back it would slow her down. This was always the problem with being chased. Any child that had played the game tick or tag would know exactly what that felt like. If this had been a game, she probably would have been hysterically giggling. Beside herself in utter glee.
This wasn’t a game. That laughter that would have cascaded from Halina’s lungs, was twisted into a panicked whimper. A cry of desperation as large hands swooped around her. Her back was pressed into something solid. Her running feet were kicked into the air.
“Please”, she pleaded. “Just let me go”. He didn’t respond to her. He just huffed heavy in her ear as he carried her back. He didn’t bother to blindfold her now. “I’m of absolutely no use to you! Please!”.
He threw her onto the ground. “You want to go back there!? To a brother who will very likely kill you for openly rejecting his new rule!?”.
“No! I just don’t want to be punished for decisions and opinions that are not and have never been mine!”. She screeched at him. He seemed to take a step back. His expression concealed by the mask upon his face. She noticed a softening in his shoulders as he crouched down in front of her.