My vision blurs as nausea swamps me. My head is pounding, what did I hit it on? I can feel myself sway slightly. I'm standing, my arms taking my weight and metal bites into my wrists. I can't see much of the room I'm in. The chains are attached to the ceiling somewhere, and there's a...bookcase? Something like that, over to my left. I stand a little straighter to take the weight off my arms and shoulders. I'm pretty sure they've gone numb. Yup, there's the pins and needles. God, I hate that.

Fear tries to muddle my brain. Where am I? How did I get here? Who's keeping me here and why?

The questions whirl around my mind like wasps, taking nips and stings along the way. My legs feel like water, but I keep myself standing.

The silence and dark makes my mind wander, conjuring sounds and images. Just when my pulse starts to flutter frantically in my throat, the door opens. I flinch away from the dim light as it burns into my eyes. A man stands in the doorway, solidly built and average in height. He doesn't reach for a light switch like I assumed he would. Instead, he strikes a match and lights a candle. One of the vague shapes I hadn't quite figured what it was turned out to be a candelabra. Somewhere in my mind, amid the panic and fear, I find the room to be impressed that someone actually had a candelabra. The antique gives the room a further feeling of a medieval theme. Especially now that I can see that to my left was a case, but not for books.

Instruments that I had glimpsed only on the History Channel were displayed there. In the growing light as he lit more candles, I could see that all were kept oiled and ready. Dread forms a ball of lead in my stomach, distracting me from the fact that I haven't eaten since....Lunch whenever I was knocked out. The glint from the light on the cold steel and iron sent shivers up my spine. I recognized a few of the items. The knives and daggers were obvious, but the bull whip and cat 'o nine tails worried me the most. As my eyes scanned the case, I corrected myself. The whips worried me the second most. The pear of anguish worried me the most. There are only three places one can use the pear on a person. I really did not want it going in any of them.

I look back at the man, who has turned to face me. He stands between me and the candelabras, so his face is in shadow. Now I realize that throughout this whole thing, I've been without clothes. The temperature has been so that I hadn't noticed their absence. He must like keeping his house very warm for me to have not noticed. He doesn't speak to me, just moves over to the case and opens it. He takes the first item from the top left, the bull whip.

Pleas and screams choke each other in my throat as he stands at the far end of the room behind me. Each strike is a punch to my system. When he strikes the back of my leg, it gives out and I crumple to the floor, my shoulders feeling like they're about to be wrenched from their sockets. He gives a grunt of disgust or displeasure, and walks toward me.

I hear him kick something metal, and my arms fall to my sides with the freed weight of the chain. I underestimated how heavy the chains are and how weak my arms have become as I struggle to shift them at all. He steps up behind me and grabs me by the roots of my now greasy hair. Just how long was I unconscious? I'm flung backwards onto a cot I couldn't have seen before. Chains are adjusted, paying no mind to my weak struggles. My pain-washed brain and hunger weakened muscles aren't much against heavy iron chains. I stare at the ceiling, glad to be off my feet. The chain's pulley system is truly baffling. I hear a zipper slid down, and the lead weight in my stomach grows heavier. I knew this was coming.

He pauses often to strike at some of the bruises that are already forming on my skin, and sometimes to slap me across the face. It's obvious that his pleasure isn't nearly as important as my pain.

My limbs feel dead, and the feeling is starting to creep towards my heart. He finishes with me with a last slap across the face. I know I've got bruises already, they throb with a painful reminder that I'm still alive.

He pulls another lever, and I'm forced back into a standing position. I feel the evidence of his rape slide down my leg and my stomach rolls in revulsion. I watch as he moves back to the case with his instruments of pain. He pulls the cat o' nine tails. I see the glint of metal and glass at the ends of the twisted leather. A shiver runs down my arms as I try to prepare myself for what is about to happen. The swish-crack of the whip rips down my back and sides. I know I'm bleeding, I can feel it trickle from the wounds. Swish-crack. Swish-crack. Swish-crack. Each blow strikes around the same areas. Top of the shoulders, right side, left side, center, back to the shoulders. Now I can hear the blood drip onto the stone-like floor beneath me. I don't think it's real stone. It'd be colder if it were. He set the stage to be as much of a mental torture as it was a physical one.

Once last strike across the center of my back. He replaces the whip in the case. He grabs one of the daggers.

With a finesse I didn't think possible, he draws out scream after scream as he slices around the whippings, places long shallow cuts along my torso, down my bruised legs and arms.

I'm covered in blood now, and feeling dizzy from the loss. The scent of my own blood chokes me in a copper flavored hold. He opens the door, and the slight breeze makes my wounds sting. He's only gone for a few minutes. The candles have melted half of their wax. When he comes back, I have a slight glimpse of his face. A strong nose, dark eyes, and a scar down the right side of his cheek. He carries a bucket with him. I can hear the liquid slosh around as he sets it down and shuts the door. I'm swaying more than ever now, more blood drips from my wrists where the cuffs have cut into them. He circles around to the back of me with the bucket. I hardly hear the liquid slosh before it's splashed onto my back. Instantly my back is alive with a burning sting. I smell the vinegar and salt as it drips along my wounds. Cleaning them, certainly, but the sting is agonizing. The scream tears itself from my ravaged throat. I wonder if I'll be able to speak after this. He circles around, and almost before I can take another breath, splashed the rest of the awful solution onto my front. Again I scream as the vinegar and salt water cleanses my wounds with a burning sting.

He takes the bucket as he leaves, apparently deciding to let the candles burn themselves out. Their dying flicker's a cruel jester of light as blood loss takes me back into blackness.

When I awake, I find the cuts starting to heal, already they have scabbed. Moving makes them bleed a little bit as I shift. Hunger gnaws at my belly, I have no idea how long it's been since I've last eaten. The chains are slightly looser. Maybe... I wiggle my wrists and squirm, trying to free at least one hand. The chains rattle louder than I expected them to be. I stop immediately and listen. Footsteps come closer from outside and pause outside the door. I pretend to be unconscious again, and slump in my chains. The door opens, I feel the slight breeze of air conditioning. So, this is a modern building, for the most part. I feel his eyes on me, but they don't stay long. Soon I hear the door close and the footsteps walk away. I stand back up and again try to squirm my wrist free. The scabs on my wrists don't help, but after a while I manage to get my right hand free. The case wasn't locked in anyway that I could see, so I stretched over to it as far as I could, keeping the chain taught so that it wouldn't rattle. I pulled one of the slimmer knives out of the case, and started at the lock around my left wrist. I don't really know how to pick a lock, but luck is with me for the first time when the lock pops open.

Freed, I immediately want to run out the door and escape, but I stop. I don't know where in the house He is. If I dash out now, he could be around the corner and see me. If he sees me, he'll catch me. I look at the case and choose the heaviest looking thing: the bull whip. I bunch it together so it's easier to hold, and wait at the side of the door.

It isn't very long until I hear the footsteps again. I brace myself as the door opens. Confidently, he walks into the room. I don't wait for him to look around, and bash him in the back of the head with handle of the bull whip. He goes down. I kick him just to be sure he's unconscious. He doesn't move. I lean closer to make sure he's not playing possum. He isn't. I manage to drag him over to my chains and snap my left cuff over his hand. He probably has the keys, but it'll slow him down. I hurry away. I want to get out. However, the first I think when I walk out into the air-conditioned hallway is something to cover myself with. I'm still naked, with only my scabs as covering. I search the building, which appears to be a house. I find the kitchen with little difficulty, and grab an apple from a bowl of fruit. It's gone within moments, as I move on to find a bathroom or bedroom.

Luck shines upon me again, when I come across a bathroom. I find a towel and wrap it around myself. I want to find something to help me identify him before I leave, but I must hurry. I pass the kitchen on my way to the front door. There's a bill addressed to Him. I don't want to think of his name. I grab the bill and run out the door, making sure to close it quietly behind me. On the street, a lady quickly notices my towel-clad state, and asks if I need help. I nearly break down right there. I tell her I need to go to the police station, and she takes me there in her car. It's painful to sit, my scabs are pulled as my skin wants to stretch. I'm grateful when we get to the police station. I thank her, thinking she'll go on with her day, but she sticks by me as I walk into the station. The police officers are also curious about my lack of clothes, and offer me a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

"Thank you." I say, "But before I go change, I need to have a rape kit done."

They take me down the street to a local doctor, who preforms the rape kit. I won't know whether they got enough to match with anything for a while. I change into the sweats and let a detective come up to me for questioning. I answer his questions and go into everything I remember. He wants me to work with a sketch artist. I agree. I saw his face better when I chained him up. I handed the bill over for evidence.

"This was on one of the tables when I got out. I didn't see anyone else's name on the other letters, so it must be him."

The detective looks at it, and a strange look crosses his face before he puts the bill in an evidence bag.

"Ma'am, if you'll come with me back to the station, we'll have that artist ready for you."

I nod, and go with him. It's a short ride back to the station. My scabs aren't pulled as much now. The doctor put a salve on them to help the healing process. I sit in the lobby as the detective goes to make sure that the artist is ready for me. I turn to look when I hear the front door open.

I'd been able to keep fairly calm throughout all this, but the sight that greets me sends me into a hysterical scream that has officers running from all directions.

There, in police standard blue, is the man. The scar on his cheek stretches as he smiles when he looks at me.

"Well, hello, dear. Looks like I found you sooner than I expected."