Chapter 1.

As the dawn came, the light filtering down through the thick canopies of the trees, she began to stir. Her muscles aching and protesting as she stretched as silently as she could, just in case he was still in the vicinity, she highly doubted it, but felt it was better safe than sorry. As she stretched some of the cuts and grazes of the previous night re-opened and began bleeding again, the blood seeping into her sparse clothing and blending with the dried blood of the night before, until it was impossible to tell what colour the clothes had been originally. Carefully, mindful of her stiff, tender muscles, she stood using the tree, which had been serving as her pillow, to support herself, her limbs shaking as they tried to support her feeble weight due to lack of use, over the period of her incarceration, the adrenaline from the previous night having worn off as she slept. All she knew was that it had been years, and she only knew this because of how much she had grown height wise and developed physically and the way her hair grew longer, her nails grew too but he always cut those, she repressed a shudder as the memories flashed through her mind of those times.

Slowly, her legs wobbling violently, she began to walk leaning on trees to prevent her falling to the ground. She kept going in the direction she had been running the previous night, not knowing what lay ahead but hoping against hope that what ever there was it was better than what she was leaving behind. Keeping to the shadows and moving as slowly and silently as she could she made her way forward, stumbling due to her unsteady limbs and the uneven forest floor, where debris scattered the path, sticking through the thin, worn soles of her flimsy too small shoes.

Eventually she approached an open road, she paused wondering if it would be safe to walk in the open like that, he could still be around, and there was nothing to use for support. After a moment's deliberation she decided that it would be safer than staying where she was, so picking up a large, thick branch to use as a walking stick, she slowly made her way onto the road and kept going straight ahead. A feeling of warmth spread over her causing her to look up, she hadn't felt warmth like this since beforeā€¦. Squinting she saw it was the sun. She paused for a second revelling in the feeling of the sun on her cold, pale skin, as she stood there, eyes closed, soaking in the sun she heard an engine. Her eyes snapped opened and she spun around. A car was approaching slowly, obviously having seen her, she stared at it in shock, the only car she had seen for the past few years had been his car, but this one was blue, his car was dark green, she let out an involuntary sigh of relief. As the car drew level with her it stopped. The driver must have flicked a switch as the next thing she knew the passenger window was being wound down and a young woman's face was peering out at her. "Are you alright?" the woman asked, taking in her tattered, blood stained clothing and ragged appearance, "do you want a lift into town?" Pausing, she deliberated, she remembered someone telling her to never get in a car with a stranger, but this woman couldn't be worse than who she was running from, could she? Slowly she nodded and got in the car.

In no time at all, the town began looming over the horizon. "Do you want dropping off anywhere in particular?" the driver paused, waiting for a response when none came she carried on, "no? OK, well I'll just drop you off in the town centre then, your likely to find whatever it is you need there." The next thing she knew the car had pulled over next to a large memorial statue and she was getting out slowly, the car then drove away, the driver casting a worried look back in her rear-view mirror. She staggered over to the bench near the memorial statue and collapsed onto it. She felt free for the first time since she could remember, in fact she didn't just feel free, she was free. At least for now.