Her Freedom

Her Only Escape

She was confused. Even though she was finally free after years of mental and physical torture, there was still a feeling of lingering doubt.

She walked progressively down the bustling street, trying to keep her head steady, looking in front of her. This faltered and she kept glancing to either side of her, taking in the unusual yet familiar surroundings.

She was still young, but not to look at. Only twenty-five, her bronze hair had started to fade and her once prominent features had begun to wither, a direct consequence of her frequently troubles. Problems only she knew of.

Seven years since it had happened. Six since they had loaded her into the back of that van and taken her away. They, being those people, those faces that she dreaded waking up to and seeing. Those faces that used unethical ways to make her stop crying at night and force her into a restless, nightmare filled sleep. Those faces that were scared of her but she could not understand why.

She continued along the road, stopping when she reached the tall apartment building. He must still be here. She knew that by coming here and completing the escape she could finally become at complete peace of mind to gain her only freedom. This was were it happened, she knew it was and it had not changed one bit. The windows were still cracked and broken and the slate roofing tiles still hung there on the edge, hoping for someone to rescue them. But nobody ever did, they were stuck, trapped, a feeling that Charlotte had felt all too often. She once again stepped over the rotten doorstep and into the dank hallways that used to greet her so warmly as she returned home, but now they seemed more resistant, as if they did not want her to enter, trying to shut her out for reasons unknown. Taking a deep breath she began to climb up the staircase with barely an upward glance and found the door with precise ease.

She banged on it with a clenched fist. She heard somebody stumble inside, knocking something over and cursing loudly. Eventually the door opened. He was the one. The man was quite elderly with thin grey hair and a wrinkled prune like face.

" Yes? What do you want?" he grumbled.

"Can I come in?" she asked politely.

"Why?" he inquired, "Who are you?"

She revelled that he no longer recognised her. Had she changed that much in seven years?

"I live here." She told him, expecting him to understand.

There was a slight pause, then he snapped, and "Well, not anymore, get lost!"

With that he slammed the door in the face of his niece and that oddness crept over and engulfed her again.

Fifteen minutes later, she had left the building and continued to walk so calmly to where she soon came to a small bridge that arched across a stream. As she stared into the murky waters, the memories of that fateful night returned, mirroring closely a more recent one. It had to be done. He had seen it. He had escaped. It was just not fair.

She could see and hear it all again. The crashing, the blood, the banging and the screams of pure, terrified horror, the shouting, the pain and the odd calmness she had felt. So clear, it was like a movie playing upon the cinema screen. But this was not movie and there was definitely no going back. She did not know how it happened, it just had and she had no power over these strong emotions that had taken over. She shook her head to free herself of it. She succeeded, but she knew it was only matter of time until it came racing back to fill her up again, as it so often did.

Suddenly, she heard a voice behind her, reassuring and familiar. The voice of a man.

" We know that you are confused, Charlotte." He said, "We know that you are angry."

She turned and with a sense of horror saw who it was. They were stood all around her, closely accompanied by the safety of a police force.

" It is time to go, Charlotte." He said, slightly forcefully.

" I am not ready." She said her voice child like and frightened.

But she did not struggle as two pairs of strong arms took hold of her and sat her into the waiting police car. She sat very still and peaceful, hoping for death, her moment of freedom, knowing it would never come and sensing that feeling of being trapped once more. The car sped away.

An hour later, a T.V. news bulletin spread the news that Charlotte King, the wandering psychotic who had calmly butchered most her family, at home, on her eighteenth birthday, was back, safe where she belonged.

But, it was not until two weeks later that the savagely, mutilated body of an elderly man was found in that same apartment flat. The man was her uncle.

She had fulfilled her only escape, but now she knew…

She would never be free again.

The End?