The air was still, stifling. There were no sounds except her harsh, ragged breathing, punctuated by the painful pounding beat of her adrenaline overloaded heart. The smell of fear and sweat filled her nostrils as she tried to focus her eyes in the darkness and find an exit.
She began to inch forward, but a slight draft of shockingly cold air paralyzed her. Their soft footsteps were muffled and seemed to echo from far away. A low moan of despair escaped her cracked lips. Even over the sounds of her own terror and her shaking hands pressed close over her ears, she could hear their whispers like a scratching inside her skull.
Andie fell into a crouch, face bowed close to her knees in a further attempt to shut them out. But she knew there was nothing that could make them stop. No amount of prayer to any deity or wishing for a miracle was going to bring her torment to an end.
She felt the cool air caress the back of her neck as her hair was swept to the side by even colder fingers. Every muscle tensed. "No," Andie croaked, "Just...just let me go. Please."
Those cruel icy fingers clenched tightly around her neck and pulled her to her feet. Andie flailed and struggled to free herself despite knowing it was futile. A twisted smile seemed to cross his face.
He flung her back into the waiting arms of his comrades. "NO! Please! Don't!" she shrieked. Her cries went unheeded.
They pinched at her arms and legs, pulling at her clothes and hair. Their ragged nails tore at her flesh, and the hours drug out into eternity.
Sometime in the night, she passed out. When she awoke, she was alone. Though was scarcely more light than before, she could at least make out the seemingly familiar shapes of a plain metal chair and matching cot.
Andie sat up stiffly. The rough concrete floor was stained with drops of blood. She was covered in bruises and scratches; some of which were deep and large enough to be considered cuts. She winced as she tried to swallow. Her throat felt like it had been through a shredder.
Just as she was attempting to stand, a door she hadn't been able to see clearly opened on the other side of the room. A man stepped through the door way and suddenly the room was flooded with light.