Emily woke up, and the van was stopped. It was now hot in the van, and her neck was cramped. She looked around, seeing most girls were asleep, and so was Bella. Her body moved gently as she breathed. The van door opened loudly, and many girls started to stir with shock. A gruff voice woke up any sleeping girls, and the rhythmic heartbeat of Bella sped up.
“Which one of you rats got rid of the cages?” a man growled. The man had long blonde hair tied into a ponytail with sideburns and a weirdly shaped mustache. He was tall with very broad shoulders. Multiple fingers were pointed at Emily.
“You stupid brat!” scolded another man. This one had orange hair with a long beard. He was short, and kind of chubby but still muscular and definitely still stronger than Emily or any of the girls. He wouldn’t look intimidating if it weren’t for the scar running along with his eye socket into his eyebrow.
“Get her. Come on Dan, GET HER. We don’t have all day. Dispose of the troublemaker.” A third man came into view. He was skinny and lanky with greasy black hair. His body was awkwardly long, and he stumbled over his feet. He climbed into the van, heading straight to Emily. She pushed Bella off, but Bella came running back to cling to Emily. She pushed her off again, motioning her to cling to someone else. The man was making his way towards Emily, being cursed at by the men outside the van. She didn’t expect any strength and didn’t feel like fighting back just yet as she had no place to run. The man was unexpectedly strong, though. He grabbed her by her arm and yanked her to her feet.
He led her back to the opening of the van, where she could see the two men clearly. The ginger one was fat with a red face and a mustache attached to his beard, and the other looked like a General Sargent. The fat one nodded, and Emily was pushed out of the van, falling three feet onto her ankle on the uneven gravel below. “You think you can come in here and ruin our plans?!” the ponytail man yelled. “Huh?!” Emily stayed silent, pain pulsing through her. “I ASKED YOU A QUESTION!” he screamed. Emily looked at him, not daring to talk. Her lips trembled and she could taste blood. She blinked, and when she opened her eyes, she saw the bottom of his shoe, coming closer, closer, and closer. She heard Bella scream mixed with the gasps of multiple girls, and then the world went dark.
When she awoke, the sun was blazing down. Her skin stung and the rocks cut her legs as she was dragged along the gravel road. She could feel someone’s hands under her arms. She looked around, seeing cabins and what looked like a cafeteria. There were electric fences everywhere. She looked at her legs, noticing the blood coming from rips in her jeans and multiple cuts on her feet. She looked up at the person dragging her, shocked to see it was a boy who looked around 2 years older than her. His brown hair stuck to his head, soaked with sweat. He smelled like he needed a shower. He looked down, making eye contact with Emily. He had sweet sapphire eyes that showed no emotion.
She winced, hoping he wouldn’t hit her again to knock her out, but soon relaxed after a minute, realizing he wasn’t going to do anything. She looked at him again, and he cocked his head and smiled. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. His voice was tired but strong, yet sounding as he was terrified.
“Where are you taking me?” Emily whispered back. She looked around, and could hear girls in the distance, but couldn’t see anyone around. She strained her neck to look behind the boy in the direction he was dragging her, and to her terror, saw a cabin with the sign “Shock Therapy” above it. Emily knew better than to try and struggle, as if she did, a guard would knock her out again, and her cheek was still sore from before.
She checked again, not seeing any guards. With a deep breath, Emily used her arms, confined and tangled with the boys, to propel herself onto her feet. She struggled out of the boy’s arms and ran as fast as she could on her injured ankle. She made it around 10 feet before turning her head to see if the boy was following her. Before she could find him behind her, someone tackled her from the front. The boy had made it in front of her and waited for her to check if he was still chasing her. Emily laid on the rough gravel, not able to breathe from the force of the impact.
“Resisting will not help in your situation,” the boy said, already standing. He grabbed under her arms again and started to drag her back to the shock therapy cabin. Emily didn’t want to give up that easy, and forced herself to her feet, freeing herself from the grasp of the boy, and running towards a tall chain-link fence. This time, she looked around her, waiting for the boy to jump out, but made it to the fence. She leaped and grabbed the fence, but couldn’t hold on long as a shock traveled through her body.
She let go of the fence, falling, and turned to see the boy hadn’t moved. She looked around for another guard, anyone who would have shocked her, but saw no one. She grabbed onto the fence again and yelped as another shock traveled through her body. It took her another two tries of grabbing onto the fence before realizing it was electric. She ran to her left and was immediately pushed against the electric fence, her face against the cold wires, being shocked for what felt like hours before the boy had stopped pushing her. She fell limp to the gravel again, but this time she couldn’t move. She screamed, trying to kick or stand up, but her legs were still. He dragged her back to the cabin, sighing. “I don’t want to be here either, but you don’t see me nearly killing myself trying to escape.”
Emily took deep breaths, feeling panicked. The boy’s words sunk in, and she tried to look at him, to no avail. “Have you even tried to escape?” she asked. He sighed and pulled her faster towards the cabin. “No, I haven’t. There are watchmen near that fence, turning it on when a sensor is triggered. This fence goes everywhere around the place, except for where the trucks come in, and even there is heavily guarded by armed men.” Emily’s nerves were finally coming back to life, and she could feel itchy twines around her wrists.
“Did you handcuff me?” She tried to move her hands, at least into a fighting position. She closed her eyes, trying not to remember the past.
“Uncuff me, please!” she sobbed. The boy turned and looked over at her. Emily was thrashing around on the rocks, cutting her arms, sobbing, trying to break free.
“Calm down! Stay still!” the boy whispered harshly.
“Get away from me! Don’t hurt me!” Emily screamed, catching the attention of many guards. She sobbed violently, screaming out in pain though nothing was hurting her other than the exceptional scratch from the gravel.
“Shhh! Shhhh! Shut up!” the boy whispered. He looked around at the guards staring at him, and his face got red. “I’m sorry…” He took a deep breath, then Emily saw the foot again before everything went black.
She was strapped to a metal chair, with her head placed in something that she couldn’t see. It reminded her of the blow-dryers she saw at her mom’s work and the ladies with the big colorful hair. She smiled, thinking of Mrs. Sue, the lady who came in every 2 weeks with bright pink fluffy hair. Her smile soon faded, as her head began to hurt, and she realized it was kind of dark. The lights were turned off, and she was alone. Emily tried to grab her head, to realize she was bound to the chair. She screamed and thrashed, her head pounding.
“Oh my god, will you cut it out already?!” a voice screamed. Emily stopped, squinting, trying to make out a figure in the darkness. “You know you’re not going to escape, and you’re just giving me a headache, just shut up!” His voice was raspy and harsh, yet he sounded as if she could trust him. He had a hint of cheeriness to his voice, no matter how mean he was being. It was almost...fatherlike.
“What’s your name?” Emily said.
“What is your name?” she repeated.
“I’m not giving out my name to a little mutt like you so you can report me to the police,” he chuckled, “nice try though.”
Emily rolled her eyes. “No, sir, I doubt I can escape but-.” She cut off her words mid-sentence as he turned on the lights. The man that she could only assume was the ginger was standing in front of her but he wasn’t ginger this time. He had gray hair, a gray face, and everything on him was a shade of gray or white or black. Emily looked down at her own shoes and saw that they were gray. Her pants were gray. The blood running down her knees was black. She couldn’t see color.