Survival

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PROLOGUE

She felt the sweat dripping down her lower back. The room was suddenly burning with heat. Something moved next to her and she shrieked. She almost screamed when she heard a voice. A familiar one. she had forgotten she wasn’t alone.

“We are all going to die,” She sobbed. From the small cut on the window above us, she saw her shivering.Her own voice sounded strange even to her ears. She didn’t know why she said that, because she was also scared and finding a way out seemed almost impossible. But one of them needed to be strong for the other.

“Do you hear that?” Hanna shrieked.

“Hear what?” she asked.

“Shhh.” That was when she heard the footsteps. It sounded light, but as it came nearer it became more of a thud. A sound of keys being jumbled. A door creaked.

Her heart was pounding. They moved closer and clung to each other. None of them wanted to be left alone with the scary thing coming in. It was like together they were safe.

The door finally opened wide and light flooded the room. The sun pierced directly at them. She squirmed our eyes and covered it with her hand. Two people entered the room. One was a young boy and the other was a heavily built man. That was possibly why she had heard light and heavy footsteps, she thought.

“Please don’t hurt us. We can give you so much money. Just call our parents. We swear we won’t turn you in. Please,” Hanna cried.

“Wha make ya think we want ya money?” The man huffed.

“James, keep a lookout on them. Keep the food. We won want them dyin yet.” He smirked. She felt sick.

The boy called James kept the food on the ground and turned to leave with the man.

They cried louder. “Please leave us alone! Please!”

“Shut up!” The man roared. They immediately became silent.

“Let’s go son.” They left and locked the door, leaving the upper part partly open. Perhaps, for James to see what they were doing.

It was then she looked around the room. It was a small room. With no furniture. Bare and empty. The walls were gray and were all cracked. The floor had also become beige due to lack of care. There was a funny smell in the room. I wonder what this room is for, she thought.

“Hmpf. Of course this is where they stuff people. To murder them anytime they want to.” She didn’t know that she let her thought out loud. The thought of people once being here made her stomach churn. What did they possibly do with them?

They stayed quiet for what seemed like hours. James would peek in now and then. He warned them to eat the food. But none of them even looked at it. They didn’t know what they put in there. At last he gave up telling them to eat, saying it didn’t even matter whether they ate or not, which frightened them the more. Sometimes, one of them would slowly get up and look through the upper part of the door. James would still be sitting there. They couldn’t escape through it because it had metal bars designed across it.

“I feel weak Jameela,”

For the first time, she looked at her very well. Her usual sparkly eyes that always had eyeliner and different colours of eyeshadow because Hanna was always the one to experiment had drastically changed. Her eyes looked red and puffy from the cries. Her caremel coloured hair had become ruffled and full of dirt. She looked really weak. Jameela knew she looked like that too. Maybe even worse.

“I know Hanna. Our friends and teachers would definitely notice us missing and call for help, I’m sure. InshaAllah we will get out of this freaking hellhole.” She assured her.

“Help? Jam, what help? Yeah. Sure they would call for help and arrive when our bodies are already rotten or we have been eaten by these fucking damn monsters. Have you forgotten Peyton? Or the rest that went missing just like that? What did they do? You were there. It was simply meetings upon meetings.”

“Don’t say that. I feel exactly the same too. But I refuse to give up.
You know, I think I have a plan but I don’t know if...”

“What was that?” She looked startled.

She immediately understood the voice even though he was screaming his lungs out.

“Oh my God. It’s Joe.” Jameela screamed.

“No. Are you sure? I mean it could be another man those sick psychos kidnapped.”

The door was forced open and James and the man threw in a bloody person to the ground. His left leg was bloody and he was crying in pain holding on to it for dear life.

“Joe! What did you do to him, you bastards!” They rushed at him. He was gagging, blood dripping from his mouth.

“What are we going to do with him?” James asked his father.

“He gonn die soon. Besides he ain’t tha one. I think we sha just end him. Go and prepare the kitchen,” The man instructed.

“Oh I already did Dad. I said tha may be you woul bring someone.” James replied, beaming from ear to ear as if he had just won his exams to make his father proud.

“Good, son.” The man held on to Joe’s hand, dragging it like a mere object. She didn’t know she still had some strength left in her, as she lunged at the man, scraping his arms and shouting obscenities his way. Hanna followed suit as she jumped on his back. Even with the both of them onto him, he was stronger. He pushed them with full force, and they hit the hard concrete wall. They screamed in pain. Joe also tried to resist. That was when the man took out a long, sharp blade and sliced it into Joe’s stomach causing a pool of blood to form and his stomach to burst out. His intestines fell out, half dangling from his stomach. Blood spurted out from Joe’s mouth. He stopped moving. She was paralysed on the floor.

“Now!” The man shouted.

Just then, she heard Hanna scream. Turning to her direction, she saw Hanna cold on the floor. Before she could react, she felt a sharp blow on her head. She slumped on the cold hard floor, her eyes watering instantly. Her eyes flicked open a bit, her gaze on the man as he took out a knife from his pocket and plunged it in Joe’s chest, carving what seemed to be a shape. He then gave James the knife. Blood splattered furiously as he dug his hands in Joe’s opened chest and took out his heart. Jameela froze.

“Hmm. This heart is healthy. It a shame he ain’t the one. I’m sure theirs are too.” The man said beaming from ear to ear, his yellow rotten teeth visible.

Why? He wasn’t even struggling with you, she whispered. She tried to inhale and exhale but couldn’t. She could feel herself fading away. I’m going to die, she thought. Her whole life flashed in front of her. She saw her Mom smiling while making her favourite pastry, her dad laughing on his couch while sipping his orange drink and reading a magazine. Her siblings - Fatee eating from a box of chocolate, Muhammad watching a movie, Ibraheem studying the anatomy of insects he has brought from the backyard, and Sakna in from of her mirror having a face beat. Her best friends, laughing and sharing jokes with her. That’s it. Her life was over. She would never see them again.

The man dragged Joe causing an array of blood to follow and a sickening smell to form.

She slowly fell unconscious.

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