Elizabeth’s eyes fluttered in the darkness. She was lying on a floor somewhere and her head was killing her. She brought her hand up and winced in pain as she felt the bruise on her forehead. Her breaths coming deep and slow, she tried to get up; rolling onto her side and pushing up with her arm, but it was too much and she slipped back down with a choked cry. The pain was too much. Opening her eyes and looking about, all she saw was darkness with a faint light that seemed to come through a doorway. Closing her eyes again, she tried to remember what happened.
“Just one more ride!”, Stacy begged.
“I have to be up at six-thirty tomorrow”, Elizabeth protested.
“So do I”, Stacy reminded her.
“Yea, but you already finished grading your papers. I haven’t.”
“Aaagghh! Ok ... I’ll see you tomorrow”, Stacy conceded.
Elizabeth Swann and Stacy had known each other since they first met at the University of Texas, where they were both majoring in Applied Learning and Development. Four years later, they graduated and were both hired on at Webb High School. Stacy taught writing and Elizabeth taught ninth-grade biology.
Now twelve years later, they were always together. Stacy had gotten married soon after graduating, but Elizabeth had never managed to find someone wonderful like Stacy had. Compared to Stacy, she was plain and a little chubby. Her shyness and being an introvert kept her from going out and was always a hindrance to being able to make friends. No one wanted to hang out with her outside of school, except Stacy, her only friend. When Megan, another 6th grade teacher, had gotten engaged, she had gone around to all the other teachers showing off her engagement ring, but never to Elizabeth. Elizabeth knew that Megan didn’t have any ill-feelings towards her, but it was simply that she, along with everyone else, simply forgot that she was there. It was like she was invisible.
That was why she valued Stacy’s friendship so much; because Stacy was the only one that actually cared and wanted to spend time with her. She jumped at every chance to hang out with Stacy, but Stacy’s husband and kids often came first so that Elizabeth spent many nights alone, watching other couples enviously who had someone. Now at thirty-five, it seemed that no one would ever be attracted to her and that she was destined to be alone the rest of her life. This was all too clear because she had never actually “been” with anyone. She had had a boyfriend in high school, but it didn’t last long. Neither of them had really been attracted to the other and although they had made out a few times, that’s as far as it went. So, a thirty-five year-old virgin with no boyfriend, no friends (except Stacy), and no life.
It was no wonder that when Stacy had invited her to the carnival, she jumped at the chance. She valued every second that she had with Stacy because she was her only company. But as the night grew later, she knew that she had to get back home. Although she wanted to stay, she had papers to grade and that always took too long.
“Do you need a ride home?”, Stacy asked.
Elizabeth looked in the direction of her apartment and replied, “No, I’ll be okay.”
“You sure? You know how scared you get.”
Elizabeth smiled in agreement, “I’m sure. It’s just five minutes. Besides, I need the exercise.”
Hugging Stacy goodbye and waving to her husband Greg, Elizabeth turned and walked along the dark, empty streets, the warm night air feeling good on her skin. Normally, she never went out at night. Being very timid, she was scared of everything. But, it was so nice out here. She looked up at the full moon through the bare tree branches and marveled at its beauty. It was so bright and she was able to see the grey and white areas on it. She used to know which one of the grey areas was the Sea of Tranquility and...
“Wha’re you doin out here all alone?”, a voice slurred. Elizabeth turned suddenly towards the voice. A haggard, disheveled man was leaning against the wall in front of her. Flinching, she stepped away to go around, when he also stepped in front of her, blocking her path. Suddenly coming to a stop, she turned around to go back and was startled to see a second man directly in front of her.
“My friend asked you a question.” Elizabeth tried to run, but he grabbed her arms. “Hey Earl, it looks like we got a wild one here.” Elizabeth pulled out her phone and opened her mouth to call for help, but a hand clamped over her mouth from behind.
They started pulling her when Earl cried out in pain, “OWW ... FUCK!! SHE BIT MY HAND!” He smashed his fist against her head, causing her to drop her phone. “YOU FUCKIN BITCH!!”
Reeling from the blow, she felt herself being thrown towards the wall. Smacking her head against it, she collapsed on the ground. As she tried to get up, she felt a blow to her stomach and suddenly couldn’t breathe. Dazed and gasping for breath, she felt herself being dragged along the ground. Her vision a blur, she tried to get up.
“Stop moving, bitch!” as she was shoved back down, smacking her head on the concrete. Blinded for a few seconds, the blurriness in her eyes cleared and she saw the wild-eyed man leering down at her maliciously. The other man beside him held her arms down with one hand while covering her mouth with his other hand. “Now if you’ll cooperate, you may live to see tomorrow”, the man on top of her sneered. Holding up a knife in front of her face, her eyes grew wide with terror. “Ohhh yesss ... I’m going to enjoy you”, he promised her. He proceeded to tear her dress open, then slipped the knife under her bra, cutting it open. Roughly grasping her breast, he grinned at the other man.
Staring at the knife in his hand, Elizabeth froze in fear. Trembling, tears ran down her face as she wondered if she would survive this. Then ... something caught Elizabeth’s eye, a movement in the darkness. Just behind the man. A small, black form creeping silently towards him, on all fours like an animal, then it disappeared from view behind him.
Seconds later, a face sprang up behind the man’s shoulder and sank it’s teeth into the side of his neck. He began screaming as his throat was ripped open, spraying blood across Elizabeth. The other man gaped in fear than quickly staggered up onto his feet and began running. The creature raised up, blood dripping from it’s mouth as it snarled at him, then dropping the lifeless body it was holding, it swiftly bounded after the fleeing man on all fours before springing onto his back and tearing open his neck. The man fell down, screaming hysterically for a few seconds and struggling wildly, then was silent.
In shock, Elizabeth watched as it kneeled down, its face buried in the man’s fallen body. Though in a lot of pain, Elizabeth tried to get up, but couldn’t focus through the haze in her eyes. Turning to look at the creature, she watched in horror as it stood up and began walking back toward her. Panicking, Elizabeth tried get up ... and then everything slowly faded to black as she lost consciousness.
Elizabeth awoke. Gasping as she remembered the two men and the creature, she reared up, desperate to flee. But suddenly feeling dizzy, she fell back, panting for breath. Looking around wildly, she saw that there was only darkness. After several seconds, there was a faint light off to one side, illuminating a room that she was in. She was laying on the floor in a small carpeted, empty room.
She slowly raised up, her head still hurting. Grasping her forehead, she winced at the pain and looked around. Her dizziness seemed to be gone. Carefully getting up, she stumbled to the open doorway and looked out to behold a large empty warehouse before her; not just empty, but long abandoned. Where she had been laying was once an office. At a loss as to where she was, she slowly walked out into the cavernous warehouse. It was huge; bigger than a football field and completely empty. She looked all around and could only see one door that seemed to lead out.
Complete silence. At one time, this place was full of life with people and things moving, now it was dead and still. No sounds. No movement...
Something moved behind one of the steel columns in the middle of the floor. Elizabeth stared at it in fright, wondering what it was. Then the small, pale face of a little girl peered at her from behind it. A little girl?! In a place like this in the middle of the night?! She walked towards the girl, calling out, “Hello. What are you doing here?”
Half hidden in the darkness, the girl didn’t answer. Elizabeth slowly came around the column trying not to scare her. “What’s your name?”, she quietly asked.
Still no answer. The girl, who appeared to be no older than the freshmen that Elizabeth taught, continued to stare curiously at her as Elizabeth came around the column. She was dressed in a dirty, torn blue t-shirt and jeans with shoulder-length dark hair. She looked homeless. No longer afraid by her surroundings, Elizabeth’s attention was completely on this girl. “What’s your name?”, Elizabeth repeated.
“I’m Elizabeth. What are you doing here?”
“Watching you”, the girl replied.
Elizabeth slowly asked her, “Do you know how I got here?”
“I brought you here.”
Elizabeth was stunned by this and looked at her silently. “How ... Why did you bring me here?”
“You were hurt.”
Elizabeth felt goose bumps on her skin as she remembered what happened. Her mouth dry, she slowly asked, “Were ... were you there?!”
Elena didn’t say anything.
.... There is more of this story ...