The battle

A dark, windowless room.

She’s fallen asleep, at last, curled up on the bare concrete floor – exhaustion finally conquering the fear and the pain.

She cries out in her sleep, her dreams dark and disturbed. Well, they would be, wouldn’t they? She has lost track of how long she’s been here, since they snatched her from the street. No idea how many times she’s been beaten. How many of the men have taken her.

They wake her with a jet of cold water. As she comes to, two guards seize her, lifting her to her feet by her hair. They drag her, still only half-awake into the corridor, with its stark strip lighting. Into the end room: that room, which she has come to dread.

She switches off, mentally, as they strap her once more over the whipping bench. Nothing they do can break her.

A voice. His voice. That voice she once trusted so totally. The one she had dreaded hearing in this place, her sole consolation being that he couldn’t know what they were doing to her.

“I’m tired of this game. So, it’s time for you to finally tell us what you know. And then we can take you home.” He turns to the men: “Pass me the heaviest of the canes.”

The first, excruciating stroke cuts home.┬áThe battle begins… and she feels the will to fight weakening, and the need for comfort and forgiveness taking over…

She strengthens her resolve. Nothing they can do will break her.

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