She wanted to run, just make a bolt between apartment buildings, across the back lawns and over to her friend’s house that only lived a couple of blocks away. Jeffrey was tugging at her elbow and attempting to hurry her inside. Karen tensed immediately and began dragging her feet, stalling for a second so that she could think.
She had never even gotten the chance to register what was happening before they had driven the short distance to the apartment and now what was she going to do? Karen’s mind was racing as Jeffrey began to practically drag her into the building. She tripped over her own two feet while trying to slow their progress. Beginning to fall forward, Jeffrey got her through the door before she could stop him and it slammed shut was a deafening thud.
Just as it closed, Karen found herself on the floor and Jeffrey was screaming at her, “Thought you were gonna get away from me didn’t you!! You worthless piece of trash…” as he began repeatedly kicking her. He was still wearing his steel-toe boots from work and with each blow she writhed in pain. Her ears were ringing, snap went a couple of her ribs and she felt blood running down her chin from where her lip had been split opened.
She desperately tried to scramble out of the path of his next kick, too late, this one caught her on the spine. Karen lay still after that and absorbed a few more well planted ones that left her more emotionally bruised than anything. Always having been a horror film buff in her younger years, she had seen hundreds of them but nothing in any one of the had ever frightened her as much as what she was now experiencing.
“What am I doing here? How did I get in this place? What is wrong with me? God, what did I do to deserve this? It must be my fault that this is happening to me, right? Who, what, why, how…” the questions tumbled through her mind by the second with no answers coming. Mind numbing silence prevailed over the thudding of her brain and heart. Karen was no longer capable of thinking, absorbing or making sense of what had just happened.
The utter, sheer terror that invaded her now consumed her heart, mind and soul as it destroyed her spirit. In one felled swoop, Jeffrey had crushed her completely. It had been a process that he had been exacting on her for months now, divide and conquer of sorts. He had gradually separated her from her family. One by one he eliminated them from the equation. They didn’t like him and he made sure to alienate Karen from them all.
Next to go were her friends, first the longtime closest companions and then the casual acquaintances. Like pawns moved off a chessboard until the only thing left standing was the queen. Jeffrey had finally toppled her too. Victory was his, the king stood alone…