When Lola woke up, she was surprised to find herself on a comfortable bed, inside, after a long time. She was sure had she not been drugged, she wouldn’t have been able to sleep; so accustomed had she become to the night sky, wind blowing and Hunter’s blankets that smelled faintly of dust, sweat, smoke and raspberries.
Once her eyes had adjusted to the darkness, she looked around, escape the first thing on her mind. The room was big though it had only the single bed, a chair next to it and a nightstand. There was only one door which was closed. There were two windows to either side of the single bed and both were boarded. Only the thin stream of light coming through the boards told her it was morning. She was mildly irritated to realize there was no escape.
The room looked clean, recently swept, the sheets smelled dusty but fresh. They smelt dusty because of her. She was relieved to see whoever had…kidnapped…her hadn’t changed her clothes while she had been unconscious. Though her clothes were filthy, they were hers and that was comforting.
She heard the lock turning and in a moment of panicked indecision, wondered if she should pretend to be asleep. The choice was taken out of her hand when a kindly looking matron entered with a covered tray. The delicious aroma of hot food turned Lola’s stomach. It gave an embarrassingly loud grumble.
The matron chuckled. “Guess someone is hungray.”
She set the tray on the empty chair. “Sowrie about tha,” she said pointing at the windows. “I knoe you won try to run away but I understand the need for caution.”
Lola looked at the old woman like she was quite mad.
“Please eat. It’s all ye favourite things; I made them from me own hands. Don worry. It aint poisoned if that’s what yer worried about.”
The matron came closer to the bed, as if she meant to hug Lola but stopped. She gave a half-courtesy, sniffled and all but fled the room. She didn’t, however, forget to lock the door.
Confused by this show of emotions, Lola just sat there, dumbstruck. As she slid off the bed, she noticed her bare feet. She looked under the bed but her boots weren’t kept there. She got up, and giving the chair (and the food) a wide berth, she inspected the room, especially the door and the windows. She tapped on every floorboard to see if one was lose. Nothing. It was an airtight room. It was a comfortable jail but like all jails, she was sure there would be an escape.
The thought of escape gave her pause. Once she was out of this room, where would she go? How would she even go anywhere without her boots? Is that the reason they had taken her boots? She shivered at the thought of what these people could do if they could think of something as simple yet brilliant as taking away her boots.
One problem at a time – she told herself sternly. First the escape; then she will worry about her boots. But on the heel of that again came the question– where would she go. Lola had no means of contacting Hunter or even finding him and now she was painfully aware that she had no home…no parents…no Uncl–
Lola shook her head. Blithering would get her nowhere. That statement was like a whisper on the breeze, spoken in Hunter’s unmistakable drawl. The familiarity of that statement and the voice nearly brought tears to her eyes.
What do I do?
Lola turned around in shock. Who had answered? Then she looked at her stomach. Maybe it was her stomach. She laughed, sure she had gone mad.
Not mad. Eat kid. Keep your eyes and ears open. I am coming.
This time Lola was sure it was the gunslinger who had said that – no one else called her kid. So she took his advice, much to the delight of her stomach. The matron had been right; it was all her favourite things. Had she not been so hungry, it would have struck her as odd that her kidnappers knew she was a vegetarian.
After the meal, she tried to stay awake in the hopes of talking to the matron when she returned to pick up the tray and gain some information but the warm food made her sleepy and soon, she drifted off.
The lighting in the room didn’t change except for the disappearance of the thin strip of sunlight. When the third food tray came, it was with a clean set of clothes. “There is a bath in tha if ye wan one.”
Lola ignored the clothes but dug into the food. This time, she noticed that it was all vegetarian. In the silence of the room, the fork clattering on the plate was as loud as a gunshot. “How do you know I don’t eat meat?” Lola whispered, terror coursing through her. Where was she? Had the Eastwoods finally caught up with her? Did they know she couldn’t eat meat because of their macabre gifts? She had seen them of course, even though her parents had tried to protect her from it.
“Let me knoe about tha bath,” she said as she turned to leave.
“He will come for me you know.”
The matron turned around. “Who will?”
The matron smiled, which chilled Lola to the bone. “Oh we are counting on it.”
Starting September, I will be trying to commit more to my blog by following an editorial calendar. This is a part of Blogchatter’s challenge – #MyFriendAlexa – to better your blog’s Alexa Rank by the end of the month by #BetterBlogging.
Current Rank: around 4 million