She was standing, with her arms tied behind the tree now. She was losing energy. She wished she had thought to eat breakfast before rushing out of the cabin this morning. Maybe Tucker was onto something with the whole fuel our body thing. She had just seen it as an extra expense in the past, something she could forego. Not as something essential to life.
She could barely hold her pounding head up straight. She knew her lip was bloody, her head had a nasty egg, and her cheek was swelling enough that it clouded the vision in her left eye. Her ribs throbbed and excruciating pain descended through her body with each breath.
She wasn’t going to give up. Not until her mission to end the Monster was successful. She couldn’t have Tucker ending up like this, too. She had to stop the Monster’s rampage before any others were hurt in its path. She reminded herself of these things in order to keep herself from losing consciousness, pushing the dark cloud out of her vision.
As the Monster paced back and forth, continuing a drunken tirade with the same story line about how she was ugly and ungrateful, he was powerful and desirable, la ti da. As he continued the litany of her wrongdoings, she tried to untie her wrists. She had done this before, she could do it again. She slowly worked the knots, her fingers burning from trying to squeeze the material out of the tight spaces.
When she had finally loosened the ropes enough that she knew she could slip out, she planned her next move. She shimmied her way down the tree so she could reach her ankles. When the Monster noticed her descent, he criticized her. She feigned exhaustion and plead that she was too tired to stand another moment. He was so much stronger than she was, she just needed to rest for a moment, and a bunch of other bull crap he seemed to want to hear.
This seemed to be acceptable to the drunken Monster, and she ferociously worked the knots as he finished his rant.
She did it! She had untied all the knots. The ropes would fall off loosely on her command. She had done it! A fresh wave of hope cursed through her body.
Now she had to finish the plan. She faked passing out, holding herself in the sitting position.
“Oh no you don’t, you’re not getting off that easily” he roared as he stormed towards her. “You are not going to pass out on me before receiving your punishment, you wench!” He moved towards her sloppily, and she sprung free from the ropes.
As she sprung free, all hell broke loose. The woods opened up with life everywhere. She grabbed the gun from the drunk’s hands and cocked the hammer. She was in a worse state than she realized, and she could barely see straight. She knew the world was starting to spin around her, but she was unaware of the particulars. She knew what she had to do. She drew the gun to his gut and pulled the trigger.
Click. No fire.
She had failed.
Then she could only see light, an intensely white light that enlarged until that’s all she saw. And then she gave in to the light. The world became bright, she heard voices everywhere, shouting this and that and coming from this angle and that, and she just let go.
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