Chapter 3.

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When she awoke again, Endi was full consicous and no longer shivering. The car had stopped, and voices were conversing outside in hushed tones.

Suddenly, without warning, the trunk was opened and Endi was violently tugged out of her safe, dark corner. A wave of nausea passed over her as she was dropped on her feet.

When her vision cleared, she immediately began twisting in a futile effort to rid herself of her ropes.

A gruff man in his thirties, with steely eyes, an oversized middle, and a face covered in black stubble appeared from behind Endi.

"Sit still so I can git yous free of yer ropes." He snapped in a hoarse, low voice.

Endi obeyed reluctantly. She didn't trust this man, and she was beginning to form terrible ideas of what could become of her if she stayed here any longer.

The man pulled a long, rusty knife from his belt loop, and began working away at the thick hemp encircling Endi's whole body.

He saved her ankles and wrists for last, and with good reason too because as soon as she was free, Endi bolted.

Fast as she may be, a thin, recently drugged girl of fifteen was no match for a buff, thirty year old man. She didn't even get to take her second step before the man caught hold of a thick fist full of hair and pulled.

Endi found herself face to face with the man, her feet dangling a foot and a half off the ground.

She winced in pain as the n smiled widely, revealing a sickening array of yellowed teeth.

"I is Aeron. You is goings to listen to Aeron or things is gonna git messy." He hissed with an acidity that demanded attention, and made Endi cringe.

She knew better than to show weakness, and instead, mustered all her courage and put on a coy smile.

Still hanging painfully from that fist full of hair, she crosed her arms in front of her.

"All right then Aeron. I just find it difficult to listen to anyone when I'm being held up by my brains."

Her smile shifted into one of sweet innocence, which made Aeron relax a little.

He didn't show any inclination to put Endi down however, so without delay, Endi swung both legs back and delivered a cleverly placed kick.

Aeron howled in pain, dropping Endi on the pavement and doubling forwards.

Without wasting another second, Endi spun on her heel and ran. She ran far and, ignoring Aeron's fading calls to her, telling her to come back.

She kept running, not stopping, not even when the wind couldn't carry Aeron's voice to her. She ran off a large expanse of dying grass, onto an even bigger mass of dried dirt, crusted with calcium.

I wouldn't mind doing this forever. Endi's thoughts began circling, as they always did when she was alone. Sure I may not be the strongest, but I can outrun them all!

Her nerves began to calm again as her limbs fell into a well practiced pattern. Endi didn't feel the need to stop in the next twenty minutes of sprinting that followed.

The rumbling of an engine soon changed that.

Dun dun duuuuun!


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