His payment's come due.
It was amazing how such a small phrase, a tiny arrangement of letters and vowels, could change her life in every possible way. She’d woken up on the floor of a basement with a gag in her mouth, and for an instant, she’d thought she was still dreaming. Until the firm bones of knuckles crashed into her cheek and the pain blinded her. Then, she knew she was awake and there was no going back.
She could make out shadows beneath the door across the room, shuffling feet and the wet slap of fists hitting flesh. Breathing had become close to impossible; every breath was miniscule and frantic, a cycle that perpetuated itself in the dank air. A bare bulb hung from a thin chain in the middle of the ceiling and it swayed side to side, tossing odd light all around the earthen basement.