The dress was green. Alison twirled around in front of the mirror for minutes, staring in awe at how the frills at the skirt danced like aspen leaves along her ankles and how the dress conformed to her frame perfectly. Never before in her life had she been so well dressed. She couldn't even remember the last time she had worn a dress. Alison smiled. She certainly had not expected to wear a gown so luxurious as this, let alone get invited to the Barcelona Ball.
Eventually though, Alison was escorted away from the mirror and to the great hall where the ball was being held. The room was astonishing, with crystal chandeliers hanging high above her head and walls lined with gold. Hundreds of other people swarmed around in clothes just as beautiful as hers. Alison simply stood in awe, when she decided she should thank Bradley. However, Bradley was gone and nowhere to be seen.
Alison shrugged his absence off and migrated over to the bar where she decided to get something to drink. Just before she could ask for some champagne, a woman dressed in jeans and a leather coat pulled her aside. Alison was about to ask what she meant by being so rude, when the woman hushed her before she could even speak.
"You're in real danger," the woman said in a low voice, brushing her wild brown hair aside. "You need to get out of here, fast."
"What do you mean I'm in danger?" Alison asked, not all too sure how she should react to such news.
"I mean you're in a lot more danger than you're even aware of. We need to get you out of this dress and somewhere far away, do you understand?"
Alison shook her head from side to side. No, she certainly did not understand.
Suddenly another man with greased black hair joined them. "They're coming," he said in a hushed voice. "We need to go."
"Hang on right there!" another man shouted not too far away.
"Too late," the woman said as she pulled Alison through a crowd. The other man with dark hair followed as they walked briskly to the other end of the hall. They tried to run, but with Alison's high heels and dress constricting her legs, they didn't get very far. Eventually two policemen caught Alison by the arms and she could only plead with her eyes at the two strangers that had tried to rescue her.
"You're under arrest," one of the policemen said in a thick Spanish accent. "For theft, forgery and murder." As the policeman was speaking, another took out a pair of handcuffs. Alison could only stare in wild eyes at the two men. She looked over her shoulder to where the two strangers were, finding that they had blended well in the crowd. Spotting the woman, Alison saw that she had pulled aside a curtain, and as a closer look, Alison could see the vague outline of a door.
"You also have charges against you for trespassing, destruction of property, keeping illegal weapons..."
As the list went on and on, Alison's hands were pulled behind her back and bound tight with the handcuffs. She prayed silently that she would be given an opportunity to escape, but none was given. The policeman just kept reciting her charges in a never-ending list.
Finally Alison knew she had to do something. With an exaggerated sigh, she fell to the ground, tearing her dress and causing a commotion in the crowd. The policeman had let go of Alison for a brief second, so she took the opportunity to kick off her heels and bolt through the crowd that pressed around her. In a matter of seconds, Alison made it to the secret door. While Alison followed the two strangers down a set of stairs and through an underground tunnel, the policemen were searching in vain through the crowd, not even noticing the light swing of the massive embroidered curtain.
"Where are we going?" Alison shouted through pants and the loud pitter-patting of her bare feet to the concrete floor.
"To the docks," the woman answered before stopping short, catching Alison off guard. "Here, you need to put these on though. You run like a sloth in that dress."
Alison looked up to the greasy-haired man who pointed his flashlight at her. Forget it, she would strip in front of this stranger if it meant saving her neck from the noose. After the man unlocked her handcuffs with some sort of key, Alison took the t-shirt and the pair of jeans from the woman and quickly stepped out of her dress and into the soft cotton. Throwing the beautiful dress aside, they continued running.
Eventually light could be seen at the end of the tunnel. The flashlights the man and the woman were holding had lost their shine to the natural moonlight filtering in through a grate. All three crawled out, but as soon as Alison stepped out into open air, the two strangers patted her on the back, saying their goodbyes. Alison tried asking what she should do, but the only thing she could make out from their voices as they ran out of the open air of the square was the word "run". Alison did just that, ignoring the pain in her bare feet.
Eventually Alison met the sea again. To her left was the wide ocean and to her right was the marina. Alison ran as fast as she could onto the wooden docks and took the only boat that was untied and unlocked. Its owner was nearby, but was too slow to catch Alison, who jumped onto its tiny deck and shoved off as hard as she could. The boat was a little racing dinghy with a jib sail and half-busted tiller. Alison made do with what she had and adjusted the sails so that the wind caught them just right. Holding on for her dear life, she sailed away from the beautiful city of Barcelona and across the Mediterranean Sea.