A Caged Bird

Gravel crunched as her wedged boots hit the pavement. A light breeze rustled the vermilion and sienna leaves as Miranda walked towards her subdivision. Alone. Years had passed since the last time she had walked home alone.

A dusty, cerulean Mercedes slowed behind Miranda, it's windows tinted a several shades darker than legal. Just beyond her sight, it began to follow. Anyone could have sensed the dread. Miranda picked up her pace. The car curbed in front of her. "Run" her instincts screamed. The scene began to unfold as Derek appeared and ran towards Miranda.

Before she could react, Miranda was gagged and tossed headfirst into the trunk. Outside she heard a struggle. It was not much of a struggle. Derek was wrestled onto the pavement and beaten. When he didn't, "seem like a threat any longer," he was slammed against the car door and viciously thrown in the trunk, "with the girl".

Too afraid to do anything more Miranda sat in the corner and listened, and wondered how this could happen to her. Cautiously, she hovered over Derek's body and untied her gag.

"Are you okay?" she whispered, her eyes filling with tears. She knew that he was not, that he was likely unconscious. Reassurance was all she wanted. Was that to much to ask for?

"It will all be okay," he responded. They embraced. Holding on to each other, the only physical evidence of life as it should be. But they knew it wouldn't be, "okay". It would never be the same again.

The End

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