After what seemed like days, Alice finally regained consciousness. She shifted a bit but found everything to be hurting and uncomfortable. She groaned as she felt the binds against her hands and feet. The gag seemed to have fallen off which she noticed when she opened her eyes. Everything was blurry but she did catch sight of the little striped cloth laying on her waist, drenched with her own spit. In reality, she would have been a bit grossed out but more important things commanded her attention right now, like first of all, where she was.
Alice tried to look around in the dark area she was placed in but found it too hard to see yet. She squinted in a futile attempt to correct her vision but saw very little. She could make out the distinct shapes of the walls and a few garbage bags and a chair. She saw somethings lying by the chair and got up to check it out. She soon realized the binds on her ankles and cursed under her breath. She shifted her feet around for a good many minutes until the ropes managed to slip off her friction-burned feet, then began to walk over.
As she got closer, she saw the somethings weren't any ordinary somethings: They were chains and shackles but the worst part: they were covered in blood. Her eyes widened in a silent terror and she began to back away, now frantically trying to find a way out of there. As she did so, a small high pitched squeal came from deep inside the room. Alice froze at the sounds of the unfamiliar thing and listened to its tortured whines for a few painfully long moments. When she figured that it wouldn't attack her, she began to walk towards it.
As she walked, her eyesight began to adjust to the room. Alice noticed they were inside what seemed like a basement or cellar of some sorts. The dank cement walls dripped with condensation and it smelt a bit like mould and rat droppings. Alice scrunched her nose against the putrid scents and continued forward. The squeals becoming louder and louder.
After a bit, a defined shape began to come into focus. It rapidly thrashed back and forth and squealed in obvious fear. Alice grew curious and her walking began to slow as she tried to focus her vision on the flailing creature. After a few moments, it did. A girl, no older than she was, was watching Alice in sheer terror and screaming as loud as the gag would allow her. Alice approached her softly. "Easy, I'm not gonna hurt you," she said and exposed her bound wrists in proof. The girl's eyes seemed to bulge a little less and her screaming slowly grew silent. She began to shake her head violently back and forth, in attempts to remove the gag but it soon proved futile. Alice reached over and untied it while she was still confused from the dizzying motion and let her breathe the moist air again. The girl looked up at her with gratitude. "Thanks," she said a bit breathless.
"No problem," Alice replied, "Hey where are we?"
"No Idea," the girl answered, "I was brought in the same way you were. By two men and out cold. I'm Denise by the way."
"Alice," she replied and stuck both her hands out to shake, as they were still bound. Denise laughed and began to undo the tight knot with her teeth, working it loose and letting the ropes drop from her hands. Alice, in turn, did the same for both her hands and feet. She sat down beside Denise and sighed in relief, feeling she had a friend in all this. Even though both their situations were grim.
After a few moments of trying to figure out where they were, there were creaking footsteps above them. Alice tensed in fear and opened her mouth to scream but Denise clapped a hand overtop, keeping her quiet. They sat there and painfully listened to a second pair of footsteps join the first and loud murmurs above. After a bit, a pair left out the house and the second pair ascended a flight of stairs and Denise released her grip over Alice's mouth.
Alice looked at her worriedly. "What was all that?"
"It's them. Our captors. You know, the ones that brought us here?"
"What about them?"
"It's better for us if they don't hear us. Out of earshot, out of mind I like to think."
Alice frowned in confusion. She didn't understand at first until she got a better look at Denise. She squinted and examined the young girl's skin to see cuts and bruises mixed with scabs and scars. She went to touch her face but Denise flinched away in fear. Alice retracted her hand and looked at her square in the eye. "Did they do this to you?"
Denise nodded very quietly.
"How long have you been here?" she asked incredulously.
"Not too long, a couple of weeks," Denise responded, not making eye contact.
Alice sat back onto the cold wall in a mix of fear, confusion and a confound wonderment. She sat there wondering how long this had gone for and how many girls had been involved. Were they the first? Would they be the last? She hoped. She also hoped they'd make it out alive...