Monroe was alone. For once. No screaming siblings, no parental banter. Just silence and peace for once. You’d think she would be please, a moment’s reverie from the chaos that was her home life. But no, that was certainly not the case. Instead, an unintentional replay of every scene from Silence of the Lambs with Buffalo Bill in them played on a loop in her head. And that wasn’t such an off-base response.
After all, she did wake to find herself with a head wound, in the bottom of a well. Inside someone’s house. Or at least, inside somewhere. There were definitely interior things peering down at her. A stucco ceiling. The triangular beam of light from a standing lamp. And TV sounds. Ok, so it wasn’t totally silent, but considering her situation, everything was so numbed out and dulled down it might as well have been.
Her head ached. She didn’t seem to have any broken bones, but she was definitely banged up. Monroe started to wonder how she came to arrive in the well. As in, was she lowered down somehow? Or dropped? She couldn’t focused hard enough to get any clearer on the matter. And despite her head banging away at her skull in mind numbing pain, she was preoccupied. With fear.
How did this happen? She wasn’t the type to be talking to strangers, or interacting with shady people online. She hadn’t left her house in a couple days actually. Finals. Those horrible end of year tests that would make or break her. Turns out stupid tests weren’t the only things that could do that. She couldn’t even recall what she had been studying. She must have fallen asleep again at her desk. It was embarrassing how often some family member would find her passed out, face first in her school books, fingers still gripping a pen, sometimes still mid word. While she tried to recount her evening, a new wave of dread spilled over her.
Someone came and took her from her house. There was no other explanation. And while that was bothersome on the highest of levels, it wasn’t what drained the blood form her face. It was her family. Her annoying, loud, irritating, distracting, wonderful, sweet family. Had they all been home when it happened? Had anyone gotten in her kidnappers path? Suddenly, and without a choice, her mental loop of Buffalo Bill was replaced with horrible images of her parents, her sisters, her brothers. Injured, blood spattered. She knew this was based on nothing, and her brain was panicking and running away from her. But now she couldn’t stop.
Without meaning to, Monroe let out a small cry. She instantly knew it wasn’t small enough. Even thought she had her hands clamped over her mouth, and her cry for her family had passed, the damage had been done. Seconds later, the fuzziness that had blurred the unfamiliar world around her refocused. And she heard the sound on the television playing above her stop. She tried not to hyperventilate, tried to breathe evenly, still clamping her hands over her mouth. Then, even more terrifying, she hear foot fall. BIG foot fall. Big, heavy, possibly booted footfall. And it was surely coming toward this place she had been delivered to.
Monroe debated her options. Obviously there was no where to go. So, her choice in actions were few. But still, there was choice. Should she pretend to be asleep? Delay the inevitable encounter with whoever this kidnapper was? Or face it, like the adult she often told her parents she was? And if she chose to face them, should she show her fear? Or be bold, and act unfazed? She was suddenly overwhelmed by the options. The steps were close. They would be over head in only a moment. She tried to think fast, but it was as if her fear became a liquid inside her, and was slowly filling up her lungs and brain and other vital organs so that functionality became impossible. At the very last moment, when there was already a bit of shadow overtaking the edge of her new home, she chose to pretend to be asleep. She dropped against the wall, let her self collapse, which took little effort a this point, and prayed they would go away. She needed time. To plan. To think. To get a grip on life again, somehow, and formulate a thought process that would not leave her a skin suit in some crazy person’s closet.
She could feel the light become completely blocked out, as her kidnapper, whoever they were, stood above her fifteen feet up. Monroe told herself NOT to hold her breath, but she was worried she would start hyperventilating again. The figure, the shadow blocking out the light didn’t move. They made no sound, and just stood there. Did they know? Could they tell she was pretending? She wished something would happen. Anything. This suspense was worse than the possibilities in her head.
It was fortune her face was tilted down, because then Monroe began to cry. Not hard. Not heavy sobbing, or weeping, or crying out. Just silent tears. The liquid fear inside her had clearly filled all available space and was now overflowing down her scraped cheeks. And then, what she had been trying to accomplish for her whole conscious time finally happened. Her brain went on auto-pilot. No more racing thoughts, no more looping buffalo bill, no escalating fear, no nothing. It would be similar to the feeling one has while drowning, after the struggle stops. The calm, welcome or not. And Monroe drank it in gladly.
It was impossible at this time for her to have any inkling of what would happen next. For one, she didn’t know where she was, how she had gotten there, or who it was that had brought her there. For another, she was no longer assessing the situation, and was calmly crying into the dirt beneath her. For a third, the thing that did happen, was so opposite of any previous worry or guess that had she been focused, it might have completely caught her off guard. Right before her auto-piloting mind shut her off, and blacked her out, she heard her kidnapper speak. It was only two words, but enough to throw the whole situation off balance as she faded out.