Flight

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Creeping down the painfully lit stairs, alive to every sound. Pausing with the breath sucked out of her every time the guffawing laughter seemed too close. Finally, the door was there, in front of her. It was unbearably close. She forced herself to maintain caution for the last few steps, gently twisting the key in the lock, until finally, suddenly, she was in the street.

It was night. Very late. There was no-one in sight. She blinked a couple of times. It had probably been late like this when she’d been brought here. She had no memory of it though.

The streets were narrow. There was no pavement to speak of, and under her feet it was uneven. She wasn’t used to walking and a flat surface would have been preferable. However. She took a deep breath, and hobbled away as fast as she could.

At first, the turnings she took were random. The medieval paths wound back and forth and she was confident she’d reach civilisation if she just kept going. That hope faded fast. It was like a maze of mirrors, a myriad of reflections with no way of telling which was reality. Everything looked the same, and the buildings loomed over her, penning her in. She realised with a growing panic that she hadn’t taken a look at the door she’d escaped from. She could be standing back outside it right now and she’d be none the wiser.

A faint chink of light showed in the skyline. Soon they’d been done with the cards and drink and someone would come for her. She would have to keep going. She straightened her shoulders as best she could and limped onwards.

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