Aira opened her eyes and groaned. The night had grown cold, and the ground was hard-packed. Was that a rock sticking into her side? She stuck her hand behind her and pulled out the sharpest, biggest rock that could have possibly found its way underneath her.
“Okay. I came back. Shall we start with names?” the man spread his hands and craned his head down to look at her, “Hello?”
Staring into the flickering orange flames, she tried to comprehend what had happened. Trish, her best friend and only confidant, had called the city guard. For Aira’s own good, she had said. As if being imprisoned and beaten until she resembled what her city thought a woman should be would benefit her in the slightest.
Aira ran. She ran as fast as she could, her breath coming in bursts as she tried to direct enough air into her lungs. It would not be enough. Despite her long legs, they were coming for her, and they would catch her.