STEPS TO FREEDOM (a piece of dark fiction)

Narcissism – daily word prompt
(Since starting my Curtis Brown Creative online course, I have been looking to edit an old piece taking some new knowledge into consideration.  So, here is a piece my followers of old will recognise, re-worked.   I’ve cut it by a third!  All necessary words have gone (and there may be more which could go).   For recent followers, I hope you don’t mind a little dark piece of fiction)

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STEPS TO FREEDOM: PART 1  

Kitty did not see or smell the rohypnol as he added it to her vodka, his other arm around her shoulders providing support to her weary head.  She felt her teeth with the tip of her tongue, a faint layer of texture, yuck.

“Fluff” she giggled and lifted her face to look at him.  Her vision blurred but eventually he came into focus.  His own teeth were yellow, crooked, and one was missing.  She giggled again and pointed at his mouth, her nail rasping his lip.

“What?” he caught her from falling off the bar stool and grinned back, “My teeth?  I know, I lost one fishing.”  he handed her the drink.  He was such a gentleman,  she looked at his jaw as she took a big gulp. Holding the glass was hard work but his fingers assisted.  Wow, he noticed all her little failings and was simply there for her.  Some guys were just more attentive than others.  She pondered this for a moment but realised her neck ached as she stared at the floorboards.  She saw shoes, heels, boots all attached to different legs. She made a concerted effort to regain control of her body and slowly lifted her gaze from the floor.  She’d not had that many surely.

“Now, tell me about this fishing!”  she instructed the young man who stood very close.  Kitty realised her left thigh was no longer visible because his own thighs were straddling it.  Gosh, he was incredibly familiar for someone she’d only just met.  How very daring.  Her head reverted to its usual drunken position and tilted to the right as she waited for him to answer.

“Well, the reel – don’t laugh at me – I hadn’t attached it properly to the rod.  Don’t laugh I said!”  she wasn’t aware that she had been laughing; she’d been looking at the gap in his teeth and couldn’t really hear him properly anyway above the hubbub from those at the bar.

“My drink,”  she turned her head and reached for her glass again, and noticed how it was freezing to the touch, her fingertips squeezed the sides hard in an effort not to drop it.   A dribble spilled out down each side as the ice bumped her top lip.  Kitty gulped and  concluded it would save little sips and anyway, she could drink most men under the table she reminded herself.  She mopped her mouth with the back of her hand.   Where was his drink anyway, she hadn’t seen him hold one yet.

“… and it came back and hit me in the gob!” he concluded his explanation which she guiltily realised she simply hadn’t heard.

“Noo!” Her mind was still worked enough to deliver a suitable response and made a mock horrified face.  He smiled.

“Let’s get out of here.”  She noticed him wink at the barman.  Surely that was her job?  She tried to do the same, but merely closed both eyes and giggled again.  She lent into him as she slid off the stool, her skirt holding on to the plastic seating.

“oooh, don’t look!”

“Didn’t see a thing, promise!” He winked again at the barman and held her elbow as they went out onto the pavement.  Always the gentleman.  Smelling the leather of his jacket she realised her nose was buried in it.  “Hmmmm you smell good.”  Her feet wouldn’t work for a moment and he really had to hold her up.

“Come on you!”  his voice was reassuring and within seconds he had opened a car door for her.  It felt good to slide onto a proper seat with a back and head rest.  Those bar stools were silly really.  She watched him open the driver’s door and fold himself into the small car, very small car in fact, and as he began to drive the yellow light from street lamps flooded onto his crotch area with rhythmical reguarlity.  She became mesmerised by it as they drove through the city streets. Her head was simply too heavy to lift; god knows where they were going, but she was in safe hands.  Such a lovely man to care for her like this.  After all, she was a stranger.

“Hang on!  Where are my friends?  I need to tell them.  You never just leave friends without telling them, do you?”  a faint panic entered her belly.

“I told them, its ok, just relax.”  Kitty allowed his words to meet the panic, to calm and reassure it.   He was so thoughtful to have done that for her and she turned her head to watch the unfamiliar territory pass by like a filmset.  She fought to keep her eyes open as the noise of the engine lulled her, but all too soon it stopped.   His closing of the driver’s door regained her attention that they were parked and the tiny panic from before appeared to be hanging around.  Go away.

“Okay?” he helped her out and led her along the pavement, then off towards a concrete stairwell with gaps between each step.  She giggled again.  As they started climbing, she lent down to watch the view of grass and bins become an ever narrowing view.   They turned to negotiate the next flight and once at the top he stopped their progress to press his face close to hers.  She had not noticed the aroma of smoke on him in the bar but now it was bitter and filled the air in her nostrils.  She waited for something to happen; she wasn’t sure what, but sleep would be good right now.  Right here on the steps; she really didn’t mind.   She closed her eyes and thought how cool it would be to sleep upright, like horses do.  His tongue dragged across both her lips, pulling her top lip up to touch her nose and her stomach flipped in shock.  Deary me, this man needed lessons in kissing.  “Slower” she tried her best seductive voice and reached up to move his face away a little.  Her focus responsed more quickly this time and as she looked into his black eyes, she began to think that she might not want to kiss him after all, so smiled to buy a little time.

“This has been so lovely, really, but I think I would like to go back to my friends now.”  panic was not staying put, nice and small in the base of her belly, but growing and evading all areas of her body.   Kitty smiled again as a feeling that could not easily be described, told her not to make him angry.  He assisted her quite firmly along the concrete balcony past some doors.  “Shall we go back now?”  her voice sounded small, even to her.

“In a bit yes.”  They stopped again and with incredible strength, pinned her to the wall with his body.   His right hand spanning across her chest.  Not even near her boobs she noticed – how strange.  All men went for boobs, but this one must like that area a little higher, around her collar bones.  Each to their own.   She would be back with her friends in a few minutes and they could carry on their earlier chat about which job she should apply for.  How exciting; two offers had come in that day, it was all flooding back now.   His left hand fiddled with a yale key, they were always little buggers in the dark, she had one of her own so she knew.  It felt like forever while she willed the key to fail but it let her down as she heard the grating of its entry, the click as the catch released.

Now panic spread through her limbs and even her fingers were buzzing.  Her body was poised and her eyesight was improving.   She should stand her ground now.  She was pretty sure this was the time. “So when shall we leave to go back?”

After we have sex.  You wanted it.”   Kitty didn’t remember saying she wanted it, but then again she didn’t remember a lot come to think of it.  The breathy kiss went on a bit too long and as his hands started to wander she tried hard to think.  Think.  He pulled away “I’m just going to the bathroom – make yourself comfortable.”   and he disappeared through a door just to the side, closing it behind him.  She heard him urinating and panic finally kicked her into action.  She did not hesitate.   She grabbed her bag from the floor where she stood, opened the yale latch (so much easier from inside) and ran.  Along the balcony to the start of the staircase.   Three at a time, grabbing the railings as she decsended as fast as she dare.   She shocked herself and never missed a beat, a turn or a step.  God, she was down and on the grass.  Keep going.  She ran onto the pavement and slowed to a fast walk.   Panic was pumping through her veins.  Together they looked back but no-one was coming.   “Yeeeesss!”.

The sound of her boot heels on the pavement kept her company as she maintained a speed which would take her to safety.  Her stride was long; she was power walking and one fist kept finding the palm of her other hand.  It felt bruised she realised; she wasn’t sure how long she had been hitting her palm, but panic was happy with her progress.  They made left and right turns, always a good plan during a chase, putting distance between them.   Where the hell.   Kitty paused briefly on a corner, street lights illuminating identical buildings down both streets, and lines of parked cars all sleeping like well behaved animals, awaiting their master’s morning instructions.   Phone map!  Opening the popper of her bag, and seeing the kitten phone case brought a wave of emotion.   The intake gasp of breath as she turned it over, so relieved to find it still actually in the bag, accompanied some tears.  Four percent battery and before she could look at the maps, she saw five repeat texts “Where are you?” all from her friends.   Shit.  He must have lied and not in fact told them. Bastard.

She started to type a reply, she must reassure them.  Head down but with periphery vision enabling her to stay on the path, she walked and typed, her vision almost back to normal “I’m ok, don’t know what happened there! Sorry!  Just walking back now.”  it flew off across the ether and very quickly a reply came back “Thank God. See you at the apartment?”  “Yes xx” but before she could touch SEND, the screen went black.  Fuck.

The road to the right looked vaguely familiar so she decided to keep walking.  She walked and walked.  No taxis drove past, no shops were visible.  This was a residential area of a town she did not know.   How fucking stupid.  But wait, how fucking horrid was he?  She muttered as she walked, alternately horrified and relieved.   Eventually the road ran out, literally.  Concrete bollards prevented cars taking the underpass which lay ahead.  Pedestrians and cycles had permission to enter the dark tunnel, graffiti playing with her imagination as she marched on through towards the lit street through the other side.  Once past the rank smelling,  rat-infested walkway, she spotted some lit shopfronts, but at 3am, surely nothing would be open.

Two or three lads, one sat on a bike, hung around under a street lamp between her and the shops.  She didn’t care any more.  Her defiance was on fire and she would walk right through them if needed.   She marched on, keeping to the path and her bag tightly held.

“Nice boots missus!  Want me to unzip ’em for you later?” one giggled and the others joined in.

“Fuck you.”

“Oh dear, moody cow aren’t we?”  He wheelied past her and off down the road, his followers on his tail.

As she crossed the road, her heart soared as she noticed a pizza shop ‘OPEN 24 HOURS’ sign.   The bell tinkled a warm welcome as she entered and a couple of staff were chatting while cleaning, a few pizza boxes stacked under a light on the counter.   The man looked up and his face became worried.

“You ok?  What happen to you?” how would he know that anything had happened?

“I need to charge my phone desperately; I’ll give you some money to do it for me?  I have no lead.”  she held the phone to show him the make, in hope that he would have the correct charger.

“Of course, of course. Please sit.  Have a tissue”  his arms came nowhere near her but managed to guide her to the cushioned bench in the window which she sank onto with relief.  He handed her the tissue.  “Piece of pizza?”

Kitty shook her head and the tears came suddenly.  She looked at his sweet concerned face as he spoke in foreign tongue to his colleague.   Panic patted her shoulder and returned to the place it lives, always fit and ready to fight.   As Kitty’s resolve drained out through her sore feet on to the red sparkly flooring, out came shame and guilt.  They swamped her head with their mocking and the tears cascaded down her flushed cheeks and dripped off her jawline.  She made no move to stop them and allowed the sobs to exit her open mouth.   As her hand flattened against the area below her collar bones, she realised the area felt sore but it helped that the kitten stared softly back at her through huge round eyes as it sat on the bench, the lead in the wall bringing her safety network back to life and when she turned the phone over, the white apple was deliciously visible once more.

“We have rung for a taxi.  Where do you want to go?”

(Part 2 tomorrow x)

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