Elaine was awoken by a throbbing pain in her head. She attempted to open her eyes but was instantly hit with a wave of pain that made her nauseous. She attempted to lift her arms to hold her aching head but found she couldn’t move them. As her body adjusted to the pain and her brain cleared she started to hear movement around her. Small shuffling was coming from her right accompanied by a low rumbling noise. She could feel herself swaying slightly. Finally she was able to slowly open her eyes only to find her surroundings pitch black. The only light she encountered was a dim sliver to her left. From her surroundings she figured she must be in a box truck.
She moaned as her body creaked with the effort to get up from lying on her side. Elaine heard a small gasp in front of her. “Who’s there?” she croaked.
“Are you alive?” a tiny voice trembled.
“Tommy?” Relief flooded Elaine. “Tommy are you ok?” She attempted to reach out in the darkness to hold the small boy but found her hands were tied behind her back. She heard scraping as Tommy scooted toward her.
“I’m ok.” He whispered. “But I’m really scared.”
“It’s ok. I’m here and I’m going to help you.”
“How? You’re tied up I saw them do it.”
Elaine wasn’t sure. She began to think quickly of an escape plan. She felt the binding around her wrist and realized it was a zip tie. If only she could find something sharp.
“Tommy I need you’re help. Did you see what was in here?”
“I don’t know. I just saw blankets and a box that smells like hamburgers.”
“Ok, can you feel around and see if there is anything sharp?”
“I don’t know.” Tommy began to whimper.
“Tommy, listen to me. It’s going to be ok but I need you to stay calm. Please just feel around and see if you can find something sharp. If I can cut myself loose I can get you out of here but I need you to be a big boy and do this for me.”
Tommy’s whimpers subsided. “I have a pocket knife in my backpack my daddy gave me for my birthday. It has a bunch of cool stuff on it and a knife.”
“Perfect! Bring it to me please and hurry!” She heard Tommy shuffle across the truck and back and return to her side. She could hear him digging in his bag for a few minutes when he finally placed something cold and smooth in her cupped hands. Elaine flipped open the knife and began working quickly sawing at the zip tie. After a few minutes of awkward, sweaty grunt work she was able to free herself. Rubbing her sore wrists she quickly stood and walked to her left to the sliver of light. It was the truck door. She felt around hoping to find a latch or handle but only realized they must be locked inside.
Suddenly the truck jerked to a halt sending Elaine and Tommy tumbling to the ground. She heard the engine die and doors slam. Two muffled voices began moving around outside. Elaine grabbed the backpack and shoved it into Tommy’s hands as she helped him up.
“Tommy, when this door opens I am going to jump out and surprise them. When I do you need to jump down and run away as fast as you can and try to hide. I will distract them so you can get away. When it’s safe go find help and don’t stop until you do. Do you understand?”
“What about you?”
“I’ll be ok just do as I say, promise?
“Good, now get behind me. Remember run as fast as you can.” She grabbed the little boy’s trembling arms and guided him behind her. She positioned herself near the middle of the truck door. Her nerves on edge she was like a lion ready to pounce. She just hoped this plan worked.
To Be Continued…