Four Sheets & A Blanket – Short Story

Meg came to, in the pitch black. She couldn’t remember where she was. Feeling around she felt the cold, damp concrete floor under her fingers. That was when she first realised that she was naked.

She shivered as the cold and damp from the floor seeped into her bones. She started to shake, a mixture of cold and fear put her body into spasm. She sat up, the pain in her back was unbearable as the feeling started to return. Hugging herself she tried to calm her breathing, to stop this uncontrollable shaking.

She ran her fingers through her hair. Her fingers caught in the sticky mess at the base of her skull. As her fingers touched her head, a shock of electricity went through her brain, almost making her pass out. The pain eased as she massaged her eyes and took a deep breath. Again she tried to feel her head, feeling the wound that was open and seeping.

Putting her shopping in her boot at Asda. That was the last thing she remembered, then nothing.

The rattling from the opposite wall brought her back to reality. She only realised it was a door when she heard the key turn. The light flooded in from the doorway, burning into Meg’s eyes and making her head throb even more. She saw the silhouette in the door and turned away. The light was like acid burning through her retinas.

Meg saw the slight movement and heard the breathing coming towards her. As her eyes began to focus, Meg pushed herself away from the figure. Feeling the skin graze her legs and buttocks she shuffled away. She tried to move whilst covering herself against this intruder. Her back finally hit the wall and she leaned against it, never taking her eyes of the figure in the doorway. Despite the cold, a bead of sweat ran down her face.

Moving towards her the figure bent down and stared into her eyes. Meg looked back into a well of hatred. The eyes were as dark as night. Meg recoiled from the touch on her cheek. The fingers were as cold as the heart they belonged to. The maniac grabbed her jaw and squeezed, forcing Meg to look into those eyes again. As the pressure increased she was sure her jaw was going to snap. Then she heard a chuckle of madness.

“You will learn over time,” the chuckle continued.

Meg was then slapped hard across her face. Forcing her already damaged head against the wall. Once again, Meg saw the black edges of unconsciousness creeping into her vision. Her ears rang. She took deep breaths determined to not pass out. She forced the black edges back.

Meg watched as a bucket and four sheets of toilet paper were placed in the corner of the room. She then had a small blanket and bottle of water thrown at her and the door was once more locked, taking with it the light.

Meg wrapped the blanket around herself. Careful not to touch the back of her head, which was still pounding. The blanket smelled old and musty, but at least it kept some of the cold from the concrete away.

 

With the blanket wrapped around her, Meg stood slowly, always keeping hold of the wall. She tested her legs to see if they would hold her. After a couple of minutes, the room stopped spinning. It was funny how the room still spun even when you couldn’t see anything. Meg shuffled in the opposite direction of the door. She was sure she had seen a window in this direction.

Meg felt along the wall with her hand. Her fingers touched something smooth. Wrapping her hand around what felt like fabric she pulled as hard as she could. Inch by inch the fabric came away, exposing a window and light crept into her tomb.

Meg bathed in the light like she was on a sunbed in Hawaii. Meg started to cry when she saw that the window was bolted shut. Still, she tried to open it. Once she had torn three of her nails trying to escape, she knew it was futile. She felt the breeze come in from a small hole in the frame and shivered. With the help of the light, she looked around her prison. A small room no more than a couple of metres each way. The only object in there was the bucket and toilet paper, that seemed to glow in the light.

 

For the next couple of days, Meg’s life took on a strange routine. The wound in her head even started to heal. Although it still pulsed pain through her body whenever she touched it. Meg would cover the window when she heard the key turn. The light was her little secret. Once a day the door would open, the bucket and toilet paper were replaced and a bottle of water was left. There was never any food.

During the first week, Meg had become so hungry she had tried to eat the toilet paper. It ended up giving her terrible stomach cramps. One week on and Meg didn’t even feel the hunger pains anymore.

 

After three weeks Meg realised that she would never be released, she was to die in this tiny room. With what little energy she had left she knew her only chance of survival was for her to rescue herself. That was when the idea popped into her head. She could use the toilet paper to send a message through the crack in the window frame.

Meg knew there was only one thing she could write the message with. Chewing at the end of her shattered nail she chewed and chewed until at last the blood flowed from the wound. Strange how she no longer felt pain. As carefully as she could she wrote ‘Help Me’ in her own blood. Waiting for it to dry she folded it and forced it through the crack in the window frame, watching it drop below her. She watched it flutter and float to the pavement below. As it hit the ground it landed in a puddle and disintegrated.

The despair came like a tidal wave washing over her. Meg’s body shook as she sobbed into her blanket.

 

For the next three days, the sun was shining. Meg went through the same routine. Open the cut at the end of her finger, write on the toilet paper and release it below.

Everyday Meg released the notes below, she prayed that someone would find them. Someone other than her sister, who was still visiting daily to change the bucket and throw in a bottle of water.

One day her sister announced that she was bored with her now and would not be returning. Meg finally found her voice to ask her sister why she had done this?

“You were always the favourite with everyone. Mum, Dad, all those boys flocking around you. Bet they wouldn’t be so keen if they saw you now.”

 

The next day Meg lay in despair, the water and toilet paper had run out. She knew her sister well enough to know if she said she wasn’t visiting anymore, she wouldn’t. Inside she had died, there was nothing left to do. It was almost a relief, to think soon it would be all over and she would be warm again.

She barely registered the lock turning again. A figure knelt down in front of her. Meg wasn’t going to give her sister the satisfaction of seeing her cry. Although she wasn’t sure she could cry even if she wanted to.

“Hello, hello can you hear me? It’s OK now you’re safe. I found the note,” said a strangers voice.

Meg looked up into the bluest, kindest eyes she had ever seen. The tears, at last, came falling down her cheeks.

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