In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Helpless”

“I’ll come back for you,” he said. “As soon as we find a cure.”

Anna opened her eyes in time to see Topi leave. She didn’t move. Didn’t make a sound. He would stop if he knew she was awake. She smiled as the door closed, leaving her in near darkness.

Beside her ear, a chain clinked and groaned. A pain in her wrist turned her head. A metal cuff anchored her to a heating pipe and the muscles in her arm were pulling against it. She forced herself to relax but knew she couldn’t stop it forever.

Shifting to make herself more comfortable, Anna closed her eyes. She had to keep calm, but the others had left her there to die. Even Topi. He had said he always be with her. He lied. She gritted her teeth and sucked in air. When she got out of there, she’d show him what happened to liars. It made her so…

Her eyes snapped open again. She had both feet against the pipe, pulling with all her strength on the chain. Tears blurred her vision and she shook her head. Every thought filled her with anger. No. Not anger. Rage. Her veins were filled with poison and the Rage would use her to kill her own friends.

She had to keep calm. She said it over and over, the words becoming rhythmic, chanting it. Chanting it in time with each tug against that forsaken pipe. In time with each kick. Screaming it. Keep calm. Keep. Calm. KEEP. CALM!

“I’ll show you calm,” she growled, splitting her own skin in her struggle against the shackles. “You’ve never seen anyone as calm as me!”

The snap of her wrist sounded like gunfire, waking her from the nightmare. Pain flooded her body. It was their fault. They had left her there. But Topi. He was coming back. He had said he would come back. And then she would be saved. That chain was keeping her safe. He would know where to look. He would save her.

“I’ll find you,” she whispered, wrapping one hand around the other and squeezing. “I’m okay. And I will find you.”

She shook her head as the bones in her hand cracked like bubble wrap. She couldn’t stop it. She wondered if they all felt like this when the Rage took over. Did they all fight it? Did they even know what was happening to them? Did they all feel so useless?

Her hand slipped free of the cuff, her mangled bones refusing to move back into place. It didn’t matter; she wouldn’t need both hands to choke the life from that traitor. Traitor. TRAITOR. She stood and moved across the room, following Topi’s path to the door.

“I’m coming for you,” she whispered, shedding her last tear. “I’m coming.”


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