The Escape


What do you do when you are stuck in a situation you hate? How do you escape your nightmare or do you?

                The Escape


"Umm... hello?"

"Hello." A woman's voice answered.

'Um... I always carry an umbrella on Tuesdays." I whispered, unsure if I had the right number or the

phrase. What choice did I have? I had to try something. Living this way was not an option anymore.

"10 minutes intersection of 1st and Pine."


'Wait! Hello? What am I looking for? Hello?"

Well, I hope this works. Anything was better than this. The hard part was next, getting away. Even though these people didn't want me, they also don't want me to leave. They enjoyed having me as their servant and a punching bag. I retreated to the only safe space I have in this decaying filthy house from the '70s with the included shag carpet and pink bathrooms. The back-hallway closet, it's fairly large for a closet. I do my best to keep it clean, but there was only so much that I could do. The two shelves contained four t-shirts and one pair of pants. Packing my bag was quick. I peeked out the door to see one lady in the living room and two guys in the kitchen. That leaves one lady uncounted for. The back door was a few feet down the hall from me. If I'm quiet, I might make it unnoticed. I had turned the lights off in the hallway earlier to better my chances this evening. The door creaked open as I slipped out, staying against the wall as I moved. I grabbed the handle to pull, lifting as it sticks. It wouldn't budge. I pulled harder.


The door flew open.

"Hey! Where do you think you are going?! " The other lady yelled at me from the bathroom across the hall.

A man leaned out from the kitchen. I glanced back for one last look before shoving the door open, running across the yard with everything I had. It was dark out, allowing me to use the shadows to my advantage. I ran through the falling down chain-link fence just as they came running out the door.






I pushed my legs faster. They can never catch me. I can't let them. A can flew past my head as another one hit my back. Their trash won't slow me down, no matter what they throw. A glass bottle bounced off my arm, smashing into tiny shards beside me. My leg stung as they stuck me. I stumbled, catching myself on the asphalt with my hands, pushing up to keep my feet going. Hitting the ground will be my death sentence for sure-five more streets over to First. The adults are so high on drugs; there was no way they could make it that far, or that was what I hoped. Determination can be a strong motivator, though. Shouts of insults still followed behind me, giving me a boast to run faster. Four more streets. If I don't lose them soon, how am I supposed to wait at the intersection?

A tin can hit my head. I turned to see one guy only ten feet back while the others lingered much further. This guy John was the leader of the pack for obvious reasons. He was stronger than the rest. A broken glass bottle sliced my ear as it flew by. How was he scooping up this trash and still keeping up with me?


I ran with everything I had. Three more streets left. This was taking forever. My ten minutes must be over, but I had to keep trying. Random items were hitting the ground in front of me and all around.


My legs felt like noodles. They burned as I pushed them forward. I swerved around a Stop sign in an attempt to trip John up-a small tug on my jacket. I slapped backward at his hand. I caught a glance of him stumbling after missing me. I took this as my last chance to escape him.


I ran across the intersection, swerving through the moving cars with ease.


I turned back to see John yelling at a car in the middle of the road. Obviously, he didn't have the right away, but

that didn't stop his Aristotle complex. Two more streets. I had a substantial lead on him until their junky old red car speed by picking him up without stopping. They were on my heels in seconds. I tried to stay in the yards as I run, but the unevenness slowed me. The expectation of outrunning the car was unrealistic. I only hoped to outsmart them until they made a mistake allowing for my escape. One more street to go. I could make out the corner of First and Pine. It was empty with a bright light shining down. There was no one in sight, not even a car parked on the curb. What if this number was a fraud? They just set me up to be tortured by those demented four people even more. This can't be it. I'm going to continue to run, without hesitating. I won't let them catch me.

I ran through the last intersection smoothly, giving myself a few extra feet as they stopped. John hung out the car window yelling through the night.


Even though I didn't want to, I stopped under the streetlight to look for a new escape route. Across the street seemed the best way, more people, more open stores to hide in. I willed my legs to move, swerving through the cars again. In the middle of the street, a black shining car slide next to me. The door flew open, revealing a tall thin woman in a black skirt suit. Her expression did not change as she spoke,

"In." She said it as a statement, not an order or question.

It was my choice. At that point, almost anything would be better. I glanced over at the rusty car still on the other side of the intersection. There had not been a break to allow them through, which was strange since the light was green. The cars were not stopping. There was not an end in sight in either direction. The woman waited patiently, not saying a word, only tapping away on her tablet, waiting for me to decide. I jumped in to get out of there. The door closed on its own. It was pitch black inside the car except for the glow of the screen-the car speed off into oncoming traffic that magically allowed us in without any incident. I squeezed myself against the door, making as much space as possible between us. She never looked up, only at the tablet. Then the questions started.

"Your name?" Firm and direct.

"Julie," I whispered.

She snapped back, "If you want my help, answer my questions fully."

"Um... Julie Gold"

"Date of Birth."

"June 18th, 2005."

"Last time you attended school?"

"Six months ago, are you putting me in the system?"

"Have you always lived in this city?"

"Are you going to answer any of my questions?"

"Have you always lived in this city?"

"Okay. Fine. Yes, I've always lived here."

"Do you have any living relatives that you know?"

"Not blood relatives."

"Explain." She demanded.

"John, the man chasing me is technically my step-father."

"Where are your biological parents?"

"My Dad died eight years ago when a drunk driver hit his car. My mom died one year ago from unknown causes while sleeping. The state gave custody to John, who gladly accepted due to the large sum of money that followed."

"Are you ready to completely leave this life behind?"

"Yes, absolutely!"

We drove in silence for the next hour as I watched the minutes tick by on the dash clock. I had relaxed my stance to sit in the middle of the seat. We pulled up to a large apartment building, parked on the curb. The building was well taken care of with a manicured lawn and not a single brick out of place. There was no graffiti on any of the brick walls or pillars of the entrance. The area was dated but very nice.

I turned to the woman, "What's next?"

"Your new identity that includes a family and new home."

"New identity?"

"Yes, we must assign you a new name to make it harder for you to be traced. The family here is moving next week across the country to help hide you better.

"Okay, so who am I?" I questioned, unsure of how to change who I am in a few minutes. I wrapped my arms around my stomach for comfort.

"I cannot tell you who you are, just what your name is and where you live."

" Okay,"

I felt a little better, but this was a lot. It was ultimately what I desired. A safe place where I don't have to watch my back, although I will be the rest of my life, thanks to John.

"Your name is Sarah Smith. The parents taking care of you are George and Shannon Smith and their fourteen-year-old daughter Susan. They are ready for you. They should have everything you need. If not, let Shannon know. She has been given extra supplies to help you feel more at home." She informed me.

"Okay, but what if something goes wrong? How do I get ahold of you? What is your name?" I asked started to

feel scared of what John was capable of. I didn't want him to hurt this sweet family.

"I am Mrs. Jones. If anything goes wrong, George, Shannon, and Susan know how to contact me. You can also pick up any phone and dial 0 three times. Things don't go wrong when I do my job correctly."

"You say that, but you don't know John," I exclaimed.

"That may be true, but you are safe now." She comforted.

She was very confident in her work, which must mean her success rate was high. I starred at the building, examining the place I will call home for a week. I won't have to worry about were my next meal will come from or be scared that John thinks I need to learn some lessons through his fists.

"Sarah, this is your stop. Head inside to apartment 36 on the 3rd floor." She instructed.

I stepped out of the car then the car zoomed off before I could even close the door, but of course, it closed on its own again as I watched it drive. I took a deep breath. I started towards the building. This was it; I was finally free. Finally going to live my life and not hide from it.


I turned just in time to see John flying through the air at me. He hit me from the side, sending us both down sliding on the sidewalk. John flipped me on my back, sitting on top of me.


He began punching me in the face. He landed two across my cheek. The burn of intense pain spread through my face as blood splattered the sidewalk. My arms were pinned down under his knees. I wiggled back and forth to free anything I could with no luck. John continued to punch both sides of my head. I screamed as loud as my lungs would, losing my breath from his weight on my chest. The sides of my vision closed in as my consciousness began to go. I had to hold on. If I lose it, then he has free reign to beat me without repercussion. All I heard was pounding of my heart in my ears and the bang of his fist across my head, over and over.

A bright light shone from the side. I was unable to see as John blocked everything else my blurred vision didn't. I felt lighter, air filled my lungs, but my vision had left just as a shadow appeared. A soothing hand rubbed my arm, checked my bones throughout, dabbed at my face. I could hear a voice in the distance over the pounding of my heart. I focused on hearing who it was.

"Sarah, you are safe now in our home. That man and his goons are behind bars. You can rest. We will take care of you, sweetheart."