Chapter 32:

The world from Mallory's perspective (Prologue)

The Sequence of Kai

Why do I let people lie to me?Bookmark here

It’s not their fault they lie to me, it’s my fault I let them. Bookmark here

You don’t step onto the tracks and blame the train, blame the bullet or the pills. Even if you slipped off the platform, flicked off the safety by chance or accidentally…. Well, it’s hard to do that last one unwittingly. Bookmark here

“Mallory…..”Bookmark here

That’s the voice of my only friend right now, Renée. She’s cuffed to the other bed.Bookmark here

“Do you have any water?”Bookmark here

“No, sorry.”Bookmark here

“That’s OK….”Bookmark here

I can hear her lips cracking just that bit more, our hosts don’t tend to be very hospitable towards us. It’s been a day since we got any water, two since we got any food.Bookmark here

All that’s here in our room is a lamp, a couple of portable toilets and a pack of playing cards. Wouldn’t do to have us be unclean or bored enough to scream. Not that anyone would hear us this far out in the woods. Bookmark here

It’s been nearly two weeks since I was brought here. My boyfriend, Kylian…. My ex-boyfriend, Kylian, promised me that his friends had rented out a mansion in the countryside. Bookmark here

Who were these friends? Why had this come up so last minute? Why was he so insistent I come with him? I didn’t consider any of these questions, I just believed him.Bookmark here

Why would anyone lie about a party? Even if he’d lied before, that was about big things, not little things like this. Even if he’d lied about little things before, that was before, why would he do it again? You’d only do that to hurt someone, if you don’t care about hurting them.Bookmark here

….Bookmark here

I don’t want to believe people are that cruel. That’s why I keep closing my eyes and slipping off the platform.Bookmark here

“I can’t sleep.”Bookmark here

Renée likes to complain, I like that about her though, she complains enough for both of us.Bookmark here

“Do you wanna play some cards? Mallory?”Bookmark here

“Sure.”Bookmark here

I don’t really want to play cards. The only game we know how to play is go fish and it’s getting boring.Bookmark here

Renée has already opened the pack of cards and started shuffling. She deals 7 to herself and then slides 7 across the floor to me. She does so on a sheet of paper, we had discovered early on that cards don’t really move across carpet without flipping over, which led to a distinctly unfair game.Bookmark here

“Who won last time?”Bookmark here

“I can’t remember, so you just start.”Bookmark here

She’s asking because we have a rule that the winner of the previous game always starts the next. I’d love to go first for once.Bookmark here

“Alright then.”Bookmark here

She stretches as close to the centre of the room as she can and places down the draw pile. It’s not exactly in the middle but that’s fine since my arms are a bit longer than hers, I can still reach. Bookmark here

We both sit up on our beds with our cards guarded. Renée starts rearranging her cards in order from lowest to highest, I figured that out after a few games, it’s just a thing that she does. Bookmark here

I wonder what they’re going to do with us here?Bookmark here

Kylian was given some money for this whole ordeal, the second we arrived I was grabbed by three or four men and restrained. Bookmark here

I heard him complaining that whatever he was given wasn’t what they’d agreed but the cocking of a hammer was all it took to scare him off. He always put on a front, but I didn’t realize the threat of a warning shot was enough to scare him.Bookmark here

Whoever they are, they haven’t done anything to us yet, which has surprised me. My initial thought was that I was going to be raped, maybe killed too, if I was extra unlucky. But whoever it is that’s keeping us here hasn’t made any attempt on either of us, they haven’t so much as copped a feel. At first, I was relieved but now it scares me. What-Bookmark here

“Hello? Sevens, do you have any sevens?”Bookmark here

Renée pulls me out of the depths of my mind for a moment.Bookmark here

“No, I don’t.”Bookmark here

She draws a card from the pile. We’ve stopped doing the whole ‘go fish’ part of the game, the word fish started sounding like incoherent noise by the third day. If they’re going to kill me, I wish they’d hurry up, nothing could be worse than losing my will to live before I die.Bookmark here

“Mal, it’s your go, come on.”Bookmark here

Renée please, I’m trying to think a little.Bookmark here

“Yeah sorry, do you have any threes?”Bookmark here

I hate being here, it’s driving me nuts, I’m bored and scared in equal measure. Still, I remind myself, the only person I can blame for my current circumstances is me. If only I was a better judge of character, a more willing one.Bookmark here

“No threes over here.”Bookmark here

If only I could see the truth behind people, the people hidden behind eyes and underneath skin. Maybe then I could stop myself from slipping off the platform.Bookmark here

I draw my card.Bookmark here

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