Done! The cords that had tied her hands dropped to the ground. Her wrists were raw and a finger maybe broken, but she was nearly free! Untying the knots that secured her feet to the chair was almost easy, only her feet distracted her. They showed her what he had already done: he’d taken his tools to her while she’d been secured with knot and rope. His spanners had grasped at toes — twisting, snapping. The pliers — pointed and vicious and unforgiving — had ripped at nails.
Walking was difficult — pain lanced through each foot and into her calves. Her toes could take no weight. She limped, flat-footed, towards the window, only to find it closed and barred. “Of course!” she wanted to cry — but she kept her anguish silent. Noise would only return his attention to the room.
If the window was no escape, there was still the door. She began moving towards it.
Her slow, careful steps were because of her pain; but they also meant silence, meant little creaking of the floorboards. Meant a greater chance of going unnoticed.
Only this is when she fell.
The pain in her feet was greater than her need to support her weight; they betrayed her. She collapsed to the ground, shocked by the impact, by her hands hitting the floor, by trying to support her weight on them and failing to do so. The sound of her collapse was a limp, hollow, thud. She wanted to scream.
And then the door opened.