My face was pushed rather forcefully into a mound of rubble. A suspicious looking crimson liquid was flowing freely from my nose and the split in my upper lip. The all-too-familiar shape of a knee was digging into the small of my back, with my hands fastened with a cable-tie, just above.
This was a day, just like any other, to you. This was a day that changed my life. This day was a few months ago.
It had been an ordinary day when I had woken up at five thirty and couldn't convince my mind to sleep again. It had been just as ordinary when I had got out of bed at six o'clock and showered. The only difference to that morning had been what I had for breakfast; toast instead of cereal. Well, that and the constant feeling that I was being watched. Which, it turns out, I was.
Clad in black, with my hood pulled up against the rising sun, I walked out of the apartment block I called my home and in the western direction. This was when the not-so-ordinary events started to occur, causing a huge inconvenience to my ordinary day.
I rounded the corner at the end of my street and, as I did so, a silver SUV pulled up beside me. The windows rolled down and I was greeted by the balding head of a suited, sun-glassed man. The words he spoke to me were most definitely out of the ordinary. I broke into a sprint, in the direction I was already headed. The black rucksack bounced against my back but it didn't matter, I tried to resist a backwards glance but couldn't. The SUV had gained a little speed but was still far behind. I rounded as many corners I could until I knew I was on a street with suitable hiding places.
My feet found their way into an alley on my right and, with the clatter of a few dustbin lids, I had managed to fit myself into a crack in the wall behind me. In between my rasping breaths and the loud silence that coated itself around my ears, I could hear the SUV screech to a halt at the opening of the alleyway but glide away slowly after a few minutes. I hadn't heard the doors open so I gathered that no one had got in or got out. I stayed crouching for a little while longer.
When I decided to emerge from the spot I had chosen to hide in, I kept as close to the ground as I possibly could. My feet were directly below my hunched shoulders and my arms were outstretched, keeping my balance. My rucksack leant slightly to the right, making my body lean slightly that way, too.
My body moved slowly towards the opening of the alley. There was no one in sight. I decided it was safe to step out into the open again. I straightened my rucksack and carried on walking to my destination.
I'd only got a few feet away from the alley when I felt a strong tug at my hood. I turned to face the annoyance but regretted it instantly: I was greeted by the balding head again. His sunglasses showed the blood run from my face. I used being taller to my advantage by striking him on the head with my fist and sprinting back in the direction of my apartment. I regretted that, too, as his head was most definitely not as soft as I'd expected it to be.
I clutched my hand as I ran away from the balding man. He chased straight after me, on my heels within a second, growling like the predator I feared he was. He had a grim smile on his face and I knew, in that instant, that he was going to stay true to his words. The words I would never repeat. Ever.
My feet were sore by the time I got to my apartment, I would've stopped to rest but he was still behind. My pace was slowing yet his seemed only to be increasing. I willed my feet to carry on running, I wanted to escape so much. My feet were becoming limp and I started tripping over them. I finally slowed to a halt, allowing myself a small amount of time to catch my breath before it was undoubtedly knocked out of me again by the balding man. I heard the rush of footsteps and braced myself for the impact. Nothing came. This was also out of the ordinary, as the balding man had simply disappeared when he was just mere millimetres away a few minutes ago.
I looked for the source of the footsteps but saw only the local homeless. I gave a nod in his direction which he idly returned. I wiped the sweat from my brow on my right-hand sleeve and proceeded my journey, slowly.
The sun had fully risen and I had arrived at my altered destination by the time the unordinary events started to reoccur. It started with the suited men standing in miniature groups in and around the lobby of the office block where I worked. It then proceeded to the suited men talked in loud whispers when I walked through the doors.
I kept my head lowered and pulled out my clocking-in card. I put it in the slot then turned to head toward my office. As I turned, all the suited men followed in suit. Just to check if they were doing what I was doing on purpose, I put my left foot out then pulled it back in; sure enough, the men did the same. I swallowed hard to shake the sickening feeling that this was all set up due to the balding man.
I turned my body and so did the men. I felt the sweat bead up on my forehead. I shifted my arm to the waistband of my trousers. My fingers skimmed the cool metal of the blade I had purchased. I wouldn’t go down without some kind of fight, I thought. It didn’t go that well, though, as I can’t remember much of what happened after that: probably because I suffered a blow to the head before I could make any kind of escape.
My eyes were red and puffy when I next awoke, almost as if I’d been crying. And, I probably had, too. For I was now in a cramped space with my hands tied behind my back. It was dark, too. I shifted slightly but regretted it as my shoulder jutted into something sharp. In between the tiniest yelp of pain, an idea sprang to mind.
I shuffled onto my knees, avoiding the sharp object and slowly getting to my feet – luckily, the room wasn’t low-roofed. I felt around for the sharp object and I squealed as it jabbed into the palm of my hand. I put my wrists to the object and started to try and saw it away. I must’ve taken a while because my arms were really sore when I was done. They were so sore but they were also free from being tied up. I rubbed my wrists then checked my waistband; the blade had been stripped from me. I surveyed my surroundings as best as I could due to the dim light. The room was narrow but long and the roof was not in sight. The room jostled and I fell onto my chest. I got up and dusted myself off. It wasn’t a room at, all. It was a lorry. I was being transported somewhere, right? I moved toward, what I guessed, was the rear-end of the lorry.
The lorry was completely empty on the inside, aside from my presence. I slammed my shoulder into the doors hoping that they would budge but they didn’t. I tried again and again until I ached. I went back to where I was seated moments earlier. I searched for anything that would aid my escape and just as I was about to give up, my hands came in contact with the smooth, dirt-ridden fabric of what could only be my rucksack. I smiled as my hands undid the zips. I shoved my right hand in without a second thought and pulled out my torch. I flicked the switch and the lorry immediately lit up, slightly. I put the handle of the torch in my mouth as I kept searching for different supplies in my rucksack. I pulled out the small crowbar I’d purchased and pocketed the other blade. I slung the rucksack on my back and took the torch out of my mouth.
I went back to the back of the lorry and pushed the crowbar into where the doors met. I pushed with all my strength and body weight into the bar until I heard the slight pop of the doors opening. I leant in with all my strength again and the doors opened just enough for me to squeeze out. I placed everything back in my rucksack then pushed my head through the gap. My body came through the gap soon after and I was standing on the edge of the lorry.
I threw myself from the vehicle I’d been held captive in and landed with a roly-poly and the unmistakable crunch of gravel. Moving to the green shrubs a few steps away, I risked a backwards glance and saw that the lorry had stopped and there were frustrated shouts between the suited men. My eyes caught those of the balding man and he smiled, show- no, baring his teeth. I stopped crouching; I stopped staring; I started running.
Just like before, he was on my heels in seconds but unlike before, he threw a punch in my direction which hit me square in the neck. I jolted and winced before placing my hand to my neck. I kept running and so did he.
We arrived at what could only be an abandoned boat dock and I nearly tripped over the rubble in the middle of the flat ground. I turned to face my pursuer, which caught him off-guard. His smile disappeared but his teeth were still bared. He pulled kept his hands by his sides but I pulled out my crowbar. Backing away slightly, to put some distance between us, I raised my weapon as a sign of warning. He laughed at me and charged at me, head lowered and mouth open. He slammed into my stomach and I flew backwards, my crowbar clattering out of reach. He threw me into the air with a single hand and slammed me down to the ground, using his elbow as the driving force.
My head flew forward and a pain shot through my whole body. I winced. The balding man threw a punch at my face and I felt the blood flow instantly. I threw a punch at him and it hit him on the nose, he convulsed backwards from shock but seemed unfazed by the pain it should have caused. I wriggled free from beneath him and made for my crowbar but he caught my left ankle and pulled me, landing me on my face. I kicked him off with my free leg and frantically made for my weapon. My fingers brushed against the cool metal but I was pulled away, yet again. I turned myself around and slapped his cheek causing his face to go in the direction of the force. I made for the weapon again and got it in my hand but, just as I was going to whack the balding man on the head, his fist made contact with my jaw. And then again with my nose, probably breaking it, judging by the amount of blood was flowing out of it. I drove the crowbar into the man’s stomach and he fell off of me. I got up and ran toward the rubble.
I was nearly half-way across when I heard something that sounded like a metal wire whizzing past me. I tried to dismiss it but my legs were whipped from beneath me and I fell flat on my face, splitting my lip. I looked behind me and saw that my legs were tightly fastened together by the metal wire I heard seconds before.
I sat up and tried to undo the wire at my legs but couldn’t. The balding man was coming closer and I was just becoming more and more frantic. I slung my rucksack off of my back and pulled out the second blade I purchased. Knowing full well that it wouldn’t work, I started trying to saw through the wire. He came closer and closer and just flipped me over so I was on my front. He pushed my face rather forcefully into a mound of rubble. The suspicious looking crimson liquid was flowing freely from my nose and the split in my upper lip. The all-too-familiar shape of a knee was digging into the small of my back, with my hands fastened with a cable-tie, just above.
My day was certainly one I would never forget. Ever. The balding man had caught me. And he would no doubt do exactly what he'd told me he would. He was going to make me face every single one of my fears in turn.