Lucid

~The Sequel to 'Little British Girl~
- Decide which side your on -
Three and a half month after Luci kidnapped her birth father, Xander Moore, Elia and her friends are on the run. Both north and south are engulfed in complete and utter chaos, and the resistance and the rebellium are gaining power through an alliance. Both sides want them out of the way, and they have nowhere to be, nowhere where they belong. The four friends must choose a side, the alliance, or the government, a decision that will forever haunt them all.
Nothing is certain, nothing is safe, nothing is lucid.

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27. Chapter 27

When I wake up the first thing that hits me is the pain. It’s not unbearable, in fact, it’s more of an ache...but it’s all I can think about, it refuses to be ignored. It’s as if my bones are made of heavy, dense metal, and the floor is a magnet. I can’t move either. All possible movement is restricted by thick, scratchy ropes that dig into my chest, wrists, and ankles. I’m tied to something round and circular...some sort of pillar? My eyes are covered by a tight blindfold, so all I can see is the blackness of my own inner eyelids, with a few minor iridescent tones. It’s so secure that I can’t even open my eyes from beneath it, and it feels like it’s squeezing my brain. There’s something in my mouth too...a dishcloth? Some scrap of fabric? Either way the only sounds I can make are muffled and weak. There’s a small sting escalating from my right leg, I’ve obviously been grazed, perhaps even cut by something on my way here...wherever ‘here’ actually is.

As my mind begins to clear, the effects of the sedative wearing off, my survival instincts begin to kick in. I rub my wrists together, tugging against the robe, trying to find the knot and undo it, but even as I do it I know that it’s all in vain. Luci and Elda won’t have left anything to chance. I’m not getting out of here until they release me. Nevertheless, with nothing better to do, I wriggle away, trying to find a weak spot in these ropes.

“You do know that you’re wasting your strength, right?” I freeze at the sound of a voice to my right. It’s not Luci, it’s not Elda either...but I still recognise it from my nightmares.

It’s the voice of Xander Moore. Luci tied me up in the same room as the man who killed my mother.

For a moment I’m glad that I can’t open my eyes or my mouth, I wouldn’t want to give Xander the satisfaction of witnessing my devastated and dreadful expression.

“Neither one of us is going anywhere...I have to admit, I did feel a little disappointed when I saw you dragged in here, I thought you’d be smart enough to avoid getting captured, although it was stupid of you to challenge her like that on the phone, do you remember that? I think that’s what really motivated her, she didn’t like it when you defied her, she didn’t like it one little bit.”

“I’m warning you Elia, one way or another I will get that file.”

“Good luck.”

I replay the moment over in my mind, remembering that sudden bout of confidence, that unexpected rush...where’s that rush now? Why has it left me when I need it most? I hate my fear, and yet, I can’t help but embrace it. I hadn’t given much thought to the phone call after that, it never occurred to me that I might have pushed Luci over the edge.

“You look terrible by the way,” Xander speaks up again, interrupting my thoughts, “Absolutely awful. I don’t think she was very careful with you when she brought you here, she even let the taller southern one tie you up, knowing she’d be that little bit rougher. She wants you to be afraid of her again, she needs you to be.” Well...I am, I think to myself, sighing internally. Luci’s won. I’m petrified. “That’s why she blindfolded you I think, I didn’t see blindfolds on any of your friends as they passed...although she might have put them on afterwards I suppose. Anyway, I’m not blindfolded...and that says a lot, doesn’t it?” He’s not gagged either, unfortunately. He won’t stop talking to me, he probably likes having someone to talk to who can’t tell him to shut up. “Try not to be scared of her though, okay? You shouldn’t just give up like that. Remember, you can give in as many times as you like...but you can only ever give up once.” It makes my stomach churn to listen to him talk, is he actually trying to give me some fatherly advice? I thought we were over that messed up relationship. Maybe we are, maybe he’s just giving me advice as a cellmate. Still, I can’t listen to another word. I roll my head to the right, away from where I hear his voice, signalling to him that I want silence, that I’m too tired to deal with all the intricate politics. He must get the message, because he doesn’t speak again after that.

I can almost go back to believing that I’m alone in this cold, damp room. I continue to fiddle around the ropes, looking for where the knots are tied, trying to pull them apart, or at the very least loosen them. I don’t care what Xander thinks, I might as well try. Anyway, aren’t I supposed to be trying to lessen my fear? I need my hope if I’m going to survive this.

I halt my meddling at the sound of a door creaking open a few feet in front of me, sitting perfectly still as I hear footsteps nearing, closer and closer. They stop directly in front of me, and I listen to the sound of someone kneeling down. A millisecond later, the cloth is yanked out of my mouth, and my blindfold is loosened and moved up, off of my eyes. It takes my vision a few seconds to settle, my eyes adjusting to the light, but I can see the blurred outline of Luci’s body throughout it all. She reaches into her backpack, and pulls out a granola bar.

“You need to eat.” She tells me, lifting the bar up to my lips for me to take a bit. It’s humiliating, but I do it, letting her feed me like I’m a young child. As I finish my tiny meal I take the opportunity to look around at my surroundings. I can’t see too much, the pillar I’m tied up to has a weird shape that prohibits my neck from moving to much, but I can see Xander on my left, tied to a chair, covered in bruises. There’s also a door slightly to my right, and a window with the blinds shut beside the entrance. After I’m done with the granola bar, Luci raises up a bottle of water, letting me have a small drink before she pulls it away and puts it back in her bag. I expect her to just re-do my blindfold, gag me, and leave, but instead she shifts in her position to sit down in front of me, smiling. “Well...aren’t you going to say something?” She prompts me after a few long seconds of silence, smirking.

“What do you want me to say?” I sigh, my voice hoarse and scratchy.

“Anything.” She shrugs, “You could damn me to hell, or burst out into tears, or beg me to let you go...I don’t know, anything but just sit there like some sort of rag doll.”

“You won.” I decide to give her what she wants, “You’ve got Xander, you’ve got the files, you’ve got us...you’ve got everything you need.”

“Yes...yes I do,” Luci nods, staring out into the distance, “But you’re wrong about one thing. I haven’t won. Not yet. There’s still one more thing I need to do…” She trails off, reaching back into her bag, and pulling out a gun. My heart stops beating for a moment as I wonder if it might be for me, but she points it to my left...at Xander. “Now I have the files, I don’t need you alive anymore. Sorry daddy, but we both knew this day was coming.”

“You’re not going to pull that trigger,” Xander shakes his head, “You don’t have it in you. If you did, I wouldn’t be sat here today.”

“You’re wrong.” Luci snarls at him, “I couldn’t kill you before, it would have been a wasted death. Now, with those files and that interesting report about the time you tried to kill me, I don’t need you alive. Your legacy is currently sitting on top of my desk. It’s time I ended this once and for all.”

“Then do it.” Xander challenges her, grinning. Prove me wrong.” I turn to Luci, trying to read her expression. She won't do it...will she?

Luci glares at him, curling her thumb around the trigger...and pulling it.

Time seems to slow as it happens. The sharp ‘bang!’ of the bullet escaping the gun and flying across the room stings my ears, followed shortly after by a low scream escalating from Xander as it collides with his stomach, triggering a river of blood to start flowing out of his body and onto the floor around us. My chest seems to swell and my stomach tightens as I try to comprehend what’s happening, my mind spinning. Luci drops the gun, throwing it against the wall and standing up, seeming to be almost proud of herself.

“It's only a stomach wound, there’s still time for you to live. If I phoned an ambulance now they’d be able to save you, and I could probably get away before they arrived." Luci sighs, taking a few steps backwards, "So, let’s see shall we, let’s see if the devils daughter can kill her daddy. I’m just gonna stand here, and watch you whilst you die...and we’ll see if I pick up the phone and dial 911.” She decides, I'm not too sure if she knows what's going to happen any more than me or Xander do. I can't stop staring at the bullet-wound...like it's hypnotising me. She notices my shocked expression and bends over, curious. “Why do you look so upset? He killed your mother...you should be happy, he’s getting what he deserves.” I don’t reply I just stare down at the floor, unable to draw my eyes away from the blood. It’s spreading all across the room, and it’s still slightly warm as it dampens my legs and ankles. I think I’m going to be sick…

Luci just stands there, unaffected.

She doesn’t call an ambulance.

She doesn’t even move.

And Xander Moore dies right in front of us.

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