She walked down the long stretch of the beach, taking in the view as the sun set, signaling the end of another day. Different shades of orange, pink and yellow spread across the sky gracefully, designing the landscape like something out of a cartoon. The sand crunched silently between her toes, the gentle breeze carried her hair as it flowed past calmly and tiny goose bumps formed on her upper arm as the evening got cooler but she didn’t care. Nothing mattered now To her, everything was perfect.
Any moment now, her mother would call for her to head back home to where her whole family stayed for a reunion. The whole house was pretty chaotic and she had felt the desperate need to escape from all that. The waves crashed against the shore, dropping shells and bits of nature that had found its way in the sea. There were glass bottles, empty cans and floating out in the water, she made out a bright yellow flip flop. She suddenly laughed, remembering a time when she and her best friend had been playing in the water and she had thrown her shoe, without thinking, towards the deeper part of the sea. She had been about eight years old therefore, not allowed in those parts of the water. They had both watched the shoe float away for a long time and finally disappear into the endless blue sheets that was the sea She stopped for a second to pick up a shell that had been washed upon the shore. It was hard and bright blue, the color of the afternoon sky with red and orange linings. She’d never seen anything so beautiful so she tucked it in her pocket and patted it down for safety before she raised her head and closed her eyes, as the breeze lightly kissed her face. Her phone beeped, ruining the moment as she opened her eyes in frustration and pulled it out of her other pocket. As predicted, it was her mother, wondering where she was and ordering her to get back to the house immediately. She sighed, tucking the phone back into her pocket and started down the beach towards where the driver had parked the car and was waiting patiently. As she walked towards her mother’s car, she heard someone shout in pain, as though being attacked. She glanced up at the boathouse that sat there, looking peaceful and undisturbed on the outside. For a second, she thought she had imagined it and shrugged it off, continuing down her path. The noise came again, this time, clearer than the last. It was definitely not her imagination as the scream stopped abruptly and the beach was suddenly silent Maybe it was just a couple of teenagers having some fun or some grownups hanging out. But in the pit of her stomach, she knew she was making up excuses not to go up there because neither teenagers nor grownups make that kind of noise when simply hanging out. That noise came from someone who desperately needed help but was she the one who could offer her help? What if she worsened situations by showing up or something? Or put both herself and the victim of whatever was going on in more trouble? ‘Again with the excuses’ she silently scolded herself then taking a deep breath meant to summon some sort of courage from wherever, she edged towards the house. She made sure not to make any noises that might give her away. When she got to the door and deciding it won’t be very smart to just knock, she crept to the side of the house and peered in through the window. There were some men, about two or three, surrounding a girl, about the age of fifteen that was tied to a chair with a rope and her eyes were tightly shut. The man asked her a question and when she didn’t answer, he slapped her hard across the face and she let out a silent whimper. One of the men pointed his finger in her face but she looked at him in disgust as she leaned to the side and spat on the floor, a red substance staining the white tiled floors. ‘That’s enough’ another guy said, coming into the room from another part of the house. He was much younger than the other two guys and clearly their boss...
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