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Fractured Souls: Prologue


It’s snowing.

The ground is cold on my back, scraping my shoulder blades, as I stare over the man’s shoulder into the dark expanse above me. Everything seems blurry. I can’t discern separate snowflakes, but I can feel them falling on my face. Fragile. Delicate. They remind me of the notes in one of the pieces by Erik Satie so I hum the tune while a searing pain keeps tearing at my insides.

Should it hurt this much? I know it was supposed to hurt at first, but I never imagined it would keep hurting.

The man grunts and the weight is suddenly gone. I slide my hand down my stomach and over the fabric of my torn dress to press my palm between my legs. Wetness. Too much. Way too much. I raise my hand in front of my face, staring at my blood-covered fingers while the melody still plays in the back of my mind.

“Well, you’ve ended up being quite a treat, sweetheart,” the male voice says. “I had my eye on your sister initially. You may look the same, but there is just something about her that oozes class. The clients do tend to prefer more polished ones, but you’ll do.”

Panic, as I’ve never felt before, explodes in my chest, breaking me out of the stupor I’d fallen into. I roll to the side until I’m lying facedown on the ground. Energy surges through my veins, and I spring to my feet. And then, I run.

The pain between my legs is excruciating. With each step I take, I feel a stabbing jolt. My whole body is shaking, but I’m not sure if it’s from the cold, the pain, or the shock. Maybe it’s just the horror of what he did and said. I risk a quick look over my shoulder and a low whimper leaves my lips when I see my rapist following and gaining on me.

There are streetlights some distance in front of me, so I change my course to run in that direction. The faint, slow melody playing in my head transforms into a battle march as if urging me to go faster. The ground is uneven, making it hard to run. I keep tripping over the roots of the nearby trees and the small bushes that are hard to see in the dark. My vision is blurry—I lost my glasses—but I focus on the light that I can see through the branches like it’s my only lifeline and keep running. The ripping and burning sensations in my lower belly are almost too strong to ignore, but I grit my teeth and try to keep my pace. The air leaves my lungs in short bursts while snowflakes fall on the exposed skin of my arms. Just a few dozen yards to the street. I can hear the vehicles. I just need to reach the street, and someone will stop and help me.

I’m almost there when my bare foot catches on something and I stumble, falling with my face hitting the cold, hard ground. No! I get up, intending to keep running toward the lifesaving light when an arm wraps around my middle from behind.

“Got you!” The son of a bitch laughs.

I scream, but his other hand covers my mouth, stifling the sound.

“It looks like they will have to reeducate you, honey,” he says next to my ear. “I might visit you again when you’re more docile. Boss lets me fuck my finds for free once a month.”

“Please,” I whimper into his palm while kicking my legs.

“Perfect.” He lets out another wicked laugh. “See, you’re already learning.”

I try hitting him with my elbow and almost escape his grip when I feel the prick of a needle on the side of my neck.

The man shushes me. “Easy, now. Just a few seconds and it’ll all get better.”

My vision blurs until there is nothing left but darkness.

The music stops.


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