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The Bequest

She'd no energy left. She was trussed up, left for dead and dumped in a cellar. At first she thought they'd come back and chuck her somewhere obvious, like trash for collection, more detritus for A & E to stitch together. But no! Maybe they didn't remember anything when the drugs wore off. Maybe they didn't discuss it, frightened it would make it real. But worse, maybe they did shit like this all the time.

She let out a ragged breath and closed her eyes. She couldn't feel her feet or arms anymore. She wondered if she could summon up energy to scream one last time. The busy street above noisily alive, buses, trams, cars, thousands of feet beating tattoos clacking and clumping. No one had time to wonder if that strange subterranean echo beneath their feet was real or imaginary or a passing snatch of sound leaking from the music shop nearby.

And at night? The city centre emptied. The tide of humans washed back into dark suburbs. The financial quarter separated from vibrant cafés, theatre land, rich noisy night-life and that's why she could almost exactly pinpoint where it'd all happened.

She'd never recognise them. She'd no idea how many there were. After the first rape her body went into shock.

She was slowly shutting down now after days without fluid, nutrition or meds and losing all that blood. She'd been living with HIV, scrupulously careful not to spread infection and her last thought as she died? When the rapists got full blown AIDS? Might they remember her then?

Story by:

Alex Fender

18 January 2014