The Mansion - Chapter 6

The Mansion

Chapter 6: Taking the First Step

The path to my escape was laid before me, it was almost too easy. Then, I realized it was. If the others weren't still knocked out from the anesthetics, they would be roaming freely throughout the mansion, searching for me, like a lion searches for its prey. I needed to be faster, smarter, and quieter than those who hunted me. That would be my only hope of escape, my only hope of making it out of the mansion alive. I was always one of the fastest girls on the soccer team when I was in high school, which played into my hands that night. However, there was one advantage that everyone else possessed over me: I had no idea where I was. I could've been pinned in the cellar deep beneath the mansion, or I could've been packed away in an attic on the upper levels, or anywhere in between. Mindlessly wandering throughout the mansion would end in my life, I needed a sense of where I was and what direction I needed to head in.

I looked around the room, searching for any sense of direction, a window, perhaps, but there was nothing to be found. There was only cluttered junk, but behind the stacked boxes I could see a wooden rail descending beneath the floor. "That must be my way out," I whispered to myself. I knew I couldn't leave quite yet, though. My body's safety was still bare. I had no weapons I could use to defend myself and I had absolutely no hope of overpowering anyone.

My father always had a bad habit of criticizing my strength, or lack thereof. "You won't last a second," he always said to me. "Boys will see how small you are and take advantage of you. They may seem dumb, but they notice those things; they notice a weakling." That word always made me cringe, 'weak'. Time and time again, I tried to tell myself that it wasn't true, that my father was just full of crap, but the nagging doubts still clung to back of my mind. Throughout my entire life, I was constantly trying to show my father he was wrong, I was trying to show that I wasn't weak, that there was no one I would allow to take advantage of me. I wanted to believe that I had succeeded, that I had become the strong woman I'd dreamed of, but I had been thrown into a dark room, trapped in a mansion filled with people who wanted nothing more than to take my last breath. My father was right; I was weak.

The harsh memories weighed on my mind and withdrew a tear from my eye. I carefully wiped it away, trying not to smear mascara along my cheek. I retrieved a box from the top of the stack and started filing through its contents, hoping to find something I could use for protection. There just seemed to be a bunch of junk, though. I found colorless family photographs that appeared to be from the 1950's, old gadgets which I didn't have the faintest idea of how to use, and old vinyl records that were dusty and scratched. Realizing that there was nothing that could be of use to me, I slid the box off to the side and retrieved the next one. Again, the box was filled with anxious, and useless, relics of a time long passed. I was quickly growing irritated. If I couldn't find some mean of self defense, then I'd might as well surrender to everyone. Just as I was about to give up, I noticed the tip of a handle peeking out of the top of the next box. I quickly snatched it and retrieved a small dagger from the box. It was a tiny weapon with a blade no longer than my scrawny fingers, but it would serve better than nothing.

The moment of truth had finally come. It was time for me to leave the wretched room I was thrown into. Anxiety was still in my lungs, though. The same anxiety I felt when I was about to leave home for the first time on my way to college. Throughout the entire summer, I was begging for an escape from the barren wasteland that was my home, but when the day finally came, it was still so hard to let go of my previous life. I suppose it was because I knew of the challenges and obstacles that would await me in the coming years, just like I knew of the looming threats that lurked through the rest of the mansion. However, if I was going to survive the night, I would need to take the first step. Just as I was about to make my through the door, I heard footsteps from the other side. There was a staircase outside of the room and someone was climbing them. My breath stopped, my mind raced, and my body froze. Someone was close to finding me, someone was close to killing me. I strode to a dark corner of the room and crouched behind the boxes I was searching through. The door creaked open and the predator walked through.

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