The day has just started turning into the night. Her eyes were marvelling the calming vibrant colours of the sky. She felt hypnotized, unable to look away from the beauty above her.
Suddenly there was something cold and hard on her left wrist. Her right wrist. She tried pulling but she couldn’t free her arms. She wanted to make sure there actually was ground beneath her legs. But again, she only felt the same restraints on both of her gentle ankles. In a rush that emptied her lungs of any air, she realized she was lying on the floor and could only make the smallest movements. When she pulled again, she heard a sound. Of an animal? The sound vibrated through all of her limbs and her entire body. A horse? Two. Three. Four horses?
Nervous and frightened, she forced herself to look around her. In dread, she observed the horses chained to her arms and legs and a man next to each horse. The sight sent terror through her, closing her throat, silencing her.
This time she pulled harder – as hard as she could – causing herself a sharp pain, which made her regret doing it at all. Still no success.
She looked left. And then right. Trying to find anyone. Anything. But there was nothing that could help her. All she saw were blank, expressionless faces staring back at her without moving.
Her heart was racing. Her mind was jumping from one thought to the next, unable to hold onto any of them and making her even more frantic.
The men next to the elegant, strong animals threatening her life raised their hands, waiting to give the horses the sign to start running. The process was macabre and yet gracious.
Her heart was speeding, trying to push itself out of her chest. She could almost see its shape through the skin. There was too much pressure inside her. Staying calm was not possible anymore. She just had to let it out. She screamed until there was no oxygen left inside her. She yelled until her voice gave out on her.
The men hit the horses. As they made their first step, she let out another horrid cry for help. Her eyes burnt from tears that felt like flaming gasoline. Her throat was tasted raw, scorched by the natural voices it had been forced to produce.
She began kicking violently, trying to fight for her life. Nothing helped. Nothing, no one budged.
She could feel her body being spread beyond its limits, seconds away from giving in and tearing.
She let out another pleading, ferocious, help-seeking scream.
She opened her eyes, drenched with sweat. Out of breath. Disoriented where she was. She touched her chest to keep her heart inside. Her eyes skimmed her limbs. No sign of restraints. That brought her some calmness. Yet the sense od terror didn’t leave her completely, holding her mind hostage.
She looked at the clock. 6.15. She still had 45 minutes before the alarm would go off. It makes no sense, she thought to herself, might as well start the day.
She picked up the post-it from her nightstand. Her eyes skimmed and processed everything she had to do that day.
As soon as she turned the volume on, her phone went crazy with notifications, missed calls and messages.
She closed her eyes, trying to motivate herself to get out of the bed.
Taking the first step, everything hurt. She got into the shower and let the cold water run down her body. She went over the list of chores in her head again. Then she said it out loud to herself.
Stepping out of the shower, she got ready and faced her day. She closed the door behind her, knowing the nightmare would be waiting patiently when she closed her eyes and stopped controlling her thoughts.