Laced Impulse

By: Sasha Combs

Prologue

She wanted more of him.

Decidedly more than her.

In her inner ear, she felt a slight shift. The boat listing to one side, slanting more to the horizon; its tilt ignoring the shore. Her skin burned from the slashes. Tiny cuts crisscrossing a landscape over her back and shoulders. The abrasions weren’t gashes but the superficial tears held her notice. Pain gripped her very essence, testing her will to survive. Yet, her body was readily predisposed to dismiss the annoyance. She muted the pain, instructing her brain to heed other senses.

In the distance, her ears trained in on familiar sounds. A clap of thunder, followed by a flash of lightning. Hearing natures threatening warnings tipped her awareness. The absence of the motors whining churn. She couldn’t recall when she’d last heard the sound of the engines roar. No matter, her mind concluded; then the sound of piano keys resumed, chiming notes she’d come to know. A melody so sweet and tender; she perceived each measure in deep rich colors. She listed the hues, stopping when she envisioned the pinkish-red color of her gown. She wondered where her fingers lie because if she knew, she would pinch herself. At times, her body had a mind of its own; refusing to obey her simplest request. She felt like her brain was purposely stumbling to spite herself. Her body was there, yet it was lost; evidenced by a severed connection. Her brain was in a far-off place, besieged by disjointed images and sounds that sprung up like colorful banners. Questions burst forth, chasing down truths; demanding to know every fact. Reality eluded her, yet her entire world shone like a spotlight. In her mind, absolutes were too extreme and facts were excessively exaggerated. Insanity. The word bloomed like petals on an orchid, but the aroma wasn’t the same sweet fragrant smell. Was she losing her mind? She couldn’t embrace this. Accepting this assessment would lead to her effectual doom. By refusing to acknowledge this appraisal, she was in fact laying the groundwork that would form her escape. In front of her, every instinct told her that she was entangled in a dilemma. She could hear voices and their exchanges were heated. Even if the angry words weren’t there, her intuitive awareness rightly perceived the threats of danger.

Words...she thought. Curses. Swears. She could use this. Pit one against the other. This was a plausible plan. It would be, if only she could keep her brain from wandering. She knew that she was at the center of their disagreement. One finding fault with the other, and pointing out their irrational behavior. Good, she thought while listening. Their failure to watch her, was something she definitely could use. Like wooden soldiers, she commanded her thoughts, lining them up at attention. Her musings took no more than a few seconds but then she heard them coming. She could hear their approaching footfalls. Clop, clop, clop, clop. The heels sounded like Clydesdale hoofs pulling a heavily loaded wagon. The room was dark, but still, she squinted, peering into its depths; wanting more than anything to fabricate meaning. Nothing was clear but she sensed the danger. Her choices had landed her here. A path that paved this perilous journey. Oh, how she wished for solid ground but here on the water, there was none.

The boat rocked and tilted but in her state, she couldn’t trust this feeling. The erratic side to side motion could be in her head. Yet, even if the ocean was calm, the waters could be a dangerous place. However, tonight in her head, she perceived a surge. Undulating waves that rolled the boat; much like the bickering had earlier. She grasp hold to her chair, finally feeling her fingers. The swelling sound of footfalls had stopped, now in the frame of the door, she saw shadows. After a few seconds, a beam of light overtook the room. Her eyes were momentarily blinded. Tiny dots flooded her vision and then her sight cleared. She blinked several times. Recognition brightened the experience. She could see her captor, and she prayed for darkness to fall again. She couldn’t remain out here in her current condition. At one time, all had been as calm as the seas; then in an instant, like that clash of thunder. She’d wanted him. Flickers of his face flashed from her memory, causing her to want him far more than her. More than life and the very air that she breathed. Yet, now all she wanted was the chance to erase the nights past events.

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