Chapter 1: Rain
The rain pelted the ground in nickel sized drops. It was the first sound she heard. Next came the throbbing of her head. The woman slowly opened her puffy eyes to examine her surroundings.
It was dark and smelly. The scent of the trash bags that had become her bed was pungent. She forced herself to roll off of them, to the cold pavement only inches away. The throbbing in her increased so that she buried her head within the safety of her arms and legs. Suddenly her stomach lurched causing her to empty its contents on the ground beside her. She groaned from the motion and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
Still dazed, she began to look around at the narrow alley. The bricks appeared to be darkly colored even in the night. One end of the alley was blocked off by several wooden boards nailed together as a make-shift fence. The trash pile she had been laying on sat at the bottom. The squeaking of a couple of rats could be heard close to a nearby fire escape barely clinging to one of the buildings bordering the alley.
She felt another jolt in her stomach that sent her into another fit. She wiped her mouth again, finally noticing her own physical condition.
She wore a pair of torn cargos and a muddy tank. Her hair hung in thick clods of dirt about her head that cracked into chunks when she tried to run her fingers through. Bruising was clearly evident along her arms.
“What…happened to me…”, she started to ask as yet another thought occurred to her—who was she?
No possible clue answered her in return, nor was there anything that could have a hinted to who she was. Searching her pockets also proved futile; no ID, not even a wallet. There’s got to be somebody who knows me she thought.
She struggled to her feet, clinging to the wall beside her. Her knees almost refused to obey until she finally got her footing; the throbbing continuing to echo throughout her entire body. Her head began to spin from the movement, forcing her to remain plastered to the wall until her vision cleared.
She stared toward the entrance of the alleyway which opened out to a dimly lit backstreet. Light! It was dim, but it was a light—meaning there had to be an exit.
She pulled herself along the alley wall tripping over her own feet with every step; the concrete scraping her bare soles.
The alley ran between a row of at least six buildings that she could see. One standing in front of her had a large dusty glass pane leaning on it’s wall.
She groaned when she saw her reflection in it.
Through the dim lighting she could make out a bright purple ring displayed around one eye. Her lips were stained with dried blood—her own no doubt. Her neck showed bruising as though she had been strangled; the fingerprint markings still very evident.
With every second that passed, she began to realize just what it was that had happened—she was beaten and thrown out like yesterday’s trash.
“Who—,” she said her eyes burning with tears. “Who would do this…? What did I do to deserve this…?”
Longing to dismiss the horrid image, she forced her tired body into a short run out of the alley and out to the side street. Her tears spilled over her cheeks and burned the tiny cuts on her face. Before she knew it, she was on the street and slammed into a passerby.
“Outta my way broad,” He yelled shoving her aside.
Her body crashed back into the wall behind her and crumpled to the ground like a sack of potatoes. She lay there still sobbing when she heard approaching footsteps. Cringing, she prepared for the worst.
“Oh my gosh,” said a feminine voice, ”What happened to you?”
The voice found it’s way to the woman laying crumpled on the ground accompanied by the pattering of delicate feet. Two hands reached beneath her chin and lifted her head.
“I’m Sheryl,” the voice continued. “Are you okay?”
Sheryl was a young, dark haired brunette attired in a simple dress with matching shoes; her hair tied back loosely in a ponytail.
The woman only stared back speechlessly with painful eyes. She managed a sniffle, just as two other men approached.
“What did you find now,” blurted the first.
“Sheryl the bloodhound to the rescue,” joked the other.
“Behave,” Sheryl snapped, “She’s hurt badly.”
Sheryl now held the beaten woman against her shoulder, allowing her to cry.
“It’s okay,” She whispered, ”These dorks here are my brothers Shawn and Tyler. We’re going to help you.”
“Sheryl always was the good Samaritan out of us,” Shawn said raising a brow in reply.
“At least that’s one of us”, Tyler answered kneeling to the ground to give his sister a hand.
The woman cringed with his touch, but permitted him to lift her arm around his neck as he reached for her waist.
“You could help too”, Sheryl said sharply eyeing the other.
Shawn rolled his eyes in return and stepped over to help his brother, throwing the woman’s free arm about his neck as they carried her down the street.
Copyright TheFaithBook 2011