Carol came to slowly, her head and body wracked in pain. Her hands instinctively reached for her aching head, but they were stopped by something. It took a moment for the pain to clear enough for her to realize she was chained to a wall, hanging by her wrists. She could feel the cold metal of the shackles digging into her skin, feel blood dripping from her wrists where they were cutting into her. Then other sensations started to clamor for her attention. The back of her head felt bruised, with a strong but dull ache permeating it. It wasn’t just her head though. Her entire body felt beaten and bruised, and in the cold air, she felt the sting of several cuts and scrapes over her legs, back, and chest. She couldn’t feel the ground beneath her feet, only the rough wall pressing against her heels and the weight of more chains around her ankles, binding her legs.

She forced her eyes open, hoping that somehow what she saw would contradict what she was feeling, but it changed nothing. Her head was hanging, so the first thing that she saw was herself, hanging naked, large bruises running across her side and legs. She saw that the chains around her feet were bolted to a metal loop on the floor. Even if she could get her hands free, she would have a hard time getting out of that. She noticed that she didn’t look as bad as she felt. She was scraped up across her legs and stomach, covered in dust and dirt, but she at least seemed to be intact with no obviously protruding bones or deep wounds. Her normally long blonde hair had apparently been hacked off. She could see a thin halo of what remained, just out of the corner of her eyes. She tried moving her head around, slowly to ward off the pain. She rolled her head up onto her shoulder to inspect her arms, taking in the blood rolling down her pale skin which was slightly more pale than usual. They hurt, too, but she didn’t think they were too damaged. Her head slumped back down.

With her self inspection complete, she decided that she needed to start trying to find out what was happening and where she was. She could feel herself starting to panic, but she knew she wouldn’t stand a chance if she gave into it. She looked at her surroundings: low light, brick walls, and there seemed to be a hallway in front of her. She forced her head up again, this time paying attention to the details. She was in a small alcove, an indentation in the wall. Across the hallway from her was another alcove and another body held up by chains. The thought that she wasn’t alone was startling at first. She recognized the man that hung there in front of her, just as naked and bruised, still unconscious. Steve, from the factory. They had made plans to meet up for drinks after their shift. He was tall and handsome and had seemed nice. She had been looking forward to getting to know him better. That was the last thing she remembered before waking up here. They had left work and had begun walking toward one of the local bars. There had been a lull in the conversation, an awkward silence, and then a sharp pain at the back of her head. And then this.

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