When Jenna was five years old, she caught sight of an older man in a minivan. She was walking back the grocery store three streets down from home. Her mother had asked her to buy a few spare ingredients for the meal she was planning to cook. The white plastic bag, which stretched so much Jenna worried it might snap, had a few onions and a cartoon of milk in it and pulled at Jenna’s palms. She’d had to switch hand from left to right to left to right to stop it from burning.
Perhaps it was her curious nature that made her stare at the old man even as he stared back. His eyes were filled with exhaustion and malice and he blew out the smoke from the cigarette between his fingers.
The door to the minivan opened up and the man climbed up, starting towards her. She didn’t quite realize what was happening or perhaps her brain didn’t want to believe it, but either way worry built in her chest like a gas slowly expanding and building pressure. She wondered what he wanted, and a stray thought told her to run but the bag was so heavy and it would certainly snap. In that moment it was only her and the man, everything else becoming blurry.
He gripped her wrists, clenching tight enough to make her wince in pain. She asked herself what he was doing as tears unwillingly clodded up, and the air built up in her chest desperately wanting to escape. She started screaming and looking around as he pulled her, but there was nobody there. There was only them; silence.
The man showed her to his wife who was clearly bothered by the act but decided that she’d deserved it. Jenna remembered a long car ride, arms and legs tied, mouth gagged. She remembered how they forced her to act as their daughter and call them mommy and daddy.
But she was escaping now. After five years in that hellhole, she was finally escaping: She’d never stopped plotting and planning on how to get out. She’d built up their trust, and friendliness with the dog, and when they least expected it, the day before her birthday, when they went out to buy her cake, she ran away into the forest. For the first time ever, she felt hope.
She kept running, the dog running happily behind her, until she found a road going through the forest. Pushing her palms against each other in front of her chest, she silently prayed for god to send her a car. She just needed a struck of luck and she was out of this hell. An hour passed, and then two. Worry grew that her “parents” already gotten home. Then she saw a van drive up.
The man gladly let her in. He seemed kind enough although the car smelled like rot. Something in the trunk.
"What's your name, sweetie?"
“Jenna. What’s yours sir?”
submitted by /u/Verified_Hunter