Catching Smoke: Ch. 30

catching smoke cover

Emmalee is ready when the bedroom door finally opens.

She doesn’t want to play her father’s sick game, doesn’t want to spend her time waiting for his punishment. She’s played that game enough in her lifetime, and she’s too strong for it now. She’s not helpless. She’s spent too many years successfully escaping from him to give up now.

So, she grabbed a lamp from the bedside table, and has been waiting by the door for this moment. As soon as the door opens, she swings the hard edge of the lamp into whoever is behind the door. She hears a grunt of pain, and then Colin, half-asleep with a bloodied face, is thrown into her. She jumps back and he collapses into the ground at her feet, his hands tied tightly behind his back.

She hit Colin with the lamp.

“Oh no!” she says. “I thought you were—”

“Me?” her father says as he steps into the room.

Emmalee takes a step back, crossing her arms over her chest.

“What do you want, father?” she asks.

“Oh, I’m father again, am I?” he says, the gray hairs of his beard twitching a bit as he smiles.

He steps over Colin who is lying motionless on the floor, and Emmalee takes another step backwards. She hopes Colin is still alive, that her father is underestimating them both. He left the door open. If Colin just wakes up, if she keeps him distracted, perhaps…

“Already plotting your escape?” her father asks. His smile fades and he shakes his head. “And I thought we were just warming up for a reunion.”

Emmalee doesn’t say anything. She keeps her arms crossed tight over her chest, and her focus on the situation before her. She can’t let him get inside her head, or near enough to touch.

What do you want?” she asks again.

Her father sighs.

“Is that how we’re going to be with each other?” he says. “Very well then. I’ll come for you when it’s time for dinner. Or perhaps I’ll just toss you in some leftovers like a house dog.”

He chuckles at himself, and nudges Colin with his toe as he steps back over him.

“Take care of your boyfriend, dear. You might have really outdone yourself this time,” he says.

And then he’s out the door, slamming it behind him.

Emmalee rushes to Colin, flipping him over. He groans, but doesn’t open his eyes. There’s a gash on his head where she accidentally hit him with the lamp that left streaks of blood down his face, but other than that he looks okay.

“Colin,” Emmalee says. “Colin, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you. Colin please. I need your help.”

His eyelids flutter, but don’t open. He groans again. She sighs.

How are they ever going to get out of here alive?

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