Jessica was woken up by the uncanny, ear piercing sound in her ear that seemed to fill every part of her head, she felt a sharp pain at the corner of her head and tried as she could, she could not open her eyes. From a distance, she heard rapid Arabic being spoken but could not place the speakers. She found that she slowly drifted back into whatever silence she had emerged from.
Moments later, she felt something vibrate around her, but again could not localize it and found herself drifting. She was in a daze, somewhere between life and death and the constant ringing in her ears that both lulled her to sleep and nagged her from it.
She needed to wake up, to find Jake and their beloved daughter and tell them of the strange dream she had had. In the dream, she had been somewhere deep in Somalia and then she was walking alone when she had offset a land mine or something or the other.
“She’s baggage Sir, let’s leave her here to die, she’s no use to anyone like this!” Then a series of Arabic.
Somewhere in the distance, she heard the argument and wondered who was baggage. She felt a tiny gnawing itch somewhere in her thighs but felt like she could not feel her hands nor her feet. She wondered if this is how death felt like; feeling itches but not knowing where the hell your body was. She pushed herself farther when she felt her hands restrained. Restrained!
Then her eyes flew open, she was restricted by some type of ropes, and there was tape in her mouth. She was a captive! A captive! Good God! She had not been dreaming at all!
Panic flew in and undid her. Everything stopped, her heart, mind everything, a cold sweat ran down her spine. A painstaking, paralysing fear gripped her, as she had never felt before. She was a captive! She could not wrap her head around it, she did not want to.
It was the scariest thing to happen to a journalist, to be a captive of war. Rebels and enemies hated them with a passion and loved the attention they could get from using them. Their faces were known countrywide and they played on that emotion. She hated to think what would happen to her.
Crippling fear gripped her as story after story of journalists captured in war played a movie in her head. Most had never been found, those who were had been either dead or with their minds so battered, they would have preferred death.
She gasped as she recalled of past friends and colleagues who had been through the same. Most of them had ended up dead or so mentally damaged they would have been better off dead. She felt like she was in a cave of sorts as the gasp that had escaped her had felt hollow. She pondered whether to scream or just keep mum, she felt yet another vibration on her thigh. They had left her with her phone? How?
A tiny gasp escaped her, as she imagined what would have happened to her.
“Sir, She’s awake!”
The darn vibration on her thigh again! People called at the strangest of times. “Please stop vibrating, please stop”
“Well… what do we have here? Morning Princess, been cold for so long, we were starting to fret, but don’t you worry hunny, we are going to make up for all the lost time.”
Jessica followed the menacing, evil voice to find an Arabic face not quite as Al Shabaab as she had expected, but a sharp looking man, clearly used to authority and wealth, in camouflage wear.
This day was full of surprises.
She just hoped no one knew what she was, because she could not imagine the consequences if they even glimpsed at the truth. Jessica tried to find a reality, any reality, that this situation could end well but could not. The cold eyes that were busy speculating her gave her no hope.
“but first we need to take a look at you”
The man roughly held her face in his hand, raising her chin up. In one swift move, he stripped the tape off her mouth and sharp pain ran through her body so much so that she felt tears well in her eyes. The man was looking at her, like she was some type of merchandise.
“People would pay good money for you” He concluded “but we will have to test drive that first’
She gulped! Fear rising in her again, but No! This man was a bully! She knew not to feed his ego as he would only do worse. So, she stayed defiantly still, not letting even a break of sweat show. He was intent on using her, that much she knew, but she would do everything in her power to survive that and find a way out of this mess and back home where she belonged.