CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and THIRTY-FIVE
Tuesday afternoon — 3:55 P.M.
The cold wind woke her. Naked, Ava lay on the floor of the frigid pole barn. Her arms were trapped behind her back in her own handcuffs. She rolled over to throw up.
She heaved until her stomach was empty.
Nothing. She gasped a full breath.
The wind blew through the wretched barn. She tucked her knees into her chest against the cold.
She realized she was wet. Her nose picked up the distinctive smell of the industrial cleaner.
And she had been shaven.
Her long hair was gone. Her arms stung from razor burn. She’d had her public hair, legs and arm pits waxed for the event, and Seth. She was completely hair free.
And naked in the wind.
Hearing a noise, she stiffened. He’d returned. She closed her eyes tight to pretend she was asleep.
He wasn’t fooled. How could she fool him!? He’d done this very thing more than forty times! She heard his feet scrape across the bare ground as he walked over to her. He lifted her leg and gave her another injection.
Ava was slipping away again when she heard a sound.
A woman was humming.
“What is that?” Ava asked.
“My favorite lullaby,” the woman said. “I thought it might give you courage.”
“Will you hum it with me?” The woman gave Ava a sweet, kind smile.
The sound buffeted her, strengthened her, and became her. Ava slipped away.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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