1 year ago.
With a loud gasp he sat up in his bed, his heart was racing, and he was covered in sweat. His hands dug deep into his covers as he sat there panting, trying to figure out what scared him so much.
And then he remembered. He remembered everything. How could he have forgotten? He ran his hand through his black, messy hair and looked around in his dark room. Everything was the way it should be. His roommate was gone for the weekend, his unfinished university applications piled on his desk and his muddy soccer uniform was lying on the ground.
But nothing was the way it should be. What was he even doing here? His heart was still racing while is head tried to sort through the lost memories that came hailing down on it. He got up and walked over to the window. As he pushed it open to get some fresh air, he noticed someone on the lawn in front of his dormitory. It was 4am and it rained, and the dark figure was tumbling over the lawn. Usually he would have laughed it off. Drunk, stoned on their way back to their room.
Not tonight. He knew instinctively that whoever was down there, had something to do with his memories coming back. He grabbed his roommate’s baseball bat and ran outside.
As his naked feet touched the wet grass outside, he desperately tried to shake of the thoughts in his head. The stories his father had told him. ‘What are you going to do with a wooden bat? You know what’s out there. Those things won’t be scared of a bat!’
He crept around a corner and caught a glimpse of the place he had seen the figure. It wasn’t standing anymore. It was lying on the ground. He slowly moved closer, tightly grabbing the bat with his hands. One step, two steps. And then he finally understood what he was seeing. He dropped the bat and ran over to the young woman. “Oh my god…” He stopped in front of her, eyes wide open in terror. He wanted to look away, to run away, but he forced himself to look. What was lying in the grass in front of him, was barely human anymore. She was only wearing her underwear and there was not one inch of her clothing that wasn’t covered in blood, bruises or fresh or healing wounds. “Who did this to you?” he whispered, more to himself.
Hesitantly he knelt next to her, reaching out to her throat to check her pulse. Some part in him hoped she was dead. As his fingers touched her skin, she shivered and groaned, her eyes slowly opening.
She looked at him. Her eyes were cloudy at first, but then became wide awake. He had suspected a broken, confused look, pain or fear. Anything but this. Her eyes, the way she looked at him. The first thing that popped into his mind was, that she looked strangely familiar.
She tried to push herself up, but he stopped her. “Its okay. You’re safe!” he said quickly. “I’m not going to hurt you.” He gave her a warm smile. “Come on, lets get you to a hospital!” The girl quickly shook her head and croaked with a hoarse voice. “No, no hospitals… not safe…I have to go…!” She tried to get up again, but sank down again, pain and exhaustion on her face.
“Who did this to you?” he asked. The girl lowered her head and looked away, weakly shaking her head. He looked at her body again. It was obvious that she had been tortured. Systematically and over a long time. His eyes stopped at her collar bones, where a symbol had been burned into her skin. Two arrowheads intertwined in a way that they formed a pentagram, surrounded by a circle.
“I know you’re scared. Of the things that did this to you. But believe me, I can help! I know what’s out there. So if not the hospital, let me get you up to my room.” He held out his hand and looked at her, trying to figure out where he could possibly know her from. The girl lifted her hand, but hesitated to take his. “Who are you? Why would you help me?” she asked suspiciously.
He laughed softly and ran his other hand through his hair. “Good question. Well, I guess it is kinda the family business.” From one moment to the other, her eyes became big. All the suspicion vanished from her face and made room for disbelieve and… joy?