Kickoff written by Priscilla Davis

Escape Captivity

Caught Between Rot and a Soft Place

Delia blinks her eyes repeatedly, in an attempt to adjust her vision to the room. Suddenly, she becomes severely aware of a splitting headache, and a sore arm. She attempts to rub the pain off the fleshy part of her shoulder, which feels bruised and tender. Her long dark hair is matted and damp, sticking to her neck and cheeks. She grasps her hair band she always keeps on her wrist, and pulls the strands of hair away from her face and up off her shoulders, twisting it into a loose bun. She looks around trying to figure out where she is. Her heart rate increases as she realizes she doesn't know, where she is or how she got here.
Before she found her self here, she was walking home from school, after a long day of exam preparations and appeasing her high maintenance friends with statements of agreement on topics of superficial nature. She wanted to rest her mind with a meandering walk, so she took the shortcut through the field, behind her neighborhood. The last thing she remembers
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is stopping to watch a green and brown speckled toad bounce across the muddy, leaf covered trail, and then no other memories after. Filled with dread, all she knows is she never made it home.
The small room was dark and dank with a permeating pungent odor she couldn't identify. She hoped the smell hadn't soaked into the sleeve of her favorite sweatshirt as she uses her arm to create a barrier between her nose and the offending invisible intruder. Using her one free hand she gropes around looking for the light switch. She recoils with horror and holds back the urge to wretch as her fingers touch the slimy, oozing wall.
Then she notices a sound, like somebody breathing, she holds her breath to make sure it isn't her, and releases with a pant, as it sounds like it is coming from all around her, like the walls were heaving. A slow, low growl rumbles through the floor, causing Delia to struggle to keep her balance. The sound reminded her of when her own stomach growls with hunger. She chuckled
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as she jokingly thought: I hope I haven't been eaten! Her smile falls from her face and she attempts to rationalize the likelihood of a teenage girl being eaten whole by any creature known on Earth. Filled with panic she backs away, her foot catches and she stumbles almost falling. She throws out her arms and braces herself against the moist, sticky wall. She sinks, deeply into the heaving walls and struggles to pull her hands free, wiping a mucus like substance on her pant legs. Delia becomes sad and overwhelmed as she realizes her sense of relief that it was just her hands she was wiping off. Trying to keep everything in perspective, Delia knew there had to be a logical explanation and obtainable solution to the current problem.
Then it hit her - there is a flash light app on her cell phone! She patted down her pockets in her sweat shirt, not there. She attempted to determine if the various shadows around the dark room looked like her backpack, hoping to find it inside, but her eyes didn't
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find any relationships with the dark images around the room. She looked down to see what she had tripped on, it was much too dark to see, so she reached her hands in the direction of the shadow that almost brought her to the ground, anxious about finding out it was one more unimaginably disgusting mystery in this putrid room.
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