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Jessie crashed through the trees in a panic. A low-lying tree limb smacked her cheek with a sting. Her heart beat so fast it felt, as though it would explode in her chest. Its pounding increased at the sound of the car closing in fast. Fear sucked the air from her lungs and her breath came in short gasps; she scanned the woods for a place to hide. Any place, please. Panting, she ran on. Suddenly, she found herself out of the trees in a wide-open clearing. The car stopped behind her. No place to hide! Her sides ached. Her lungs were on fire. She was cornered, defeated, and stood frozen to the spot; paralyzed, like a deer caught in the headlights on a dark night.

“Get the damn kid!” She heard someone yell. Big hands yanked her to the ground from behind and a large foot kicked into her side. She rolled just in time to miss the next blow. On all fours she tried to crawl away only to be pulled back by her legs. She kicked and clawed at her captor’s arms hearing his curses until she was too weary to fight anymore. Instinctively she raised her hands to shield her face from his fists. The pain was beyond anything she had ever felt. One blow after another landed until she no longer could feel anything at all. A glorious numbness washed over her and it was if she was floating above it all looking down on her body on the ground…Jessie struggled to awaken, but fear gripped her and suspended her somewhere in between.