A Serial in Five Parts
She came awake slowly. She hurt. She reached down and tugged at the torn nightgown, trying to cover her body. There was blood between her thighs and the pain there was intense. Her lips were swollen and she could taste blood. The noise of the intruder ransacking the downstairs reached her where she lay on the upstairs hall carpet. She tried to force what he had done to her from her mind. She moved and could barely stifle the groan.
Quietly she took stock of her condition. It hurt to move her legs, but at least they seemed to work. One of her eyes was swollen as well as her lips. All her teeth were there, but a few felt loose. There were several rug burns: on her cheek, hip, and elbows. As she lay there, what had happened to her would not stay submerged in her mind.
She began to feel rage. That bastard! The rage grew and she wanted to hurt him like he had hurt her. Rage overcame pain and she slowly got to her feet. To her left she saw the baseball bat, lying where she had dropped it. She picked it up. The bat felt good to her. She should have used it to fight instead of running. She imagined the bat striking the intruder, bat breaking through hands raised in defense, blood flying as she connected with his face. Teeth breaking.
She fought to control the rage, she wanted enough for strength, but not so much as to cloud her thinking. Slowly and carefully, she moved to the head of the stairs. The intruder was in the den now. Quietly, bat in her hands, she started descending the stairs. Each step made her wince, but she paid it no mind.
A dim light came from the open door of the den. The desk lamp. Keeping her eyes on the door, she continued to the bottom of the stairs, bat at the ready. Moving was easier now. She still hurt, but the movement had started to loosen the aching muscles. Quietly she went down the hall, being careful to avoid the hall table.
The intruder was still the den. She stopped beside the open door. Taking a few slow motion practice swings, she positioned herself until she could get a full swing with no obstructions. She waited.
To be continued