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The Beauty Inside

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Blurb

I'd like to imagine that day never existed. I'd like to pretend that after my prom night, I was able to then graduate, go to college, find my career, get married, and start a family. But that's not reality. He took me that night four years ago, and he never truly returned me.

The Beauty Inside is created by D.S. Tossell, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1
Whitney 4 years ago Numb. My body feels numb as I attempt to open my eyes. Darkness meets my mind several times, envisioning small particles of colors flashing around in circles. A heaviness floats around my head, making me unsure of what is around me. "I think she's waking up." "Hello, can you hear us?" I blink a few times, cringing each time as I do. My eyes feel heavy, as if I had been sleeping for days. Small traces of light illuminate around me and I take in gazes of girls sitting beside me. "What happened?" I ask rubbing my head. My body feels weak. When was the last time I ate? "You're alright. We all woke up here. Can you tell me your name?" Rubbing my eyes next, I pry them open more and look around. "What the hellwhere am I?" Panic sets in as I take in my surroundings. We are in a small cell like cage. Worn blue cement surrounds us on every side except for one wall that has bars. I'm lying on a small cot with a matching one above me and beside me. One girl sits alongside me, her dark hair contrasting to her pale skin. Two other girls are on the small bunk beside me and I can hear more voices above me. "We aren't sure. We all woke up here." Her voice sounds different, strange almost. "WhyWhat?" I mumble attempting to get up. The dark haired girl helps me to sit up and a world of dizziness flows through my body. "I feel like I'm going to be sick." "It's normal. Whatever they gave us, it's finally wearing off. They must have given you more since you traveled for so long." "What are you talking..." English. She has an English accent. "You're accent, it's English. Are we in England?" "I'm not sure. I woke up a few hours ago. The other girls before me. I was at school studying for finals. That's the last thing I remember until waking up. Each of us have the same recollection. Where are you from?" "Colorado. Uh, United States." The girl looks down as if calculating to herself. She looks at another girl, this one a blonde, one that is extremely skinny and pale. "That means we have to be somewhere in Europe. I awoke first, they must not have needed to drug me too long. I'm from Norway." She states in a deep accent. "Drugged?" I ask, hysteria present in the back of my mind. "It's alright." The dark hair girl begins. "Try and remember where you were before the fog covers your mind." I think back on the last thing I remember. Soft hands on my face something rough and heavy along my wrist the palms of my feet hurting "Prom." I whisper then look down at my clothing. I'm wearing cargo shorts, uncomfortably tight and clean. My top is covered in a dark green tank that is at least one size too small and a dark black bra, also tight. Looking around, I notice everyone else wearing the exact same thing. "Did you say prom?" "Yes, I was at prom with my boyfriend." I say shutting my eyes and the visions of that night begin clearing through my mind. Mom helping me put on my dress Sara and I doing each other's hair and makeup My dad taking lots of pictures and ranting about how under dressed I am Curt's corsage making my wrist itch I had told Curt my feet were hurting and that I wanted to go outside to take off my silver heels. They were meant to match my V-neck, backless silver gown. Something drew my attention and I was hit from the side, that's when everything went black. "It's okay, calm down. It's good you're remembering." The girl says pulling me back from my invisible nightmare. Looking around I see most of the girls comforting each other and speaking in hushed tones. She turns back to me after looking once again at the blonde girl. "What's your name?" "Whitney, Whitney Donaldson." "Whitney. I'm Amelia, this is Cassie." Cassie looks over at me and gives me a small wave that I return. Her blonde hair is in waves but dirty on the tips. Her eyes are big for her face and cheeks sunken in. "Do you know who has us?" "No, we each woke up with no memory of how we got here and where we were. I'm guessing whoever has us knows we are all awake now, so it should be soon that we meet our capture." "This can't be happening." My voice is panicked causing Cassie to hold her knees up to her chest. "Let me ask you something." I nod my head but don't bring my gaze to meet Amelia's, too focused on the small cot I am sitting on. "Do you have family? Friends? A nice home?" Confusion must dawn on my face because she quickly reiterates. "The reason I am asking you, is because none of us do." Her hands wave around the room, signifying the girls. "We're mostly runaways, street kids, stuff like that." "You think someone kidnapped me on accident?" Before she could speak, footsteps echo off the dark walls throughout. We all jump up, hiding behind each other. Amelia steps forward seeking out through the darkness. Two large tattooed men appear out of the shallows, swallowing up the space behind the cell doors. One grabs a gun aiming it at all of us. Some girls shriek and hide, but my fear won't allow me to do either. I focus on the other, as he pulls a large ring of keys out from his front pocket. "Step back." The man with the gun shouts and we all step back as far as the small cell will allow. Narrowing my eyes on each of them, I take in as much of them as I can. The gun holder has dark hair, his face is dirty but with grease stains and not dirt smudges. He's tall, built and has dark green eyes. The other is slimmer. His shaggy brown hair covers his eyes but of what I can see, he has the same grease smudges covering his cheeks. They both have accents, but I can't place them. What is happening? They both enter the cell, blocking off the only exit. What was once a small cell, is now a cramped pit that just became much more frightening. "What is it you want with us?" Amelia shouts. The gun holder steps forwards a few steps, getting into her face and holding the gun right at her head. Girls begin crying, yelling and shouting. My mind panics with the idea of someone getting killed right in front of me. "Your compliance." The other brute answers with a sickening smirk. Amelia steps back into the group of girls and I immediately grab her hand, pulling her back along the back wall with the rest of us. "Alright girls, here's how it's going to go." The gun holder states, opening the cell doors wide. "You're all going to line up outside these cell doors and follow us. No talking, no crying out, no nothing but compliance, or I blow off your faces." One at a time we each walk out of the cell. My eyes gaze around the long narrow cell but don't pick up on anything out of the ordinary. The darkness seeps throughout the walk and the bricks flow along each step we take. Finally after minutes of unknowing torture, we walk up long and narrow cemented stairs. It isn't until we reach the top do I finally understand. A boat. We are on a large cargo ship. That would explain my weakened state, I would get seasick often when my grandparents would take me out to sea at their home in Florida. My mind didn't connect the dots due to the fear and unknown, but now that I can feel the boat rocking, the beaming sun on my frozen face, and miles and miles of ocean between us, nausea reaches my throat. The gun wielder comes forward, gripping my arm tight in his grasp and pulling me off to the side. I puke right beside his shoes, feeling weaker and weaker as I lose the small contents I had left in my stomach. "Ugh, fucking bitch." The gun wielder mumbles under his breath. His accent is unmistakable now that I can focus a little better. He's American. "Bring them here Ranger. The boat is ready to port." One at a time, we are all lead to a smaller boat, hanging off to the sides. My feet barely carry me the whole way, causing Ranger to grab me roughly and throw me over. I land hard on my back but try and ignore the pain radiating off my spine. Amelia pulls me into her, cradling me as my vision spins with nausea. Once Ranger and his friend hop in, we are lowered by a small metal chain inch by inch down into the water. "Where are we going? You can't just do this." Another girl shouts from in front of me. The key wielder looks over at Ranger with fear and when I look over at Ranger I see why. His deranged and unbalanced smile and cynical eyes look far beyond the horizon. "To the rest of your lives little girl." He states then looks dead in my eyes. "To the rest of your lives."

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