The ninja like moves of the blonde haired woman had led her to the front entrance of the cottage. All she could hear was the sound of her own breathing. The uncertain clatter within the shadows of the forest no longer mattered.
She placed her clammy hand against the worn and peeling paint. Slowly, she moved her face in front of the glass. Her body stayed alert just in case she was spotted by the resident. Inside, it was dark and cold. No place for an everyday life. Ellyn straightened her legs and her body calmed. The woman rose to the balls of her feet, trying to examine the interior better. She noticed the hearth in the left hand side of the house along with a cupboard stocked with a scarce amount of food. There was one individual dining table that sat in the center of the kitchen. When the final conclusion was made that the cottage was indeed empty, Ellyn made her way toward the door.
As predicted, the door was unlocked. She immediately shut it behind her. The blonde breathed in the dusty air. The interior wasn't very vast. Dirt and hay protruded from the walls, all of which fell casually onto the torn furniture. Everything was within arm's reach with the exception of a bathroom, which she couldn't find. She hesitated near the doorway. Her ears stretched around the house. No alarmed footsteps. Thankfully, there was no clicking of guns.
Ellyn couldn't seem to keep still. The joy she felt was truly unlike anything she had ever felt before. Nothing could bring her down from the cloud she was on. The feeling of finally being free from the chains around her bruised ankles couldn't be described. The sensation was overwhelming.
Before examining the rest of her newly found living quarters, she instantaneously made way to the kitchen. It had been close to four days since she had real food, but by the looks of where she was living, that wasn't about to change. She opened the refrigerator. Nothing but a gallon of water dated back two years ago. Some had lived here before.
"What happened to the owners?" Ellyn's thoughts leaked from the far corner of her mind.
The cupboard was her last and only resort. A box of Ritz crackers and a canister of oatmeal sat on the selves. She reached for the canister and popped off the lid. With what was left, there was enough to make about a bowl or two. Unless she wanted to starve to death, she had no choice but to eat the aged oatmeal.
As she poured the food into a pot that she found in one of the abandoned cabinets, her right mind was telling her to discard the meal, but her stomach roared a very different command. Picking out the black objects, which she concluded to be insects, Ellyn placed the pot on the hearth, lit a match and set it afire.
Adding a cup of water, the oatmeal boiled to life and began to develop abnormal large bubbles. Soon the bubbles began to explode on the hearth and her hand.
"Shit!" she screamed. Ellyn nearly tossed the pot on the floor and caused her foot a much worse fate. Carefully, she shoved the pot away from the heat. She ran her burned hand underneath the faucet. The pressure was so poor it did the wound no justice. Giving up on nursing the injury, she wrapped her hand in a cloth. Using the same cloth she put out the fire and grabbed the handle of the pot. Unfortunately, the handle was still as hot as it was five minutes ago.
She poured the remains into a bowl and placed on the table. Ellyn figured it would be in her best interest to leave her meal to idle and cool down. Taking a tour seemed to be a safer idea than burning the roof of her mouth.
The living room turned out to be much of nothing, so she headed up the stairs. She held her breath, preparing herself for what could await her at the top of the stair case. As the roof of her head would soon be visible to anyone or anything that was upstairs, Ellyn's pace slowed. Her ninja like skills couldn't avoid the obviously loud creek in the fourth stair. Instinctively, she hoped on the next step, nearly losing her feting. The rail saved her fall. She took her next step with perception. Silence ached though out all fifty square feet of the cottage. The only noise makers were Ellyn and the occasional cockroach that would edge past her feet. Reaching the final step, she paused. The atmosphere nearly mirrored the one downstairs. No purpose. Deserted. But the level of eeriness up here had well surpassed a ten.
'This had to be the attic,' she thought. The majority of her surroundings were covered in cobwebs and dust. On one portion of the attic, there was an old television set and a few other piles of junk. Christmas decorations and old bicycles were just a few of the things scattered across the floor. The woman continued her three sixty rotation. Three beds sat in the corner of the attic. Dust bunnies and multiple other unappealing things collected underneath the beds. She tried to avoid looking at the blankets that covered the mattresses. Filthy wasn't even the word. A cold chill went down Ellyn's spine.
She approached the bed, examining the conditions of the pillows and blankets that covered it. Thankfully, they seemed to be in better condition than they exemplified. The middle bed seemed to be the cleanest. With a meal and a place to lay her head for the night, Ellyn felt the pieces of her life falling back into where they should. Abruptly, she shot down stairs in the direction of the kitchen.
The eager woman stabbed her finger in the oatmeal. Ice cold. She gave a heavy sigh and plopped down in the chair. Without much of a choice, she shoved the cold damp oats into her mouth. She downed the food within minutes. She was relentless. Almost like a vulture over newly found kill. If the bowl was edible, it would have no longer have existed.
For the moment being, her stomach was full, and the fatigue set in. Although her clothing had dried, the last thing she wanted to do was bring the day filth with her to bed. She searched the insufficient amount of closets in the small house, finally accepting a random collared shirt that was three sizes too big. Before turning in for the night, she searched for a clean rag to wash her face free of dirt and gummy makeup. Ellyn glared into the few pieces of glass that were left in frame. A blonde woman frowned back at Ellyn. Her eyes were too wide and exhausted. It made her nauseous to even exchange looks with the woman. She knew exactly who she was looking at. A miserable lady running away from her life. Scum at the bottom of a dirty plate. At least that’s what he had said.
Wiggling out of her clothes, she slipped into the shirt and climbed onto the bed in the middle. Her body formed into a ball. She wanted to shut her eyes and fall into a peaceful slumber, but her mind begged to differ. As much as she wanted to ignore her previous history, it sat on her back and tugged at every corner of her brain. She was free from the chain linked fences and cages, but for how long? He could find her at any moment. He was searching for her. She knew that. It scared every nerving ending in her body. Tears wouldn't change anything, but she couldn't help but cry. Her chest thumped and her breathing was sharp. Ellyn opened her mouth to let out a vicious scream, but the monster would not break free. She opened her eyes to release the tears, but they never came. Collapsing on her back, she glared up at the ceiling.
'Such irony,' Ellyn thought. Laughing she rolled back onto her side. Her mind wouldn't give her the opportunity to release the ogre within her. Much like how the past wouldn't dare loosen its firm grip around her neck.