After some time she heard what sounded like cars and big doors being rolled up and down again. The sliver of light coming from the keyhole which had dimmed steadily over the hours suddenly brightened again with stark white artificial light. She smelled petrol fumes and the reek of people, at least five by her calculations. Then she was startled out of her semi peaceful state by the chain being yanked backward into the hole in the floor! She strained against the pull of the chain but was slowly and inexorably dragged backwards until she was almost crouched over the hole where the chain disappeared into the floor.
Then the door opened- flooding the room with what seemed like the brightest floodlights she’d ever seen! She flinched as if she’d been physically struck and squeezed her eyes shut. She realised the light seemed particularly bright because she’d been in darkness for so long and it struck her at the same instant that it was a cruelly calculated ploy on the part of her captors to keep her unsure of herself.
As she slowly opened her eyes and they adjusted to the light, she could make out two figures silhouetted in the doorway.
“Who are you?” she growled with as much menace as she could muster with a parched throat.
“Please stay calm, Tara,” said the first voice, which under other circumstances may have been a pleasant one “we’re trying to help you.”
“Secondary heart rate accelerating…” came the second voice quietly- clearly underestimating her hearing.
“We don’t want to harm you, Tara,” this was the first voice again “we understand you are frightened, but your life was in danger, we did what we had to…”
“I was in no danger!” she shouted- straining her already sore throat “I am perfectly healthy and I would have sensed danger miles away!”
“Secondary heart rate still accelerating… blood pressure rising… primary heart rate now accelerating…” came the second voice softly again.
The second voice was infuriatingly calm, and she forced herself to calm down and slow her hearts to a normal rate again, hoping at the same time to thwart his observations. “What did you do to me and why am I here?” she asked as serenely as she could manage.
“It’s a long story, Tara, but let me give you as much information as I can as quickly as I can.” replied the first voice.
“I’ll listen as long as I can stand your stink- but my name is Tarasque, not Tara. Don’t call me that again if you value your sanity. No one calls me Tara.” she replied.
“I apologise profusely Tarasque, it won’t happen again.” replied the first voice.