A/N: Welcome. Thanks for clicking :) Before scrolling ahead please do take note of the following creepy facts about this drabble -
1. I wrote this a day after watching the movie. Rushed and out of pure wonder. Lol.
2. I am not trying to rewrite the plot. I respect the storywriter's string of events. I only had this crazy lightbulb spring up this crazy brain of mine so, yeah.
3. I learned the movie was based on a book as well. But it's written in Polish. I would want to read it if anyone could provide a link to its English translation. Yeehaw!
4. Since I haven't read the book and the only source material is the movie (and Google!), descriptions will be bleak and lacking for the most part. There may be few OCs but I'll try my best to do research. For example are names of minor characters and events (like the wedding, I don't know whose and I also didn't catch it in the film), there will be variations. But you could help me out if you want to.
5. Italy is on my bucketlist so yaaay!
6. Help me help me help me.
Okay moving on...
Out of the bleak darkness came the image of herself.
Herself sitting quietly, contemplating how she had gotten there… on why her breaths were trembling and her fingers were cold. The world was yet moving around her, every sound and scent and sight was alive – swinging oak doors, shoes scratching against rough grey carpet, a woman's voice over the PA, the wafting steam of vending machine brewed coffee.
A man passed before her, his grey baggy jeans nudging the crisp white paper sprawled atop her lap.
Laura did not raise her head, much less accept his brief apology. She stared at the paper, at the colorless x-ray images and calligraphy she did not want to understand.
She did not want to. But had to. The answer was there and it was funny how, in years raising glasses to being a ruthless sales director, only a piece of paper could shove true hopelessness.
Still pulling back the lost adrenaline, Laura's fingers fumbled through her leather Saffiano, pretty French tips stuffing the envelope and digging for her phone. No calls. Yet. Her inbox was full of last night's thread with the girls bickering over mojitos and blowjobs. But with Martin there was only the long line of her sent items, the last being 47 minutes ago.
She ticked a few keys… and in frustration stopped and threw the phone back in her bag.
Her head was swimming, pounding even as she pushed half the glass doors ignoring the guard and his hypocritical smile bidding her farewell. She knew he was staring at her ass tight beneath white jeans whilst she sauntered away the busy lane.
Passing through people was like an exile. Laura embraced herself annoyingly, seeing the eyes that pried along with darts of glances. Really, can't a woman wear a low-cut peach flowy blouse in the fucking streets of Warsaw?
She reached the elevator of the condo building, more so reached her boiling point when another man kept staring at her as they waited for the blinking lights to descend their floor.
"Co? Can't stick your eyes somewhere else?" She snarled, "dupek." She only hoped the last word came out a murmur. The bell dinged and inside she went unmindful of the man's fallen jaw.
The seconds of peace and quiet was incomparable. Laura pressed her forehead in the mirror of the box she was in, now wheezing to lift her up the confines of her bed. She let a few blinks pass and when her head lifted, her shoulders sagged at the gaunt reflection.
Beneath the brunette mess, her eyes were red and puffy. Black eyeliner streaks ran horizontal across sunken cheeks, making her look straight out of a Halloween poster. She sighed. Explains the unwanted attention. Shit. How could she have not noticed she'd been crying all the way home?
The keys clangored on the table and Laura rolled her eyes at the dumpsite Martin had made of their home. Baldie couldn't even throw his damn beer cans presently sprawled across the glass table. The empty box of last night's pizza lay with crumbs and tatters. She ignored everything, going straight the fridge for a glass of water.
Digital voices played at the click of the voice mail. She lay on the white leather couch with a thud, stared at the ceiling listening to a roll of bill reminders and a follow up of her pending purchase from Jo Malone. Olga's ridiculous slur went on to cancel the months-long plan of getting their hair done at the salon. She wanted to be the blonde bob chick on the streets of Silicia. But hangover was a bitch and Olga must have had her backdoor rammed yet again and unable to walk. Finally her mother's voice came last and she stood, took her phone to dial. She discarded an unfinished text to Martin, specifically an unfinished rant, and dialed mom's number.
"Kochanie, I am so happy you called. How was it?"
She was confused. "What?"
"What did the doctor say, honey?"
Oh. Can't a single soul not remind her how miserable life actually is?
"It's… fine, mamusia…" Laura stammered, "Uh, actually…"
"Kochanie? Are you there?"
Laura couldn't help the sniffle.
"Are you okay?"
"Tak!" She swallowed the lump in her throat, fretting with her nails raking deeply in her scalp, "Tak, mamusia… I, the doctor… doctor said yes to the flight. A little more capsules, is all."
"Aww. I'm so happy for you… enjoy every second of it, sweetie. Your inhaler please. Don't forget to come home quick. We can't miss the traditional family photo on your birthday. Tak?" Mom was eager to greet, "Sto lat!
"Thank you," she tried to sound smiley bathed in sunshine and her mom was biting. "kocham Che."
The words that left her mouth tasted bitter, sounded haywired. It felt a century ago since she had said that, or been said that too. Fuck you, Martin. And not in a sexy way.
That was the last string of her morbid thoughts before the haze of earth colors came to view.
Laura blinked. Once. Twice. She heard a gentle clinch of wine glass over the crack of a fireplace. Her lips opened to an ice cube being slipped by… fingers.
The cold thing seeped around her mouth, heightening her consciousness.
"You had a bad reaction to the sedative."
Her brain was finally catching snippets of function… the same fingers were grazing her supple lips, thumbing above and sliding below. Wait. Sedative?
Ignited by her own flame she spat the cube and whatever creature that was before her had finally cringed off. She remembered the blinding rear lights and waking up in the darkness of a royal bed, the scent of mahogany and honeysuckle. She remembered the footsteps, the doors unlocking, the winding staircases between rustic bricks. And her portrait… oil in canvass… a broad chest, a grim voice in stiff accent…
Are you lost, baby girl?
It dawned on her, forming a coil within her chest like iron and barbed wire – she was kidnapped.
The panic rose. The air became thick and her lungs began to falter. She needed to be calm. She had to be calm but this! This was in no fucking way a reason to be calm!
The man was a tower of black. Slick black pompadour and facial hair. Just black. She could see the blackness of his soul beneath bones and olive skin. She smelled the danger in him, a musk of poison whichever brand but still poison.
Laura moved her muscles to wring away the dissipating numbness. She struck him. She did not know what else to do but appear tough and thus she struck him more times than she could remember. Words stumbled out her mouth, ones she did not even understand. They just kept coming. Questions and rough cadence –
"Who are you!?"
"Why am I here!?"
She kept pushing around until it hurt. It did hurt when the stranger effortlessly grabbed her shoulders and threw her back down a couch like she was but a sack of potatoes. Tears welled her tired eyes but they only kept glaring. He was glaring back before a hostile mutter, "Do you want to know why you're here, or not?"
When she finally settled, he offered her a drink. Of course, a trick. They used a sedative earlier. They could use it again. He was the kind who had a bank of sedatives stowed away in some hidden chest behind a wall that magically opens with a combination of numbers. She sat in an insanely magnificent hall… with its high walls and million-dollar collector's antiques. Hard paste porcelain. Mandala carpets. The comely ambience of medieval Europe itself. Perhaps a single lantern would have cost her a month's salary.
When she refused the drink, he stood awhile before reaching the fireplace.
"What I'm about to tell you is so incredible that I wouldn't have believed it's true until I saw you at the airport…"
Black began to descend into a rugged story of how he came to have known her. He saw her the first time through the binoculars, wind over her hair in a gauzy blue summer dress. His father was shot and the bullet was buried in him. He was in the brink of death and all he saw was her. For five years he had traveled the world for her, his savior and holy grail. And now that he had her in grasp, he was determined to make her his…
Black was such in a melancholy, and holy shit it did not fit him. Not a fucking ounce!
The words were rubbish gas pissed over Laura, drowning her so that the rage she once felt made a spark. And now it was burning… burning so livid that a burst of laughter came off her throat.
Even when the shadows swathed his face, she saw it harden.
Laura shook her head and sneered amid a playful smile – "Did Martin set you up to this… because damn you're good!" She began to clap in mockery, gauging if he saw him somewhere the lane of Italian bars, a hired stud living in a dingy apartment worrying day by day whether he had caught AIDS from the many salacious hookups. Later he will be wearing a bowtie and doing her a lap dance, courtesy of Olga. "Okay. You got me. Ha-ha. Is this the part where the cameras come out and all come shouting surprise?"
"You think this is funny?"
"I think you're demented. That's impossible. Your story is the worst bullshit – "
Next thing she knew his fingers were around her neck, arcing her spine against the seat, his spirited hiss falling on her cheek. Laura swallowed her throttled last word… she swore true fear had come claimed her when his anger resonated through his ragged breaths. His other hand, tattooed and callused, slithered from her waist to her right breast. She retracted her irked gaze away from his frustrated pools of dark eyes, feeling his face press on her thumping nape.
"This is not in any way a fucking joke!" he growled in her ear. "I will have you. I will. But I won't do anything without your permission. And yet… don't provoke me. I am not used to tolerating disobedience."
In a blast of suppressed and sickened thrill, he let go and dug his hands back to his pockets. Slits of black hair hung over his forehead now sheen with perspiration. He walked away and like a wet girl with a mood swing, his voice had suddenly hitched down as if no trace of anger had ever been there.
Laura sniffled. A lone tear slowly rolled and settled in her taut jaw. "You cannot do this," she spoke in gritted teeth, "I am not an object you could just kidnap and claim to be yours."
"I know," his reply before facing her again, "I'll give you 365 days… to fall in love with me."
Are you shitting me? More tears sprung her eyes.
"Next year, on your birthday and I failed, I will set you free."
She stared at him, stoned. Hard. Harsh. As if the cosmos has fallen over her, it dragged her into a web of thoughts and faces. Mom. Dad. A wedding due next month. Her plan for a new hairdo. A house she was planning to buy. An unfinished business with Martin. A promotion. Those red Louboutins she passed by the store. She had plans. She had single ladies goals. She has a fucking life hanging by a thread and now this nonsensical psychopath was proposing to rob it off her!
Laura found herself smirking.
"Are you not taking any of this seriously?" Black's brows crumpled. He walked to her, sat across her the way they were both placed when she opened her eyes.
"I am…" Laura leaned forward, muttering to the best of her calmness. "You must be so smart – tracking my locations, browsing through my media… I get that. There is one thing you haven't seen though, segnore… I've seen my doctor a day before the flight. Chronic Heart Failure. And he also told me much more incredible news – that I have only three hundred and sixty-five days... to live."
How she enjoyed seeing his eye faintly twitch and tense mar his face. She watched the small beads of sweat gather in his temples, the muscles in his jaw harden.
Are you lost, baby girl?
"No, baby girl is not lost. She is sick and fading. Her heart is a time bomb set to explode in a year. This may be her last birthday and you have 365 days to watch her die."
The last thing they both heard was a snap of twig charring in the hearth.
A / N: Please do review. Thanks. And oh, take care. xx