I ran. I knew he would be coming back with that knife, so I ran. I didn’t know how much time I had before he returned. I didn’t even know where he was. He could be standing right outside. Just waiting for me to make a move at an escape. But, I had to take the chance. And I knew it wasn’t just me who would pay if I failed. I looked down at the little girl at my side. I had promised her I would keep her safe from monsters. I couldn’t let her down now.
“Come on,” I told her. “We’re getting out of here.”
“What if he catches us?”
I almost told her it didn’t matter. We’d be dead either way. But, that wasn’t what she needed to hear. “He won’t. Come on.”
We started to inch up the steps, and I reached for the door over my head. I knew it would creak. It had the last time he had come down into the basement to check on us. I had also realized there was no other way out of here. So, we had to go out this door.
I breathed in the fresh air as the door opened. Then, I peeked my head over the edge of the entrance and looked around. I could not see anyone. “Come on. It’s clear. We need to run.”
I lifted her out and set her on the ground before climbing out the last few steps. “Run.” I took her hand, and praying she could keep up, ran as fast as I could.
I heard the shout behind me. I knew she would not be able to keep up with me, so I swung the little girl into my arms and kept running. I didn’t know where we were. Didn’t know the best way to run. And I knew there was no way we would escape if someone else didn’t intervene.
I could hear him gaining on us and knew our chances of getting out of this were quickly fading. I set her down and pushed her forward. “Run. Get help.”
“But, what about you?” She asked, her bottom lip trembling.
“Don’t worry. Just get out of here.”
I watched as she turned and ran, as fast as her little legs could take her. Then, I turned and faced the monster from the worst of my nightmares. I knew I would die, but maybe at least she could be saved from this horror.