IntangibleChapter 1 – LauraLaura could have sworn that the world was darker than she had ever remembered it being before now.The darkness wasn’t just a result of the physical lack of light, even though she was sittingin a suffocatingly small room, so pitch black that she could not even see her hand in front of her face. No – the darkness ran much deeper than that. It clawed at her chest, stung at her eyes andmade her breath catch in her throat. This darkness was contagious, passed on to her by a manwho had already allowed it to eat up his soul. Laura didn’t want that to happen to her. Shesqueezed her eyes tightly closed, so tight that it forced into being two pinpricks of yellow light behind her lids. Then she focussed on that light, as if somehow it would save her.Laura felt a couple of tears work their way out of her firmly shut lids, even though shehad thought that she had cried herself empty. Part of the reason for the tears was from the painshe was in, one that was more than just scrapes and bruises. The man had hurt her worse thanshe had ever been hurt before. She wondered why this had to happen to her. She should haveremembered the warnings, she told herself. She should have kept herself safe. Better safe thansorry was a concept she tried to adhere to. Was this her fault? Was...this...
...fault?Laura’s thoughts drifted back to the day where all of this had started, to re-examine theevents and to try to dismiss that blame, so she could offer herself a little bit of solace. She couldhave been more careful, less trusting, she supposed. She knew that there were bad people in theworld, she hadn’t been raised
sheltered, but the man hadn’t seemed like one of the bad oneseither. That was what he had wanted her to believe. It had been an act. He had tricked her.That was a mean thing to do, but he was a very mean man.She had been playing outside in the backyard when he had shown up. It was warm for anearly day in October and Laura had been irritable because her mother had forced her out to getsome fresh air when she had wanted to watch her favourite television show. She would have been willing to watch anything now. She missed TV, she even missed her backyard, but most of all, she missed her mom. She wondered if she would ever see her again. Normally her mother watched Laura in the yard, either while hanging the clothes or fromthe kitchen window while she did chores there, but the woman had been distracted. Thisdistraction stemmed from an argument with Brad, Laura’s older brother, who was equallyreluctant to set aside his computer game and exit the house. Laura could hear their raised voiceswhile she had sat on her swing, kicking at the dirt. Her brown eyes had been searching her surroundings for something, anything, of interest when she had noticed the man by the gate.