Charity woke with another splitting headache. She struggled to sit up, her huge frame cramped in the tight space. Memory returning. He’d come back, made her lie down in the back of the jeep. Then he’d drove for what seemed like days. Made her get out, walk down steps. That was the last thing she remembered until now.
It was dark as a cave and smelled of mildew. Charity felt around in the dark, looking for something, anything to tell her where she was. Her fingers closed around what felt like a candle. Pulling it close she continued to feel blindly. Where there was a candle surely there had to be matches. God just wouldn’t be that cruel. Her fingers closed around the box. She shook it gently. One rattle. Okay, so she had one chance of getting light into this place. Did she really want to do that?
Charity chided herself for her cowardliness. What would Ms. Laveau think if she saw her, sitting here on the cold concrete shivering like a baby.
Opening the matchbox, she took out the single match, set the candle between her legs and steadied herself. Holding her breath Chastity issued a silent prayer before running the match along the side of the box. It sputtered, flickered--caught fire.
Charity swallowed the urge to laugh hysterically, the effort of holding her breath making her somewhat giddy. She held the candle to the flame, her hand trembling so badly she was afraid for a moment she’d drop them both. The candle caught, its flame casting eerie shadows around the small room.
Charity looked around her, her heart fluttering as reality closed in. She was in an old farm cellar. From the looks of it no one had been here for years. Tears formed, she bit her lip, steadied the candle. Her whispered words stirring fear into full blown terror. “Yous’ in trouble now, sugah. Yous’ done been buried alive.”