Blistered feet trudged on along a dirt path, only one foot had a shoe on it; the other had been lost what seemed like years ago. Polly’s entire body was covered in cuts, bruises and drenched in blood, her right elbow bent at an awkward angle, giving the impression of her bones being shattered, tendons shredded to pieces due to shards of bone sticking out of her arm. Bloody lacerations ran the length of her entire body, a trail of a mixture of blood, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids followed in her footsteps.

Polly finally came across a sign of hope, a bus stop sign. Through all the pain, she managed to force a smile, and to sit down. The sand found its way inside her cuts and burns, but the comfort of being able to sit down was lovely. She tried moving her tongue around her dried lips to try and moisten them, she had run out of saliva, the only liquid that came from her mouth was the syrupy-textured taste of blood, but she was alone and safe. For the first time in the past two days, Polly felt safe enough to sleep.

A stinging sensation ran all the way from her foot to the top of Polly’s leg, she woke with a fright and noticed all kinds of scavenging creatures attempting to feed on her horribly tormented body, she jumped up and managed to get most of the insects off, the sand had actually helped scab over a few of her slices and cuts, but the bites had re-opened quite a few deep lacerations that would most likely need stitching now, IF she ever made it out of this mess, her breath rose in the freezing night air. She wasn’t sure what hurt more on her body, the bites or the cold.

Thoughts ran through her brain at a million miles an hour “What did I do to deserve this? I’ve always been a good person, said please and thank you, donated to charity, never swore, never drank and I’ve never done drugs, I’ve been a good person and I’m still like this? Why am I being tortured so?” She thought it was all over when she managed to catch “him” off guard and jump out of the car, little did she know, her pain was only just beginning. He got out of the car and searched for her a while, he laughed to himself and just drove off. He knew this was coming. Polly was out of options and fading fast, she was losing blood at an alarming rate and there was nothing she could do about it, the scavengers came back, attempting to get a piece of her for themselves. She was going to die, but she wouldn’t accept it, she lashed out at the ground and rocks, screaming her lungs out, but no one heard and no one would. The bus sign had been false hope, no bus had come past in the many hours she had been sitting at the sign “But what else can I do?” Her voice resonated across the barren wasteland and reminded her of how truly alone she was. At first it was a gift, being away from him, not having to try and cope with his disgusting body violating her pure self ever again, but now it was torture.

Polly thought of the things she’d probably never see again, her mother, her baby sister, her friends, her boyfriend. She stopped at this thought and remembered that they had never had sex, her virginity was taken by “him”, she’d never have it back again, and she’d never have another chance to even HAVE sex with someone she cared about. He wasn’t caring or nice, he was selfish and said if she tried anything, he’d kill her right then and there on the spot. Polly cried herself to sleep that night.

There was something in the distance, something just out of sight, enough to give Polly the strength to open her eyes despite the burning mid-day sun, she finally thought something had come. She winced as she lifted herself up onto the sign post and realised, it wasn’t in the distance and it wasn’t on the ground, above her head were three circling birds. Vultures. They knew it was over, and so did she. She had come to terms with the fact of dying, knowing no one would know her story and she’d probably never be found. She’d die alone, her only company would be the circling buzzards who were only interested in the feast they were about to have. Polly calmed herself and tried to think of pleasant thoughts, but “he” was in her head. The last man Polly saw. She closed her eyes and tried to think of the man he used to be. The loving father.