Escape by Hayley

Challenger: Zahra
Rating(s) of the fic you want: Any {but no sexual prefrences}
Which brother: Taylor
Three things you want your fic to include:

  • holding Taylor hostage
  • the sentence ‘Even if my brothers didn’t pay, I’m sure some other crazy fan out there would’
  • and someone dying

Three things you do not want your fic to include:

  • Sex
  • an overconfident main character
  • and a happy ending

It wasn’t the dark that startled me. I woke up this same way every other morning, blinking uncontrollably until my eyes adjusted to the blackness surrounding me. No, it definitely wasn’t the darkness.

It was the silence. There was no quiet humming of the radio that Ike insisted he couldn’t sleep without. I couldn’t hear the enthusiastic shrieks of my younger siblings and the shushing that came from my mother, desperate not to wake us as we’d worked so hard during the week. Silence was never an option in my house. It was definitely the silence that gave it away.

I pushed my hands out in front of me cautiously, nervousness overtaking any emotions I could have been feeling. Nothing came in contact with my hands; only open space surrounded me. I felt for the ground beneath me, only to pull back when the grime that coated the hard concrete came in contact with my fingers. After the initial shock, I got used to the feeling and could push myself to my feet. Then there was another clue that something wasn’t right. A metal cuff connected to my left foot restricted me from stepping forward. I was chained here, in this dirty dark room.

That’s when I began to panic.

I kicked and kicked my leg, but the chain did not loosen, let alone did it break. There had to be a way out if it. There just had to be.

“You’ll never break it.” A voice broke through the darkness and startled me. There was another person in this room. I still couldn’t see a thing, but I knew they were approaching by the sound of the footsteps, each one becoming louder. I tried to breathe quietly. This person is a kidnapper… a killer even. But why do they want me?

“It’s steel, quarter of an inch thick. There’s no way it’ll snap that easy.” The voice was thick and gruff and sent a trickle of fear down my spine. I searched for my own voice, to challenge this person, to demand why I was here, but it seemed my voice was buried under the thick layer of fear that filled the lump in my throat. I was dead. I was going to die.

“Got nothing to say Taylor Hanson? How about a song? I was always an MMMBop fan.” The man chuckled. He was now so close that I could make out his profile in front of me. Tall, broad and slightly hunched, standing in a casual position with his arm folded across his chest as if he were chatting to the old lady that lived next door. But there was something much more threatening about him.

“Okay, so you’re not gonna talk to me? I’ll just have to talk to myself.” I breathed in sharply as I heard the man lowering himself onto the ground. His breathing was heavy and all the hairs on my body stood on end, when I felt his breath on my leg.

“You’re probably wondering what the hell you’re doing here. I’d be thinking the same thing if I were you… it’s not like the Taylor Hanson ever steps foot in somewhere less than 4 stars.”

“That’s not true.” My voice sounded small in the darkness, unlike that of this stranger. I sounded fragile, weak, a victim. I knew I shouldn’t have challenged him, who knows what his responses may be like.

But he didn’t sound angry. He didn’t even comment on my sudden voice. “Yes, I know. I’ve seen those dingy motels you’ve been staying at lately. Without your brothers, I might add. Why are you slumming it, Tay? Run out of cash…”

A shiver ran down my spine, stronger and more petrifying than the previous ones. This man had been following me. This man had seen where I was going. This man had been planningthis.

When I could not possibly muster a reply, the man chuckled.

“No, I didn’t think so.” He laughed. My mind was racing at the same high speed as my heart rate. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him. Where the hell was I? How did I get here? Did my brothers know I was gone? Did they even care?

But most importantly, what the hell did this person want with me?

Maybe this was Ike’s idea of a practical joke. He had been on my case a lot lately about where I went when I left. Maybe he hired this guy to follow me and shake me up a bit? He had never respected the fact that it was hard to be Taylor Hanson every single day of my life.

The more I tried to tell myself this, the more petrified I became. As much as my mind was telling me to believe this, my instinct was warning me otherwise. This was anything but a practical joke. I had been kidnapped.

“So nice to chat with you, Taylor, but I’ve got a lot of things to get to today.” I heard him pull himself to his feet, obviously not satisfied with the lack of conversation in the room.

“Wait, don’t leave.” My desperate plea did not hide the shakiness in my voice. I kicked at the chain, reaching out for the man, who was walking further and further away. If he was gone, who knows when he would come back, if he ever did. I could be alone in this room forever; with no one ever knowing I’m here. I could die in this room.

“Now you’re chatty.” His voice echoed off the walls, but he did not stop. He just continued on in the direction away from me.

“No, please. You can’t leave me here.” I begged, tears beginning to stream down my cheeks as I tugged violently at the chain around my ankle. There was no reply from the man, only the sound of a door creaking open and shut.

“No… NO! PLEASE.” I kicked and kicked at the chain, using all my might. I was screaming so loud that my throat was burning. My battle with the chain seemed to last for hours, and eventually, I could kick and scream no more. My exhausted body fell to the ground, massive sobs finding their way from my stomach to the open air.

I had a sudden spark of hope when I thought of my brothers searching for me, but this suddenly deflated when I recalled my last conversation with Isaac. The reality was, I had no hope left.

“I’m sick of you doing this, Tay.” Disappointment and anger shadowed Isaac’s usually goofy face. He couldn’t even look me in the eye.

How dare he sound so disappointed. He didn’t know what was going on inside my head. He didn’t know that this was the only way I could make it through each day. But worst of all, he didn’t even ask. I may as well not even exist.

“You have to stop acting like a child, and stop running away whenever you can’t take it anymore. This is your life.” His voice was telling me off like a small child who’d behaved badly. I didn’t need to be mothered by him. I’m a grown man. I don’t need to be told what to do.

“What if this isn’t the life that I want?” My intention was not to explode, but once I had, the thoughts kept unravelling. “What if I’m sick of being Taylor fucking Hanson every single day? What if I just want to be nobody?”

Ike just stared silently off into space, obviously not expecting my outburst. His eyes met mine in a piercing stare, which hit me in the heart before his words could reinforce his thoughts.

“Then you’re obviously in the wrong career.”

********

It may have been days before he came back. My stomach was throbbing painfully with hunger and I couldn’t even lift myself to my feet. I was curled on the ground, my hair greasy and dirty from rubbing on the floor. My heart ached, longing and hoping for someone to walk through that door.

I didn’t expect him to come back at all.

A sharp blow to my side woke me from my restless slumber on the cold floor. I scrambled away from the direction of the pain, blinking my eyes furiously, desperate to see something.

“Take this.” He must have thrown something as something hit me in the stomach. I grabbed for it, feeling it’s hard, plastic surface. It was a mobile phone. “It’s time for your part in this gig.”

I pressed desperately at the keys, light shining brightly in my eyes for the first time in days. I dropped it from my sudden shock, scrambling for it as soon as it had gone down, realising that my only chance of survival existed in this one object. I was my only way to contact home.

“Call your brothers. Tell them its 2 million dollars or nothing. If they accept the offer, we’ll call them back.” He spat. This time he sounded more agitated. My body felt weaker as shivers made their way down my spine. I felt sweaty. Hot and cold. Nervous and scared. My brothers were a phone call away.

I slowly dialed Ike’s number, the bright light shining in my tired eyes. The blackness around me hid the figure that handed it to me, and I couldn’t make out where he was or what he was doing.

“Hello?” Ike answered casually. His voice alone was enough to make me need to cry. I almost couldn’t speak the emotion over taking every part of me. However, when I remembered the gruffness in the stranger’s voice, I knew I had to do as I was told.

“I-Ike, Ike, are you there? I need your help.” I pressed the phone as hard as I could to my face, desperate to hear his voice. I needed him to tell me I would be okay,

“Yes Tay. This is my phone number, remember? What do you need my help with this time? Embarrassing your band or abandoning your family?” He sounded bored, fed up even. He didn’t even recognise the desperation and fear in my voice. My own brother didn’t understand when I really needed help.

“I‘m in trouble, Ike. I need…” And my voice was cut off by the feeling of cool metal against my neck.

A gun. He had a gun.

“Of course you’re in trouble, aren’t you? You’re always in fucking trouble.” Ike’s words washed over me as I tried not to move, my breathing becoming increasingly shorter. My heart was pounding so hard it almost escaped my chest. My only thoughts were those of the feeling of that gun firing.

“Ike…” I slowly spoke, taking care not to move. My voice was trembling, along with my hands as I held the phone to my ear. “I’ve been kidnapped. I need you to say that you’ll give up 2 million dollars.”

I sucked in a breath as I felt the cold hardness of the gun travel up my neck and into my hair, the breathing of the man heavy on my skin. Ike had no reply. Every second waiting for his answer felt like an eternity.

“Ike, are you listening to me?” I cried, the fear in my voice more apparent than before. I knew the man could sense it, a cold blooded chuckle escaping his lips.

“Is this your idea of a joke, Taylor?” Ike’s voice was grave.

“No, Ike…” I called to him, but I was cut off.

“Gimme the phone.” I heard Zac’s voice in the background; his normally playful voice replaced by frustrated tones.

“Hey Tay, it’s Zac.”

“Zac, you’ve got to…” I began to plea, hoping for more sense in Zac than in Ike.

“You know what?” He cut me off, “I’ll just drop off 2 million bucks wherever you are, and while I’m at it, I’ll beat up all the mean, little bad guys so they never hurt you again, okay?” He sounded more aggressive than Ike had. He was making fun of me. Neither of them believed me.

“Zac, I’m not kidding, I really need…”

“For once Taylor, I’m really not concerned about what you need. What about what we need? We need you here now, but you’re not, are you? Just think about someone other than yourself for once.” The dial tone greeted my ears. Zac was my only chance, and now he was gone.

I dropped the phone and it fell to my feet, shattering into a million and one pieces. My eyes fell shut, waiting for the pain to be over.

“They won’t pay for it?” He asked, breathing into my ear. I forced myself to swallow the fear building in my throat. But the gun didn’t fire. He withdrew it, stepping away from me.

“They’re not as brotherly as I thought.” And with that, he began to leave the room. Panic swept over me, and I reached out towards the sound, hoping to grab hold of something to keep me standing.

“WAIT, don’t go. Get me another phone. I can call a friend… or… I can call a fan! Even if my brothers won’t pay, I’m sure some other crazy fan out there would.”

The footsteps stopped, and I’m sure if I could see his face, it would be twisted into an ugly smirk.

“Taylor Hanson,” He laughed bitterly, spitting out my name as if it were poisonous venom existing in his mouth. “I think what you don’t realise, is that you don’t have any fans left.”

I wanted to yell for him to stop. I wanted him to take me with him. But by now, I realised there was no way I was getting out of here alive. I sunk to my knees, unable to control the giant sobs escaping my mouth. I’d rather he’d have fired that trigger and gotten it over and done with. I would never see my family again. I would never experience the sunlight again, or dance in the rain or sing in front of my fans. I wanted to be Taylor Hanson again. I would live life every day to the best of my ability if I had the chance to. But now I didn’t. My chance was gone, along with all drops of hope that existed in my body before that phone call.

********

I knew he eventually had to return the third time. This time, I was ready for him. Days of endless thoughts prepared me for his return. This time, I had a plan. This time, I was ready to survive.

I heard the door creak open, the sound cutting through the long lasting silence of the room. My ears pricked up, now sensitive to the smallest of sounds. His footsteps were coming towards me. I squeezed my eyes shut. I didn’t have the strength to do this. A big part of me was telling me, no. But a bigger part of me was telling me to survive.

I heard his footsteps come to a halting stop, right beside me; his feet close enough for me to reach out and grab. I was petrified stiff, trying to find that strength inside of me that I told myself I had. However hard I tried, it was nowhere. I couldn’t do it.

“Goodbye Taylor Hanson.” I heard his voice, deep and shallow. I knew this was the end… but I couldn’t let it happen this way.

My sudden movement caught him off guard, and with a sharp kick in the shins causing him to fall to the ground. I scrambled in the darkness for the gun I had heard drop to the ground, but instead of contact with the cold metal, a different contact was made.

His foot slammed into my face again and again, and my face felt on fire, like a million daggers and been stabbed into me and were slowly being drawn out of my skin. With my arms splayed out beside me, too weak to resist, I knew this was the end.

That’s until I felt the gun under my fingertips.

My fingers rapidly worked their way around the cylindrical object until it was firmly controlled my shaky hand. Gripping the gun tightly, I slowly pulled the trigger, squeezing my eyes tightly. This was just a dream. I would wake up and this would all be a dream.

And then the gun fired.

It all happened in slow motion. I heard the sound of the gun like a powerful explosion in the quiet room. I didn’t even know if I had hit anything, until I felt relief from the pain that my attacker was causing. My heavy breathing was the only sound that filled the silence. That was until I heard him collapse beside me. His weight shook the ground, and I let out moan that had been caught in my throat.

And after a wave of relief washed over me, hard realisation hit.

I had no way out.

I felt the pockets of the body beside me, finding nothing but a piece of paper I could not read in the darkness. No one may know that I’m here. Ike and Zac aren’t searching for me. I was stuck in this dark room, with absolutely no way out. There was no escape…

I had told Ike that I was sick of being Taylor Hanson. I didn’t want to any more. I just wanted to escape the media, the craziness, the music even. He had told me to accept it, to embrace it. But I just couldn’t. And now look at where it got me. A dark room, with no way of getting out. I wish I wasn’t Taylor Hanson.

There was no escape.

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