She walked through the door, and the feeling of being watched crawled over her skin. Her hairs stood like a crown around her head, down her spine, immediately taking her back to her time trapped on the Grounds.
Her room looked the same. In the corner to her left a pristine bed, made up in white with lavender flowers sprawled across the sheets. A meticulously clean lavender shag, in the shape of a six-foot paint splotch, spilled across the foot space between her bed and the deep closet, that stuck out from her west wall. She’d spent many a late night on this rug, working on projects or her life wall, reading, or just laying there… feeling.
Today she felt a chill run slow and sharp down her spine, as she walked the six paces, past the foot of her bed, past the framed collage of her life on the east wall, to her desk and chair directly opposite the door.
Her little black desk was adorned with a small few items. Laptop to the left, bookends that resembled Greek gods, held a row of 13 books perfectly center along the back edge, her favorite mug, she used to carry all of her writing utensils in, was tucked to the right of her books. A few notepads, photo album, and her most prized possession, Pete, were stacked center stage directly in front of her chair. The chair, however, was askew... turned completely to face the door, though she knows for a fact she did not leave it so last night. With that being the last time she’d sat in it, and living alone, she knew that she wouldn’t have been turned towards anyone at her bedroom door. Meticulous remember?
A thin yellow face beamed a great smile at her, through the brown smudge that was supposedly a body, the bottom of the cup inside reading "Sh*t Happens," when she’d finish drinking from it, but she hadn’t done so in years. The odd little face comforted her, at this moment, as she turned the chair around, but she could not kick the icy tingle of eyes absorbing her every move.
"This" said Thalia "was no stranger to being watched." She moved the chair aside, and bent over to her laptop, it was a couple of years old, but the camera would do the job just fine. She opened the app, and ensured it was recording, then pulled up the camera roll and set it to a slideshow. Screensaver enough, she thought. Pushing the chair back under her desk, she turned to and stepped over to her closet facing her desk.
A high shelf above her head, carried sweaters and pants, while the bar just beneath hung the majority of her clothes for work and some nicer pieces that would be wrinkled in any of her eight drawers below. Four left and four right, with just enough space below for a pair of slippers and sandals, with some storage to either side. She feigned to search for something to wear, though she had just come home from work and would normally be more than eager for big comfy sweats. Today, she was more concerned with biding her time. Selecting a navy-blue tee at random from the second drawer, she drew in a concentrated breath, and pulled black yoga tights from the third.
She tossed her fresh clothes over the back of her desk chair, and began to change. Already barefoot, she untucked her sleeveless crème blouse from her pin-tucked trousers. The ice now felt like steel in her spine, but she held no fear in her movements, fingers nimbly deepening her moderate neckline, as she popped each button open. Thalia felt a subtle thrill enjoying this moment, I have the upper hand once again, Kris.
With her blouse unbuttoned, she felt the cool of the air on her stomach, follow up to her chest reaching her shoulders, and down her arms as she let her blouse fall down to her wrists.
A slight rustle sounded below her bed, barely audible, but distinct to Thalia’s finely tuned ears.
Swapping the work shirt for her comfy tee, she looped around the neck to ensure had it the right way, slid her hands down to the shoulders, keeping the tension around her wrists tight, so they resembled handcuffs. Her arms held close to her body, fists under her chin, listening.
A creak in a floorboard, two paces back.
Thalia spun on her heels, and thrust her arms above her head, in time to drop them down around Kris’s Neck. With the element of surprise and all of her might, she pulled his head down at the same time, bringing her knee up directly into the bridge of his nose, with a satisfying crunch. In lightening speed, with her grip still a vice on the shirt tight around his neck, she slipped to his right side and pushed him to the floor so he landed with a heavy thud, face smashed into her lavender shag, staining it with crimson. Enraged, her knees fell, like spears into his kidneys, with intent to knock any air from his lungs—which succeeded as heavy wheezing broke from Kris’ lips.
She was a little disappointed, to be honest.
While she was on the Grounds, Thalia was not supposed to be privy to information on the guards, but she knew him… she knew them all. Kris, however, was the weak link—the most average of the crew, in nearly all respects but one.
Kris had been the key to her escape all those years ago.