Panic gripped tight, causing every muscle to bunch, making breathing difficult. She knew she had to keep going, though. Survival literally depended on her refusal to stop. She had to ignore the burning ache that was starting in the base of her joints, the blisters creeping into the skin of her palms. She could worry about all of it once she was safe.
How she got where she was, the torture she’d endured, the certainty of death she’d experienced, none of it mattered. It had ceased to be of any importance once her hand had found grip on the hammer. She’d never felt relief upon touching a tool before, and now she believed she would always feel grateful when seeing them, the association would travel with her through life.
She’d used it to break out of her bindings, the sharp edge of the claw perfectly suited. She’d employed it to tear the nails out of the casing around the door, then break the lock. Now, with terrific satisfaction, she was getting to use is to pulp the skull of the fiend who had done this to her. Again and again, impact. Over and over, she swung the heavy head down, until it finally kissed the tile on the opposite side, the handle splintering in her effort.