There is a phenomenon called Stockholm Syndrom.

He called her a hostage and there was a time that would have thrilled her soul, to the bone, marrow vibrating with enchanted hope for that particular prison.

What bells ring now. Bells of freedom, carillons that shout with relief that she has moved astride the Phantom Spectre, given the slip to his outsized shadow. Like finger puppets against a child’s bedroom wall, fangs and horns creeping ever closer, when the lamp is flicked on, the shadows fall away and all that remains is a soft and small hand, held close to the plaster. Defenseless and innocent.

In the clink. Him, the jailer. Somehow he is kind, or impervious, enough to put that big brass key well within her reach and somehow, she accepts it. Feels the weight of it in the palm of her hand. Places it in her mouth for a moment to taste it’s metallic bite against her gums, her teeth.

Well, he’s incurious and satisfied. And she won’t abide that. All. Or nothing. Place the key into it’s slot, feel it click and fit. Turn it and feel the satisfying groove, a key making love to a lock, jigsaw’d. Swing the door wide.

A hostage on the lam.