When she first came to, Helen was disorientated to the point of not knowing who she was, let alone where she was or what she was doing there. She was being rocked gently backwards and forwards but, as she was almost entirely sure that she was more than five years old and hence was not being nursed by her mother, her brain demanded that she determine the cause of this. Eventually, she persuaded her heavy lids to open and her eyes to focus upon a stranger's face which appeared to hang in the surrounding dimness. It was a pleasant face; a woman's face; a visage which seemed to exude warmth and a caring, trusting nature, framed by long golden locks which appeared to shine, irregardless of the lack of light.
"Hello," said the face, in a sweet sounding voice, "are you okay?"
Helen did not at first digest the words which the face had spoken, nor the question it had posed. Instead she dwelt only upon the sound of the voice itself. How calming it was, how reassuring. Almost as if it was trying to persuade her to drift back off to wherever it was she had been.
Am....I....okay...? The intent of the words slowly sunk in, consciousness flickering back to life as she began to resurface into reality. With it, for the merest instant, appeared the image of a head - the head of a monstrously demonic beast whose eyes glowed deeply crimson with a glare that seemed to penetrate her very soul. She barely realised that her gasp of horror had escaped her lips, before the friendly female face returned and she felt one side of her own face being stroked comfortingly.
"It's alright," the face said, reassuringly, "we're safe. Can you sit up?"
Helen mulled over the request. I suppose I could sit up, if i wanted to, she thought.
"What's your name?"
A name. I had one of those, once, I'm sure. Now, where did I put it? What was it, now? Ah...
"H..Helen," she managed, through cracked, dry lips.
The lovely face rewarded her with a warm smile, although, for the first time, Helen thought she spied upon it a glimmer of concern, of worry. Was she safe? Perhaps she should sit up, after all.
Taking control of her muscles rewarded her with as many aches and pains as she could ever recall having had at the same time, and that extended to an intense headache which shot suddenly across her temple like an angry thundercloud.
"Ow!" she complained, "everything hurts!"
"I know - I feel exactly the same."
Now that her senses had been brought to a painfully abrupt wakefulness, Helen was able to properly regard her companion for the first time. Slim, blond and good looking would, under normal circumstances, be the limit of Helen's inspection but, once again, she could not help but be drawn by the friendly features of the woman's face, which radiated both intelligence and warmth in an undeniable fashion.
"Where am I?" Helen asked.
"I don't know," the woman said, "it looks like some kind of warehouse. I think it's deserted, it's certainly quiet."
Helen looked puzzled - tried to focus through the pains that continued to shoot across her forehead.