The effect of a question

I was terrified. My hair was dripping wet.
The woman approached me again.

“Tell us what you just heard!” The woman held my hair in a knot with one hand, ready to rip it off, while her knee-high boot crushed my foot. I let out a groan of pain.
“Tell us!” She jerked my hair, allowing a few good strands of my brown hair to fall. Tears were released from my eyes and were dripping down my already wet face. Using all the energy I had left, I shook my head a weak no.
The woman was infuriated. “Why you litt-”

“Stop it, Valli. There’s no point. No matter if she tells us what she heard, she heard.” A man stepped out of the shadows. He glared at the woman who was supposedly called Valli. And finally, to my relief, Valli dropped my hair and then, obediently replied, “Yes, I understand. I’m sorry.”

The man flashed her an gentle, yet ominous smile. “Yes, it’s good that you understand.” Valli retreated back into the shadow as the man motioned a lanky teenager with one arm into the light.

The boy was holding a knife.

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