(start at the beginning–click here )
[Recap]– Amy has been kidnapped. She awakens to find herself hanging from rusty shackles, in the darkness of a dank, root cellar. Cold and alone, she longs to live to see, Sky, the love of her life, and Rudy, her beloved Golden Retriever. Rudy was with her at the time of her abduction, and because of his love for Amy, he had lunged viciously at the monster, who was trying to take away his human. The sound of a gun shot is the last thing Amy remembers before waking to her present horror. She fears Rudy is dead. After hanging, for what seemed like hours, the silence is broken by the sound of footsteps coming from the old wooden stairway, leading down into her cryptic prison. Amy realizes she is no longer alone. Then, with the strike of a match, Amy stares into the eyes of a psycho serial killer.
…and now, part 4…
Amy’s heart seized with fear, and she was deafened by its rapid, rhythmic beating.
Then, with the strike of a match, her face is bathed with hues of warm gold. She squinted from the shock of light, and tried to focus. The flickering light threatened to die, but a dank breeze quickened the flame, and she found herself staring into the bluest of eyes, only inches from her face.
He smiled and almost laughed out loud, when he saw his Amy’s eyes widen with recognition. Slowly he pulled the tape from her mouth, freeing the question he had longed to hear from her…
There was a long pause with no answer, so once again she asked her question.
Her question was raspy and barely audible, and like a razor it sliced at her dry throat. Intense pain caused her to suck air, which only added another helping of agony. Amy closed her eyes, in response, but the tightly shut lids did little to alleviate her suffering. And so she opened them once again, and gazed at him through a watery glaze.
The fire, from the match, waxed and waned, but before the light died, he leaned into Amy, kissed her bloody lips, and then licked her blood from his own lips. He smiled, and then slowly brought the match to his mouth to blow out the only light that lit the darkness.
In the dark, he leaned into her body, positioning his left shoulder against her waist, and placed his left hand on the small of her back. Standing slowly, he lifted Amy with his shoulder just enough to release the tension in the chains that held her upside down. With a strong right hand he inserted the key and unlocked the shackles around her ankles. The bloody shackles fell loose and swung back and forth from the wooden beam that ran the length of the cellar. He pulled her close and cradled her naked body protectively against his chest. Amy wanted to kick and bite him, but her body was so weak, all she could do was hang limp, like a rag doll.
Taking one step at a time, he climbed the stairs with ease, and exited the root cellar. Amy shivered. The night air was noticeably colder than that of her cryptic prison. She scanned the area, already searching for a way of escape. Both sides of the small path was bordered by dense forest. Amy squinted and tried to see beyond the trees, but pitch blackness swallowed the view, so that the only thing visible were the closest branches.
Looking into the blackness, Amy exchanged her fear for anger, and then her anger for rage. She wanted to beat the shit out of the son-of-a-bitch carrying her, and she wanted to kick her own ass, for being so weak. Silently she cursed her body, for letting her down. She hated that her head rested against his shoulder, and that there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about. Everywhere her body touched his, recoiled with anger and disgust.
“Damn him,” she thought! Amy’s brain crescendoed with the noise of her anger, but the only audible sound of the night air, was the snow crunching beneath the boots of a mad man.
Once inside, he laid her on a couch, in front of a fireplace, roaring with flames. Without hesitation, he took a soft lamb’s wool, blanket, from the back of the couch, and gently tucked it around her body. Then he kissed her right temple and whispered in her ear, “Don’t go anywhere.” She watched him turn and leave the room.
Amy closed her eyes; her thoughts conflicted. On one hand, she was grateful for the warmth of the fire and the softness of the blanket, but on the other hand, she was mad as hell and wanted to kill the monster who had put her in this position.
Hearing his footsteps, she opened her eyes to see him approaching, carrying a first aid kit. He sat on the floor and reached for her. Amy felt the softness of his hands, as he wiped clean the blood from her wounds. Next, he applied antibiotic cream and then wrapped each ankle with gauze and secured it with medical tape. Amy closed her eyes and wondered why…why would he have inflicted such torture only to tend to her wounds with so much tenderness?
She felt a warm cloth being pressed to her lips. Amy opened her eyes to see his eyes, only inches away. His eyes were cold and hollow; and reminded her of a shark’s soul-less stare. Fear clutched her heart, and took her breath away. As she stared into the emptiness of his eyes, she felt herself teetering on the edge of his insanity. Something inside warned her, there would be no return from such a fall. In self-preservation, Amy closed her eyes and wondered why she had never noticed this madness in his eyes before. James had been her friend.
Sky once again cursed, as her car fish-tailed over the ice-covered roads. It had been three hours since she last heard Amy’s voice. Their phone call had been interrupted by Rudy’s continuous barking; therefore, the warning of “Lock the door!” had gone unheard by Amy.
Sky righted her old Sentra, and eased off the gas a little more, realizing she would be of no help, stranded in a ditch.
“Damn it, this slow pace is killing me!”
She smacked her hand hard against the steering wheel. She was only 30 miles away from the cabin, but traveling at turtle speed, meant it was still a good hour or more away. Sky racked her brain, trying to think of something else she could do. She had tried to contact the local Sheriff’s Department, but her damn cell phone had zero reception. Mentally she kicked herself for not calling 911 before she had left the house.
After she had heard Rudy’s vicious attack, and the explosion, she knew to be a gunshot, the only thought in her mind was saving Amy. And in the moment, it meant getting to her as soon as possible.
She realized, the rush of adrenaline had clouded her judgement, so the idea of calling the local authorities, had never entered her mind, until it was too late. A blinding snowstorm swirled around her, and the only thing to do was to drive slowly forward.
Time ticked slowly by, but within an hour, Sky reached the cabin, and was able to slide her Sentra to a stop, narrowly missing Amy’s parked car. She slung open the door, and attempted to run to the cabin. Her sneakers, lacking traction, slipped, and propelled her headlong into 10 inches of freshly, fallen snow.
She lifted her face from the snow, blew the hair from her eyes, and carefully stood up. The cabin was quiet, and she could see the front door was ajar. Making her way to the front porch, Sky called out to Amy.
“Amy, honey…are you there?”
Sky prayed to hear Amy’s voice, but the prayer went unanswered.
Standing at the foot of the stairs, her heart sank, when she noticed the disturbance of snow, just outside the front door. She climbed the stairs to get a better look, and her heart sank even deeper, when she saw a blood-red trail leading into the woods.
Inside, the cabin was quiet, save for the beeping of a phone hanging on the wall; its handset laid upon the table, where Amy had left it. Sky picked up and put it back in place, and then she lifted it, and placed it against her ear. She dialed 911 using the rotary, and waited to hear a voice from the other end.
Sheriff Jones picked up the ringing phone and grunted, “Blue Ridge Sheriff’s Department. How can I help ya?”
Sky’s hurried voice filled his ear with incoherent words that meant squat to him.
“Uh…Ma’am…” “Ma’am please…” “Soooo… let me get this straight…” “Who’s missing?” “Did ya say it was yer…uh…er…yer friend?”
Sky’s impatient voice returned, “No, not my friend, I said my wife!”
Sheriff Jones cleared his throat, and leaned his massive form back, into the comfort of an oversized office chair. “(Ahem)…soooo how long has yer…uh…wife.. been missing?”
“I told you, at least 4 hours!”
“Only 4 hours? Well, now…little lady…who’s to say she ain’t just gone out for a hike or something like at? Besides…according to regulations, I ain’t supposed to do a thing till she’s been gone for at least 24 hours.”
Skyler screamed into the phone,
“A hike in a freaking snowstorm? And did I mention the trail of blood?? Listen you, hillbilly son-of-a-bitch, I don’t care if it’s been two minutes or two hundred minutes, if you don’t get someone out here, I will have your ass standing in next week’s fucking, unemployment line!”
Sheriff Jones rolled his eyes, “Now…uh…little lady…there ain’t no need for…uh…such hostility. I will send someone as soon as possible, but…uh…I gotta tell ya my two deputies are out on other calls.”
“I don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re out helping the Pope! You send someone and send them NOW! And stop calling me, LITTLE LADY!”
Sheriff Jones rocked his large body forward, and leaned upon a messy desk.
“All right then little laaa…uh…a ’hem…ma’am…if it makes ya feel better I’ll just come out there myself. But with this weather, it may take a while. Now…uh…is the best number where I can reach ya?”
His question was answered with dead silence, and Sheriff Jones knew the little lady had hung up on him
Sky slammed the phone into its cradle.
She knew Barney Fife would be of no help. Hell, he probably wouldn’t even come, she thought.
Trying to assess the situation, her eyes fell on Amy’s suitcase. She opened it and took out a pair snow boots that were a half-size too small, but she knew they would be far better in the snow than her sneakers. She pulled the boots over two pairs of socks, and tied the laces in a double knot. Then she searched for a coat but had to settle for one of Amy’s flannel shirts and an oversized hoodie.
Sky walked into their bedroom, to her side of the bed, and without hesitation, she lifted the mattress and grabbed a 38 revolver that Amy knew nothing about. She tucked the cold steel into the back of her jeans, grabbed a flashlight, from the nightstand, and headed outside to follow the trail of blood that led into the woods.
(Continue to Part 5)