[Recap: For months Amy has been stalked by some unseen predator. Finally the police takes someone into custody, and so Amy is able to breathe a sigh of relief. Sky, her girlfriend, suggests a week long get-away for some much needed rest. Amy and Rudy, her golden retriever, navigate snowy roads, but the two of them finally make it to their little cabin nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains. Believing herself safe, Amy lets down her guard and basks in her new found peace. But then, something outside incites Rudy. Amy steps outside to investigate, unaware that those steps would lead her into an unimaginable nightmare. Rudy growls…a shadow…a gunshot…darkness…
Later Amy awakes to find herself shackled and hanging in the darkness of a musty root cellar. Not knowing if her beloved dog is dead or alive, she tries to call out to Rudy, however, her cries are stifled by the duct tape pressed tightly across her mouth. Confused and alone, Amy’s tears fall to the ground below her. She hangs in the darkness, awaiting her captor, knowing her horror has just begun.]
He pictured Amy, hanging in the root cellar. He knew of her excruciating pain. He had once endured the same from the hands of his father.
He would never ask Amy to endure anything that he himself had not experienced first. No, he loved her way too much for that.
The aroma in the tiny kitchen tantalized all of his senses. Yes, of course he could smell the perfectly charred meat, anyone could do that, but he actually saw, tasted, heard and touched the aroma as he stood with his eyes closed. All of his senses were heightened to the point of combustion.
He had always been that way, even as a child. At first the strong sensations frightened him, but as time passed he realized he was special, and was indeed unlike any other. He kept this secret and told no one, not his weak pathetic mother, and certainly not his self-righteous father. This revelation of himself created an euphoria that often erupted from his mouth in mad laughter. He tried to contain it as much as possible because he knew others would think him crazy.
He wasn’t crazy. No, not in the least. He, unlike most, was…free…free beyond any bounds of humanity.
Being different made him lonely. He craved someone as extraordinary as himself, and so he began “the search.” There had been so many “disappointments” through the years, but he was confident that Amy would be different. He smiled. He knew “the search” was finally over.
He lifted the fillets from the grill and carefully plated them upon delicate bone china. He then poured a Vintage Port, 1997 into crystal goblets. This particular wine, crafted from Portugal’s indigenous grapes, was thick and juicy and pared well with fillet mignon. The steaks were resting and the wine poured; the only thing missing was Amy.
He opened the cabin door to a clear and cold night. The aged root cellar was visible from the porch. He stood for a moment, surveying the crumbling stone and then took a step into the night.
Amy hung limp from a splintered plank, that ran the length of the underground hole. The cellar was old. It had been built by Scotch-Irish immigrants during the early 1800’s. The hole was barely six feet high, so Amy’s hair fell into blood, tears, and a dank soil, that reeked of mold, and decaying vegetables.
Amy shivered. She closed her eyes to the dark and began to picture the two loves of her life, Sky and Rudy. Her heart ached as she pictured Sky’s smile and Rudy’s wagging tail. She determined, there in the darkness, she would live to see them again. Her love for them would be her survival.
A screeching sound of rusty hinges, caused her to open her tightly closed eyes. The darkness still engulfed her. She held her breath and listened intently. There was a brief silence and then a faint creaking of wooden stairs.
Amy realized she was no longer alone. She heard footsteps, slow and methodical…
One…two…three, and then a pause…
four…five…six …another pause…
seven…eight…and then breathing…slow rhythmic breaths…in and out…
Amy’s heart seized with fear, and she was deafened from the sound of her rapid beating heart. Then, with the strike of a match, her face was 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 aloud, 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.
Fear is never Lukewarm
(To continue to Part 4 visit Here)