This story is by E.J. van der Velde and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
She lies there motionless for what seems like an eternity, bound at both the ankles and wrists. Just as a frightened child might hesitate in the doorway to a dark room, her short breaths barely enter her lungs before vanishing again into nothing but a cloud of mist. Her mouth is dry and as the cold air fills her throat, she coughs, the hollow sound lingering menacingly in her ears in the haunting stillness that surrounds her. Drowsy and drunk with sleep she struggles to open her eyes against the light. Where am I?
“What the fuck?” she whispers, trying to register what is going on.
Powerless and surrounded by nothing familiar, an intense sense of terror overcomes her as she gasps desperately for air, the sharp sting of the bitter cold searing through her body and striking her chest. Where the fuck am I? I can’t move! In her panic, her body is suddenly weary, and she can feel herself slowly drifting off to sleep again, fighting in vain against the cocktail of drugs making its way through her bloodstream.
When she wakes, she finds herself still bound, lying in the fetal position on a hard floor that smells like urine. She is aware of the feeling slowly returning to her limbs but too afraid to move, she does not dare test her strength. But what could anyone possibly want from me? The concrete floor feels gritty and cool on her face as she lay there considering her options in what seems like a hopeless situation. She knows that if there was any chance of escaping the hell unfolding around her, she would. She is the cunning one after all. Following yet another reckless escapade, her friends had once christened her “Loki” after the Norse God of Mischief. But she liked to think that her wild ways had taught her some valuable skills considering the many questionable situations she had managed to get herself out of.
Blinded by lights she narrows her eyes and tries to make out the shapes around her, seeing nothing but glaring light and blurry black shapes as her eyes struggle to adjust. Her clothes are drenched from head to toe, though she has no recollection of feeling any wetness when she first awoke, what she guesses were several hours earlier. Hang on a minute… Fuck! Did someone piss on me? As her fear now turns to defiance, she musters what strength she can and screams at the top of her lungs “What the fuck do you want from me, you fucking scumbag!”. Her head still bleary, she strains to remember how she got herself into this mess.
In the past month, things had been looking up for her as she had been approached by a number of elite businessmen offering her hundreds of dollars for her services. It was easy money. Unlike the creepy clientele she was used to, it seemed that these executive types were just looking for some anonymous kinky fun that their marriages no longer offered. They had been friendly and had treated her like a person, rather than a dirty worthless hooker. Ironically, she found herself pitying these men. Their eyes were empty and sad, their souls drained of joy, having spent too many years working too much and not loving enough.
A sudden loud clanking noise brings her back to the present moment. A series of clanks follow and she winces as the rope restraining her limbs tightens and burns into her skin. Just then the lights dim slightly, and she swings her head frantically looking around for clues, objects, a means of escape.
She screams in agony as she is dragged across the floor by a large rope, her flesh burning beneath the constraints. “Who are you? What the fuck do you want?!”
Again, the rope tightens. When the rope tenses further still, she realizes she is slowly being suspended, her ankles tied to her wrists behind her back. Pain sears through her as her weight pulls at her shoulders, her hands and feet now above her head as she dangles helplessly, consumed by her fear. She lifts her head and scans the room which she now notices is in fact an aircraft hangar, the air enveloped in a scent of fuel, urine, and desperation. She notices a moving figure in the distance and tries to focus on the details. Moving towards her she now sees a thin, insubstantial man taking slow but intentional steps whilst clutching a briefcase in his left hand.
Her thrusts against the shackles are futile, each protest only causing her further agony. The pain in her neck growing more intense with each heartbeat, she lets her head dangle submissively in seeking even a little physical relief. Her head now hanging and looking backward towards her knees, she comes face to face with a reversed image of the masked man. His intense dark eyes burning into hers, fear grips her by the throat as she tries to speak, her words lost in a forlorn groan. His cold, hard eyes tell her everything she needs to know. He’s not planning on letting her go. Not alive anyway.
He moves his face to within a whisker’s breadth of her ear. He pauses to admire the dark stain on her light blue jeans, having relieved himself earlier on her unconscious drugged body. Vengeance, he thought to himself, oh but the scales are far from balanced yet.
“Hello, Estelle. You smell delightful. You must tell me where you purchased this pungent cologne,” he whispers in a low tone, his smile reaching his eyes behind the black balaclava.
Wait, what? “Estelle”? He’s a client? She racks her brain for any reason or recent incident that could have angered someone enough to shove her blindfolded into the back of a car and restrain her so indignantly.
“You and I are quite alike don’t you think, Estelle? We each came from nothing and made our way in this world. OK granted I am not selling fun times with my pussy to dirty strangers, but we made money, you and I, each in our own way.”
Trembling now, her senses are heightened. Every detail magnified, every sound echoed. She purses her lips, but despite her attempts to retain control of her emotions, a single tear escapes traveling down her forehead, crashing to the floor beneath them. Her breathing now labored, her eyes and head feel heavy with the amassment of a redirected blood flow.
“But what I am struggling to understand,” he continues in an unnervingly calm manner, “is why you would try to fuck over someone so much more powerful than you. Tell me, Estelle, why is it that you shared the details of our meetings? With. My. Fucking. Wife?”
“No, no, no. I swear! I didn’t say a word! Who told you this? Someone is trying to screw me over!”
He lays his briefcase on the floor beside him, crouches down slowly and opens it. He raises a Stanley knife and examines it. Lucy lets out a nervous whimper.
“Sssssh my young Lucy” he says, holding the knife to his lips, a smell of cigars on his breath.
What? He knows my real name! That’s impossible!
He stands back up again whilst removing his mask, revealing a broad smile and suffering eyes. She gasps as before her stands her heavily bearded Science teacher from her high school days, a meek shadow of a man with a surplus of hair to compensate for his awkward disposition. They had had a brief meaningless affair years ago, at a time when privacy had not yet been substituted by social media and casual sex was still just meaningless fun. Given her lack of experience in those days, he had more than satisfied the raw sexual desires of a horny teenager while finding a welcome distraction from his unremarkable daily routine.
“Mr. Vance? What the fuck?”
With his face now close to hers, he tenses the fabric of her t-shirt with his left hand, slicing it with the knife in his right, thereby revealing her perfect petite breasts. Using the back of the knife he traces the curves of her breasts, followed by her erect nipples. She notices he has become hard, as the stretched fabric of his nylon trousers reveals his arousal.
“Mr. Vance, please have mercy! We had some good times together, please don’t kill me” she begs with a nervous stutter in her voice.
“Kill you? Ha! Oh no Miss Lucy, you don’t get to destroy my marriage and slip off so easily. I have big plans for you”.
The rope is lowered and Lucy is eased back onto the ground.
“Dear Miss Lucy, you will be bound with chains until the day you die, serving only to satisfy my sexual desires when the mood strikes. I think you’ll agree that since you took my wife from me, it’s only fair you replace her”.