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FICTION: Old Spice by Anthony R Pezzula  

Posted by Scott Wilson

One thin slice of light, that’s all Karen could see. A space where the door didn’t quite meet the frame broke the otherwise total blackness of the room that was her prison. It was the only thing that distinguished day from night for her when she was alone. But more than that, it stimulated her imagination so that she was sure there was a forest in the distance, a line of trees that would assist in her escape. It was more than a focal point for her, it was her hope.

The chain around her wrists was strung through a metal eyelet that was pounded into a wooden railroad tie placed at the head of her cot. Karen’s fingers were rubbed raw from her constant picking at the eyelet, but she persisted in her efforts despite the pain. Today, for the first time, she felt movement from that piece of metal when she pulled on the chain, and redoubled her efforts. She needed to be ready before he returned. She would smell him before even hearing the key in the door; he was always slathered in Old Spice, which became her name for him.

She didn’t know how long she had been there, weeks, maybe months; time was hard to judge for her. The last thing she remembered was putting packages in her car in the mall parking lot, then the smell of Old Spice that was superseded by another as a cloth was put over her mouth and nose. The next thing she knew she was here, in this dark room, chained like an animal.

Old Spice always came in the daytime, assuring the bright light from the opened door would blind her until he could quickly be at her side and apply a blindfold. When that was done he would always lean over and whisper in her ear, “Hello darlin.” Then he would apply traditional handcuffs to her before unlocking the chain that secured her for the evening. He’d feed her, and take her to an outhouse nearby for her to relieve herself. Then he would amuse himself with her, doing unspeakable things, never saying a word.

At first she would scream and struggle, but soon realized no one was around to hear her. Now she tried to focus on getting away. She’d picture her family, her two boys, distraught husband, imagining what they were going through, passing out flyers, making pleas on TV, as she’d seen so many others do when a loved one went missing. She didn’t want to turn up like many of the others, in a shallow grave somewhere.

Karen pulled on the chain again and was now sure the eyelet moved. She resumed picking at the wood, determined that today would be the day. Then it came, the smell of Old Spice. He was coming, she could accurately count the seconds before she heard the key in the lock, and her stomach tightened as it always did. The door flew open blinding her as usual, and before she knew it he was at her side before the door slammed shut. He put the blindfold on and, as usual, leaned over to whisper in her ear. When he did so, Karen raised her hands with all her strength, and the metal ring was freed from its anchor. Before Old Spice could react she had the chain wrapped around his neck and was pulling her wrists apart as hard as she could tightening the chain.

The attack took Old Spice off guard and he instinctively pulled at the chain around his neck. Karen took the opportunity to pull tighter cutting off the air supply to his lungs and the blood to his brain. By the time he thought to lash out at her it was too late, he was losing consciousness. She absorbed his weak blows and attempts to pull her hair, and stretched her hands apart even farther pulling the chain as tight as her strength would allow. His struggles became weaker and in a few more seconds he was out.

Karen relaxed her hands as she felt his body go limp. Old Spice fell to the floor as she whipped off the blindfold and in the darkness began searching his pockets for his keys. She found them in his left pocket, unlocked the handcuffs and bolted toward the door. When she stepped outside and her eyes adjusted to the light she was elated to see the trees that she imagined existed. She ran toward the tree line as fast as she could, determined to find a hiding spot. She kept glancing behind her fearing Old Spice would come staggering out of what she saw now was a small concrete building, and was relieved to finally reach the woods.

She was able to find a thick clump of bushes amid the trees where she could burrow in and be totally out of sight while being able to keep an eye on the building. She needed more time, she felt, before moving on. She sensed that Old Spice would recover quickly and set out to find her and she wouldn’t be able to put enough distance between them for her to feel safe. As she expected, it wasn’t long before she saw him stagger out of the building. Her jaw dropped when she saw his face.

She knew this man; he lived a block or so away from her house. She would see him and his family at church, see him around the neighborhood, sometimes they would wave to each other in passing. Her fear of him turned to anger. How could this man do these things? As she watched him on all fours, gasping for air, trying to get his bearings, she looked around for a weapon in case he got close. She found a heavy tree branch about the size and weight of a baseball bat, and pulled it to her side.

Old Spice got to his feet and immediately stumbled toward the tree line, the most obvious place she would go. Karen hunkered down as low as she could, never taking her eyes off him. When Old Spice entered the woods he stopped and looked around as Karen held her breath afraid that the act of breathing would somehow give her away. He took a few steps in the opposite direction, stopped and turned toward her location. Karen’s hope that he would run into the woods giving chase were dashed when he slowly walked in her direction having caught sight of the clump of bushes, a prime hiding place.

Her grip on the branch tightened as the sweet smell of his cologne, sickening to her now, became stronger. He was within ten feet of her when he stopped and stood still as though sensing her presence. Karen heard movement deeper in the bushes and saw that he heard it too. It was probably some animal foraging for food, but to Karen it was a gift from God. When he started moving in that direction she rushed him from behind and swung the branch with all her strength hitting the back of his head squarely. Old Spice collapsed in a heap, blood gushing from his head. Karen, shaking from anger and an adrenalin rush, dropped the branch and fell to her knees.

While she felt her ordeal was over, her anger remained. She got to her feet, grabbed Old Spice’s feet and began dragging him back to the concrete building. It took her a while, but she finally reached the building, dragged him in and searched the floor for the keys that she had dropped when she unlocked the handcuffs. She took those cuffs and chained him to the cot, exited the building and shut and locked the door. She wasn’t done though; she took dirt, clumps of grass, whatever she could get her sore bloody hands on, and stuffed the crack between the door and the door jamb. She didn’t want that crack visible to him when he regained consciousness, she didn’t want him to have any hope.

When she was satisfied that the crack was completely full and no light would enter what was now his prison, she turned and walked back toward the woods. She saw his vehicle parked not far from the building and what looked like a dirt road that would no doubt lead to a way out, but she didn’t want to be found anywhere near this place. She didn’t want there to be any chance that Old Spice would be rescued. She would walk into the woods, she decided, and look for a way out far from here. When found she would say that she has no recollection of where she was, or even what happened to her.

They would believe her; she would make them believe her. She would return to the comfort of her family, satisfied in the knowledge that Old Spice died a slow, hopeless death, just what he deserved.



The End

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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