In the Dark


I opened my eyes and saw nothing but darkness. I searched my head for answers of what happened in the past few hours.

I had been on my way home from work, still in my faded green uniform, walking my usual route, when I felt something following me. Out of habit, I placed my hand on my pocket knife as I continued to walk. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’d followed me. I’ve always noticed. That’s why I carried the knife.

I stayed my pace. I knew he’d eventually leave me alone when I got to the main street. I had no idea who he was, but I assumed he was one of my customers. With the other girls it was always a customer.

I was 2 blocks from the main street, so I began to relax a little. I stepped onto the corner and something felt off. There was less traffic than usual and 3 of the street lights were out. I reestablished my hostile mood and walked briskly in the dim light. Just a few more steps and I’d be okay. I felt him start to drift back to wherever he came from, the closer I neared my safe haven.

Once on the main street, I could see my apartment and that my roommate was home. I’d walk in, tell her what just happened, she’d laugh at me and say I was psyching myself out, then we’d drink and fall asleep on our thrift store couch, after talking and watching old comedy reruns. I was fine, so I lowered my hand from my weapon and calmed myself.

But then what? I don’t remember what happened after that?…Yes, I do. I was hit in the head with something hard.

I frantically felt my skull for any signs of blood or a wound, but I couldn’t find anything. I searched myself to see if there were any other injuries, but I seemed fine. When my eyes finally adjusted, I did notice, however, that my clothes had been changed. I was wearing some old, child’s shirt, with the remnants of a unicorn on it, which clearly was at least 2 sizes too small and worn out jean shorts. I looked at my feet to see they were bare, but chained.

“Hello?” I yelled into the darkness. My only response was my own echo calling back to me. I had no idea where I was or even what time it was. My roommate had to have known I was missing…unless this was her doing.

“Jordan,” I yelled, “If you’re playing a joke on me, this is a good one, but let me go. I need a bed and a shower.” I heard faint footsteps approaching me. I was right about Jordan pranking me and now she was fulfilling my requests.

“This is no joke, my dear,” a male voice lilted. There was the sound of a gate opening and the metallic rattle that I recognized as a light chain being pulled, when I was blinded by the hot, white beacon. I blinked to clear my vision of the spotty stars and saw an unfamiliar man standing with me at his feet.

His cold, penetrating, brown eyes stared right through my previously jokey façade and made me shiver. He smirked at my reaction, or my appearance–I couldn’t tell which seemed to amuse him more. I imagined how I might look in his eyes: a twenty year old girl in hand-me-down little kids’ clothes, who originally thought her roommate kidnapping her was normal enough to be a joke, but is now shaking in fear. I must look like a total fool and like…a kid.

“Don’t be afraid, princess.” I was so lost in my thoughts that hearing his voice made me jump and, at this, he laughed. There was something so empty about that laugh that made me wish I hadn’t decided to fill in for Gina today…or whatever day I was at work last.

“There’s nowhere for you to go and no one’s going to find you here,” he said, coolly transitioning from hollow laughter to spine tingling speech. “So why don’t you and I get to know each other? We’re going to be together for a very long time.”

Please, someone, anyone, come save me from this madman with a crooked smile.

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