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The clock ticks, flooding my eardrums. So loud in the tangible silence each tiny sound echoes off the brick walls of the shed. It’s eerie, and dark. There’s a shadow cast upon the walls and light pouring through the tiny window on the far end. The rays of sunshine crystallizing in my vision; it surprises me that sunlight can creep its way into such an unfathomable darkness. I can see the red paint chafing away from the bricks, like fingernails crawling down to catch me.
Memories drench me like pouring rain outside and I can feel the darkness submerge me. Blackness has filled my vision for sometime now. I can't remember the last time my pale fingers were visible to light. There are shadows filling every corner, the sound of shuffling feet surround me and echo against the walls, yet I am alone now. The police sirens have ceased, although I still remember the sound of their tires screeching down road in the night. The whispers from the tape recorder lock themselves inside my train of thought and become my only known destination.
"Angela... Angela... it’s not over yet." Words like promises, one’s I know they will not break; just like they're playing a game with me. No matter what the catastrophe, they will find me, take me once again. The slight crackle or the microphones last fuzz and the click at the tape’s end drive me to insanity. I've hidden this tape from the police so far, and I've kept it in my back jean pocket. I cannot surrender my last piece of evidence, from which the knowledge still haunts my being. Letting go of such truth, will lead me into an endless dream land. The tape is all that let's me know this is real. Inception is deadly and survival is my only way out.
Flashbacks jog my memory, a pattern I’ve come to terms with now. It’s been there hours, just three hours since they ran. Who knows how close they could be, maybe even hiding in the widespread forest. There is no way I can possibly feel at ease with reality, when the very embrace of it haunts me. I've come to find that my own enemy is me, fear is my enemy. It keeps me from dreaming, even from falling asleep. Three days, I've been wide awake now. College biology has taught me of something called insomnia; more restless and sleepless nights. Fear, I'm afraid to let my subconscious run my life. When life has become my nightmare, I can only wonder what terrors lurk in my dreams. I feel as if I cannot hold onto these moments for long, the fear crawls under my skin, and runs my blood cold in seconds. I’m slipping away.
My skin feels tight against my body as the thick black rope intertwines me, knotted all around like I’m a netted shark. Water drips from a nearby pipe, slapping the ground with a thud. Is this how human nature should be; am I just the affect of a conspiracy of fate? Giving into the compulsive pain would be easy but I am not one to give up. That’s what they like about me and I know it. Though I will not those grasp of who I am for the sake of their undying pleasure, even if it kills me. They’re in the attic of the shed now, planning. Just waiting for the perfect moment, to come back up here and torture me now that they've done away with Ali. I begged her not to scream, they hate noise. Our pain was the tape across our lips, glue even. They enjoy it I believe. I have the scratches, wounds and bruises to prove it. They yell at each other in their grimy voices, I hear them. Dirty hands and filthy accents, French I believe. They spoke it when they took me here. The ride was long and fearsome. I can't remember much before now, nothing seems to make sense anymore. All I can remember is darkness, blankets pillows, a window sill and loud voices. Amongst everything I can remember the fear; it shot through me like a bullet plunging sharper than a knife. It struck my emotions and forced me into shock.
These flashbacks are scattered among my conscious will, against my will. Every time I slip through the cracks of reality, I fall into a day dream; so vivid that I can feel the pain of a knife ripping through my thighs. I was alive but only in fear, I lived in fear. I was alone that night, I felt like a child awaking from a scary dream. I only wish this was a dream. My life would be so much more than it is right now. Surrounded by a universe of nothing, a reality I can't even call a life. What do I have to life for? Maybe I should have given up the fight, let them take my life.
"Excuse me, Miss. Grove. The detective would like to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind." I blankly gazed at him and nodded. Chief Niles’ voice was scruffy and his beard was highly under-tamed surrounding his face like a lion’s main. With a large nose, thin lips, and cheap sunglasses, he wasn’t exactly the modern day stunner. His thinly glossed eyes sharpened when I looked at him, like I had a secret he wanted to know. He was the first of the officers to find me submerged in blood. Not my own however, Ali lie inches from me chained by ropes as well as I was. Not quite deafened by her screams, I was forced to watch them beat her half to death just hours before the Chief found us. I remember how I squinted my eyes shut hoping that just one more hit would render me unconscious. Or maybe even the thought, the knowledge that I’d be next.
"Chief, Where is the detective? I have yet to meet him." My question had no correspondence to what he’d just said, but I hadn’t realized until I'd already spoken. I turned around to find and empty doorway, where he had once been. A rushing feeling of confusion overwhelmed my senses. The aura of the atmosphere felt so bizarre, I wanted to leave but for some reason I still felt chained to the walls. A gush of wind greeted me as I exited the shed and the Cali sunbeams directly burned my skin. Repeatedly, I blinked until the light ended its feud with my eyes. Sunlight was something I formerly knew so well, I remember a time when all I’d wanted was to be at peace with the universe, my feet mindlessly roaming the sand of the coast. Guiding me wherever the ocean lines met my fancy and soaking up the sea sprayed air. The coast was a place where the sun was mother-nature’s best friend, the beauty of the world as we know it. I’ve longed to touch the ocean for some time now. I wish I could once again indulge in my sun-kissed skin, now scared and beaten raw by faces I cannot recognize and voices less than familiar irks in my memory. The kidnappers covered our faces with ski masks and told us we were far too ghastly to look at. I remember thinking to myself, 'And whose fault is that?' with disgust. Merely thinking of their voices send chills down my spine.
For some reason I long to hear my mother's voice. She always had the right answers, and she knew exactly what do. In a situation like this my mother wouldn't dare to hold her breath, she'd take a deep breath and soak up all her fears. Then quickly she'd exhale and release them, it seemed to be that easy for her. Like when my father died she told me everything would be alright, just like that. He died three months ago, not of natural causes, but I'd rather not express my agony. Maybe she wanted to be strong for me; I've never seen her cry. Whenever she found me lying on my bed, my face puffy, tears flowing, she would tell me I'm too beautiful to cry.
"What a perfect complexion you have Angie and such a florescent personality to match all that beauty. When I was your age I’d have given anything to look like you." My mother’s very words now too, haunted me just like the rest. Maybe this is a lesson learned in human nature. I may have had youth, beauty, and a personality that was one of a kind but that means nothing suppressed by vanity. My face, body, and bone-structure were my very own galore. Typically mirrors were my favorite investment, my room was covered. I can assure you that’s over now; the thought of my own appearance hasn’t once crossed my mind these past few weeks. Besides, my beauty, my face, everything, has been slashed with the butcher knife the one with heavy footsteps would carry. It kills me to know the scars are deeper than healing would cure, although, that is not my concern. If a mirror ever shall display my reflection once more, I will not look at my face in disgust of my loss for beauty. Instead, my newly given flaws will remind me of each night they’d carve my skin down to the bone. Truthfully, I’m scared to believe its over, when I know it may never end.
"Miss. Grove...?" The detective appeared from around the corner.
"Yes Detective." My voice clear cut and empty of emotion.
"As you were informed, I’d like to ask you a few questions. Is that alright?"
"Sure, it’s fine." I spoke flatly.
"We’ll have to go down to the station. Are you available to come now?" A laughable grin came across his face, although I couldn't understand what he could possibly smile about.
"What else do you think I have on my schedule?" I decided sass may not be the best impression, but it was the only one I had at the moment.
"Alright then Angie, please come with me." I saw a wince of something in his eyes, just before he pulled down his black framed sunglasses in front of his face. The lenses were mirrors; suddenly I was looking at a girl. Her eyes red and glassy, scars streaked across every inch of her face and sadness hung in her gaze. She was unbearable to look at, her facial expressions changed rapidly and firm. One black gouge ran from the top of her forehead down to the end of her neck. I touched my face and ran my fingers across the scar, and realized this girl was me.
The detective lifted his sunglasses revealing his hazel eyes in the summer sun. His black was hair shaggy and adoring; drifting over his brows, and glowing in the wind. He is beautiful, just like me, just like I was. His facial hair was perfectly trimmed but I wondered if his looks were deceiving.
"Angie, are you alright?" His lips moved perfectly to the rhythm of his words.
"Why do you call me that?" I demanded, displeased by his use of a nickname for me.
"Call you what?" He knew exactly what I meant.
"Angie, you keep calling me Angie. Why?" I frowned into his eyes.
"Why not?" He looked at me innocently, almost playfully, as If he had no idea of the affect his every word had on me.
"It's what my father used to call me ... before he was killed." My words grew fierce and a look of sorrow grew on his face.
"Do you want to go somewhere and talk? I don't think It's healthy for you to stay here ... in such a crude environment. Too many bad memories, I'm sure. Let's go down to the station and just talk. I won't cross examine you today like they want me to. I can tell it's the last thing you need." He looked at me with hopeful eyes, almost empty eyes, pleading me to fill them with an answer. I wanted with every piece of me, every fragment of my broken soul, wished to tell him he was right. That all I needed was security, all I needed was a friend. I wanted more than anything to feel safe and he gave me that closure in his presence. I saw the sun rays ricochet against the shiny metallic glass of his sun shades at the peak of his head. His eyes never left mine.
"I promise I will call you Angela." I almost wanted to laugh, his pleading with me seemed unworthy. I'm nineteen years old and I can't even carry myself well enough to escape a kidnapping. I'm nineteen years old, five-seven, and I couldn't even save my best friends life. Now that's just my luck, I loose everything that means anything to me.
"Please ... come with me." He took my hand and my legs followed his slight tug on my forearm. The ground felt sharp and edgy against my bare feet, and the air smacked my cuts; blood began to ooze from a few gashes on my legs.
"Why me?" I looked up at the sky, my head pounding, tears flowing. I hadn't even realized I'd spoken. Detective didn't even acknowledge my words; he just kept leading me farther away from the shed, inevitably farther away from my fears. Each step released a tiny peak of pressure held under my skin. The fresh air began to delude the scent of dried blood from my nostrils. Soon he led me to a jet back Ford pick up, which I surmised must belong to him.
"Hop in the passenger side." He smiled at me.
"Um this may be an issue ... It's a little high." He immediately picked me up and placed me on the seat then buckled me in and said, "Click it or ticket", and winked.
He pulled out of the dirt drive way, onto a rocky mud filled road that seemed to go on endlessly for miles. The silence grew over me, like an inpenetrable plastic coating sealing away my words. Pictures drew themselves in my memory, I shook my head turning them away but they kept recreating my nightmares and soon lethargy overcame me.
Angela Dezanso did not awake. She was allegedly killed by the “Detective”. Herbody has never been found.
Never give in. Human nature always wins.