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Erin never thought it could happen to her, but as she lay in the cramped trunk of that Toyota Camry, covered in blood, her life flashing before her eyes, she realizes how dreadfully wrong she was. Erin had seen the stories on TV, you know, an unsuspecting teenage girl gets in a car with a stranger who turns out to be a psychopath serial killer. So cliché! That only happened in big cities. There was no excitement in the small town of Edmond where she lived. But now she knows how very, very wrong she was. This is how it all started…
It was prom night and Erin, a junior in high school, was excited to be going to her first prom with her new boyfriend, Austin. She had spent countless hours the week before searching for the perfect dress. She finally found a long, flowing, sapphire blue dress that was contemporary, yet elegant. She could not wait to show it off to all her classmates. Austin was going to pick her up at 5:30 to take pictures and then get some food with their friends before the prom started. Erin had spent four hours getting read, trying several shades of makeup and multiple hairstyles. After careful consideration, she decided on ringlet curls and sapphire eye shadow to match her dress. Beautiful did not even come close to describing her appearance that night.
5:30 came around and so did Austin. He honked the horn and Erin went to say goodnight to her mother.
“Night Mom. I’ll be back around two. Don’t bother waiting up for me,“ she said.
Her mother replied, “I want you home by 11:30.”
“But Mom!” Erin pleaded, “Me and Austin were going to go to the big after-party at Elisa’s”
Her Mom said, “I was young once too, and I know what goes on at those parties! You will be no part of it! You will be home by 11:30, and that’s final!”
“Sometimes you act so stupid,” Erin blurted out.
“I refuse to be spoken to like that young lady! Give me your cell phone!” she sternly said through her clenched teeth.
“I hate you!” Erin screamed as she slammed her phone down and stormed out the front door.
She ran down the steps and hopped into Austin’s car. In silence, they drove to the photography studio in town to take pictures. After that, they met up with their friend Elisa and her date, Brad, to get some spaghetti. Throughout the entire dinner, Austin and Elisa persisted to flirt and joke with each other. Erin was highly annoyed. She thought “He’s a sophomore! If it weren’t for me he wouldn’t have even been able to come to prom! Look at him all over Elisa! What a stupid jerk!” After Erin endured an hour of being ignored at the restaurant, the four teens got in the car and left for the prom.
Soon, they arrived at Edmond High School and walked to the gymnasium door. They were a little late; most everyone was already there. The four of them made their way to the purse table so Erin and Elisa could set down their handbags and jackets. Brad assisted Elisa in taking off her jacket, but Austin simply stood and watched Erin struggle to remove hers. Brad and Elisa went to the dance floor, however, Austin told Erin that he did not like to dance and would rather sit. The couple sat in the corner for six songs. Erin thought, “This is going to be an awful night.”
During the seventh song, Elisa approached them.
“Austin! Come dance with me!”
“I’m not much of a dancer,” he said.
“Awwwwwwhhh! Come on! It’ll be fun!” she begged.
“Well… ok, one song,” he replied.
They danced one song, then another, then another, and another until they danced for five songs! Erin was humiliated and Brad did not seem to be too happy with his date, either. In fact, soon after, Brad left. When Elisa realized that she had no ride home, she asked Austin for one.
Austin walked over to Erin’s seat and said, “Erin, Brad left and Elisa needs a ride home so she can finish decorating for the big party. I mean, I’d ask you to ride with us, but you know, my car only fits two. So, I’ll drop her off and be back in twenty. Okay?”
Erin meekly said, “I guess.”
Erin waited in her seat in the back corner for over an hour, but still there was no sign of Austin.
She began to weep and muttered, “This night couldn’t get any worse!”
From the dark corner where she was seated, she looked on in envy at all of the other girls in pretty dresses having the times of their lives. This was supposed to be fun! This was supposed to be the night of her teenage life! How dare Austin or Elisa, or anyone else for that matter, take this from her! After another half-hour, more than half of the students had left, and it occurred to Erin that Austin was not coming back for her.
She asked herself, “How could I be so naïve?”
She fled to the bathroom, found refuge in a stall, and sobbed her eyes dry. She wept for what seemed like an eternity. When she gained her composure and came out of the restroom, she did not see anyone. The school was completely empty. The walls that were once plastered in cheap decorations were now bare. The table that was recently littered with a rainbow of purses now only displayed Erin’s lonely purse and sweater. All signs of any activity in the gymnasium had been stripped away. How was she to get home?She looked at the clock and saw that it was 11:45.
She thought, “Well, I’ll just call Mom to come and get me.”
She walked to the table where her purse was, opened her pocketbook, and realized that she did not have her phone. She frantically began searching for it and trying to recall where she had it last. She then remembered where it was. It was with her mother, who hours ago took it from her. Again, she cried. The thought of having to walk eight miles in the dark of night by herself was overwhelming! She realized that she might as well get started; the sooner she began walking, the sooner she would get home. After grabbing her belongings, she left for home.
It was midnight and Erin had only been walking for five minutes. She was cold, afraid, and just wanted to get home.
“Need a ride?” a voice behind her asked.
Erin turned to see the outline of a man’s face in the window of a silver Toyota Camry.
“Need a ride?” the silhouette repeated.
Anxious to get home, and thrilled by the man’s offer, she said, “That would be great!”
She hopped in the front seat, closed the door, and said, “Thank you so much!”
“No problem. Where should I take you?”
“1314 Rabon Street,” she answered.
She glanced at him and noticed that he was very attractive. She figured he was about 21, only about four years older than her. For a second, she wondered if she were single, but she quickly scolded herself for even entertaining such a thought.
“Why so fancy?” he asked, referring to her prom attire.
“Prom. I don’t really want to talk about it,” she answered.
“That’s okay. By the way, my name’s Ryan. What’s yours?” he asked.
“Erin. This is my turn right here,” she replied.
“Oh, well I know a shortcut.”
“Oh, alright,” she murmured.
Ryan turned down a road hidden by surrounding trees. Erin had never noticed this road before. She looked at the clock on his dashboard and saw that they had been driving for ten minutes. For quite a few miles, she silently watched Ryan drive down the dark dirt road. Erin, knowing that this was no shortcut, began to breathe heavily.
Ryan asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Ummmm, I have to go. Thanks for the ride,” she stuttered as she reached for the door handle.
Ryan locked the doors. “You aren’t going anywhere!”
He grabbed Erin by her hair and shouted, “Don’t scream. Just shut up and stay still!”
He let go of her for a second, but only long enough to open the glove compartment and pull out a handgun and cloth.
“Try anything funny and this will go through your skull,” he whispered maliciously as he shook the gun at her.
He then took the cloth and tied it around Erin’s mouth so tightly that she could feel her lips ripping apart. Erin was petrified and in shock. Her brain just could not wrap around the fact that she was being kidnapped and threatened with a gun! All she could do was cry, as she had done countless times earlier that day. Ryan kept driving further and further down the road, and Erin was terrified for her life. She kept reflecting back to the afternoon earlier that day. She remembered telling her mom that she hated her. That was the last thing she told her mother. The words kept ringing in her head. “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.”
Ryan kept racing down the mysterious road. He glanced over at Erin and when he turned back to the road, there was a massive deer. He tried to dodge it, but the car could not move fast enough. He rammed straight into the giant buck.
He pulled out his gun and said, “Don’t you dare move!”
He got out of the car to move the animal out of the way. When Erin saw this, she knew she needed to escape before something terrible happened. She unlocked the door, jumped out, and started running. Ryan turned and saw this. He had to stop her, so he took the gun and shot at Erin.
Erin fell to the ground and attempted to scream but the cloth gagging her prevented her from making any noises. The shot had hit her calf and the pain was excruciating. Ryan walked to the spot where Erin laid, picked her up, and shook her by the shoulders.
“Thought you could get away, huh? You think that you’re smarter than me, do you?” he screamed as he untied the gag from around Erin’s mouth.
“No,” she whimpered, barely able to breathe.
“Tell me I’m smarter than you!” he screamed.
“Yoooou arrrrrre smarttterrr thannnn me,“ she stuttered.
He slapped her in the face and screamed louder than before, “SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!”
“I cannntttt,” she managed to choke out through her sobbing.
Ryan shoved Erin on the ground. He then grabbed a handful of her hair and started dragging her back to the car. Erin screamed at the top of her lungs. She could feel the hair ripping out of her head and saw the blood dripping down her head. He picked her up and threw her in the trunk of his car and slammed it closed. He finished moving the deer, got in the car, and started it up. Erin was left lying in the cramped trunk in a puddle of blood.
Right now, she is lying in that trunk and thinking about how she can escape. In the trunk, it is pitch dark and all she can smell is blood. There is blood all over her: on her face and on her leg. Erin is searching for the latch of the locking mechanism in the trunk. She is fumbling around and now, finally feels it. After fidgeting at it for a few moments, CLICK, she feels the trunk open, revealing a glimpse of light. cautious not to open it completely for the fear that Ryan might see her trying to escape, she slowly opens the trunk, inch by inch, until there is room for her to slip out. She accidentally lets go of the mechanism and the trunk flies ajar. Erin jumps out and starts to run again. Ryan quickly notices and jerks the car around to catch her. He speeds up to her, and in his rampage runs over her. He backs up and runs over her again, and again, and again. Erin screams in agonizing pain! Ryan jumps out of the car and runs to her side. He kicks her in the face, stomps on her stomach, spits on her, and calmly walks back to the car and drives away, leaving her in the middle of nowhere to die.
Fourteen hours later, Erin starts to move. She opens her eyes and screams when she looks around and sees that she is in the hospital. She looks down and sees many casts and bandages. Then the memories of the night before slowly come back to her and she pieces it all together.
She looks around and next to her a nurse says, “She’s awake now.”
Her mother literally jumped out of the chair next to Erin’s bed and ran to her side to hug her.
When her mother wraps around her, Erin grins and whispers “I love you”